And so I return. Stockholm was great, and I’m weary and all coffee’d out. I will post about it all later, but in the meanwhile, just a few snippets of conversation and discovered written word to give you a flavour of my time there:
On entering the country, my very eager travelling companion was having his passport inspected at passport control:
“This is the first time I’ve been in your country, I’m excited and looking forward to it.” Friendly, female passport inspector: “Enjoy your stay, I hope it lives up to your expectations.” Next, my turn, I motioned towards my departing friend: “He will be asleep within an hour!” “Not you, though?” “No-he snores!” She laughed, waved me through.
Over the four days:
“Excuse me Sir, your handbag is open.” I was that ‘Sir.’
“Do you know what Polish Alzheimer’s is? Forget everything but a grudge.” Calm down-it was said by a Polish man.
“Without struggle, there is no progress.” Okay, I can go with that.
“Kiss me like you kissed that goat.” You really don’t want to know.
Entered a restaurant, was instructed by a very-loud-voiced-it-had-to-be-heard-to-be-believed-waiter: “WHEN YOU’RE READY TO ORDER COME TO THE COUNTER, WE ARE A LAZY BUNCH IN HERE!” I did: “Can I have a draught beer, please…” THAT SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN!” “…erm, and a mineral water…” “THAT SOUNDS LIKE LESS OF A PLAN!” “…and the soup…” “WHERE IN ENGLAND ARE YOU FROM?” “Manchester.” “WENT TO LIVERPOOL ONCE. COULDN’T UNDERSTAND A DAMN THING ANYBODY WAS SAYING!”
A lovely blogger and follower of Jackdaw on here was going to email me some tips about visiting Stockholm. She didn’t manage to do it in time for my visit. It wasn’t a problem, it was a nice gesture, but a bit of a catchphrase began to feature:
Just arrived, in the middle of the city, ten o’clock at night, got on a bus. Bus driver: Have you got a ticket?” “Can we buy one off you?” “No.” “Okay, can we pay for one using a card?” “No.” “We need to get off and get one?” “Yes.” Thanks a bunch, Erica.”
In McDonald’s for breakfast, I wanted an egg muffin as I don’t eat meat. Opened it up, it had bacon on it. “Thanks a bunch, Erica.”
Next morning, emphasised more clearly WITHOUT bacon. Opened it up. Bacon. “Thanks a bunch, Erica.”
Morning after, used the Swedish word ‘utan’ meaning ‘without’. Didn’t even have to open it. “Thanks a bunch, Erica.”
We went on a cruise around the archipelago, but picked the wrong day, weather-wise. Poured down. “Thanks a bunch, Erica.” Who do you think was the only person who didn’t go inside the boat where it was heated, but stayed outside for the experience? Yep, I sat, coat fastened up, hat tightly on. Got a coffee to warm myself up, the wind blew it out of my hands. “Thanks a bunch, Erica.”
On departing the country, four days later, at passport control, the same friendly passport inspector to me: “You’re returning home then?” “Yes, to catch up on my sleep.” “Was there a lack thereof?” “Ohhhh yes!” She laughed, waved me through.
Full of a cold, probably through my rain-lashed cruise, I sneezed on the plane. “Thanks a..” Well, you can guess the rest. Poor Erica’s ears must have been burning.
More inspirational words from the toilet of a Swedish placed Irish pub: