Swedes in Rome
So on June 21st I planned to meet up with my friend Fredrick. I will have dug with Fredrick for 3 seasons this July, he is getting his PhD in Classical Archeology in Sweden (I think Upsala). We meet at Piazza del Populo and had pizza and beer for dinner. It was great to sit and talk and catch up with him. He is actually taking a class right now with the American Academy of Rome on Roman Pottery. But anyway, after dinner he asked if I wanted to see the Swedish Institute of Rome, to which I said yes. It is over by the Museum of Modern Art, not far from where we had dinner. So we go over and they are having a party celebrating the solstice (I guess the longest day of the year is important when you are in darkness most of the year). So Fredrick gave me a tour of the library (one wall is all Etruscan books). The archeology lab where he showed me old trench books from the San Gionnale dig and a model of a hut urn. We then checked out the storage where I saw a cassetto full of pottery from Eijnard Gerystads excavation in the Roman Forum (I got to touch it). We also saw these few cassetti of artifacts from small digs the SIR is doing. And then we walked out into the grounds and came back to the party. They were sitting down to dinner, to which Fredrick and I were invited to join. I got to try pickled herring, onion, Swedish meatballs, Swedish cheese, Swedish beer, Norwegian schnapps (Aquavit), and this weird hard circular bread. It was all very good (even the herring). Then throughout the meal this one guy would get up and start singing songs (I tried to follow along in the song packet but I was most often hopelessly lost) and after each song everyone would drink. The best part is that Fredrick is an amazing singer (trained as an organist and choral singer before going into classics). I meet a Danish visual artist, another Swedish classicist couple, and a Norwegian Architect (who is dating the Italian-Swede). They were all very nice, but it was a very surreal experience. I am really glad that I had a chance to go and see it. Then after several mishaps, walks and alternative modes of transportation I made it home safe and sound at 12:30. Although today I was a little tired. Well that is all for now, tonight I am going to be early to try and catch up on sleep.