When in our mid-end-twenties many of my friends packed their suitcase and CV and walked into offices in San Francisco, Tokyo, Sydney and New York, I took a timeout where no one would find me and have been stuck in Stockholm ever since. The question “why” has been asked a thousand times, verbally or using small muscles in friends and colleagues faces. Swedes tend to think I am weird, since one of the better compliments you can make here is that something is “unswedish” and every other conversation is about how your counterpart loves the warmth, hates winters and will move to Thailand for 6 months sometime soon.
I am here however and really like it – most of the time.
Here is an example of why. For those who wonder, have asked me and those who might never have been to Stockholm.
I live in town. I cross Stockholm every morning and reach my office on the other end of the inner city in 35 minutes door to door. As many here, I don’t use a car but get around by boat and subway. 70% boat, 30% subway. For those living on the mainland, the ratio is inverse. Where else can you do saturday shopping like this?
Take the boat to the shop
Across the sea and through the “tunnel” to beautiful Brunnsviken.
Brunnsviken is surrounded by my favorite park: Hagaparken. I can see my old running path and Victoria and Daniels new home from the boat.
Like everyone else, they have a Buster boat to get around the archipelago.
The garden center is located on the other side of the bay and has a small pier where we leave our boat. Conveniently reached with the shopping carts. People are sunbathing and promise to watch it.
Bergianska gardens must be the most beautiful garden center in the universe. If there is such a ranking. We start the shopping round with a coffee and juice in the old orangery. They have homemade everything and the kids love it.
Shopping at Plantagen
Loading bags on boat and driving home. It is incredible how different a day feels, when it is free from central station hell (Maria’s most hated place in the world), high heels and traffic.
Makes you want to barbecue.
For those who haven’t been to Stockholm: I swear there are houses, record shops, modern art galleries, homeless people, souvenir shops and rock musicians. Did not feel like seeing any of those this weekend. But promise to take pictures of them some other time.