Well, technically I’ve been here for about 8 days now…
My first week in Stockholm was exhausting. I walked SO much that by the 7th day I was limping. I took in a few museums, restaurants, a tour of the archipelago… you know, touristy stuff. But the city is amazing! It’s so beautiful and vibrant. It’s got the hustle and bustle of a big city but still feels very comfortable.
I am still lacking in any confidence in my Swedish speaking abilities. Being here I realized that I do know a lot of words and can read it okay, but speaking it and understanding someone else speaking it is an entirely different story. In Gamla Stan I bought a Swedish Calvin & Hobbes book and it has really been helping me with my Swedish. So much in fact, that I finished it already and went back today and got a second one, haha!
A friend of mine from California met me here in Stockholm and we shared a room at the af Chapman hostel on Skeppsholmen. It’s a very cool hostel and I recommend it if just for a few days. But having a friend here really hindered me in going out and meeting new people because I wasn’t forced to. After a few days this was starting to worry me. I mean, the main purpose of this trip was to explore the city and to meet new people and develop connections… and that wasn’t happening.
My saving grace? Couchsurfing.com. I had joined back in December but not really used it for anything. But once in Stockholm I was able to see what CS events were taking place around town. Last Friday I attended a CS pub meeting at Jonny’s in Kungsholmen where I met several very friendly people and had a great time. On Sunday, a CS member invited me to a picnic at Vitabergsparken in Södermalm where we ate and drank fake Champagne. They were so very sweet, and were the kinds of people that I would want to be friends with… in any city or country. Later that night we had more drinks at one member’s house and and then went to a bar for more drinks. It was a looooooong night, and I didn’t get back to the hostel until 3am… but it was SUPER worth it.
So it took me a while, but I did start networking and developing friendships, so I’m very happy about that. Now my friend from CA is gone, I’m in a new hostel where I’ve already made friends with a couple from Germany and a girl from New Zealand who has been interning in Norway. And I’ve been invited to a show in Södermalm tomorrow night.
I love this place and I feel very at home here. Just like I did the first time I visted Seattle. In fact, Stockholm is very similar to Seattle in many ways… and maybe that’s why I like it so much. Of course now the real question arises: how the hell do I get over here?! Work? School? It’s a daunting thought and I have no idea how to tackle it yet. But right now I’m just going to enjoy the 4 days I have left here and worry about everything else when I get back to Seattle.
Lastly, I have taken A TON of pictures (at least 900). I kind of screwed myself by only bringing one lens because I left my wide lens at home and it’s been driving me insane trying to take scenery shots with a fixed 50mm macro! Next time I’m bringing ALL my lenses. When I get home and have time to sift through all the photos, I’ll post them in Flickr and link the photostream to the blog.