Thursday, 25 May 2006

I Wanted to Re-enact the Last Supper but No One Wanted to Dress in Drag

Take this bread, it is fairtrade.

One of my dear guests for dinner, Lourdes, failed to convince me that the acronym the exiles intended to use for a new non-governmental organisation/charity is kosher. Sige nga, make me believe that "OR" in F.O.R.W.A.R.D is a proper acronym for 'OveRseas'.

I was already tipsy from the third glass of sherry, after the two glasses of wine and three shots of port, when I had the courage to engage Sarah's parents in conversation. My mind was really blank that day from work stress so I didn't feel confident I could prevent myself from doing something Ben Stiller-ish in meeting the parents. Thankfully, they were genuinely nice folks. (Except that when Sarah told me ages ago that her mother was a 'diplomat', she was modest not to tell me that she just happens to be the Ambassador to France.) Her father then regaled me with horror stories of unsolved murders that happen in dark underground stations in gruesome detail. This I took was a subtle way of telling me "Layuan mo ang anak ko you ugly orc!". We also talked about veterinary medicine, definitely not my field of expertise so I was way out of my depth. The solution was to continue drinking myself silly. At least, I can blame the alcohol.

My former uber-lesbian ex-flatmate Heather was also at dinner and she informed us that she just completed her first Paris marathon. She did not run to raise money for charity though so I took her to task for her selfish motives. I think she just wanted to meet new girls. Still, I must admit that that is a very good reason for joining a marathon, in Paris no less. Her time was 5 hours, which is not a bad first effort for a 41km race.

His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem hosts May High Table dinner for up and and coming South African political star James, who just submitted his PhD thesis, and Lourdes of Akbayan-Anakpawis-Ako Muna Partylist - Cubao Jeepney Operator Drivers Association. At the far end were The Nashman's good friends, Heather and Sarah and her parents, in front of HRO Karl Willem was another Spanish colonial from Colombia. The Nashman suggested a trade for Cordilleran green gold for South American coca leaves.

The Nashman had vegetarian fish.

The High Table is always watched over by the Lion and the mystical Brasenose Bicorn and His 12-inch schlong. Women are advised not to stare at it as it has the magical effect of making them horny.

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

The Nashman Scientific Lecture Series 01: Loo and Behold.

Swedish for beginners: Bawal Umutot dito/ Farting Forbidden

It is well established that penetrative sex resulting in orgasm as part of a loving relationship produces that wonderful effect called 'the afterglow'. This post-coital bliss is due to the surge in endorphins that are released after orgasm. These hormones bind to receptors on nearby brain cells and produce an opiate-like effect. This is why people who get very little sex are cranky and depressed and go about making war with civilisation at large. (Please take note of the operative word 'penetrative'. I don't have to explain that the same high endorphin peaks are NOT/NADA/NYET/HAAN/MADI achieved by self-pleasure or lesbian sex. And to my good gay friends, sorry, it don't apply to you guys as well as that hole ain't meant to be penetrated.)

I realised while sitting on the throne today, after a indulging in a smorgasbord that made Bacchus proud, that a similar effect can occur after a visit to the loo. I shall call this the 'after loo effect'. (You could of course call it the 'aftergloo' effict if you have that accent.) Like all receptor-ligand-epitope interactions, there are many co-factors that need to considered and the after loo effect involves a positive feedback loop.

I have not yet identified the molecular basis of the after loo effect (something I need to write a scientific grant on) but allow me to discuss some salient features of this phenomena. The most important metric here is the intensity of the after loo effect. The factors that directly contribute to an "I'm the king of the world" feeling after visiting that porcelain throne include:

1. What did you eat/drink the night before? - The size of the deposit is key, the bigger and longer the better. You don't want to be sitting on the loo waiting for a small kikiam of a shit that just refuses to drop even if it is already hanging precariously by the mangled stalk of spinach you ate yesterday even if you gyrate manically to the Black Eyed Peas' "My humps, my humps". You want to deliver a Titanic-size piece of crap that sinks straight to the bottom. You want to feel that continous tube of nitrogenous waste product scratching against the lining of your rectum as it comes out to embrace the light the way an Artic icebreaker crushes against the ice. What is the correct diameter of poo to get the proper after loo glow? Sing Madonna's "Like a Virgin". If you don't feel that way when ever you crap, it ain't big enough.

