rumors don't lie

Gothenburg Travel Blog

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You know how all sterotypes are based in some truth?  Everyone really is blond and a foot taller than me here.  When I got to Sweden, I felt like everyone had been chugging gallons of milk on the ferry ride over while I was nursing my non-calcium-fortified OJ.  Sad, but true.  And I thought Germany and Denmark were homogenous, but I have actually seen people staring at me here.  Of course, one of them was the only other ethnic person I've seen in two days, so maybe she thought she was looking in a mirror and wondering why she looked so grubby today.

But I digress.  My new policy - whenever it starts raining, I leave town.  Which didn't work out so well in Denmark, because it rained everywhere and the sickness persisted, but Sweden is pretty good so far.  It's cold, but there is sun, there are vegetables, and thanks to immediate implementation of the Bonnie remedy, only my cough remains.  Unemployment does wonders for your immune system.

Speaking of leaving town, it is ridiculously easy to leave both town and country in Europe.  I was talking to this guy from the Netherlands about how English is the language of travel.  And not just because us Americans are lazy, but because other people need a universal language too.  You can't go the distance between San Francisco and San Jose without needing a new language and new currency.  And until they start teaching Esperanto in schools (read: never.  Sorry, Nina), English it is.  He is of the mind that in the near future, English will be the only language used throughout Europe, but I don't think the situation is quite that bad.  Although I guess coming from the Netherlands, you have a different view about the longevity of your language than if you came from France. 

I've been visiting all these smaller towns and been surprised at how cosmopolitan and vibrant and fun they are.  Like Göteborg, which I have never heard of, but turns out to be Sweden's second-largest city and is really fun.  There's tons of shopping, museums, arts, a university as big as Berkeley.  Then I realize this actually shouldn't be that surprising.  I mean, Sacramento and Washington DC are certainly not the biggest or most fun cities in California/the US.  I don't think Sacramento would even make my top five list of California.  Top ten for sure though.

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photo by: Biedjee