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So we ran over to the train station and I decided to take the train cause we were short on time, and I ran there and said goodbye to Daniel my favourite friend from Stockholm to whom it’s the second time I was lucky enough to hang out with! I ran from the terminal into the building because I was really short for time at this point, and I ran to the KLM area to sign in and so the panic began.

She asked me what flight I was on, I said to Amsterdam in 45 minutes. She said “What?? Are you crazy?” And I said of course I wasn’t and that I was here within the 40 minute window allowed for checking in. She told me that she had to call someone to see if they could take my luggage; and she was on the phone for 10 minutes waiting so they couldn’t take my luggage and therefore denied my boarding. I looked at her and asked if she was serious. It was her fault that it took so long, and there wasn’t even anyone in the terminal. She told me to vacate the area and to go over to the lineup across the hall to get a new ticket.

I was livid, I called Tony told him and sent an sms to Daniel letting him know. I figured I’d have to stay over another night, but we’d see. I waited for 2 hours in the line because a woman was arguging with the nice Swedish man, and when I got up there I presented him with the facts and there wasn’t anything that I could do to get to Paris, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Geneva, Basel, Zürich or anywhere close to Strasbourg, so I went over to sit down and be stressed. It was all such a huge problem because I had to get home before Thursday and it’s going to be Wednesday when I get home now, so that I can move out of my flat on time. And then figure out where I was going to go or how to get home. I was scared.

I went over to the internet terminal and the machine was broken. The good looking Russian guy that was working on the computers came over to try to unjam the machine but it took 20 minutes and he eventually gave me 400:- worth of internet time, it was awesome. So I looked all afternoon for flights and how I could get home. Cheapest thing I could find for the next day was about 500€ and leaving in the morning. I said fine, bought it with my credit card and managed to get it all in the with my low credit; and then had to sleep at the airport again. I sat around for awhile reading and then I went to this italian resteraunt in the terminal to see the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

I walked in and ordered my stuff and sat down and then these two younger women were laughing and pointing at this family. There were about 100 people in the entire terminal so it was soo quiet and empty with the sun hovering still at 20.00. I looked over and what I thought to be a man was with two children coming to sit down. Now what the guy was wearing was wow. I had to cough up what I was chewing because I was so flustered. He had on this sleeveless top that was fishnet, going halfway through his middrift, and then a jock-strap looking pair of underwear that were visible above the jeans line because his jeans were below his pelvic bone exposing, well quite a lot. After he turned around, the jock-strap like band went around and a single tiny string went down below his bum, so I was thinking, wow with nothing in the front connecting, and only a string in the back what the hell is this guy wearing?

I thought to myself, poor kids, and they didn’t seem phased. But they were at an airport so I was just confused. Was he a drunk man with children? Was he a go-go boy who was grossly overweight and hairy? Was he a transvestite? Was he a transexual? Quite frankly I thought it was a woman when I looked at him because he had very effeminate eyes and chin, but it was a man forsure; especially with the body hair. I didn’t know what to say and laughed to myself the whole time hoping to never see anything so disgusting again in my life.

And so I went to lay down on the benches, I went through about 50 pages of Form i Fokus doing my grammar before my pencil ran out. I had to go and steal a pen from the cleaning lady when she wasn’t looking in the terminal building, I felt horrible but I needed something to write with as everything was closed. I layed down and watched a film on the lappy and then fell asleep with my stuff sprawled out. The view around 22.00 is available in the photo above as seen when I was falling asleep. I feel so comfortable and safe in Arlanda airport that I didn’t even hold onto my luggage, it was just laying there with my shoes and stuff off whilst I slept.

Flight was at 6am the next morning so I was up at 4am finding the Norwegian guy beside me huddling around his things. The Norwegians are always so weird; but it’s funny. The lineup was so long I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but I got my luggage through and the lineup for security was ridiculus. It was about 1’000 people minimum, so the wait was awhile. This guy was coming around seeing boarding passes and telling people to go over to the other one for later flights but it went quicker than I thought it would. I made it just in time as they were calling for final call as I walked up to the gate, right inside of security. I was thinking to myself; why is Arlanda always so bad to me? That’s two missed flights and therefore a sign. Sweden is telling me not to leave, and I really shouldn’t have!

Flight to Amsterdam was fine, but EVERYONE had connecting flights and was in a rush because some people had to have luggage offloaded having not made the flight (lucky me). The woman next to me was going to Cape Town, I was jealous. And so I ran to make my connection and all was fine and KLM took care of me. I was terribly bitter about paying 500€ though but I had to get home damnit! Turns out Air France overcharged me anyways so I have to sort that out.