Proper crap needs to be soft yet firm and not squishy like the chocolate bar that you forgot inside your pocket on a hot summer day. That consistency will just stick to your 'valley of darkness' and leave a thin film of brown spread that can be used as a fly trap (it could even trap small rodents if it's thick). Plus, do you really want streak marks on your genuine fake designer underwear?

2. Like lovemaking, atmosphere is everything. You want to do your thing in a conducive environment. Is there a cold draft as if someone is whistling the Indiana Jones theme next to your glory hole? Are the colours of the tiles relaxing? Is the loo still warm from the last person when you sat on it? Did a swarm of flies rush into your face, maybe you even swallowed some, as you opened the door? Are the cubicles not acoustically-isolated enough that you can hear the adjacent neigbour doing it and that prevents you from making the required grunts to give birth to those dark brown babies or that forces you to silence the release of gas instead of the guilty pleasure of rapid-fire machinegun-like short bursts of fart?

The loo cubicle should be first class, more so if you have to pay for it. Like sex with a prostitute, no one wants to bang an ugly tart. That '5 piso kung iihi, 10 piso kung dudumi, 2 piso para sa tissue, 1 piso para sa tatlong pahina ng yellow pages, libre kung papadilaan nalang sa bantay-aso' money you shell out to the troll manning the public loo is not going to charity you know. Some people I know are very monogamous when it comes to loo cubicles, they are only comfortable using the same one. So much so that even if the crapper were made of granite, it would have been smoothed down to the correct contours of that person's butt cheeks the way OJ Simpson's hand fits that leather glove.

Let us not forget that as it is thrilling to have mad sex in the woods surrounded by nature just the way God intended it, crapping into a hole on the ground you dug yourself with your uber-cool Swiss knife in the woods can also boost that after loo experience to stratospheric levels that not even the Archangels can fly high enough to reach. Just remember to sprinkle some of the soil over your deposit and walk carefully or you might squash your own crap. Not a good idea if you are wearing flip flops or barefoot. (That region between the toes can be very hard to clean.)

3. Like sex, it's always better if you save up for it. There is nothing more satisfying than to crap just when you are about to explode. Take your cue from Pinatubo who waited 600 years before its naughty big bang. You know the feeling when your anal muscles just constrict while you desperately look for the toilet. It's painful, sure, but when you finally find the loo and get to drop those sweet-corn studded bombs, you will get this very refreshing "Haaay, salamat" feeling that not even a threesome can match. Doing it more than once a day is a no-no as your loo sessions will be short and the deposits will be like those of a goat, you can even play jolens with it. It's like investment banking, wait for it to accumulate and diversify your portfolio by eating fibres and fruit. This makes the deposit anaconda-long instead of being cut into small bendy sections like the LRT trains, diving one at a time into the loo water thereby splashing your butt. Ewww. I have heard happy stories from people whose crap are oil tanker-long that they don't even make a splash as they touch the water. Think of that ET movie or Adam reaching out to God in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, that's how gracefully your brown love should make first contact with the water.

4. Like sex, sometimes it's nice to use some toys. When visiting the loo, the choice of literature you bring is important. Very few people have come out with an intense after loo experience by reading "Differential Equations" or "A Critique-Rectification of Post Modernism in 1970s Burma". Moreover, while it's good for other things, "Stay" by Lisa Loeb is not recommended loo music. You really want it to go while Menudo's "It's an explosion, my love for you" blasts from your iPod at full volume. Barry White is also an excellent choice. That deep baritone voice works well with the acoustics of a well-tiled up cubicle and while you are at it visualise a big snake shedding its old skin or the last line of toothpase coming out of its tube.

5. Like sex where you need a cuddle after orgasm, you also need good quality wipes to cuddle your butthole after doing the deed. This makes or breaks the after loo experience. As in using and removing a condom, make sure your finger does not poke a hole on the toilet paper as you wipe the naughty smile from your anus. (If you do, don't put your fingers up your nose to take a sniff hoping that nothing happened.)

