We had Friday off as it was the Autumnal holiday for students and so manage to actually go down to Stockholm and walk around a bit before our quarterly Japanese food dash. In addition to visiting three different Japanese stores around the town (all tiny and mostly have the same things) and running into Yuki’s Japanese mates in the process (it’s a small town), we wandered around town and through Gamla Stan. It was cold but the sky was ridiculously blue as it can only be on a freezing day and it was lovely to just be free for day. Then Saturday was back to teaching for me and today I am catching up on the four chapters of SFI that I missed by joining the class midway. Just found out that my teacher expects me to take the national exam at the end of November along with the rest of the class. So I have one month to learn what they will have learned in six months. I may not be passing it. But if not, it’s not the end of the world — will just get sorted into another ongoing class and have to meet people again. I hope that I might pass, though, because even though it would mean that I’ll continue to be tremendously behind everyone else in the next level as well, I think that the class I am in now is very good. The students are motivated and nice and everyone seems quite eager to do their best. After the stories I’ve heard about some of the other classes, I definitely want to stay in such a group. Anyway, pictures!
Uppsala Station (from the one side that it actually looks like a station. On the other side, it’s hardly more than a shed.)
Sweden (or at least around me) looks so much like Washington that I seriously have difficulty thinking that it is a different country.
Except that they have nice and relatively modern trains that don’t even smell of urine. (We were very tickled by this little private room in the middle of the carriage. Wouldn’t that just be lovely to share with a group of friends or family on a nice train journey?)
Here is Stockholm (in stone). We spent most of the day on the middle island of Gamla Stan, as well as hiking up a bit through the southern part of the city, Sodermalm, and going back up in the northernly Norrmalm, to visit our Japanese grocers.
Yuki blocking the door at the Stadshuset or City Hall.
Look at the sea!
Look at that SKY. No photoshopping: the trees were really that gold and the sky was really that blue.
There were lovely little details all over, but I’ll have to settle for just a few in this post.
Stockholm is of course built on a series of islands, big and small. How about this one? One tiny island with a single building on it. It is an international agency for promoting democracy and it seems inappropriately amusing to me that democracy is so marooned all alone out in the middle of the sea.
Yuki exclaimed, “Take a picture! It looks so… European!”
The royal castle — from the outside, of course. We did pay to go in anywhere, but we enjoyed just walking around and looking at all the different architecture.
At least their guards don’t have to wear anything half so silly as those in England.
My, what’s this lovely little receptacle on the road? Why, a public toilet, of course! But you don’t have to pay for this one, unlike most toilets in Sweden, so guess who was inside it while I was taking pictures from the outside? I bet you guessed correctly.
And there is the fellow himself, recreating a shot from when he first came to Stockholm ten years ago.
We searched for a place to eat and instead found a 7-11 on these ancient streets.
Eventually found a great lunch deal at Sallys in Gamla Stan. Less then 100 kronor for each of our meals! Gotta love lunch.
I was very happy to get a lovely modern interpretation of a very typisk svensk (typical swedish) meal: meatball, potatoes and lingonberries!
And just days after hearing that Starbucks will be opening its first Swedish store in Arlanda International Airport, I discover that there is already Tully’s in Stockholm! Sheesh, what was the big deal, then?
And four approached, the sun started going down, and we hiked back across the islands to get our Japanese food!
With a brief stop at the station. What’s this? Some sort of concession stand? Buying tickets for something? Well, yes, for the toilet. Generally all public toilets in Sweden will put you back at least a buck or two. Better hope you have cash or that you have a huge bladder.
But don’t worry–help is on the way.