12.30.2009

airports, blizzards and the swedish language

Monday afternoon when I stepped off the plane at the Arlanda Airport outside Stockholm, Sweden I felt a rush of excitement. I'm coming home. It often feels that way when I come to Sweden.

This time, I'm "coming home" to go to a good friend's wedding on New Year's Eve - quite the excitement compared to New Year's Eve in the past where I have been a "youth worker" contributing to a "safe, fun" New Year's for teenagers, young adults, crazy peoples. ;)

I felt "home" and I felt I was "playing the part". I stepped off the plane wearing a skirt, leggings tugged into warm Ugg boots, a down jacket, handmade mittens from Sweden, iPhone, and a handbag. As I hurried downstairs to the baggage claim I thought about the possibilities of my 2 week vacation in Sweden.

First, I changed my money from dollars to kronor and cringed at the exchange rate. Years ago the dollar was strong the the kronor was weak. $1 = 10 kronor - now the exchange rate is $1=7.15 kronor - here's a better way to show it... Approximately 13 kronor per LITER of gas OR $7/gallon. I remember when gas prices were high at $4/gallon - can you imagine paying $7/gallon?

After exchanging my money I looked for my bags. They didn't have a sign to show where I could find the baggage from my airplane. I walked over to an airplane official to ask him and couldn't get the words out of my mouth.

Side note: my sophomore year of high school and one semester of my junior year in college I spent in Sweden. I can speak it fluently most of the time ;)

At this particular moment, I found myself stumbling for words. Of course, many of the airport employees must speak English, however I don't feel right speaking English if I have a Swedish passport in hand

Another side note: My mom is Swedish, my dad is American; I have dual citizenship - maybe this is TMI for the internet?

All goes well and I pick up my bags and head for the doors. I walk outside expecting a blast of cold air, but to my disappointment, it's above freezing and RAINY!

My friend Jakob picks me up and we head for Dalarna (about a 3 hr drive Northwest from the airport). As we drive north, the weather drops from 3 Celsius and raining to -15 Celsius and snowy almost blizzard conditions. Much more satisfying. If I'm going to be in a cold country, I want it to be cold and snowy, not rainy and half-cold.

We took a slight shopping detour, something I didn't mind, and continued to my mormor's house, as all you loyal subscribers read in the previous post, where I was treated to a "riktig" Swedish dinner.

Yesterday was my first FULL day in Sweden and it was quite the day. The morning was spent in my mom's hometown grocery shopping and errand running. We had dinner in the evening and then it was off to a Professional hockey game. During my year in Sweden, I went to most of the HOME hockey games of the team Leksands Stars. They are a professional team and well-known throughout Sweden. The game was an easy win for Leksand 4-0. I took a video and pictures of it, those will come later.

I'm still adjusting to the time here in Sweden. I didn't fall asleep until 3am Swedish time OR 9pm EST. Tonight is proof I'm still adjusting? It's currently 1:22am and I'm not the least tired and I'm the only one awake in the cabin...

I can blame it on the time-change, but maybe it's my addiction to the internet? Aren't vacations supposed to be time away from electronics and such (with the exceptions of cameras as they record important memories). I have to admit, I am addicted to my iPhone and am experiencing severe withdrawals from not being able to access the internet, check facebook, twitter, the weather and other meaningless possibilities the iPhone allows for. Granted, I could probably access the above for a $3000 fee at the end of 2 weeks. At this point, I'm not quite that desperate; although I did sign up for the international plan for the month so I can send and receive text messages and call people; for a marginal fee of $0.50/txt or $1/min.

At this point, those of you who are still reading are most likely bored with the drivel and I should end the blog post.

Enjoy your New Year's Eve :)

Here are two pictures my brother took.



A little red house, typical for Sweden :)



It's so cold the trees are COMPLETELY frosted over!

My brothers put together a time-lapse photo shoot. Once it's posted online, I'll include a link.

PS- Maybe my next post will be about today - shopping w/my cousins - it was quite the experience.

1 comment:

Lani Giguere said...

Sara~What you describe sounds so nice. I agree, if you are going to be in a northern country in Dec., you want it to be as expected...cold & snowy.

The pictures are pretty. It looks like a winter wonderland.