Going back to crapping in that hole you dug yourself in the woods - some leaves are not suitable for that post-ebak cuddle. Sayote leaves are too thin and rough, gabbi leaves are itchy, and bamboo leaves are too small to even cover enough of your fingers. If you are fortunate enough to live in high altitudes or nordic regions where pine trees grow, cut off a length of pine needles and run it across your crack towards the direction of the tips. Better still, just look for one of those streams and give that blackhole a refreshing splash. Use some of the pebbles to give it a thourough cleaning. Just make sure that a mineral water bottling plant does not exist downsteam.

On average, we visit the loo at least 10 times a day. This is my loo diary for a day...

Skeppholsmen. Those green tiles are very relaxing. and those urinal tablets look like candy.

Me, trying out the Cityterminalen loo in Stockholm. This loo costs 5 kronors (30 pesos) to use but it's three-star. I don't pull my underwear and trousers all the way down to my ankles. We were taught this way in Swiss finishing school so as not to crease your pants.

The choice of literature while making a deposit. I can't believe Judas Priest still exists.

This XLERATOR blow dryer packs a category 5 hurricane. My hands were dry in 0.01 seconds.

Loo on a Boeing 737 plane cruising 36,000 metres above the North Sea. Very cramped. Not a comfortable place to join the mile-high club. Warning: Do not flush an airline toilet while you are sitting down as it works on high pressure vacuum. Older aircraft would just treat the waste with chemicals then jettison it at high altitude. This crystallizes the shit into blue-tinted ice. So the next time you go out to experience those 'wow ganda' blue-tinted rain drops, it's best not to swallow the water.

The fully equipped loo at the Japanese consulate in Picadilly. There's even a vase with a solitary flower. How very Zen.

The Oxford Tube loo. Supersized people can't fit in here. You won't get a good loo experience on a moving double decker bus so save it up for a proper crapper.

In highly emancipated societies, most toilets are unisex and there are no urinals. This anatomically correct Svensk sign implores men to sit down while urinating so as not to dribble on the toilet seats. It's also very symbolic of the equality of sexes.

It's still me taking my time. After a Swedish smorgasbord, you need to banish all those seafoods back to the deep. Hey, that shrimp came out looking pretty much the same way it went in......You should see the blush on my face when I came out of that cubicle. My after loo experience was out of this world.

Let me end with an important difference between the post-coital afterglow and the after loo experience. While only women can have multiple orgasms, the multiple after loo effect can be achieved by both sexes. You know, you're sitting on the crapper feeling contented after sinking another battleship of a poo when suddenly you realise that another one is coming. "Aba, meron pa pala" you squeal with delight as you listen to the satisfying sound of that soft brown tendril crying out "Me too" as it touches water. Pretty soon, you'll have a large fleet of brown ships and yellowish submarines not seen since the Battle of Leyte bobbing about in that loo water. Take one last look at your babies the way mothers do before they give up their offspring for adoption, then pull down that lever and watch that vortex slurp down those brown babies as you wave adios amigos. (Sometimes, I have this craving for escargot or ginataang kuhol after doing this. Must be the sucking sound.)

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

I Missed The Stairway To Valhalla

Sakay na! This boat is for loserville.

I was walking on the quayside of Blasieholmshammen when I noticed a couple of people milling about at the entrance to the Grand Hotel, 30m from where I was. Then, three 50-something guys came out and the crowd seemed to welcome them. There were flashes from cameras and handshakes. Hmm, I wonder who they are, I thought to myself as I went past. This was very odd in Sweden as there is no 'celebrity' culture here. The Swedish concept of lagom makes the word 'celebrity' very alien to the Swedish psyche where no one is above anyone else. To have a sizeable crowd around you means you must be near-gods to deserve it.

As I walked towards the Gamla I began to notice the many posters with the words Led Zeppelin in the middle. Hmm, I wonder why I said to myself.

I was at the airport the following day, waiting for my flight home when I suffered a heart attack.
Newspaper article. Poster. Middle Aged men. It hit me....aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggh!

King Carl Gustav was awarding the Polar Music Prize (The Nobel Prize for Music) to Led Zeppelin that night. The three men I saw were Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and Jimmy Page. I was 30 frigging metres from them and I did not even realize it!

