Yesterday we went in to Malmö to the castle and toured the museum which is a combination natural history / art / historical museum. Some of the art was fantastic (Carl Larsson's fresco cartoons in the main stairwell) and some was just bizarre...a lot of modern art leaves me cold, though it can be quite clever. The section of the museum that dealt with the building's history was recently renovated and updated and is quite nice, with all the displays in both Swedish and English. The castle has been a fortress, an artillery storage, a mint, a prison and now a museum. The most famous prisoner was the Earl of Bothwell, Mary Stuart's (Queen of Scots) 3rd husband.
Afterwards, we walked over to the Commandant's House, which is also a little museum, but it was under renovation, so the only part open was Zenith City*, a interactive treasure hunt/game. There were little stations like a miniature city standing about in a big room, each one covered with flaps and panels that had clues behind them. You started off with a piece of paper that directed you to your first stop where you read a bit about your character and then had to make decisions about what your character would do. If you chose one thing, it directed you to find a particular place for your next clue, if you choose the other you might end up somewhere quite different.
All of the stories were of the social consciousness type; they had to do with 3rd world countries, poverty, discrimination, gender, etc. Only one of them was in English, so Mom, Martin and I ended up with that one, while Karin and Anders did a completely different storyline. Our story was pretty harsh; our character was a illiterate woman in a developing country whose husband was dying of AIDS. Her choices were always horrible: Funds are extremely low and you don't get paid for 2 weeks so do you borrow money to buy the medicine your husband needs even though it will mean that your son must leave school? By the end of it, my husband was dead, my son had run away, I'd been groped by my boss, had borrowed money and had it taken away again. My brother-in-law had locked me out of the house, and his friends were waiting at the door to accost me when I tried to return home, so I lost the house too, and ended up begging on the streets.
FINALLY, just as Martin and I reached about the same point in the story, having gone different ways to get to it, since we'd made different decisions in the course of the game, we found out about the Widow's Help Network, and found a lawyer who got us in touch with an organization that fights for women's rights, and we snuck back in the house, found a pile of papers that turned out to be the missing will, and won a court case to get the house back. We never did find the son, though, because the museum curator came and kicked us out: they closed at 4 p.m.
It sure engendered a lot of discussion in the car on the way home, though! At one point Martin said, "Geez! Is it really that hard to be a parent??" and all of us laughed and told him YES.
Today we played a game that Mom brought with her (I had bought it back in April, but didn't have room in my suitcase then) called A Moose in the House. It's a silly card game that we had a lot of fun playing, and I can highly recommend it to anyone with children, ages 7 and up!
Anders left for a 2-week business trip to Italy this afternoon, so now Mom and I are on our own with the kids...I'm sure we'll find lots of things to keep us busy (when I'm not working!).
Martin's passport is expiring so we also swung by the photographer's while we were in Malmö and got his picture taken, and for good measure we took one of Karin at the same time for a matching set. People keep asking lately if they are twins. I wonder why:
*Found a website in Swedish, where you can play the game online, though it doesn't seem like it's the same storyline that we had.