I packed all the next hours and my room was nearly ready to move out the next day, one day early. Midsommar in Sweden was amazing, and I swear I’m taking that sign to heart. I’m moving there somehow someday soon, I just need to find someone Swedish to marry me to make it easier first.

Any takers? Or even someone I can co-habitate with for 2 years? I’ll love you forever and ever; and I swear I’m clean and house-trained!

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Upon arriving in Uppsala I was surprised to see how small it acutally is. We were waiting for Arash outside near the very modern, an odd looking statue and he was going to take us to where we were going. He arrived and we headed into town to the main square which apparently is the only actual square with four corners closed in in Sweden? Who knew; the flowers were pretty and we bought bus tickets and got on the bus with the other people heading outside of the university area.

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So we arrived at Björns house, one of Arash’s friends, which was inhabited currently with the Sebas looking Frederik, and Czaki apparently short for Zach! We were all making food because well it’s midsommar; so you eat, drink and be merry! I was in charge of the salad, nice and simple so I tossed it after cutting it all up and everyone was being busy. Tony is horrible at food so just attempted and was ever-failing; it was funny. I’ve started calling him the flower because he whilts as easily as a rose; so prescious and afraid of everything. We all ate some food and everyone was getting drunk already playing “Jag har aldrig…” which was well, a good way to see how crazy people are. Turns out Sofia is more innocent than I would have guessed, and Arash is a downright whore! Gustav arrived and then some lesbian couple with a girl that looked like a guy, and we were off to make the midsommarstång; the highlight of the night!

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How are we to make this midsommarstång in the middle of outside Uppsala? Go into the forest and collect some bushes and flowers of course; so we all headed out drunkingly around the corner and into the forest. We were screaming things and Sofia was asking probing questions, and Tony; who’s Asian and therefore has no alcohol tolerance had been drunk on 1 cider glass and was going all emo depressive and falling asleep. He was in no condition to be doing anything but crying and being lonely because his boyfriend is in Bulgaria, but really they aren’t in a relationship because Jonas is into S&M and Tony is afraid of him, so really I have no idea what to think! But along the way I met some friends, the two wild horses that were kept in by an electric fence. How did I know it was electric? Because I touched it and got a little shock; I was not impressed!

And so the evening continues and everyone gets progressively more and more drunk and people come and go and everyone’s got the munchies. Frederik, who as I said reminded me a lot of Sebby, was getting all touchy feely despite being “clearly heterosexual, execept when drunk” funny that eh? Tony ended up being a downer and getting some rash caused by an allergic reaction so he went and played on the computer by himself (go figure) for some hours.
 

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So Arash and I began the preperations for the midsommar stång, it took a lot of thread and bushes and tying but we got it done! And once it was erected, we danced around it with the famous groddansen (aka. frog dance). I remembered quite a lot of it and I’m sure there is some video on YouTube floating around of it, so when I find it I will indulge you. But look at how pretty it is, to celebrate our awesome holiday. After the lesbians got emo and cranky we stopped and moved back under the warmed shelter to spend the evening. It seemed to go on forever, because of the summer solstice but when I looked at the clock it was barely even midnight. We went to bed around two, after people passed out and Frederik was caught eating off the floor, his pants were falling down too… Quite a funny sght.

And so the next morning everyone slept in and lucky me got a bed, and we ended up going back to Stockholm because Tony was bored and wanted to leave, despite there being another party. I wanted to go back because I had to organise something with Daniel again before I left. Tony was unimpressed, but had no reason to be. Even when we got off the train at the train station, these two black girls started teasing him about being asian and not speaking Swedish. Turns out obviously he can, and they were quite appauled and started muttering things at us; stupid bitches.

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We got home after some shopping and we watched films all night; it was nice and I was off to sleep since the next day we were going to do something, but I can’t exactly remember what. I remember vaguely walking around the city for awhile looking for something, probably sunglasses again and then we came home and watched films again. Oh yeah, we went to Kista to the shopping centre and I lost my sunglasses, and I was sad but oh well, serves me right. Turns out Tony doesn’t have many friends, but that doesn’t surprise me at all really. I organised my stuff to get ready for my Monday flight out, and I was going to meet Daniel in the morning and we would go shopping downtown.