Someone tattoo a big 'L' on my forehead for being such a loser. I was dazed and confused from the communications breakdown, instead of getting a whole lotta love, it was a hearbreaker.

The scene of the Crime! And to think I nearly went in for high tea but decided to go to the Gamla instead. I could have rubbed shoulders with Led Zep. Hell, maybe we could have even jammed!

Shet. Oo nga naman, if I had paid more attention to the signs which were all over Stockholm. I mean, you didn't have to be that proficient in the Swedish language to figure out what it said. The 2006 Polar Music Prize for classical music went to the Russian conductor Valery Gergiev.

"The 2006 Polar Music Prize is awarded to the British group Led Zeppelin, one of the great pioneers of rock. Their playful and experimental music combined with highly eclectic elements has two essential themes: mysticism and primal energy. These are features that have come to define the genre "hard rock". - King Carl Gustav and the citation for the 2006 Polar Music Prize.

King Carl Gustav was so cool (He's way way more hip than Prince Charles). Check out the Swede babe Nina Persson's sexy version of "A whole lotta love" and Maja Ivarsson's rendition of "Rock and Roll", during the prize ceremony with the Soundtrack of Our Lives playing the music and King Carl headbanging. If the sight of those Swedish babes singing Led Zep doesn't give you a musical hard-on, nothing will.

Instead of joining Led Zep for hotdog and beer at Berns, I was on an airport in the middle of nowhere Sweden to take a flight to middle of nowhere England. What a loser!

This is not the stairway to heaven

Monday, 22 May 2006

Love, love will tear us apart again

I'm happy to see you too.

It's so reinvigorating breathing the fresh air in Sweden. I certainly needed the short R & R before all hell breaks loose in June for a myriad of reasons. Stockholm is wonderful, the colours, the endless daylight during summer, the pristine lakes where everyone can skinny dip, the quiet but polite people, and the green vastness of it all.

After Cantabrigia in 2002 I actually wanted to move here, but I was depressed during that time and it was not a good idea to go to a place where the winter nights were 20 hours long. Swedes have two ways of coping with the dark winter, the first is to pretend it's not happening, hence bubblegum pop like Ace of Base, Roxette, or Abba and the second is to embrace the darkness hence vodka with death metal music. Both did not appeal to me at that time so I decided to go become a Green Archer for a year, the downside of which was commuting between two campuses with the utterly crap towns of Balibago (this is Dante's hell on earth) and Alabang in the middle. If only someone had told me that there was a normal way of coping with the long Scandanivian winter - sitting naked inside a steamy shed in the woods with equally naked but beautiful girls then rolling like crazy on the snow, I would have reconsidered. (Of course there is normal Swedish music like The Cardigans, Jose Gonzales, The Hives, Snow Patrol, etc. Wait, is Yngwe Malmsteen considered 'normal'? Swedish jazz is also very good. In fact I only learned recently that Sweden is the third largest exporter of music after the US and Britain).

It's a joy to be away from the prying cctv cameras of my adopted country. Despite being a socialist welfare state, Sverige does not have the big brother culture, cellphones still work underground, the trains have wireless internet, buses accept plastic (and run on bioethanol), and they have a royal family who look and act normal.

Scandanivia loves its cellphones dearly. In the 19th century a chap named Ericsson made Sweden the most telephone dense country on the face of the planet. Of course, little brother Finland caught up when a paper company named Nokia started making mobiles. (And then the Koreans came along and decided it's better to talk on the phone than face to face with kimchi-breath). Swedes always have their cellphones on and will answer it wherever they are and interrupt whatever they are doing. I actually find ringtones annoying but in Sweden everyone talks softly on their cellphones (none of the loud "Paaaaaare, bago ang cellllphoneeee ko pareeee, mainggit kayo. Heto paaareee, bagong sex video ni Mahal...") and they only ever have default ringtones on their mobiles. They don't download those silly crazy frog ringtones or forward utterly useless 'inspirational' text messages. As if their three phones per person were not enough, some Swede also co-developed Skype, incidentally the same guy who developed the file sharing program Kazaa, initially meant to share the latest Swedish porn clip and death metal release. (I must say for the record that Scandanivian death metal as a subgenre of heavy metal is actually very melodic and prog-rock like type instead of the incoherent growling 3-chord noise that comes out of my neighbour's garage in Baguio)

She had me at Hej (Hello).

