Mooching off Swedes and Slowly Morphing Into One
The last time I was in Stockholm was with dad in mid December 2010. I barely recognise anything from that time.
There are PEOPLE everywhere, not hurrying from one place to the next, but dawdelling! Milling around and drinking at outdoor bars and picnic areas, leisurely cycling through the city in dresses and sandals.
Of course there are also heaps of tourists (not like me) sporting the classic combinations of hats, sunscreen and jeans and joggers. But more even daring to walk the streets of STOCKHOLM wearing karki shorts and socks and sandals. OBVIOUSLY tourists as, after much study I have concluded that what distinguishes a swede is their suitable footwear. Though perhaps this is slightly stretched with the swedish women who all wear heeled sandals and boots - though these are very sturdy wood blocks, not stillettos or anything.
Myself? Ah yes, sorry you do want to hear about me. Well, I was in a bit of shock upon arrival, no longer able to walk around barefoot in a bikini. I was reunited with the pleasure of transporting my luggage around, and though I do try, can never quite repack it the way it was the first time. I spent a night with Mona Rathsman, who squeezed me into her extremely busy life. Unlike most swedes she is working this summer - which means every weekend is full of trips and festivals to try and enjoy the summer while it lasts. It was cool seeing her name on the plark on her apartment door - do they do that in Sydney? Well anyway, I don't know how seriously the swedes take this though, because I noticed Mr Butt on the floor below which I don't think is the most common swedish name.'
From Mona's I walked down the street to a slightly nerve-racking adventure to the City Backpackers Hostel. I stayed for two nights. I nervously walked into the common room introducing myself to the crowd of cool teens in the corner. But immediately relaxed when I heard those familiar Aussie accents with 4 out of 6 kids from Australia. Us typical Aussies spent our day eating Mexican for lunch and Indian for dinner, not so effectively 'following our hearts' to destinations and ending up hopping in an bubbling Irish pub in Gamla Stan. Probably not the most Swedish experience but who cares. Danella and Mariah's sweet renditions of Disney songs filled the quite streets in our meanderings.
The next day I was not so pleased to realise that my new friends were all leaving. But here at hostels a conversation over breakfast can lead to 7 tourists renting the hostel bikes and settting off into the city. I read about some flea markets down under a bridge on the outskirts of stockholm and was keen to go so lead the crew all the way down, never to find what I set out for. However the crew got over the dissapointment pretty well and soon we were sitting in a park by the water with dill chips, chicken sambos, strawberries, chocolate, beer and wine. Unfortunately forgetting cups so I may have given myself away as an Aussie as I was left to handle the goon sack. Arriving back at the hostel we made use of extra supplies and I forced everyone into swedish drinking songs - Gullygullygullygully Rumtumtum was a winner. Unfortunately with the night beginning at 4 oclock I didn't make it to the crazy stockholm nightclubs, but 'twas a good day nonetheless.
My hostel trip was over, feeling a little under the weather, I met with Kira Surrelius and caught up on 5 years worth of living over thai food and Blue Crush. It was just a quick stop though as she flew to Greece the next day.
Spontaneously Anna Gordon - a Sceggs mate who's spent the last 5 months in rural China, calls me and asks to meet up in stockholm! Okay! I joined Anna, Karen and Bruce (who too were mooching of a swedish friend who happened to be a tour guide) on their whirlwind tour of Stockholm, visiting Carl Miller's Sculpture Garden on Lindingö. Which unfortunately due to the sponteniety of the event, was just around the corner from the place I was moving to that very night. Ahh well. We visited the Vasamuseet and caught up on heaps of stuff and after talking over some ANU ideas I am now severly confused about what to do about college next year... Thanks Gordo
THEN to Lindingö with the Lindahls, a family we visit every time we're here and whose kids have spent time in Australia visiting us. The house was pretty full when I arrived though, as they were also hosting Daniel their ex-Rotary exchange student from Perth. Another Aussie!
On Tuesday we went to Allsång på Skansen! A swedish sing along tv show, that i could only compare to carrolls at the domain in sydney. Daniel went first to save us a seat at 10am. Then Charlotte and I arrived with the food an hour later. The live show didn't start till 8pm, but rehearsals went all day. I saw Lorren perform Euphoria 6 times and sung along to the traditional swedish songs in perfect pronounciations (not). THe favourite song would have to be Underbard (which means wonderful) - it was the only one I could remember the tune ringing in my head all night. I also got the thrill of seeing my Eurovision love from 2009 Alexander Rybek, who played a violin piece (that actually sounded like the theme tune to that tv show Alice Mack, does anyone remember that - she could turn into liquid and slide under doors...?) Anyway. The exciting part was when I was walking around the side of the stage to take a short cut to the bathrooms, when I walked right past Alexander getting into a cab. I was too starstruck (and too cool) to get a photo - but i tell you it happened!!
The next two days I spent with Charlotte, shopping and now feeling more confident with trains and buses and fashion that I feel like a true stockholmer. I even ran into Aurora (Kira's cousin) in the street - Charlotte was very impressed at how many people I knew! Saw the modernamuseet and felt happy to see Rauschenberg's goat back in place (he was on a holiday when dad and I went last time). Had dinner with Carl and Lotta and little Ingrid who's 2 month birthday it was - shes going to be sooooo different next time I see her!
Seriously though. Stockholm is so great, and I definately am going to live here sometime in my life. Its so organised and clean and has such good dairy products.
So! Wow, well done if you've actally read all of this. Its taken me like 2 hours. Do not expect the rest of my blogs to be this detailed!
As for the rest of my trip - I'll spend the weekend on the Arichipelago with the Lindahls - mum and dad will be there in September! I'll leave you a note.. and maybe some stuff to take home??
Then I head down South to visit the Surrelius' in Småland, and Joanna in Lund - and then I meet Geena and Sophie and Kymbal in Paris. After that - meh, I haven't decided yet..