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I have to say that Sergelstorg is much nicer when it’s summer and the fountain works, and there are people dancing all around! We went to Åhléns, and then to Akedemikbokhandeln so that I could buy some stuff. I turned out to buy about 800:- worth of things total in the day including a daily planner for school, some “Form i fokus” books for grammar (Del A & B), and some novels where I could get three for 150:-! I was so happy but now I had a shitload of stuff to carry around that never did end up fitting in my luggage. After heading to the ice-cream shop, and then to the Telia shop to get me a SIM card for my phone we set up my account after going in two times and then I realised I had to leave to go to the airport.

And so the afternoon after I came home from Prague, I was all packed and ready to make my way to Stockholm. The night before I had met with my conversation partner regarding my CAF rebate which would put 600€ into my pocket; we both agreeded that I’d go pick up my paperwork from the Préfecture the next morning and go over the the CAF together to get it done; since time was pending. I went to the Préfecture and the bitch woman refused to give me my paperwork for various reasons, one of which becasue I was leaving in two weeks and she didn’t see a reason for it. She also requested a paper to pay for some tax, which was sent to Canada and therefore I never had. She showed me the stuff and ripped it out of my hand and I left nearly in tears. I called Birahim and told him to not bother, and that I was sick of the fucking country that had treated me like shit since I arrived.

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So I went to the airbus stop, and well it didn’t show up for 40 minutes so I was nervous, but it eventually arrived and I got to the tiny Strasbourg airport. I grabbed some food and a book to read for the trip, and checked in my luggage to go via Air France Régional to Amsterdam and on to Stockholm via KLM. All went well and we boarded the tiny little plane and made our way to Amsterdam which was a really nice, modern and huge quite frankly. It was just about every plane was KLM there, blue and white everywhere, so I hung out in terminal F or something, and my plane was leaving from C so it took about 25 minutes to walk from each. I had a sandwhich and then headed to my boarding gate with 30 minutes to spare. It was perfect when I arrived at the gate, no line up and they were just about to start the last call so I just strolled on without having to wait or anything. I sat down and we were in Stockholm after a quick nap and I was happy camper.

My bag was the first to come off the conveyer belt, even though it was already going around since we got off the plane (love the Schengen region), so I ran to get it, ran to the closest SEB conversion place and asked if I could change some Euros into SEK. The woman was about to close as it was past midnight, but I managed to get in to her dismay; then ran over to the woman to get my bus ticket for the lovely Flygbussar. I tried to get a student discount, after brushing up my Swedish, but she wouldn’t accept for me any but the listed student cards. I was not impressed as there was 100:- gone right there; boo! I went outside, and it was freezing cold as I was not prepared at all and was in sandals and shorts. I threw on a jumper and waited with the other Swedish people as they made fun of this emo guy that was practically naked. It was mean, but I had nothing better to do.

Bus dropped me off at CityTerminalen, but all the doors were locked and I had to get into T-Centralen before the last subways left; so I ran all around the block to the only open entrance to meet Tony; my host for the week. To be fair, he’s nice, but he was soo weird when I walked up to him. He’s like all shy and “Jag är jättenervös” and I’m like asking why but he’s just being antisocial. So we run to the Tunnelbanna entrane and I buy some tickets quickly and we get on the direction of Bergshammra, where he lives which is apparently in Solna, and is a huge student population. We got there after some small chat, and eventually I went to bed because I was so tired. Next days were walking around and seeing the nice weather in Stockholm. Tony had told me that it would rain the whole week so I was a bit skeptical, but it turns out that he’s just a worry ward and negative about everything.

The weather was amazing you have no idea; I just wanted to melt right there with the perfect breeze. We layed in some parks and then went shopping for some food. What student hasn’t heard of pasta with cheese sause? Apparently Asian ones, because when I proposed some pasta he just about said “What?” I was surprised, it being the cheapest and easiest thing possible. Back to the house we went and cooked the food, Swedish the whole time as I didn’t want the foreign asian students to understand what we were talking about. I found this awesome schlagger radio-station “Svenska Favoriter” which made me cry with all the amazing songs that I clearly knew. Dinner was good, and we cleaned up and went back to watch some films; it was great.

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We decided to hit the shops the next day, which means Åhléns right downtown to get Tony some sunglasses. As it turns out, he looks horrible in all glasses and I couldn’t find a nice way of putting it. It’s basically because he’s asian and his eyes are too far up and he has no nose; so we gave up. Plus he’s really cheap and couldn’t find anything in his price range, I scoffed and moved on. I also found something that I’d been looking for quite some time now. It’s an old type of briefcase that I’d like, similar to the one above, but with a strap. It’s very British old-school I know but I want one damnit! Walking around again was nice as I paid a trip to the bank cash point and we went for some ice cream in gamla stan which was so tasty! We saw a bunch of funny things over at the Nobel Museum, outside there are a bunch of a cafés, one of which is a gay one, and then tons of tourists around. Now between all the foreign tourists not being aware that some things are gay, and the homosexual’s running around (they were clearly camp), it was like a circus. It made me laugh and we were on our way to go watch a film for the next morning I’d be meeting a friend of whom I longed to meet one day.