"That was quick" was all I could say to her, my hand reaching out to hers, and we both smiled, proving that love at first sight does/can exist. The best part of it was that she was one of the prettiest faces I have ever laid eyes on. I was at the Modern Museum shop, buying a Danish photography magazine that had the great Igorot photographer Masferre's iconic image of an Igorot elder on the cover when I met her. I didn't even notice her approaching as I was flicking through the pages of the book showing some of Masferre's best photographs (It occurred to me that we Cordillerans, like the Svensk, were not prudish about nudity. Only the missionaries said the naked body was an evil thing while preaching that we were made in the image of God. As writer-slashie-chef-slashie filmmaker university pal Clinton says of prude Eta Mendez of MTRCB "How can one watch a holocaust movie, ie Schindler's List, and ban it because it showed tits?") Anyways, she said hello and fast forward later I became aware that Sweden gives 15 months of maternity/paternity leave at 80% of your maximum salary so that you could be a doting parent to your 13/4 offspring. Hmmm.......

Fortunately, I snapped out of it and realised that long distance relationships don't really work out, especially if you were really just getting to know each other. To cut a short story short, it was a sad and painful ending. It ended with Hej då. Why is it that we meet the most amazing people at all the wrong times (or it's just really me who is cursed). Maybe when I was baptised my parents forgot to invite someone who turned out to be a witch who was cross and who cast an evil spell on me.

The ochre (or is it burnt sienna?) sidestreets. Don't you just envy those classmates of yours in grade school who had a four-liner box of crayola while you only had the two-liner?

Man on a horse slaying a dragon again. Sweden actually has very few monuments because they put extreme preference for natural beauty. You won't see a huge Plaza Venezia-type monument and find yourself asking "What the fuck is this for?" or those megalomaniacal "Trapo Mayor of Third Class Philippine Municipality Welcomes you to his Shit town fiefdom" billboards.

If there is one thing in Scandanivia I love most (apart from the pretty girls) it's the crystal clear waters of the lakes and rivers.

Blossoms. I suddenly have this craving for balut.

Ericsson's simple monument. The man who brought to the world the bakelite microtelephone allowing us all the chance to say "Hilo, pwidi makipag-phoon pal?" (Admit it, you did too.)

Flashback scene: It's a mortal sin not to answer your phone in Sweden. (Wait, do Lutherans have mortal sin?) Thus, you could be making passionate love with your Swedish girlfriend and be about to reach the Everest of pent-up, I-saved-up-for-this-moment ecstacy when her Sony Ericsson phone starts ringing. She will stop, hence you will stop, for her to answer the phone and you are left humming an Ace of Base song that you just can't erase from your head. She will talk softly of course and you won't overhear a thing. After ten minutes on the phone, you humming a Roxette song from their second album, your balls turning blue, Swedish girlfriend will also answer call-waiting (it's her friend using Skype) which goes on for another ten minutes, by this time you are humming Abba's greatest hits album (why is it always 'Dancing Queen' that comes first?) and your about to erupt a moment ago Krakatoa has returned to its flaccid crater lake calmness. And you think to yourself, bloody hell the Swedes do make some bad music that you can't get out of your head. Finally, her phone rings call-waiting again, it's you on your mobile calling her, nevermind that you are both sharing the same Ikea single bed and your balls have fallen off from the coitus interruptus. "Hi, sweetie I'm hungry do you want salmon or kipper tonight?" you ask....End flasback.

