Tuesday, May 29

Day 150: Bring Your A Game

Speaking of fun and games, my husband and his friends used to play a game with the brunnslock or manhole covers when they were kids. Some of the covers have an "A" on them and some have a "K". The "A" meant bad luck and you weren't supposed to stand or walk on them. If you did, you or someone else, had to pat you on the back three times to break the spell of bad luck.

The ones with the "K" however meant good luck. K stands for kärlek, which means love in Swedish. There is a cover with a "K" by my office so I step on it everyday that I pass it. Intentionally. Sometimes I even jump up and down on it for good measure. You never know, right?

After I became privy to the rules of this game it became impossible to walk down the street and step on one of the "A" covers without quickly patting myself on the back three times. If I start to think, "nah, I'm not playing anymore." I suddenly feel panic and the fear of bad luck gets beaten out of me, three times in a row.

Since I recently started riding my bike, stepping on the K's and avoiding the A's has become difficult. Sometime I roll over two or three of the covers in a row with A's on them. It gets hard to constantly pat myself on the back (no pun intended!) repeatedly so I've added a rule for cycling. If there is tire rubber between me and the cover, it doesn't count. Convenient, right? I think it's fair and there is no guilt involved.

I love keeping traditions such as these alive. It makes me happy to picture my husband running around barefoot as a boy, jumping on the love covers and avoiding the ones that impart bad luck like the plague. It may be a silly child's game to some but it is something simple and fun that keeps me young at heart. I dare you to walk down the street in Sweden and step on an "A" cover without patting yourself three times on the back.

One we came across in Gothenburg when I was just learning about this magical game.

This one by my office gets a lot of action. I wonder if anyone has seen me jumping on it and thought, "There's that crazy lady again."

This one is just cool. I like how it's tucked into the cobblestones.

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