Sunday, 11 October 2009

The post-it problem

I think that everyone who had the dubious pleasure of my company noticed an OCD (1) strain in me. And that I can be damn irritating with that one.

I also make a frequent use of post-its. I evolved a habit of using those green ones, 7.5x7.5 cm for the bibliographic.... how do I say scheda in English? Well, sort of like index cards. Neon yellow ones are permissible, too. Not those regular pale yellow ones, nor, say, pink or blue ones. Gotta be green (or, in a sheer necessity, neon yellow).

I usually carry handfuls of post-it blocs around, I have some in my diary, but I happened to have ended up here with a single neon yellow post-it left. I need to write and I have nothing for my bibliography! and I'm in a country where I have no clue where to actually go and buy post-its (back home I'd go to the department store to the stationery; or to Esselunga; or to Ufficio moderno di Firenze before they had closed down. I'd know places).

I went to Historiska Museet yesterday. I love it there because they have nice things exhibited.
Admittedly, I'm an intellectual snob so I was constantly near banging my head against something hard. What I love about Sweden is that it's rather an user-friendly country but sometimes they just go too far. Like, the tags lack basic info like origin, dimensions, material used. Rants about their function are highly useful to the general crowd, an emulation of a Romanesque church space is neat, too, but, what if an art historian wanders in and wants to see, o woe, details ? In clear light? And that exhibition on Virgin Mary and a general ideal of a woman was neat but the clear light whine is still valid, and I'd want a catalog. With pics. In colour. The large and neat works on Swedish medieval scuplture are rather old, with pics in black and white, you know, so that there'd be something. And, anyways.
Admittedly, most of the place was empty, one thing I like about Medieval stuff is that as long as it's not that colourful 14th century Italian stuff or International style, nobody is too much interested in it because, well, it's not colourful and pretty most of the time. Apart from that stomping teenager and stomping guards chatting on the cellphone so I could mess around and stick my nose to the hollowed-out backs of the statues and such, while whining that there's no catalog available and that I'm stupid not to have studied more.

I have another rather OCD issue. I don't like going to places where I can't understand the native dialect. And, I don't like going here up north because I look like a native. My command of Swedish is passable but I don't speak it. I mean, in, say, Italy or in the Reservation, I generally look foreign so people are pleasantly surprised that I speak Florentine or Moravian (instead of textbook Italian and Czech) and even if I make a neat blunder, they are fine. Here I'm expected to be a Swede and to speak, obviously, perfectly. I thought that maybe getting a massive Finnish accent to my English would at least make the things self-explanatory... well, for the next time.

On my way back, I passed a secondhand bookshop. I sneaked in - I don't really like shopping in places where I might be approached by the staff, especially in this country, that's why I sneaked in. I would like to get the whole five volumes of Aron Andersson's Medieval Swedish Sculpture in Wood (or how the hell it's called) so I thought it would be worth checking. It was, I found volumes III and IV of Andersson, that book on English influences on Norwegian sculpture that was a pain in the arse to find and which I have only in a lousy photocopy. Then the bookshop guy came to kick me out ("vi stängs" or something), I grabbed the two books and asked whether, by chance, they may have volumes I, II and V. The guys said that they should be somewhere around, that they may have more books that may interest me and that I should drop by some other day. If I were a cat, I'd purr.

The issue of green post-its and the resulting inability to do something in the library remains unresolved, though.

(1) Obsessive-compulsive disorder. A thingy that makes folks check ten times that they really turned off the gas stove and such.

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