punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Sweden - The Stockholm on 300 Crowns a Day

Well, it's been more like 230 SEK, but 300 is a round number, and is about $40. So this entry is brought to you by Lust: Festis Delux. "Pull my finger. Not a sound." and Sveska Naturchips: från mycket vild potatis. That's only going to be funny to anyone watching Swedish commercials this week.

Last night, I was so tired, I slept normal hours, which was about midnight to 8am. I didn't want to wake up. My feet hurt pretty bad, but felt better when I got them back in my "regular shoes," which is my gray Sketchers. Not that I am trying to be trendy; I got them cheap at Ross a few months ago (they were the only shoes in my size that weren't urban hip-hop wannabe basketball shoes). CR and I went to the free breakfast buffet, which was a nice spread. It had fruit, cereal, coffee, tea, yogurt, as well as the ever-present knäckerbröd with cheese or butter. The restaurant is a large "greenhouse" in minimalist Ikea style giving you a good view of the various rooftops around, along with the rust, soot, and pigeons that cover an old European town such as this. There was a balcony but se didn't go there because CR was not feeling well.

CR got sick. We're not sure what he had, but he thinks it was a cold. He was sick most of the morning, and only got better after we got him to some waterfront café atmosphere.

We went down to the Rådmansgatan Tunnelbana Station, waited for Sven and Karin, and we didn't have to wait long. CR was feeling really bad, but didn't want to miss anything, so he came along, albeit he was out of it for a while. We took the 47 Bus from T-Central (Serkit Stag?) to the Vasa Museum.

The short version of the Vasa goes like this: commissioned for King Gustav Adolphis in 1628, it was a huge double-decker warship that fell over and sunk on its maiden voyage due to poor ballast, open gun wales, unsecured cannons, and a stiff breeze that hit it to port. There it sat until 1959, when it was found again, and it was hoisted up in the 60s, where it's been worked on and reconstructed since then. In 1990, they moved it to its current place, the museum which... good Lord, it's fucking huge. It's the size of an indoor shopping mall with 5 levels that surround the ship like a stadium. Each floor has their own exhibits, which I only saw a few because CR had to sit down a lot. My feet were hurting, especially my left foot, which the ankle had swollen so badly, it made my toes hurt and go numb, so I didn't mind the sitting. We ate at an outdoor café, and the fresh air helped CR recover from whatever he had. We discussed the next day, and then went to the Nordic Museum, and saw some some art from a Saami-inspired writer who didn't have pencil and paper, so he did all his work with charcoal and birch-bark. I saw a HUGE statue of King Gustav, the first big Swedish King. I'd have pictures, but no photos were allowed.

Then it was the 47 bus to T-Central to Rådmansgatan and back to Tengérlunden. CR feels better, but it really worn out, which is understandable, so we got some fruit and candy and are resting. Frazer's "Geisha" is chocolate-coated marzipan, and is good if you like marzipan. I found it rather too sweet. Tom's Jordgubbssmak is like a leathery fruit rollup around a soft cherry center. Eh. Too hard to chew, IMHO. Marabou's "Mjölk Choklad" is waiting for tomorrow morning for a boost. For some reason, the ones at Ikea back home don't sell real Marabou chocolate. I suspect it's some import restriction, like why our beer is watery.

Today's random thoughts:

I crossed paths with a few obnoxious Americans, and I got pretty bothered by this. By obnoxious, I mean they use a frustrated demanding tone when speaking with others. For instance, I don't speak Swedish so well, and to find out if the cashier speaks English (so far, all of them), I say, "Hello..." and they know, "English speaker," and reply in English. I always say please and thank you in Swedish ("tak" or "tak så mycket"), and I usually get smiles or at least a respectful nod. Many tourists say, "English!" in an almost demanding tone as their first word to a cashier. I fucking hate people who think they are better than cashiers. Why the hell do they leave America? I like to think because people can't stand them in America, either, but maybe that's just me. I feel so embarrassed.

Sorry, Swedes. We're not all pricks.

I think I got sunburn. I forgot to put on sunscreen today, but I figured I'd be indoors most of the time, and I was... but my face feels tight and oily, which is what a mild sunburn feels like. Now I know why all these Swedes are so damn tan, and with white hair they almost look like photo negatives.

The air is is amazing. It's so... clean here. For the last few days, I have felt a huge surge of personal energy and inner peace I cannot describe. I think part of it is that I started eating candy (for this trip only, while I am keeping an eye on my diet, I could not come to Sweden and stay sugar-free... their chocolate and coffee is so fucking good), but the air... the air is amazing. I feel like I did in the desert air of Vegas: like I had massive lungs that were super-charged with immense power. I haven't had to use my inhaler even once, and I have a lot of energy. I am getting used to this too easily and it will suck hard to return to dusty, pollinated, and smoggy Fairfax.

MTV Europe has hysterical ads. Very weird and po-mo, like this whole bit with hand-drawn potatoes and weasels, and mu favorite: old-style Swedish folk meets modern styles (under the slogan, "There are many fakes, but only one real MTV"). One had some old style folk dancers doing this "win the girl" competition where you have to kick a hat on the end of a stick... and the winner starts breakdancing, forcing the other folk dancers to try an imitate his moves with poor results while the 18th century girls swoon the breakdancer. Others feature someone from the country who obviously hired the wrong band; a heavy metal band for a baby christening and a little girl's birthday party, while the elder Swedes try to make the best of it. MTV news keeps telling me, "Paris kan låna din toalett" (Paris [Hitlon] can borrow your toilet?) today.

European cell phones rock. My Razr V3 is okay, but they have cell phones here that are mp3 players with lots of memory or take amazing photos with digital camera "frills" seen on normal digital cameras, like 2 megapixels and image stabilization.

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