I have now hosted three times and becoming kind of a veteran when it comes to this.
A month, with virtually only three and half hours of sunshine, and what appeared to be a constant drizzle, it feels as Stockholm is not the perfect place to be right now. Especially not when you get videos from Hawaii sent to you!
This month, however, Anna and Patricia, from Hamburg decided to visit the royal capital, normally one of the most beautiful cities in the world (especially in summer).
Not so smart you might think, but perhaps not such a big difference with northern Germany this time of year.
They got to hear that a lot. From several people.
Because if there is something Swedes have talent for, it is to whine about the weather. Not perhaps a flattering trait, but at least it gives you something to talk about, right?
They got in touch the week before, asking if they could stay with me, and I thought why not, I would surely be in town and as usual had nothing scheduled so far in advance. Then I didn’t hear from them.
An increasingly common occurrence in my life is that I basically do not plan in advance, more than I need. I have taken to the habit more often to not make plans for my weekends until maybe on Thursday or Friday. Sure, it might mean that some weekends I sit all by myself because everyone else has already made other plans, but for the last six months, this has actually only happened once. Rather, things have appeared that I never would have thought of and spontaneous events usually have a tendency to be more satisfactory in the long run.
Then I got an answer on Wednesday that they wanted to stay with me from Thursday to Sunday, and there was no problem with that. I picked them up at the station in Sundbyberg on Thursday evening and accommodated them in my little apartment.
On this short visit (they had been in Stockholm since last Sunday) that had been doing a bit of everything and met other couch surfers and also managed to become addicted to True Blood. One can not blame them, “Been there, done that”. So I arranged a few more episodes for them and also ensured that they got with them the second season along with fifteen albums of Swedish suicide music (in Sweden only known as singer / songwriter music) so they can enjoy pure Swedish melancholy in the winter darkness as it should be (it also mixes well with vodka, I have heard).
Anna and Patricia are both from Hamburg and have known each other since first year at school. Anna just finished with her medical training and Patricia will be done by the end of spring. Hence a trip somewhere, and who knows, maybe they will come back to Stockholm in the summer when they can drink beer in the parks, to experience the archipelago at it’s best and listen to the Swedes cursing the summer weather (either too hot, to cold or too rainy instead of just “lagom”. And “fika” of course.
Over the weekend there was a lot of wine, music and conversations and we visited Boulehallen next to Nytorget so they could kick my ass in table soccer! I have to go there and practice a bit more I think. They are also the holding the unofficial Swedish Championships in rundpingis (ping-pong) where you can win a place for the competition in Berlin or why not your own weight in Pilsner Urquell? We also got to experience SL at it’s best as we had to wait 45 minutes for the next subway at three in the morning.
On Saturday, they went early to the archipelago, of what appeared to be an incredibly nice day, while I watched the first sun for weeks through the window after having slept until 1a.m.
I positioned myself on the couch most of the evening completely wasted, so how they could continue to “Strand” after that whole day I do not understand, but they went and I finally dragged myself down town to meet up with them to get my assed kicked again in table soccer, play ping-pong with broken racks and completely miss the band that played (although I’m not entirely sure that was such a bad thing). I at least got an Brooklyn India Pale Ale, and to see a girl who has obviously escaped from the 80s.
On Sunday we said goodbye, I signed the contract for renting out the apartment before the trip and then went off for Pizza, Julmust and the rather plain (in a good way) film Adventureland with Ulrica. For some obscure reason I chose this particular rainy day to test a new way, so I got lost and had to walk half an hour along the odd part of Hornsgatan in the rain (but with Anna’s recommended Angus & Julia Stone in the headphones) and curse over the weather. Sacrifices as this tends to make the rest better, but the pizza was not actually that good, so I’ll just have to live with that!
All in all a really nice weekend and it did become any worse by the fact that I also have Monday off!