Sweden: Not just Blondes and Meatballs
Stockholm Travel Blog› entry 47 of 113 › view all entries
July 14th, 2008 – by: afredrix
It also helps that, for the first time on my trip, I had friends waiting for me on the other side. I took an overnight boat ride from Tallinn to Stockholm. My little cabin for four was the most comfortable night journey I've had. And the three little old ladies that shared the room were equally nice. Even if we didn't speak the same language.
The friendly awaiting face was Firat. I met him on that infamous night in Berlin, with all the drunk and overjoyed Swedes. He had thrown out the Stockholm invitation then, but I don't know if either of us actually believed I'd take him up on it. But it worked nicely into my route and the idea of a familiar face was very appealing after traveling so long on my own.
So Stockholm it was, and Firat and his friends would be my first dose of Swedish culture. The irony being that no one, save one or two, were the blonde vikings you expect to see everywhere.
I spent nine days in total in Stockholm, with Firat as my host, guide and opponent in an international battle of sarcasm. We toured the city. Played mini-golf. Picnicked in the park. Watched movies. And spent more than one evening at my new favorite beer spot in the world--Mosebacke, in my new favorite neighborhood, Södermalm, overlooking the water and skyline of my new favorite city below.
I also practiced my Swedish. For the first time since I left Germany, the language finally [almost] makes sense. As an english and german speaker, I can look at signs and actually get the gist of the message. Being able to pronounce what I'm reading, however, is a completely different story. But for the time-being, I'm just happy to understand when and where "Smoking in Forbidden."
This is not to say that I can understand everything, of course, There's a lot of important vocab that holds no semblance to the languages I know. I was biking down a tree-lined road one day and saw a sign saying something like "Beware of Skodpskeojbs." Missing links such as that can prove to be very inconvenient and I had visions of turning a corner and having a large, hairy "Skodpskeojb" jump out at me. That, I suppose, would be one way to learn the word.
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