Finding a new ‘Potts’ in Sweden
I thought there could only be one of him. That it would be physically impossible for there to be someone so unapologetically enthusiastic and strange, but then I met his clone in Stockholm.
My uncle Potts and I have a complicated relationship. The quick version is he met, and became friends with, my parents in college and is one of my Dad’s very good friends. When my parents got divorced he remained a part of my life and then married my mom’s sister,more than ten years ago now. Regardless of our history Potts has always been like an uncle to me (and now he really is!).
When Potts found out I was heading to Stockholm he told me I should get in touch with his friend who was ‘scarily like him.’ I didn’t think that was possible. This is the man who, when he laughs sounds like a classic villain enjoying the ‘last laugh.’ This guy is one of the smartest men I know and can explain what he does to a kid. Yet he doesn’t own a cell phone and is still awed by texting. This man in an anomaly. I didn’t think it was possible for there to be two such anomalies in the world, but I agreed to meet the Spanish Potts for lunch. What’s wrong with a free lunch, right?
I met Olla (that’s Spanish for Pot) outside of one of the centers we walked by on our first night. It turns out it was just a large shopping center, but one with with a great view of the ‘Venice of Scandinavia’. Plus it served delicious traditional Swedish food (imagine lemons, dill, cream and lingonberry).
Olla was a small energetic Spanish man. An engineer like Pots, he also had that unrestrained exuberance that I have not found in other people. Quickly we were talking like we had known each other for years. He helped me navigate the Swedish menu, all the way through to the lingonberry juice. Finding our way to a table nestled among the tall blond and reserved Swedes we threw our arms up in conversation and filled the room with good old fashioned Spanish discussion.
I wasn’t sure about meeting Olla but I should have known that Pots Spanish twin would be one cool cat, and he was.
So Mr. ‘Olla’ if you are out there and you are reading this, you rock my socks. You are amazing. Y gracias por todo porque tu eres uno de mis favoritos experiencias en Suecia.