Luleå, Sweden Lulea Reviews
Luleå – Words pictures forgot Jul 11, 2011
Pictures are worth a 1,000 words, but about word 1,001?
Because I was a new employee at Stockholm University I hadn’t gotten paid in regular intervals making planning a weekend trip impossible. I had thought about going to Berlin of course, but as of Thursday I hadn’t been paid. I had lived in Berlin and numerous friends there. There were some good prices. Then I sold my bicycle. My US bank told me I couldn’t make deposits abroad meaning I couldn't book a flight with my credit card. I called three travel agencies. I could still go to Berlin. Two were closed and one offered some sort of “companion” service. Certainly, that’s one kind of trip. Then finally on Saturday, some money was deposited from a previous job into my bank. I could go somewhere. But where? It was already Saturday night.
I decided to chase the light. The only flights I could consistently find to northern Sweden were Luleå. Someway it made sense. It seems crazy once you’ve exhausted other options, but something about the name, pronounced (Lu-le-O) called me. I fought with slow Internet connection in ultra-connected Sweden and finally booked a flight for Tuesday afternoon arriving in Luleå at 3:30 and flying back to Stockholm Wednesday morning at 6:00 am.
Between 3:30pm and 3:30 am, exactly 12 hours, I ended walking 32 kilometers in and around Luleå. In my frantic search for a small trip I came across Luleå’s midnight swim. I had missed it by 5 days but the idea called to me. Why not do my own midnight swim under the sun?
The pictures tell much of this story but what they don’t share are the challenges. The map I had had of Luleå makes everything look so close. While I was walking around Norra Hamm, Gamla Bergviken, Lulsunde (where I swam), Bjorkskatan, and Luleå Tekniska Universitet, I was fighting horrible tiredness, the type of fatigue that the second you sit down you need to sleep. I couldn’t sleep the night before. My last week in Sweden I’ve been anxious. I’m finishing up with research, preparing my flat for the next guest, making plans to return. What I was also fighting were mosquitos. They are famous in northern Sweden. I imagined giant man-eating mosquitos, but instead I came across tiny mosquitos lined up in a row (very Swedish) each ready to take their turn. The final challenge was the light. Though I was chasing light, the northern climate known for being harsh in the winter is also a challenge in the summer. A body feels strange when you have 24 hours of light split into 8 hours of 9am light, 8 hours of 2 pm light, and 8 hours of 7pm light. It helped spin these thoughts.
I’m chasing the light … alone. I sit in a non-descript café owned by a nice couple from a southern land in northern Scandinavia. But these observations masquerading as insights are binary boredoms. Still, Sweden seems to be stuck In Living Color in the way bros and ‘bras’ interact. Black is the color of seduction and forbidden, taboo wonders … The Wayans bros with Swedish bras along with Jim Carey and Jamie Fox are needed here sometimes.
I don’t know what I’m seeing. I don’t know what I’m meaning. But I understand it all. The light makes bright (right). It’s precious here. After it peaks it gives back 8 minutes daily. Just nu, after two weeks after the northern light there are officially two hours less of sun. Your lights stays with you wherever your run because your light refracts the light around you through souls prims trappings with the hope for –
A way out … photosynthesis … what do you get with feckless soul and loneliness? Humanity. Aren’t all answers obvious? I don’t know …
Luleå sits at 65° 35' 0" N / 22° 9' 0" E. It is 18th farthest northern city in the world. 18. That’s my number. Life in Hebrew. Growth in Chinese.
I had some life growth a city way up north by swimming under the sun at midnight.
You can read more about Luleå herehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luleå.
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