Hei ja kivaa, että olet löytänyt tänne! Täällä tulemme pari kertaa kuukaudessa julkaisemaan tarinoita elämästä vuoden Uudenmaan kylässä 2022 (ja yleisesti ottaen maailman parhaassa paikassa), sekä yleisempää pohdintaa maallemuuttamisesta eri näkökulmista. Tekstiä tullaan julkaisemaan Bromarvilaisittain iloisesti sikin sokin suomeksi ja ruotsiksi, eli blogi soveltuu myös toisen kotimaisen harjoittelemiseen – samalla tavalla kuten käynti missä tahansa kylän liikkeistä tai tapahtumista.
SPILTAN – THEN THERE’S MORE
Written and Illustrated by A. B. Dance
There is a silly joke in the U.S. which I have never understood. It asks, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” The answer, to get to the other side. Hmm…really, how observant of the viewers giving the answer.
Just the other day while at SkafferiEtt the General Store in the middle of Bromarv, I stood outside up and across from Coffee-Bar Spiltan with my wife Harriet. In our brief travels we heard the villagers praise the establishment.
We crossed the road like the joke said to get to the other side. As we approached the Coffee-Bar Spiltan, we noticed right of the entrance, a large patio filled with customers laughing, eating, and sharing a bit of the spirits from the gods. The food on the tables seem to never end because of the portions served. On one plate we saw a hamburger stacked so high you would need mountain climbing gear to scale it. The pizzas are large accompanied by generous drinks, now there’s another reason for the chicken to cross the road.
Walking in we were greeted by Vera Laitinen, a petite young lady with a large smile companied by open arms welcoming us. She escorted us to a table handing us the menu.
As Harriet read the offerings in her first language Swedish, then translated them to English, I turned my eyes occasionally to the café surroundings. The interior matched the petite owner by its size, with a small counter placed at the rear of the shop were orders were taken. On a lit overhead display panel behind the counter further offerings were there to delight your palette. Listed were a great selection of burgers, snacks, salads, and pizzas.
Directly to the right through a narrow hallway in the back is the kitchen. There merging smells mixed float toward your nose and tongue. If the fragrances could speak, I am sure they would asked, “Mumm, like that fragrance? Wait when you place one of the burgers on your tongue, your soul will come alive from the intense flavors.”
Continuing my overview of the café, still gazing right, is a long table with six seats near a huge window letting in the sun. Filling five of the six seats are local elderly gentlemen.
In time, we learned they are the Spiltan Gang who gather weekly to share their thoughts and reminisce about the present and past times gone bye. Later, one gentleman proudly announced, “We sit here and lie to each other.”
Well, if that isn’t a straight honest statement, just hearing the confession whether it was a joke or not, is worth crossing the road to the café to hear.
The place felt homespun and welcoming with a feeling of warmth. I looked left toward two other tables exposed to the sun filtering in pass the front door. A small family sat smiling enjoying their food that came.
We ordered, Harriet having a Rilax Hamburger and I the Crispy Chicken Sandwich which we heard so much about. A young man came in carrying his infant son. The owner offered the father a menu immediately with the father ordering right away. The little boy turned to stare at us as I made a small sketch of him while Harriet and I learned the inquisitive little guy’s name was Sam.
Our orders came. We both stared at the two mountains of food sitting on our plates held up by another smaller hill of fries covered in Cheddar cheese and a cup of extra sauce on the side. We looked at each other wondering if we had big enough stomachs to finish it all, plus a tall soda each.
As I bit into my chicken burger, my tongue grew more and more excited with all the mixed flavors; A perfectly fried chicken fillet covered in Spiltan secret sauce, two wide pieces of fresh bacon, tomato, red onions, Jalapenos, bean sprouts, and Cheddar cheese between a fresh toasted burger bun.
After, Harriet and I waddled out of Spiltan’s like two stuffed birds we could hardly wave goodbye to all the friendly people we met.
We know now why the chicken crossed the road, to eat at Spiltan’s and share it all with great people.
– A.B. Dance
LET’S BEEF IT UP AND A LITTLE MORE
Written and Illustrated by A. B. Dance
Dashing and hopping around Bromarv like two fleas on a hot brick, Harriet and I added to our adventures by visiting Rilax Manor on invitation by the owner Mikael Aminoff. On arrival, and parking between two huge barns, we walked toward one where loud mooing fills the air.
Suddenly, appearing from a barn on our right a striking, lively looking young woman approached us. “You’re just in time, two minutes ago I helped one of our cows give birth. Come, I’ll show you.”
This is Jessica Aminoff, Mikael’s daughter. She walked straight, proud and full of confidence, stopped and pointed inside a stall. “Over there, he will stand up in a minute after his mother is done licking him clean.” There in the hay covered ground lay a newborn calf struggling to get to his feet.
“If you like you can name him but the name has to start with a “M”. That’s the letter we’re using to name all are cows this year.”
Harriet and I stood there thinking, looking at the sky, trying to think of a name. “How about Minnie?” I said. Harriet stared at me like I had lost all my Moomins in the valley.
“It’s a boy cow.”
“Oh, so it won’t have the swinging milkers on the back end.”
“Milkers? No, it’s baby bull.”
“Oh, okay, huh…” I thought hard. “How about Milton?”
After my Moomins returned to the valley Mikael and Jessica politely showed us around the entire facility where they kept the horses, sheep, and other animals. We were so impressed with how much care they showed each one.
In California I used to ride down the Interstate 10 to San Diego and would stare at herds of cows standing in their own waste. It was so callous and ruthless to see. Here, at Rilax Manor, children could visit and see the animals walking around in the fields free, eating and enjoying life. And yes, each animal had a given name and you knew which ones were older by their position in the alphabet. We returned to visit Milton, telling Jessica and Mikael that we wanted to adopt Milton as our cow son. Humm…it almost sounds like Karston. They agreed, and made it a great deal of fun to visit. We now have a son who really has his feet on the ground.
If you get the chance to visit Rilax Manor, bring the kids. Their eyes will be full of wonderment and excitement. If you get the chance to talk to Mikael, ask about the trees and the ground cover in the area – he told us he used to take care of Nature’s children for years.
A week later we came back and our son was on his feet. However, Milton ignored us due to it being feeding time. We were so impressed, he has learn what is really important: food.
Riding back to the center of Bromarv I am sure that every person in a car, truck or walking waved at us, with me asking Harriet, “Do you know them? Do you know her? How about him? Who are they?”
Why do I concern myself with knowing? You see, if you leave my wife in the middle of an open field, by the time you return, every bug, bird or moose will have introduced themselves. She has an incredible talent to draw and collect people. So I had to ask. However, in Bromarv a wave is as natural as the air you breath. In fact, if you waved back at all the people, by the end of the day your wrist would hurt.
Now finally at the center of town, we received a call from Mårten Johansson to have a late dinner at his restaurant, the Strandbistro. We sat in his restaurant next to the sea as he served us broiled sprat, a large salad, and a cold soda with lively conversation. Then “the feeling” comes over the village. The silence of night slowly tells you it’s time to go to bed with air mixing between land and sea. The trees rock in the great breath carrying their night fragrances to your nose, it’s the moment, sleep, knowing Father sun will be here soon.
-A. B. Dance
A.B. Dance kokeilee kevään 2022 aikana asumista Bromarvissa vaimonsa Harrietin ja Dina-koiran kanssa. Tässä sarjassa hän kertoo, miltä tuntuu muuttaa suurkaupungista pikkukylän rauhaan ja jakaa kokemuksiaan elämästä Bromarvissa.