How do I recognize to be in Stockholm again?


Hej Silvia, my German buddy, nice to see you again.. ,-)


Real coldness

0 degrees.
I flourish!
There's no cold weather, just wrong clothes.

My neighbours think I'm crazy.
When I gave them the keys to my apartment they asked to which country I travel.
Afrika?
Sweden.

But it's cold and grey here, too? they yelled.Yes.
But not THAT cold.
And not that charming darkgrey with all the beautiful lights.

OK, I have to admit: six months of that and I would jump down from the city hall.
If I still had the energy to get up there.

Or I would start eating all that great havrebollar and kanelkringlar every day, until I really have a reason to be depressed.
Latest in summer, when I have to undress to jump into the cold water.

Apropos cold water: in Germany I usually finish my showers with at least two minutes cold water.
Try that here.
You'll be my hero.
I wonder how they manage to get the ice cubes through the small holes of the shower head.



Symmetry

Swedes love symmetry.
Decoration is mostly symmetric.
Maybe there's a law to do so.

(I'll post some pictures later)



Eye contact

No eye contact longer than 0,000003 seconds.
Never.
Nowhere.

Not when you pay.
Not when you bump into a person.
Not in the subway.

To think positive: if you plan to commit suicide you don't have to leave the city.
You can do it directly on Drottninggatan.
Nobody will recognize that.

Maybe after a week you get a ticket from the police for lying in public without paying for it.



Lovely lights everywhere

In winter the windows are frames for wonderful light decoration.
Paper stars in all sizes - white or red - light bridges and snowflakes accompany you through days without light.
That's beautiful and cozy!



Moustaches

Men in Stockholm are very fashionable.
I never know which sex they prefer.

Especially with the actual style wearing very thin pants on their very thin bodies.
Their hair cut was avoided in Germany after 1945.

It mostly needs years until their style arrives in Germany.
But in homeopathic dose only.
Except in Berlin maybe.

In the last years moustaches began to pop up.
When I saw the first guy I thought he would be an actor in a retro-porn movie.
Later I passed other young men with this porn-accessoire in their face.
I was shocked and deeply hoped this trend wouldn't pass the borders of Södermalm, the arty area of Stockholm.

Yesterday six moustache-owners passed me.
Two even in Vasastan.
If these handsome young men know what they do?

Maybe they're too young.
In my generation you grew up seeing "old" men in the fourties with this hairy thing in the face.

You thought a style died forever?
Never think that!



Leave your courtesy in your home country

You won't need it here.
In Sweden the privacy of others goes first in the ranking of courtesy.

Don't greet your neighbours.
They might think you want to establish yourself in their family.

Don't smile at people how you do at home.
They'll be wondering about from where they know you for hours.
You'll never forget their shocked view.

Don't step away if somebody wants to pass.
Stay where you are.
Go on talking on the phone and don't move.
The woman with the buggy will wait behind you until you're ready.

An old lady with her walking frame wants to pass?
Still don't move.

Don't be afraid: she is not going to stay behind you her last years.

How they manage to get through without a word?
Ask your heels, they know it after some days.

The Swedish language doesn't provide an extra verb for "please".
You have to say it like "Nice person, can you..."
That explains all.



Clothes don't smell smokey after a night out

You can breathe in a bar.
Nights out feel totally different.
And the days after, too.

Because in Sweden they managed already some years ago to ban cigarettes.
Great!

Not as in Germany where 3000 exceptions are made depending on the province you live in.
In Düsseldorf it's possible to declare a pub as a smoking club.
Suddenly 95% of all clubs had this label and the non-smoking-idea was dead before it began.
Luckily they plan to change that again.

But why so complicated?



Hotels rent out rooms without a window

I never saw that in any other country.
Many hotels (not the big international chains) have rooms with no chance to get out, but through the door.

To think positive: Nobody can get in, except through the door, too.
And nobody will WANT to get in, as the air of the night stays in there - forever.



Bumping into front doors

I'll never get used to use both hands to open the front door of a house.
One for the handle, one to turn the door lock simultaneously.
I always pull the door only and bump into it with High Speed.

Lessons have to be learned.
Sometimes with your face.



Lovely old elevators

As in Paris the houses still have these old wooden elevators with the metal stretch door.
Normally I take the stairs up to the seventh floor, but here it's so nice to accelerate with this rumbling, that I avoid the stairs.

Not a good combination with all these delicious cookies.



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Did I forget something?
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