It’s a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon here in Stockholm. It’s cool out — about 15° C, but the sunshine makes it feel a bit warmer. I just finished my morning cup of coffee and I thought I’d sit down and write a bit about the week that has just passed.
Remember that friend-of-a-friend I met online a few weeks ago — you know, the one who seemed nice at first but then gave me the cold shoulder? Well perhaps she reads this blog, because the day after I put fingers to keyboard to write that missive, she added me as a friend in Facebook. So the other day I gave her the benefit of the doubt and sent a nice long email. We shall see if it was worth the trouble.
Monday night I went downtown to for my boogie-woogie lesson. The dance is a bit like Lindy-hop, but different enough that I must concentrate so as not to fall back into dancing Lindy out of habit. It’s fun but I think I'm going to have to take more lessons to get good at this dance. The lessons are held in a dance studio about ten minute’s walk from Östermalmstorg. After the lesson, I sat in the sauna for a while. It’s getting cooler here in Stockholm, and I really enjoy taking a sauna when the weather turns cold. There is no sauna in my apartment building, so I have to take advantage of sauna opportunities as they come up. There’s a sauna at the IBM headquarters in Kista, and one in the office on Wallingatan. But I don’t spend much time in these offices, and as far as I know, there isn’t a sauna at the Kista Entré building where I currently spend most workdays.
There’s only one sauna at the dance studio, shared between men and women. On this occasion I was the only one there, so I didn’t have to feign modesty or cover up with a towel. Stina’s advanced boogie-woogie lesson is right after mine, so when I was finished with my sauna, she was almost finished with her dance lesson. I stuck around until she was done and we walked back to the subway station together.
Tuesday is my regular day for climbing, and this week was no exception. I tried a new 7a route at Klättercentret, and was humbled by it. I've only climbed one 7-graded route in my life, and that one took months of work before I was able to complete it in one go. I guess I shouldn't expect to be able to complete new 7s on sight. Not yet anyway! This was also Stina’s first time to come climbing with me. We had been planning to go climbing together for ages, but only got around to it this week. She did really well and I took a few photos of Stina climbing a 5c!
Wednesday evenings, I take two salsa lessons. This week I went to La Isla for a bit of social dancing afterward. A new friend named Katy came along. I had met her last weekend at my friend Johan's birthday party. She's from the ’States, and is doing a postdoc in finance at Handels. She and I are going for a walk in Hagaparken later this afternoon. I love Swedish people, but it’s nice to hang out with a fellow American once in a while.
Thursday night I joined a bunch of colleagues at the Stockholm Beer Fest. I managed to get a press card thanks to the huge camera around my neck. Members of the press drink free, so I had a good time. The festival has not just beer but also cider and whiskey, and I tried two interesting liquors distilled from beer. One tasted like a typical whiskey, while the other was more like a cognac. Both were new tastes for me.
Friday night I made another trip to Klättercentret, but this time did only bouldering. On the bus back to Bergshamra, I met a nice girl named Jenny. She’s studying chemistry and lives in the student flats in Kungshamra — the same area where my friend Eva lives. Eva and I are meeting for a fika at Café Sjöstugan right after lunch this afternoon.
Yesterday afternoon I went to Långholmen to get some photos of a downhill bike race there. Patric was one of the competitors, and I got some excellent photos of him and his fellow bikers. I’ll post them soon.
Last night I went to Lisa R.’s birthday party. When I arrived, there were a bunch of women there, but I was the only man there. Eventually as other people began to arrive, the ratio balanced out a bit. We drank wine and battled one another in the karaoke game “Singstar.” That was a lot of fun. It was nice to meet Lisa’s sister and her friends. They are as friendly as she is. One of her friends, Linda, turned out to be a skydiver friend of my friend Patric. It’s a small world! I also enjoyed hanging out with Linnea again. I hadn’t seen her since we went swimming in Årstaviken a month ago.
Tonight I’ll join Janaki for some dinner and dancing. We’re going to a new place we’ve never been to before. It’s always fun and interesting to try new places.
Monday through Wednesday this week I am taking training for my new job role. Then on Thursday afternoon, I'll take the train up north for a long weekend of downhill biking in Åre with Åsa, Patric, Matt & Lisa.