I've just stepped out of the shower and brushed my teeth, and I'm looking forward to laying my head on my pillow in just a few minutes. I'm really tired after a fun and eventful weekend.
The original plan for Friday evening was to go climbing and dancing with Åsa R. Unfortunately, she found out at the last minute that she had to work late, so I changed my plans a bit. I skipped climbing at Klättercentret and had dinner at home instead. I was actually partly relieved to have a little time to catch my breath and wind down a bit after work. Around 10 o’clock I went down to La Isla for a bit of salsa dancing. Some other friends who had planned to show up never did, and the place was really dead. Lots of the folks from the Stockholm salsa dancing crowd were on a Baltic cruise this past weekend, so maybe that's why the place was so empty. Elin was there with her new dance partner Paolo, and I danced a few dances with her. I also saw Niklas and Suzanne there — two of the folks from last weekend’s Sailsalsa after-party. After a while I saw that Janaki was there with some of her friends. We danced a bit, but after just a few dances, the D.J. started playing only reggaeton and disco music. We decided to try another club, Mojito, instead.
Mojito was packed, but not as crowded as the last time I was there. Plus, with the cooler weather, one could actually breathe. It wasn't a sauna this time, but it was still hot and sweaty. We danced until closing time. It's fun to dance at different clubs because each one has its own crowd. The crowd at Mojito is definitely Cuban and Central/South American: much more relaxed and easy-going than La Isla, but also a bit less serious about dancing.
Saturday I spent most of the day just lounging around and relaxing. I went outside for a while to take some photos of the flowers in Vibeka’s garden. I had mixed success because of the clouds that obscured the sun much of the afternoon.
In the evening I took the commuter train out to Johan K.’s parents’ place in Spånga for his 28th birthday party. I met some nice folks at the party, including Tennessee native and MIT graduate Katy, who moved to Stockholm two weeks ago to begin her post-doctorate work — something related to finance and mathematics. Inger and Eva also showed up after a while. It was through Inger (and Elias) that I met Johan three years ago. A few hours into the party, a bunch of folks went down to the basement playroom to compete in a dance-based video game. One plays by dancing around on a mat on the floor that's connected to the game machine (a Playstation 2). It was a lot of fun, and Johan’s sister was the best of all of us. I dind’t realize how late it was getting, and before I knew it, the time was after 3 in the morning. The trains had long since stopped running, so I called a cab to take me home. During the drive home I chatted with the friendly driver, a man from the Kurdish region of Iran who has lived in Sweden for 30 years. I finally got to bed around 4.
Sunday morning I was awakened around 9:30 by a phone call from Åsa B., reminding me that the “IBM Day” at Gröna Lund was about to begin. IBM reserved the amusement park between 10 in the morning and midday, and bought tickets for all of its Stockholm employees who wanted to come. I managed to make my way down to the entrance on Djurgården just after noon. Once inside the park, I met up with Åsa and Patric and went on a few rides with them. We rode the blue roller coaster and then rammed into one another in the bumper cars. Åsa and Patric had been in the park riding the rides since just after 10, so after those two rides, they went home. Left to amuse myself, I rode the roller coaster again, and then rode the fun catapult tower that shoots you up to the top of the tower (sort of like an inverted free-fall tower). It was quite cool outside, and after a while it started to rain. The cold weather and a slight hangover discouraged me from riding any more rides, so I took out my camera and started taking photos. I took a few photos of people and the rides; but mostly I photographed the park’s nice flower arrangements. I was reminded then that I had met a girl on the subway a few months ago who told me she worked maintaining the flowers and plants at Gröna Lund. I can't remember her name, but I do remember that she was friendly. The flowers were lovely, so she must be doing her job. I'll post some of those photos soon, by the way. I also met a fellow Nikon SLR owner (and soon-to-be Mac owner) who was there taking photos of her friends. Her pictures from today are already online, so you can take a look at them to see what the weather was like today.
After a couple of hours at Gröna Lund, I went down to Karbin for a bit of climbing. I had expected to see one friend there, but she never showed up. Instead though, I ran into lots of other friends, including Sara, Elin, Emma and Ewa. I wasn't really in top form, so instead of climbing intensely, I make more of an effort to get some good climbing photos. I went up to the top of the wall, tied in with a sling, and took a bunch of photos pointing down as my friends climbed up. With the help of a new friend named Joachim, I also got some photos of myself. Also climbing with us was another new friend named Jessica. She comes from Canada, and despite being relatively new to climbing is very good at it.
The rain was still coming down outside when I walked across the street to the bus stop. As I sat and waited for the bus to Liljeholmen, another fellow climbing walked up and sat down. We started talking and I learned that his named was Alexander. It turns out that he has an American fiancée and plans to move to Denver soon.
When I arrived home around nine P.M., The Bourne Supremacy was just starting on TV. I watched it on-and-off while answering emails and fixing dinner. That film is pretty good: better than the third, but not as good as the first.
Well, that’s it. That was my weekend. Lots of activities and very little sleep. Of corse spending half an hour writing a blog entry doesn’t help the balance of my sleep account very much, now does it? But what are you going to do? Over and out from Stockholm.