Because I had to get equipment from the corporate office in Solna, and go to meetings in Älvsjö, I had to rent a car. This was only my second experience driving in a foreign country (no, Canada doesn’t count – just look at the phone country code for proof) – I remember that I had driven in Israel, mostly in the North, and that was fine until I started encountering Israelis as we approached Jerusalem.
I realized that the closer we got to the holy city, the more the other guys on the road thought that God wasn’t just their co-pilot – they had fully given over the controls, and their religious fervor was only matched by their homicidal tendencies behind the wheel.
This wasn’t like that.
This time, I registered for an economy car, not fully realizing that the car I would get could be categorized as an overgrown lawnmower in the US. I’ve installed a lot of network equipment larger than its engine – and hell, a Cisco power supply is bigger than the battery. Why do I know this? Because unlike in the helpful US, in Sweden, cars don’t chime if you turn them off after turning on the lights. So yes, the flashlight-battery they use to power that thing drained, and I had to get a jumpstart from the helpful hotel janitor.
The drivers are mostly okay, except for the few who want to try to exceed the speed of light, and indicate so by angrily flashing their lights behind you.
It’s hard to get used to the speed in kilometers, and much harder to use the speed as a gauge for which gear to be in: I grew up on my grandfather’s z”l 69 camaro, which had 3 speeds: 0-10, 10-20, and 30-120. This Toyota had 5 speeds, and I was able to comfortably cruise at about 120kph, which it took about 11 minutes to reach. Yep, that’s 35 squirrelpower at work.
Anyway, I put Sarah in charge of finding a radio station, and she went through a series which sounded like Børk! Børk! Børk! But she eventually found the Klassik Rokk station – that was the one which played Kiss, lots of assorted 80’s and 70’s hard rock, and inexplicably, a back to back suckfest of 1000 Maniacs (adjusted for inflation) followed by Lenny Kravitz. Then Bon Jovi’s Born to be my Baby came on. Now, if you’ve never heard this, I have one word for you:
Seriously, just don’t – it sucks painfully. It’s from Bon Jovi’s New Jersey period, which is probably best forgotten, and it oozes wussy lameness in every direction.
Sarah, of course, loved it, and said, “yes, it sucks, but I’m so happy to hear it! It’s been so long!”
So I coined a term to describe this:
Suckstalgia: the longing for events or things with which fond memories are associated, but which unquestionably suck.
Sarah cheerfully admitted that her whole 80’s metal thing is suckstalgic wallowing. Personally, I have suckstalgic feelings for movies like Strange Brew and DC Cab, among other craptacular movies from the 80s.
So what’s your suckstalgic guilty pleasure?