Zombie Trip Report: Sweden - A Stranger in a Strange Land (1 Viewer)

Poker Zombie

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Normally, I write my trip reports a the morning after complete a day. However, after 12 hours travelling and 7 time zones, the day just seems to have been erased - or at least blurred. It's sort of weird to lose a day without alcohol being involved.

The whole trip started on the heels of the Denver Meet-up. We flew home, I headed into work while @Mrs Poker Zombie ran some laundry and finished the stitching on the hoodies for the Stockholm Syndrome.
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Once I finished my shift it was back home to pack and get up in the air. If you followed the Denver meet-up thread and then the Stockholm meet-up thread, you will see me wearing a lot of the same clothes. This isn't because I have a limited wardrobe, it's because it's really easy to dump the laundry basket into the suitcase and say "that's 4 days!"

The flight to NY was uneventful - and by uneventful I mean that we weren't bringing the in-flight poker table this time. Different countries have different rules regarding "gambling devices", and the last thing I want is to run afoul of some totalitarian law that takes away our airplane table. Also, at $100 for an extra checked bag meant that we were going to use a carry-on with clothes, shoes, and little things like charging cables, instead of a table.

Of course when we board to go to NY, the plane is full and they ask passengers to check their carry-ons. We do, because they offer to do it for free, and we already have 2 checked bags, so what's one more? They also need someone to move to the Economy plus seats because a couple in the exit row had a language barrier. I know that when you request a seat in the exit row, there is a line that asks if you understand English. Of course that line is in English, and anyone can check a box. But because we volunteered, we got the extra leg-room. #PocketAces

In NY, things started to go wrong. First our plane was delayed. The airplane was arriving from Ireland, but due to a "medical emergency", it landed in Canada, then had to be sterilized. I don't know what happened, but I'll bet'cha it was gross. 28 years in emergency medical service brings to mind many calls where I just thought to myself, "they lost grandma, but they're going get a new carpet, so they got that going for them."

The hour-long delay led to some in terminal heads-up poker in the terminal. Even without a table, I still have emergency cards, which I have carried ever since @courage 's meet-up.
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OK, some alcohol was involved in the blur of the day.

Back into the air we flew over Greenland around midnight, and directly over Reykjavik. I waved at @Gunnar, but he didn't wave back. :( Probably because of the cloud cover - or the late hour.
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Yes, this is midnight. Welcome to the land where the sun doesn't set.

Finally we get to Sweden.
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This place has water everywhere. I now know why Greta Thunberg is such a vocal advocate against global warming. If my city was just a toilet-flush away from sinking, I'd be concerned about rising ocean levels too!

Then the bad beats hit us. Only 2 of our 3 checked bags arrive. We check United app, and it's clear. Our carry-on that we happily checked - it was in New York. Clothes, charging cables. We already have 2 checked bags, so what's one more? Yeah, there's a reason I turned that text green. Envious of everyone that didn't start their vacation with 2 hours in the airport trying to figure out who to submit a claim to. The correct answer is "not in this terminal".
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Yep it starts here. Departures. Because that is the first place I would think you should go to file a claim for missing luggage. :rolleyes:

We file our claim, then head out. Well, there's that juggle with the renal car agency where we book a car, but because we used a digital credit card, we couldn't present the card - because that's how digital cards work. I have a different card, but that requires them to rebook the car under the new card - at a much higher rate. But we are finally underway. First stop, lunch. We confirm that in Sweden, a hot dog is not a sandwich.
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It's a wrap - with bacon and mashed potatoes and lettuce.

With my phone (with our directions) down to 23% and without a charger, we scope out a mall in an attempt to find a kiosk or a store that sell cell phones, as they would likely have a charger we could plug into the car. Sure enough we find a mall and hurry over. I glance at my phone: 8%. We better be right, because only have one shot. Sure enough, there's a place that sells phones- and USB cables! With victory on our side we stroll back to the car and find a parking ticket, and learn that Sweden has places (like this mall) that require the use of a "parking disk". Since this is a rental car, you know that they will stick us with a fee on top of the fine, so we have to figure out how to pay this.
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You wrote the whole ticket in Swedish, except the part where you send payment from abroad? #PocketAcesCracked

However, the phone is now charging, and we take a scenic route to the hotel.
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We planed to also visit a castle, but with all the delays, it's late enough to check in and grab a 30 minute nap.

