As I write this new blog, I find myself back in Stockholm. I never really thought I would return here after the adventures that ensued over the holiday break. Actually, truth be told, I didn’t think that they would let me back in to the country (slightly kidding but not really) after a particular Friday night debacle the last time I was here. I told myself after leaving last time, that I would like to come back in the summer and lo and behold here I am. How I came to return is a bit of a weird story in itself and harkens to the ending of the film “Good Will Hunting” (shout out to Red in Argentina on this one) but what I have taken away is so much more. Prior to my arrivial in Stockholm they had been enjoying fabulous weather, when I left Munich it had been raining like a son of a bitch and wouldn’t you know it, it followed me here to Stockholm and has been raining off and on all week with no end in sight so I guess I pretty much have the power to change weather patterns.
The day that I arrived happened to be the Stockholm Pride parade which was also the Euro Pride 2008, where everyone came to Stockholm for a “Big Gay parade” Maybe because of the rain, a lot of people stayed away and the entire atmosphere was somewhat more low key than that of the Hillcrest Pride Parade. So it just appeared to be abunch of people in ass-less leather pants with red asses dancing to techno music. However the interesting part to me was the representation in the parades by various groups for example, The gay Doctor, Dentists, and Nurses Federation (insert Gaylord Focker jokes here) Gay Police Officers, Fire Fighters and Army People Federation. Later in the evening we ended up at a friends of my friends house where we pre flighted before we went out to the clubs. Its common practice to drink a lot at home before you go out because it is so expensive to go out and buy drinks at the bars, hell it is even expensive to buy bottles of alchohol in the state ran stores, they are, I believe, subject to something like a 75% tax. Gotta love these socialist governments, if they deem it bad for you, then they will tax the shit out of it in hopes you wont do it. From what I can tell, it is not really working, Swedes love to drink and party. So anyway, we end up at this pretty cool bar and they had a retractable roof, so when it got to hot inside, they would retract the roof and let a little breeze and light rain in. I think it would have been an amazing thing if it would have been a clear night but never the less it was a great time had by all. Since then, I have had a pretty “domesticated” vacation; this is because my friend Bodil, whom I am staying with is working 8-5 so we don’t really go out and party it up too much. My days have consisted with her getting up for work, me sleeping in until 10 or so, then going out to see some sights, coming back home, cooking dinner, drinking tea, chatting, and then bed time. Pretty mundane stuff, but its nice to be able to relax. We even went to yoga together a few days ago. That was an experience let me tell you. First of all, I haven’t done yoga for over a year, and even when I was doing it, it wasn’t with any sort of consistency. Secondly, the instructions were all in Swedish, but that didn’t deter me because not only was the instructor a little hottie, but the way she spoke was so soothing and hypnotic like, I started to believe that I could actually speak Swedish! (Hmm all I need now is a Swedish Massage in Sweden to complete the tri-fecta.) As part of my domestication, I venture out to the grocery store and do pretty well for myself partly because, as I mentioned in my original Stockholm post, everyone here speaks some English, or well that’s what I thought until this old Swedish Granny jumped out of the bushes like a “grass ninja” and started yammering on at me. From what I can figure is that she was interested in the flowers that I had bought. How do I know this? It’s because she kept pointing to the flowers I had bought in my bag and if you listen closely enough you can hear some similarities to German(something about girlfriend I think). This grass ninja totally freaked me out and even if I could have gotten a word in, I am pretty sure she would not have understood me anyways. You might be asking yourself why I bought flowers? I thought they were pretty, why else? (Ragsdale, that’s right, I said I thought they were pretty)
Today I ventured out to the Island of Birka, on this island is the remains of one of the original Viking settlements in Sweden which dates back to appx. 700 A.D. I have to admit, I was expecting some sort of grandiose Viking reenactment there but the museem was small, and the majority of the artifacts that they have found are located in the Stockholm Natural History Museem. On the island you can still find burial mounds and sheep (not of sheep). They have a few huts to mimic one of the sections of the original settlement where they demonstrated boat building, hand made leather crafts and Blacksmith working all using the traditional methods. The blacksmith, who is actually a blacksmith by trade, travels to the island every three weeks and lives on the island for one week while doing the demonstrations. One of the coolest things he was doing when we were there, was that he was showing us how to make steel the ancient way. Pretty Cool I must say.
The most interesting part of the trip to the island was meeting this Australian girl who was on a 6 month global adventure. Apparently she works for a consultanting company in Perth and is able to take 6 months off to travel without it being an issue. Why is this important you may be asking yourself? Last week I had read that Australia was seriously in need of skilled labor, not only blue collar but also in the White Collar sectors; I asked her about this and her response was , “ They defiantly are, why do you think I can take off for 6 months and get my job back when I return? They know that there are other companies that need my skill set so my employers don’t complain.” So I would now like to announce (sorry mom for you not being the first one to hear it) that I will be actively searching for a job in the magical land of OZ upon graduation. But I guess what this really means, is that the longer and harder I think about where I really want to be, I am no closer to the answer. However, I do know, without a shadow of a doubt I will entertain all possibilities no matter how absurd or outlandish they may seem. Jerry Garcia said it best “ sometimes it takes time to find a place to be, so keep truckin’’