I once saw some of my rare nice photographs (it's hard to get nice aberration free images on a cheap point and shoot camera) on a different website, uncredited and unacknowledged. But I think like the other famous Scandanivian, Linus Torvalds - beauty must always be shared. I thought this shot I took in the early morning really summed up how relaxing a weekend in Stockholm is. (If Linus Torvalds was North American instead of Swede/Finnish, he would have charged an exhorbitant amount for Linux licenses. It's also a sad fact that North Americans now want a two-tiered internet where you have to pay to get information across further widening the digital divide, something its inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the internet as freeshare, and as should anyone, opposes strongly)

The Swedes ruled the Baltic for centuries. This 70-metre warship, the Vasa, with 64 cannons would have struck fear into the hearts of anyone on the opposing side. Sadly it sunk before King Gustavus Adolphus could even crack a barrel of vodka on her bow, heeling over on its maiden voyage because its ballast did not provide enough counterweight. It was the smell of old wood that arrested me and reminded me of my grandmother's house as I explored this beautiful wreck. One of the museum guides was very very very cute that I joined her guided tour, even if her tour was entirely done in Swedish, nodding along the way, pretending I could understand. I must have looked odd as I was the only oriental in a group of Nordics.


Lunch. Sadly, they don't have fishball and kikiam for smorgasbord.

An underground prison converted into a restaurant. The food is so-so but you come here more for the ambience. Having said that, prison food is actually meant to be so-so.

Afternoon siesta. Actually, this was taken at 8pm.

Paradiset/Le Paradise Fantastique by Phalle and Tinguely.

The Architecture Museum. I love this place. You have to visit the design schools to figure out what was going through the minds of the people who invented the tetrapak (hence, you can smuggle Japanese sake into high school campus. Ok, what's up with the Japanese for putting wine into milk cartons?) and developed the zipper (Swedish porn though prefers velcro). And if the design stinks, you could always blow it up with dynamite, another Swedish invention.

Another uncessary and gratuitous self-portrait of The Nashman. I am art, says Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi. One of the most refreshing exhibits I've been lucky enough to catch this year.

Evil part of me says "Make tulak the girl to the tubig" but I didn't. I think if you live in a polite society, it starts to rub off on everyone. Today, I helped an old lady by carrying her bags.

It's 8pm, does that sun look like it's going to set any time soon? The vampires are pissed. I had to stop my Vampire research for the meantime.

I should have brought my fishing gear.

Red is the colour of my heart that bleeds.

The Opera House and King Gustav Adolfs.

Gone are the days of Viking rape and pillage. (Although I wouldn't mind a pretty viking girl raping and pillaging me) Roman propaganda depicted the Vikings as savages. Well, look who is laughing now. The Vikings eventually brought Rome to its knees.

The mandatory butt picture for Akbayan and Babaylan sister Lourdes.

Don't let the sun go down on me.....Spectacular sunsets are rare in Scandanivia because of the low pollution levels in the atmosphere. When I was a young lad, teachers always reminded us of how beautiful the sun sets on Manila Bay. They never really told us the truth that this is so because of the pollution in Manila. The dust and smog bent light and so you are literally held breathless as you watch the Manila Bay sunset. However, I do miss the sunsets of the Northern Luzon coastline.

Sunday, 21 May 2006

A Royal Day Out: Unleash Your Orange Side.

His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem, draped in the Swedish standard, happily celebrated his third birthday in his Svensk hometown of Stockholm. The past year has been kind to His Royal Orangeness who has travelled far and wide preaching the Orange gospel of "Live life to the orangest". His Royal Orangeness thanks everyone who has supported His Orange Reign and wishes everyone lots of Orange karma.

HRO Karl Willem waiting for the Orange Force One Ferry at Djurgården to take him to Gamla Stan. HRO Karl Willem had morning coffee on the island and opened the Vasa Museum.

Gamla Stan, one of HRO Karl Willem's favourite islands on Lake Mälaren.

HRO Karl Willem reviews the Naval Warfare Flotilla. They were stationed on the eastern shore of Gamla Stan for HRO Karl Willem's birthday. Although Sweden is a non-aligned country, it has one of the best equipped armed forces in the world and indigenous Svensk technology is used heavily. Saab makes fighter planes (such as the Gripen. And if one notices how well built the Svensk highway system is, it's because they can also be used as fighter plane runways), Scania and Volvo produce the powerplants, and Tretorn is a favourite off-duty shoe (Ok, Tretorn shoes used to be made in the Philippines, it was the official Boys' High shoe mainly because it's so cheap in Baguio. The Nashman happily tells HRO Karl Willem why his heart already had a soft heart for Sweden at a young age - Swedish porn and Tretorn)

HRO Karl Willem congratulates a young female navy sailor for her hard work and dedication. The ancestors of HRO Karl Willem recognized early on the equality of sexes. Svensk women are highly emancipated.

