A Letter to Stockholm

Skansen

Dear Stockholm,

Thank you for welcoming me to Europe with open arms. Looking back I will remember you by the people I met and the stories they told.

From an American girl finishing up her third session with her favorite tattoo artist, to an English friend who once hallucinated on what he thought was throat medication that his mouth was a jazz bar where a customer kept buying drinks and spilling them, causing him to spit over and over again. And the Swiss friend who hallucinated on something less accidental and took 200 selfies because he thought he was so beautiful.

New Friends

Your stories gave me new ones to tell.

Like giving Diplo a high five after yelling “AMERICA!” at him and drinking too much with the Swedes we met at his show, at an outdoor venue looking over the entire city and the long day’s sun that sets past 10pm.

Before Diplo at Mosebacke Terassen

And like travelling 45 minutes through a daunting subway system to get to a bar that wouldn’t let us in before close, only to meet two Swedish girls who were infatuated by our foreign accents.

“Come out with us tomorrow – our friends will love four cute foreign boys!”

And the boys got so excited about these two Swedish girls while I chuckled to myself wondering if they knew why I wasn’t excited in the same way…

Visiting Skansen

Like a group of us almost crashing our bikes every few minutes on a bike tour because they had back-pedaling breaks instead of handle ones.

Thank you for the stories and the friends, and the wonderful introduction to this continent I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave.

Brennan

Europe: Day 1

I’ve officially made it to Stockholm after an uncomfortable seven hour flight (being 6’2 and sitting in economy just doesn’t ever work out) that I somehow managed to get some sleep on (thanks Benadryl).

It’s raining right now, and I’m exhausted, hence me not feeling too bad about sitting in the hostel for a minute to catch my breath. I’ve been wandering through the city center all day by myself – my friend Cassidy gets in tomorrow, so I haven’t been too concerned with making friends in the hostel just yet. I think most everyone is probably out doing their own thing right now anyway. I’m planning on doing a bike tour tomorrow so I can get better acquainted with the city and maybe meet some new people.

I’d forgotten the feeling of being alone in a foreign city, the awkwardness of ordering things in English and longing to talk to the few people I hear speaking my own language. There’s a strange juxtaposition in feeling independent yet confused and lost. I’m realizing again that I’ll have to put in work to get what I want out of these next couple of months here – learning a few phrases in the local language and going out of my way to make new friends and exploring buddies.

But first I’d like it to stop raining.