We're off to the meet-up!
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Chippers from USA, England, Germany, and Sweden! I think this just beat any meet-up for number of different nationalities! Started play on a Paris set.

Pizza outside of the USA can get weird.
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But delicious!

Ended the night on Proteges with Matsui plaques.
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Card capper from @Machine , because he gave it to me (pot splasher) in Denver, so it was still in my suitcase. You are now internationally known.

The Zombies call it a night "early", but it's been 37 hours with nothing more than brief naps. It only takes a couple more hours to get to bed because of limited parking at the hotel - and we do not want another ticket! Hint: parking at the hotel is free, but only certain spaces, which are full. there are directions on how to pay, but they are in Swedish. Hello, Google Translate app!
 
Looks like an awesome trip! (other than the hicups)

Leon Russell fan?
 
Oh my lord, you guys definitely deserve nothing but rungood at the tables this weekend.

Definitely awesome to have you here!
 
Im so jealous, i hope your trip is as amazing as it looks!
 
I got them a parking disc thingy so it should be smooth sailing from here :) (provided that the missing suitcase actually shows up)
I thought the parking disc thingy was a Danish thing... so you've been infected too?
 
Day 2: started the morning right - by starting it in the early afternoon. My body slowly adjusts to the time zones, and I wake up at 10 am Sweden time - 3 am Nashville time. That's 1 hour earlier than I normally wake up. At this rate it will only take a week to adjust for a 4 night trip. Not that I'm concerned about the lag. I figure that when we are playing cards at 2am and everyone is making sleep-deprived decisions, my body will say "it's 7pm, time to start the real poker!"
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Mrs Zombie and I start off by exploring the town a bit. A little walk about Södertälje. Yep, that's the name of the town I'm in. I pronounce it Sod-her-tail. They tell me that's wrong. I point out that my passport has images of nuclear weapons on it. U-S-A! U-S-A!

We stop by a little shop for lunch. We use the Google Translate app to decide between fish or beef. Yesterday we drove through the countryside and never saw a single cow. We did see a lot of water, so we went with the fish. We were not disappointed.
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Top level dinner quality for roughly $15. Absolutely amazing. Also the price was $15. Not $15 + tax + tip. A menu that tells you the actual price. What a novel concept.

On our walkabout, I saw this antique-styled baby carriage. Sweden doesn't seem concerned with making everything look modern and new, but nothig feels old. It's like the style of the Victorian age was built with modern technology. I wouldn't be surprised if that carriage had a flash-drive with pre-loaded lullabys.
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Chrome fenders, oversized whitewall tires. Chrome ladder for the baby to climb in. I think gangsta-baby is saying "Where is my P-Diddy mix, bitch"

I couldn't translate the sign Mrs Zombie was reading, but I'm pretty good at picking up enough clues to figure it says "Don't feed the pigeons. They're just flying rats".
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Modern technology, old buildings. My guess is that this time next year there will be a new building on the waterfront that was built in 1823.

Cutting into a park, we found this old tree that was struck by lightning. Instead of cutting it down, A guy with a chainsaw did this:
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Best public works department ever.

Then it was onto the Meetup. We started the day on fixed-limit mixed games, on the Parks and Recreation chips. Mrs Zombie completed the set designed by @detroitdad , with a card-capper tribute to DD.
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It was not a good run for either Zombie, as Mrs Zombie was felted, and I was down to roughly 1/2 my starting stack.

Hand-made hamburger burger buns by @JackDeRke, without having a written recipe. They were just amazing, and light-years ahead of the plastic bag stuff. Of course like any chef, Malte was the the only one to find errors in his own work.
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Wrapped up the night on the "little circus" table, while the big leagues played NLHE.
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It was an absolute blast. Most of these guys had never played Tahoe Pitch and roll, Scrotum, Double Board Omaha, SheShe, Lazy Pineapple, or Drawmaha. They held their own though. Only @BonScot went back to the well. In the afternoon session there were multiple rebuys, so I'd say these guys did much better.

My stack at 2am, when everyone was winding down.
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Lots of tired yawns at the table vs. my "it's only 7pm" body contributed to this stack.

Mrs Zombie was down 500 in the afternoon session, and up 9 in the evening session. They tell her down one and up one = breaking even. I now understand how sports-ball standings work.
 