The Högvakten (Swedish Royal Guards) protects HRO Karl Willem as well as HRO's cousins led by the current King Carl XVI Gustaf. There is no need really for such protection, as Sweden is one of the safest places in the world and HRO Karl Willem and His Royal Svensk cousins are loved by the people. The Högvakten are not honorary guards just for pomp and pageantry but are a proper division in the Swedish Armed Forces and carry Kulspruta 90/Minimi rifles.

HRO Karl Willem enjoying the view from his royal residence.

One of HRO Karl Willem's favourite hangouts is the Restaurangen Moderna Museet on the island of Skeppsholmen because of the breathtaking view of Stockholm and the island of Djurgården.

As a Svensk royal, one of HRO Karl Willem's best loved edicts is that all baristas in the whole of Sverige must be beautiful. HRO Karl Willem and The Nashman have a saying "We like our coffee bitter, but the smile on the Barista must always be sweet."

HRO Karl Willem visited the permanent and temporary exhibits of the Moderna Museet which includes some of the best 20th century works ranging from surrealism, dadaism, to cubism and of course to the avant garde Scandanivian works. Of great interest to The Nashman were two albums of photography donated by Andy Warhol containing pictures of him and other members of The Factory including the yummy and pretty Edie Sedgwick.

HRO Karl Willem is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences which awards the Nobel prizes for Physics and Chemistry. This wall grafitti is part of a large work by the Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi whose minimalist but powerful drawings tackle many social issues. HRO Karl Willem pointed out to The Nashman that he should add this to his list of "Romanian Coincidences" as everywhere The Nashman goes, he seems to stumble into references to Romania.

HRO Karl Willem also took time to visit the Swedish Museum of Architecture, another favourite of both HRO Karl Willem and The Nashman. Sweden is a leading design nation and the Ikea for the masses is less than half the story. To understand Swedish design, one must refer to its history. Sweden was never part of the Roman empire (hence classicism came very late and only with Christianity) and when they finally embraced Christianity, they banned Catholicism (a good move!) and opted for their version of the Lutheran faith which is iconoclastic. Hence, Swedish design has evolved to be unconventional yet very functional. (And HRO Karl Willem will let you in on a little secret, the architecture museum coffe shop, Bloms Bar & Trädgård, is packed with beautiful Swedes, living testaments to good design. The Nashman does not want to admit it, but HRO Karl Willem can say that love at first sight does exist.)

HRO Karl Willem at Gustav Adolfs torg

HRO Karl Willem with the Sveriges Riksdag (Parliament) behind him. Sweden is a true socialist country. It has the best form of "communism" around (communism which is faithful to the latin root rather than in a Marxist sense) and Swedish society is very egalitarian. Taxes are high but no one complains because everything is taken care of from cradle to grave. The Nashman and HRO Karl Willem are hence "communists" and both wish that The Nashman's beloved Las Islas Filipinas would embrace the Swedish model of socialism instead of the unjust capitalist pseudo-democracy that currently exists.

HRO Karl Willem gloats "Would you believe it's already 9pm and there is still so much sunshine?!?"

More HRO Karl Willem pictures at the Royal Residence with the Royal Guards protecting HRO Karl Willem with dedication and professionalism.

HRO Karl Willem reflects for the future.

For dinner, HRO Karl Willem indulged in a proper Svensk smorgasbord of seafood delights from the Baltic and North seas (salmon, kipper, crayfish, caviar) and delicacies such as horse meat bacon. HRO Karl Willem also received a gift from Finland, a former Orange colony, of brown bear meat. HRO Karl Willem congratulates the Finnish hard rock band Lordi for winning the 2006 Eurovision concert with their song "Hard Rock Hallelujah". Scandanivia has a great tradition of heavy metal and hard rock music. Just when everyone sent boybands and divas to Athens to sing sappy and corny pop love songs, Finland opened a can of whoop-ass and won the votes of 100 million viewers across Europe.