Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dateline Stockholm, part 1

The worst thing about going on vacation is that you need to work twice as hard before leaving (hence the lack of posting) and twice as hard when you come back. But it's worth it 'cause I'm now in sunny Stockholm and on my first trip to the supermarket to stock up on lingonberry jam and fish balls, Abba was playing. So there.

After waking up late in the splendid abode of the Dilettante's Stockholm Correspondent, the Sheila and I spent our first day walking around and getting our bearings, refueling along the way with rather good lattes. I like getting them in tall glasses (same as in Kiev), which allows one to stare at the swirling milk. When we were driving in the Queensland countryside a few years ago, we passed a few "Tidy Towns" (a hotly contested award apparently), and yesterday the Sheila reflected that Stockholm was one big Tidy Town. Coming from New York, where trash flies freely around, it feels positively spic and span here.

After walking for a few hours, we finally bought a weeklong public-transportation pass and jumped on the first bus that came around--literally. We had no idea where we were going. We're big fans of buses (the regular ones, not the tourist ones) and they really are the best way to discover a city. Not to mention a great way to get cheaper food; the Sheila pointed out that we were going to feed on the "end of the line specials," which are a lot more affordable to us, crippled by our third-world currency, than the meals in the posh area where we're staying.

Today's program: The lovely Marit Bergman, a longtime Dilettante fave, is playing the Stockhom Jazz Festival (it must be Swedish Indie Rock Day as the Soundtrack of Our Lives is also on the schedule) so we're going to head up that way.

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