Who is this person I speak of? It’s Tobias, my Eurovision confidant who lives in Finland was coming home to Sweden to visit his family for Midsommar. So for the morning we went for coffee and a bit of a semi-lunch thing and sat and talked for awhile. It was nice to finally have met him, having spoken for so long and such. He is great company, as expected and frankly is just a wealth of information! We went to an old record store to seach for vinyls for him, and I found some old Swedish hits that made me happy; but then I bought a couple DVDs, a few that I’d been longing for or really wanted. Since I’m a loser I’ll admit what they are: Fucking Åmål, great film, and För Evigt one of my all time favourites. It was all under 150:- so I was so pleased and strolled out back to the bus station to drop Tobias off to his bus. Golly there were a lot of people and some damn good looking ones too that caught our eyes!

I headed back to Solna where I found Tony hadn’t eaten all day and had been playing video games. He reminded me of someone, antisocial and like a hermit really. We had a long talk about how he was afraid of like everything, it made me laugh as he worries about anything that anyone could ever worry about. Maybe because he’s asian, I dunno? We watched a film and I binged on popcorn for the next day was Midsommafton so most things were closed and we’d be off to Uppsala where Arash invited us to a friend of his’ party.

The day was rainy and we went for a walk. Tony got scared by the birds and made a scene whilst I tried to pretend that I didn’t know him. We went to get some food and then to NK to look at things we obviously couldn’t buy. We realised whilst in the bathroom that we were going to be late for the train, and we ran to the train station. Seeing Tony run made the entire vacation worth it as it was like
someone who’d never walked before. I couldn’t believe how unco-ordinated the guy is, and even whilst sitting on the train he was still out of breath. I couldn’t help but laugh at him and take a little rest whilst reading, sinfully, Aftonbladet.

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This is the sight of the Stockholm after arriving from the cruise ship bound from Helsinki. Since I didn’t want to fork out 130:- of lazyness, I decided to follow the blue line “leading foreign travelers into the city”. It worked out fine, and was a beautiful view of mountain things and lots of boats, except for the arab guy who kept trying to take a video of me. The cam corder kept pointing at me and I just held my head low not wanting to be seen, and then he followed me but after awhile I resigned myself to the fact that I’ll probably stalked in some country like Burkina Faso with this video. The walk into the city was longer than I expected, despite Stockholm being a very small city geography and population wise. I didn’t know where I was going, so I followed some other Swedish tourists who seemed to be looking for the train station too. I figured that if I found the train station I’d be in good condition for finding other stuff, having a tourist office and such like that.

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I found the SL center so I could get my metro pass for 3 days, and it turned out to be cheaper than I expected, so after hours of hanging out around the train station and walking around I decided to head to the hostel since it was now the afternoon and I had nowhere else to go, and it had gotten dark. So I took the metro which is really nice actually, each stop is very creative and is actually clean; I was flabbergasted. I turned out the wrong way when I was looking for the hostel, so I got to have a nice look at St:Eriksplatsen and such which really wasn’t that exciting. The region that I was in was very beautiful part of Stockholm called Kungsholmen. I saw a huge sign for a hostel, and it turned out to be right one, but I totally thought I was in the wrong place. The entrance looks like a five star hotel, and they treat you like it too. Despite being as cheap as any other hostel in Sweden it was superduper nice, and as you can see the rooms were quite nice also. So after taking a little nap from all the traveling I went in search of food at the store and came back to watch some SVT. Notice SVT on the TV right now, which made me giggle like a little kid in a candy shop. How exciting to actually see it live!

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Turned out the only other guy in the 4 room hostel, was some old guy from Örebro, so he was impossible to understand and also I didn’t bother to try to be nice since he was an asswhole and boring anyways. He left after two days, so I felt no guilt or opression. After a sound sleep I went on my journey to visit the city and see some cool stuff, since I would be there for four nights. Walking downtown is exciting as there are lots of things, so I went to the shops and joined the rest of the thousands of tourists and Stockholmers in the stores and even went to see the largest H&M, it was very exciting that I nearly cried. The combination of sunlight in the morning and blue skys for the first day made such a lovely combination that I was very happy to take pictures of things half dark and half light.

