How decadent…

“Ooh, how decadent” purred a colleague of mine at work when I told her I was taking the week off work and flying to the other side of the world and back.  Stockholm, Sweden to be precise.  I guess it might seem decadent but for me, it was a chance for a quick trip to my favourite city in the world and feels more like a homecoming.

I did live in Stockholm for a couple of years between 1999 and 2000, and was still a regular visitor up until 2004.  Then things like a change in career and growing credit card debts meant I didn’t have any leave from work nor the money to go.

 A few things happened this year that made me yearn to return to Stockholm.  Firstly, my best friend from Sweden, Gustav, came to Australia for his first visit in February/March.  That was a fantastic time and I realised how much I miss him and how much I miss Stockholm. My favourite male singer, Peter Jöback, then released a single Stockholm inatt  (Stockholm Tonight). It is a beautiful song and talked about places in Stockholm that I recognised.  It made me feel happy and sad and made me yearn for Stockholm even more.  And of course, Peter was doing a big tour of Sweden.

I run a website for Peter which is coming up for its tenth anniversary at the end of October and a Swedish friend emailed me to say what better way to celebrate the tenth anniversary than to see Peter live in concert. I think she was mainly joking but that was the final trigger for me to think “well, why not?”.  I found a great deal from Thai Airways, asked Gustav if I could stay with him and worked out all the sums.  I could manage it.  There may be some of it on credit card but with a bit of frugality, I could have that all sorted by Christmas.  So I took the plunge and booked the ticket.

To cut a long story short, I’m sitting in Gustav’s kitchen, typing out this blog entry on his laptop.  And I couldn’t be happier.  Not too sure how decadent I feel but certainly happy.  I arrived yesterday courtesy of Thai Airways, my first time one that airline and it won’t be my last.  The service was good but what I really liked was the extra legroom they give economy passengers – 34″ as opposed to 31″.  Trust me, 3″ may not sound like much but it is.  I didn’t feel squashed in. It also helped to have an empty seat next to me.

I arrived early yesterday morning feeling a mixture of excitement and nostalgia. I had a big grin on my face as I came off the plane which pretty much stayed with me throughout the day. It just felt so right to be back in Stockholm. After no time at all, I felt at home and like I had never left. Not that much has changed.  A few new buildings here and there but still essentially the same. And the same vibe and atmosphere. Walking through the Old Town in the early evening was beautiful as I got to see both the city and Södermalm (just south of the city) all lit up. The giant passenger boats slid past, lit up like a giant cities on their way to Helsinki.  Globen, the concert and sports venue shaped like a giant golf ball, looked splendid lit up in red, white and blue.

I guess only being here for a week will hopefully mean I have no time for jet lag. My sleeping patterns are a little out of whack but will hopefully settle. I have the excitement of seeing Peter Jöback in concert twice, and on Saturday, Gustav and I will see a dinner show with Nanne Grönvall, another favourite singer. And then there are other friends to catch up with.

Stay tuned…

2 Responses to “How decadent…”

  1. 1 Dionne
    December 12, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    hi Grant

    just sat and read your stockholm blog and it also made me smile, reminding me of this wonderful city and people… i just love Gamla Stan so much…
    I bet you are glad you went, life is too short and if you can do it, then do it… decadent or not lol

  2. 2 twistinthedark
    December 16, 2007 at 7:58 am

    I am still so glad that I went. I had a great time and it just felt so right being back in Stockholm.

    And you’re right. Life is too short and you never know what’s around the corner. You have to live your life now before it’s too late.

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