I am writing from the big white sofa with a cup of hot tea in lots of little pretty lights everywhere in the room that reminds not only me of a church. Ah, so lovely to be sitting here in quiet and peace after we took a walk (read: I forced Andrea to walk the very last bit of the Djurgårdskanal in the worst possible weather because I am sentimentally attached to it). Maybe you have read, on social media or elsewhere, that Stockholm has been blessed with snow. Let me tell you: that’s a lie. There is constant, cold, wet snow-rain coming down, whipping into one’s face until the mascara is screwed up and the socks are completely wet and cold. I know you want to hear prettier things but there is only so much lying you can do about November in Stockholm.
Other bloggers do proper video blogs. I just say things by accident because the camera was on video instead of photo. Funkar ändå!
But what does that matter anyway when you come to a city where all the buildings, streets and even grocery stores are so familiar, when you enter an apartment where people are introducing you like a celebrity and open the champagne upon your arrival?
I did not only meet my old beloved friends, I also got to know a bunch of new easy to talk to great people, some even complimented me on my excellent German. I think it’s always nice to hear that. I actually like people praising my German even more than those who laud my Swedish. The evening which went on until 4 a.m. was complete with “Männer sind Schweine” and “Ein Hut, ein Stock, ein Regenschirm” and we all know we have to thank the German School of Stockholm for that. I sure know where I’ll send my kids.
Consequently, the next morning started relatively late and I made my way directly to the Swedish parliament where I met two of my most lovely former colleagues for lunch. Imagine – lunch at the parliament! Not only is the building very picturesque but for a current-events-nerd like me, it’s really exciting to be standing in a lunch queue next to all the newly elected Swedish parliamentarians. I made sure to give the SD-representatives the evil eye though. A very interesting detail from the parliament’s lunch restaurant: there were high chairs. I am not saying Sweden has a different attitude towards children and working parents (read mothers), I am just saying: there were high chairs in the parliament’s lunch restaurant.
Other things I managed to do today: resolve my telephone issue thanks to a super short 5-minute-meeting with Marita which nevertheless was absolutely terrific, say hi to my colleagues and boss at the Tourist Center, learn how to say “Whaaaaat?” in sign language and buy tights for 400 kronor. I literally do not have any tights anymore so that was something I had to do. Ingrid more or less commissioned me to yesterday. Also, I coined the title for Andrea’s book: she told me she is fascinated with other people’s stairscases and yards (Swedish: gård) as we passed lots of fancy houses on Strandvägen. She is considering writing a book about this passion and I said she should call it, “Oh my gård!” Since then we’ve been saying “Oh my gård!” at every possible opportunity. We’re silly like that.
I was planning to take a nap before heading out again to meet my girlfriends from my Swedish course from two years ago but once again, it has gotten so late that I better get going without catching up on much needed rest. Story of my life! 😉
P.S.: Today is a flag day in Sweden meaning that all official buildings and the busses fly the flag. Sadly, this is not because of my visit, but because it is Gustav II Adolf’s Day. He was one of the most important Swedish kings. You can test your knowledge about this monarch here: http://www.gp.se/quiz/1.2399577 I managed to get 7 out of 10 which is good considering how I never lived in Gothenburg (where he seems to be even bigger). Today, you are supposed to eat a special cake called Gustav Adolf Cake. Yes, that’s a Swedish things to make up days on which you have to each special pastries. 😉