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In the old part of the city, Gamla Stan, all the streets are tiny and impossible to find what you are looking for. I’ve honestly never seen streets so small with little cobblestone walkways where cars are not allowed, or able to go! It was nice to just walk around amiously and do nothing of any particular interest. Most things close early so I didn’t bother to buy anything, which was good because everything is super-duper expensive anyways! Nightfall came and I was out like a light happily and dreaming like a little baby. I had put aside the next day to go and explore the royal palace and government buildings, and thankfully the weather forecast was looking good.

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However, before going to bed I was walking around downtown and out of the corner of my ear I heard loud yelling from a speaker or something, so I thought that I would envestigate. This is the famous square near T-Centralen where there are shops and Kulturehuset, and other cool stuff, and there were about 2’000 african-origin people in the street protesting the Ethopian invasion of Somalia (or something of that nature). So the stupid tourist that I am, I decided to go down and see what was going on, and ‘participate’ in a political rally in Stockholm. Despite being something demanding peace, people are surprisingly violent, but it was all good because I was the only white person so everyone was afraid to talk to me. Yay being a visible minority all the time! So they were yelling stuff, and I yelled stuff too and now I can say that I’ve been a part of a political rally against some sort of opression; yes I’m a dork, but I’ve done something many people can’t say they have!

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Other than TV and radio buildings what could be sexier than government buildings? The Swedish government building, Ritsdag, is pictured here and is a beautiful building just on the other side of the Royal Palace (uninhabited) which was riddled with hundreds of Russian and Japanese tourists who take pictures of everything and are impossible to avoid. The Royal Palace is quite large, and I took a nice little walk around it and down along the harbour which offers a wonderful view of private, public, and industrial boats all of different sizes and looks. Wonderful to see, and take pictures of!

Now for some fun for day three, or lack there of to be honest. I was sitting in an internet café while there was this girl who came up to me and pretended to know who I was saying ‘Do I know you from somewhere?’ as if I had any idea who she was. So she decided to sit down next to me and irritate me for the next hour or so. Her name was Elin and she kept asking me weird questions and telling me werid things about her life, like the numerous French men she dated, and how hey were all psycopaths. I really didn’t know what to say, especially when she tries to show me naked pictures of someone she met in the metro just the day before. Apparently she’s too naïve, or something about having met him and thinking he was a good guy. I just laughed at her nervously and hoped that she wasn’t hitting on me. I knew it was bad news when she kept saying that I looked innocent and pure, and with that cue I took the closest exit and ran without making it look like I was running. Sad part of the story, she stalked me at the café for the next few days until I gave her my (semi-fake) e-mail address. Sketchy!

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I was supposed to meet up with a friend that I’ve known for several years, Andreas, who I met through Gus’ cousin, of whom I don’t even remember. But anyways, I was helping him with his English and him my Swedish so it was a good pairing. He’s really not the kind of person that I would normally be friends with, as he’s goth, but he said that he’d show me around Stockholm on the third day. So we were to meet at noon at Gamla Stan metro stop, I arrived, and waited and waited and waited and of course he never came. Now I was the naïve one, who everyone thought was crazy since I was clearly waiting for someone who wasn’t coming! Boo Andreas, who never showed up and now has dissapeared, not surprisingly. So after this I embarked on a huge walking journey following someone who walked really fast. It turned out that I followed him all the way to the southern suburbs of Stockholm in the dark, and I ended up right next to Globen. Globen as in the huge Globe theater-concert venue thing, as in the same place that they have Melodifestivalen every year. I started salivating and took pictures the next day since it was dark, but sadly there were children everywhere since it was Disney on Ice the week I was there. Found food, went home, chilled and talked to the Canadian guy who stayed in my room, along with the Dutch and Argentinian guys who are traveling around. The Canadian guy, Paul, was going to Jönköping for school, and is like super-fun, but he’s a bit full of himself and from Alberta, so apparently everything is better there. I just laughed and helped him re-arrange all the shit he brought. I was more excited about meeting Daniel from Facebook the next day, the same guy that came to stay with me at the train station before Christmas. We had a meeting at 10.00 the next morning at T-Centralen so I was looking forward to it.

