Recently, I have been wondering a lot about how I managed to be so active and do so many things when I still lived in Sweden. I literally participated in everything [in my opinion] cool going on in Uppsala and in Stockholm, I’ve visited every museum and cinema and was on top of things. Mind you, I did do that alongside working and studying at the same time, so it can’t be that I just had sooo much free time. Nowadays, I pass my free time with cleaning, grocery shopping and tax declarations, but every once in a while, I retrieve some of my exploratory spirit and it makes me so very content when I manage to do something out of banal daily routine. Like today when I cleaned and took a trip to Benrath Palace and hosted a little Melodifestivalen party and now I even blog about it.
My friend Henrike and I went to the Benrath Palace because a) the weather was sunny for the third day in a row (a sensationan unheard of in Dizzel!), b) the new app “Duu” by the local newspaper suggested a guided tour through “Hidden Rooms” c) I had obtained a coupon booklet for new inhabitants of Dizzel where you get discount on local sights. The bad part was only that the newspaper’s app never mentioned you had to sign up for the tour which was quickly fully booked so we had to take the regular tour which was also interesting (isn’t everything historic awesomely fascinating?) but sadly, we didn’t get to go inside the attic or see the false ceilings. We did however see a palace that took 20 years to build and then never was used by their owners, Prince Elector Carl Theodor and his wife Elisabeth Auguste because Düsseldorf was too remote (their words, not mine…)
The palace now belongs to the city of Düsseldorf and I guess it’s not the worst crib to have, actually. They’ve invited the Queen and Mahatma Gandhi there and forced them to put felt slippers over their shoes to preserve the precious floors.
We learned that because this was a pleasure palace, there were no signs of power or potency but instead the lions greeting the visitors lay peacefully like kittens and the rooms were decorated with godesses, girl angels (rather unsual) and the seasons. The palace has only six rooms and a hall and the Prince and Princess resided on the ground floor which is very uncommon as the belétage (on the first floor) is usually reserved for the blue-blooded. But in a summer house like this, they wanted to emphasize the nearness to nature so that Elisabeth Auguste could step out of her bedroom through the window to her private garden.
We got home to my place just in time before my Swedish co-worker and her mom sought Melodifestivalen-asylum with us. Her mom was visiting from Stockholm and wanted to see the final of the Swedish preselection for Eurovision. Tonight was actually the reason I scrounged the flat screen tv from my stepdad: it is 100 times cooler to watch Melodifestivalen on an actual screen than on my mini laptop. Henrike and I rearranged my living room furniture in order to make it easy to watch. The entire two hours I was bemused by the fact that most people always have their sofas positioned so that the tv is the center. (I realize I sound like an egghead.) In any case, watching Melodifestivalen like a real grown up was a true pleasure even if the wrong person won, I mean, obviously Ace Wilder had the most Eurovision-compatible song? But I suppose Sweden does not actually want to win again as it is a costly victory.
My closing pondering is this: Have you ever realized how many snacks you have at home when you think you have nothing to offer? I could feed a children’s birthday party with the left-overs!