Day 2: started the morning right - by starting it in the early afternoon. My body slowly adjusts to the time zones, and I wake up at 10 am Sweden time - 3 am Nashville time. That's 1 hour earlier than I normally wake up. At this rate it will only take a week to adjust for a 4 night trip. Not that I'm concerned about the lag. I figure that when we are playing cards at 2am and everyone is making sleep-deprived decisions, my body will say "it's 7pm, time to start the real poker!"
View attachment 1145010

Mrs Zombie and I start off by exploring the town a bit. A little walk about Södertälje. Yep, that's the name of the town I'm in. I pronounce it Sod-her-tail. They tell me that's wrong. I point out that my passport has images of nuclear weapons on it. U-S-A! U-S-A!

We stop by a little shop for lunch. We use the Google Translate app to decide between fish or beef. Yesterday we drove through the countryside and never saw a single cow. We did see a lot of water, so we went with the fish. We were not disappointed.
View attachment 1145014
Top level dinner quality for roughly $15. Absolutely amazing. Also the price was $15. Not $15 + tax + tip. A menu that tells you the actual price. What a novel concept.

On our walkabout, I saw this antique-styled baby carriage. Sweden doesn't seem concerned with making everything look modern and new, but nothig feels old. It's like the style of the Victorian age was built with modern technology. I wouldn't be surprised if that carriage had a flash-drive with pre-loaded lullabys.
View attachment 1145016
Chrome fenders, oversized whitewall tires. Chrome ladder for the baby to climb in. I think gangsta-baby is saying "Where is my P-Diddy mix, bitch"

I couldn't translate the sign Mrs Zombie was reading, but I'm pretty good at picking up enough clues to figure it says "Don't feed the pigeons. They're just flying rats".
View attachment 1145017
Modern technology, old buildings. My guess is that this time next year there will be a new building on the waterfront that was built in 1823.

Cutting into a park, we found this old tree that was struck by lightning. Instead of cutting it down, A guy with a chainsaw did this:
View attachment 1145025View attachment 1145026
Best public works department ever.

Then it was onto the Meetup. We started the day on fixed-limit mixed games, on the Parks and Recreation chips. Mrs Zombie completed the set designed by @detroitdad , with a card-capper tribute to DD.
View attachment 1145030
It was not a good run for either Zombie, as Mrs Zombie was felted, and I was down to roughly 1/2 my starting stack.

Hand-made hamburger burger buns by @JackDeRke, without having a written recipe. They were just amazing, and light-years ahead of the plastic bag stuff. Of course like any chef, Malte was the the only one to find errors in his own work.
View attachment 1145034

Wrapped up the night on the "little circus" table, while the big leagues played NLHE.
View attachment 1145035
It was an absolute blast. Most of these guys had never played Tahoe Pitch and roll, Scrotum, Double Board Omaha, SheShe, Lazy Pineapple, or Drawmaha. They held their own though. Only @BonScot went back to the well. In the afternoon session there were multiple rebuys, so I'd say these guys did much better.

My stack at 2am, when everyone was winding down.
View attachment 1145036
Lots of tired yawns at the table vs. my "it's only 7pm" body contributed to this stack.

Mrs Zombie was down 500 in the afternoon session, and up 9 in the evening session. They tell her down one and up one = breaking even. I now understand how sports-ball standings work.

Fan-Fk'n-Tastic, Thank you so much for the photos and commentary!
 
I'm going to say "no", because I had to Google Leon Russell to see who he even was. I may search him out on Spotify though, so maybe I will be.
Seriously?

Leon Russell is a bona-fide legend.

I was at a small bar in Toledo on a Thursday night watching Johnny Winter play solo acoustic on stage (from a mere 3 feet away on a hightop, $5 cover charge). After about 20 minutes, in walked Leon Russell through the front door, who apparently was playing later that weekend in nearby Detroit. They jammed together for three hours, taking requests. It was incredible.
 
He has a song Stranger in a strange land.
Ah, I see - I know "Stranger in a strange land" from the Heinlein book. Others may know it from the Bible. I'm even familiar with The Iron Maiden version @Wedge posted, but admittedly, my head-banging days are long over.

On the way to the meet-up we played 3 tracks from Leon Russell. Didn't recognize any of them, although the voice was somewhat familiar.

We picked a different playlist for the trip back to the hotel.
 
"A Song for You." Pretty sure you've heard that one, including several cover versions.
 

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