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Despite the rain, which didn’t sease until after I left, Daniel and I met in the train station and walked around in the rain all day. He showed me all of his schools which were all really coolly located in the downtown area, and then we went to some shopping malls which are surprisingly hidden. Of vast importance, this included Ålhéns, which is about 7 floors and we just wanted to go see the spa which is on the top floor. It was cool, but what was more cool was the fact that we decided to go find the SVT and SR buildings in the north of the city. They were even on the map so I was excited. Biggest dissapointment in the world. The SVT building didn’t even have a logo on it, which is clearly the best part of the whole building! The SR building was having a logo, but nothing interesting around it, but the huge adventure was the fact that the metro stop right next to it was closed so we had to walk and got lost trying to find it all. My trusty map helped us, but even with it we were still clueless and had no idea where we were or where we were going. I’m still trying to get over the national broadcasting building being so weak, common Sweden, for the first time ever be more like Finland and actually have a nice building!

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What is a lonely tourist with nobody around supposed to do from 19.00 until about 23.00 where everything is closed and it’s slightly cold? Ride the metro of course. I decided to be a huge dork and ride the metro to each and every single stop there was, which turns out to be a lot. I discovered that the metro goes way out from the city than I ever thought it would, for example to Kista, or nearly Södertalje, a shouthern suburb by train. So it was all really pretty except for the creepy Swedish people who stalked me outside Ålvik but it’s okay, I went to every corner of the city, and it killed hours of my life. It was very fun and lots ot see with tons of lights. Stockholm is very uninhabited, it’s weird. I like it though, despite the cold personalities of all the people.

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After the next day of sleeping in because I was tired, I went for a nice walk to see all the cool other places in the downtown that I ignored before. Aka Kungsgården which is a really nice little park with an ice ring and a bunch of gardens across from the NK where the famous Anna Lindh was assasinated recently. It’s really sad, but the building is really pretty and nice. Also there was the bank location where the Stockholm Syndrome began, that’s the one where victims start to sympothize with their captors, kinda weird but I could see how empathetic Swedes could fall in that trap.

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On the last day of my Stockholm adventure I decided to go and see the city hall that I had a little encounter briefly earlier..The encounter went something like this:

Man1: Kan du hjälpa mig?
Osky: Kanske, vad ska du ha?
Man1: Jag söker Stadshuset… vart är det?
Osky: Jag är inte så rätt, förlåt.
Man1: Men du snackar på svenska, så du kommer ifrån Stockholm, eller?
Osky: Javisst jag kan svenska, men jag bor inte här.
Man1: I anna fell du måste veta vart Stadhuset är!!
Osky: Nej, förlåt igen!
Man1: Blandet de flesk kille! Osky: Inte mig, hon söker Stadhuset.
Man2: Stadhuset är där…
Man1: Vad? Jaså, vi är i Gamla Stan?
Man2: Javisst! Tunnelbanna stänna Gamla Stan du ser!
Osky: *gäsper and sigh*
Man1: Tusen tack allihop.
Osky: *sprang*

First of all, as if some random person would come up to me and ask for directions, but he was so stupid to actually continue to ask me when I said that I didn’t know. Stupid tourists, but it was okay since I went to the Stadhuset (City Hall) the last day which was invaded by hundreds of Russians. It was nice to look at and I took a bunch of pictures, even of some naked statue of a guy and some snakes which was in the corner where nobody would go and see. It was funny that I was the only one to look at it, but oh well now. The garden on the outside has some sort of a mini harbour where there is a really old fashioned landing dock for people to escape (or something). So I aborted situation when people started speaking Russian to me, and hurried to the train staion to kill some time before my train to Göteborg.

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This photo actually has a really funny story to it which I will explain now. I arrived at the train station and went to check directions for once I got to Göteborg on train, and got my free tickets and all my stuff checked. I sat down and started to read Aftonbladet, something I did everyday of my trip (go me), and sometimes Dagens Nyheter (too). And there was this guy sitting across from me, and as you can see he has an american flag on his sweater, but it wasn’t visible the first few minutes because he was sitting beside me. I really didn’t notice him until he got up, went to the ticket vending machines, and then came back to sit across from me. He kept playing games on his mobile phone which I was doing too. And then suddenly I realized that I was somehow having someone attempt to connect to me via Bluetooth, so I was like huh. I looked around at everyone’s models of phones, and his was the only Nokia, so I figured it was him since the type of phone that was trying to connect was Nokia. I then got a message (somehow) asking how my paper was. I was freaked out a huge extent, but tried to look cool around the homeless people and lost travelers.

It took me a few minutes to realize that it was him who was playing along with me, and I realized this when I looked up and he was staring at me laughing. I was sort of paniced, and then he greeted me saying that he couldn’t help himself to try to freak me out, since he figured I was waiting for a train. How weird was this? Anyways, it turns out that his name is Joakim and he was heading to Luleå, and freaked out to know that that’s just where I had been a few days before. He had to do some studies for being a doctor or whatever, and then once he found out that I was going to Göteborg, he took another freak attack since that’s where he’s from. He seemed to take some sort of ‘traveling psykic’ connection after this. He wasn’t creepy at all, just kind of odd way to start a converstaion, so we talked for awhile and our trains left at more or less the same time, so at least I wasn’t alone. He’s really nice, but kind of rude in the sense that he was very full of himself, so when I was boarding my train he went to his and then he gave me his mobile number and told me to sms him so that I could tell him what to see in Luleå. I thought it was a bit weird, but whatever, what’s wrong with making new friends, epsepcailly ones who aren’t creeps, and are half-decent looking! It’s better to be seen with good looking people, than ugly ones, it’s just better for self image. No I’m not shallow, just picky! I couldn’t help but sneak a photo before I left, and we were playing games just to keep a memory of the creepy conversation.

On the train, off to Göteborg on the superfast X2000 trian and arrival in only 3 hours (very short time), and all train tickets paid for *mwhaha* Go team me.

Hello world. Yes it’s me, and yes I’m alive and kicking. What a wonderful last few days it’s been! Traveling the world, and spending some awesome times with some friends! Who could have possibly thought that it was so cool? Well besides me, but that’s a minor detail!

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Check out this awesome map which shows where I’ve been so far. I will make a list for you and then explain it all.
Strasbourg -> Paris -> Nyköping -> Stockholm -> Arlanda -> Luleå -> Kalix -> Haparanda

Day 1
So I left for Paris at 03.30 and got to the train station without being raped, attacked, or followed. I thought that I lost something on the way, but after paranoidly searching everywhere on the ground I gave up later to find it in my pocket. Blame lack of sleep and nervousity. I got there and it was completely empty, but after walking to the wrong enterance I found my train and was set ready to go to Paris. I sat there, and I was the only person in the train, I’m not joking! I tried to fall asleep but I couldn’t since well things were very uncomfortable. When we got to Nancy, this crazy cenile woman tried to steal my seat and then realized that she was mistaken after waking me up and making me move. The only word that I can think of is ‘wench’ but it turned out she was really nice after wishing me a Merry Christmas and safe travels, despite not taking another word to each other.

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I got to the central station in Paris and walked around trying to find the Metro, it was intensly large and lots of foreign people who didn’t speak French. I got to the Metro stop, and since I already had a ticket I just used it and then went on my way hopping on the right train *I hoped* Turned out I did everything right, and it’s true about the metro being so quiet with nobody talking. Everyone in Paris looks tired, which was good for me cause it made me better looking than I do.

I got to my stop and did the transfers and the metro is actually nicer than I expected. People mind their own business, but I was tempted to say “do you want a picture or something?” they just stare like crazy, it’s creepy! I got to my stop and looked around for about an hour for the damned bus stop. After walking around the quartier about 4 times, I almost got hit by a few cars, and such I followed the trail of Swedish girls that were chatting away near a band of cars.

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So I got on the bus and went to Beauvais which is like an hour away, and then did my baggage stuff and went and got checked. They didn’t check my passport a single time, which I thought was hillarious! I loved it though, no complaints for me! The plane was horrible, the seats were comfortable, but I was sitting with 4 babies around me with families so I couldn’t sleep a single moment and it was so annoying. It makes me not want to have kids despite loving them. The above picture is the sight upon arriving in Nyköping from my flight, notice the smallness of the airport and the amount of Swedish people who surprisingly speak French!

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This photo is from Central-Statation in Stockholm after taking the bus to the bus terminal. I got bored for waiting hours and hours and hours and hours and hours, still going, until I explored down a street that looked cool. All the Christmas decroation were nice but I didn’t want to get lost and such so I stayed along the main roads. I made a call to a friend and he said he was coming to Stockholm to go out with some friends so he came on a train from Uppsala. It turned out to be fun since we hung out in the train station for a little while and then his friends came to pick him up. They invited me out and such, which was very nice to do, but unfortunately I was very tired, I didn’t have much Swedish money, and I had my luggage with me. Despite being quite safe in the bus/train terminal, it closes very early in the evening so I had to decide what to do. Several drunks were thrown out, which was funny, and I grabbed a cinnimon bun which was amazing!

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So for the next few hours I walked around the downtown core of Stockholm. Only up and down one or two streets a few times so that I wouldn’t get lost. It’s difficult at night since it’s dark and the streets are sorta empty! I walked down the main shop street and saw a church so the above picture best describes that. There were even some people around that were speaking English, which I thought was really weird! The Swedish in Stockholm is much different than I realized, as I haven’t heard the accent before. They talk fast and use lots of expressions that I didn’t understand, but since I didn’t really talk to anyone, and I blended in, it was totally fine.

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So since I didn’t want to be a homeless person in Stockholm, a foreign city, I decided to take the express train (seen above) to the national airport in Arlanda. It travels at 300km/hr and took about 20 minutes to get to the airport. This annoyed me since I was trying to kill time, not gain it. I was the only one on the train (surprise surprise) but it was very nice, and comfy. Notice the classic Swedish colours, and cleanliness which best describes the country!

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I non-chalontly walked around the dead terminal for some hours, since it’s not very large, and parked myself down at the internet café which was very nice and cheap! Then I decided that I needed sleep, bad! So I found a spot where lots of people were sleeping, and parked myself down to try to find a comfy seat or something. This was not possible as airports are not built for sleeping, but I managed to get a few minutes of sleep I think. Between the Finnish and foreign travelers in the terminal, and the constant vaccuum cleaner working, I was able to get a nice seat on a bench below a huge Christmas wreath as seen above. This was a wonderful view since I couldn’t sleep and had nothing else to do, no jokes! So I killed about 10 hours at this same spot, and the guy next to me kept staring at me when I woke up. I don’t think he slept, but still it reminded me of creepy France and all their people staring.

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I later realized that my choice of location was very poor. I parked myself down right infront of the train enterance (seen above). This means at 5am tons of people would be coming in and out, and I realized this when some woman accidentally dropped her paper on me. As if she couldn’t see me! Usch! Anyways, went and killed some more hours looking in the shops and such, until I finally could go check in. Oddly in Arlanda, for the domestic flights there are no check in counters, this confused me. It’s all done electronically, so I had to ask a woman for help and she laughed at me since I had never heard of the electronic things. I had no baggage to check, and just had to wait. All went fine and I got my boarding pass. I lined up to security check and they went through my stuff, not oppening my passport, getting my pass, or even opening my bags, how funny. In the name of national security, oh dear, but everyone loves Sweden so it’s okay! I sat down at some random flight going to Skullefteå so that I could hear some funny accents, and then I took a short nap. Suddendly when we began boarding I heard an announcement, and when it was said in Swedish I got nervous. I got the general gist of it: we overbooked, if you want to get a rebate and such come talk to desk blah blah blah. As a paniced, nearly illegial traveller, I ran to the front of the line and made sure that I got a seat on the plane! Good choice! They still never checked my passport, and just scanned my ticket, how funny. I was very clearly the only foreigner on the plane!

I got to sit next to two nice teenagers who were reading and joking the whole way. SAS Airlines is the absolute best way to travel, hands down. It’s expensive, but they treated me like royalty. Breakfast, papers, tabloids, pillows everything for only a 1hour flight! Talk about service, I was impressed! So we arrived in Luleå an hour later and I waited for Robert to come get me. He had sent me a SMS to tell me that he would be late since he couldn’t find the airport. It turns out that he went to some airport base for the military, and then eventually found his way. We had to do some errands for his mom in the outskirts so we did so and then went home. I slept, for obvious reasons, and the vacation began.

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The very next day we decided to do some shopping in Haparanda, which is on the Finnish border. It’s a tiny town with an IKEA, so we would indulge ourselves there and hope that we didn’t die of too much Finnish. In the photo above you can see as we crossed the highway with the sign going to Sundsväll, which is 5-7 hours by car to the south, and in a more ‘habitable’ environment. Notice also the snow, as I got my Christmas wish of being in a white cold place! The IKEA can be seen in the distance too. So we shopped, and found some cool stuff and had a bundle of laughs, and then went for food and saw the litle shops and such were I bought him his present.

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Above is the photo the shows Finland. The white building is in Finland and all the other buildings around were made for passport controls or such before the Schengen agreement was put into place. Wonderful how the borders of Europe have somehow dissapeared in the last 15 years. Will it be good, one will see, but for me it’s freaking awesome. The best part about the Haparanda trip was the fact our bus tickets were bought as children. We both clearly said Tur & Retur till Haparanda, and they charged us children fair so it was only 69:- (dirt cheap as you can probably guess). Go team awesome, also known as 20-something-year-olds who look like 15!!