Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Cardamom & Cinnamon

I WENT TO SWEDEN! And it was so.  Cool.  Cooler than a cucumber.  And I had a damn good cucumber salad.  More on that in a bit because instead of just saying “Stockholm is cool, yay Scandinavia,” here’s what I did:

I went to Stockholm 1) to visit my friend Emy 2) because it’s Stockholm so why not?  Emy and I met as 13 year-olds at a CISV summer camp in Vancouver.  She rocks.  That’s only the second time we’ve seen each other since we were 13 and we’re still buds and I love that.  Visiting her in her city was a dream come true.

Friday night when I arrived, we met at the train station.  She works at a café there so we stopped by for fresh bread and sweets.  I had a brownie that was almost on par with one of my mom’s.  Then we went to the old part of town where white lights illuminate the cobblestone streets and leaning buildings.  As we walked into a small, dimly lit bar, walls lined with old books, I heard the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” playing and knew it was the place to be.  The bartender turned out to be an asshole but he did make us some awesome drinks as we caught up on life.  Then we walked to Emy’s apartment and turned in for the night.

Saturday morning we made a breakfast of eggs, fruit, muesli, and other wonderful things.  Emy and I enjoy the same kinds of food, which works out quite perfectly.  On our way to the Moderna Museet, we saw a procession go by the old castle and the hotel where Nobel Peace Prize winners stay.  The museum itself was incredible.  I felt completely enveloped in Olafur Eliasson’s exhibit, then we went on to explore rooms full of Picasso and Dalí and Matisse and many other wonderful works of art.

From there, we walked along the water to this awesome vegetarian buffet restaurant called Herman’s.  I got a discount for having a student ID and buying my first ginger beer.  It’s pretty cool that students get discounts on pretty much everything in Sweden, from train tickets to produce from the supermarket.  School is free, so they pretty much only need to take out loans to live, which can get expensive in Sweden.  Anyways, back to food, because that’s where my delicious cucumber salad comes in.  The buffet was Middle Eastern style, which just so happens to be my favorite cuisine.  I’m also coincidentally currently listening to an NPR piece about Israeli cooking.  Mmmm tahini… After food came more walking around the old town to see the shops and sites.  Then we headed home to rest before an evening out.

Saturday night we went out to one of Stockholm’s biggest night clubs: Berns.  Shout out to my brother.  You’ll fit right in there at your nameplace with all of the tall blonde dudes.  Emy’s roommate got us on the list for the club which of course makes you feel kewl, then we had fun dancing to tons of old American rap music.  Everyone was super into it and I was of course the only one who actually knew the words.  Though I heard so much English in Stockholm!  People seem to come from all over and that’s the language they share. 

Sunday we slept in a little, had our breakfast, and then walked for a couple hours in the Nacka reserve.  Emy’s apartment window looks out on the southern part of this protected forest, which runs throughout the whole city, up to her parents' place in the north.  I love that in the middle of this bustling city there are plenty of places to hike and be on the water.  Following our walk, we went to her family’s apartment.  There we cooked a dinner of roasted veggie soup and vegan chocolate cake.  Emy’s sister also made cinnamon buns with almond paste because it was National Cinnamon Bun day in Sweden and those were incredible too.  It was wonderful to finally meet Emy’s family!

Monday morning when I had to leave, I went with Emy to work beforehand and had my first ever cardamom bun.  So many buns this weekend J She also made me a cappuccino – the best coffee I’ve had in Europe thus far!  Anyways, I’m safely back in my Hamburg suburb on the daily “grind.”  Cheers to Stockholm!

 Hello pretty Stockholm!
 Emy, me, and the Eliasson exhibit

 Yum bunzzz
Sunset from Emy's family's apartment

Updates on my previous post:

I got my own lane at the pool!  I went at a time with less elderly folk and it was very exciting.  I also swam faster than the 18 year old boys at their school swim class. 

I am very much continuing to enjoy the apples we picked two weekends ago.  We might just have to go again soon J  I also love the fresh walnuts from the backyard! Might just have to combine those apples and walnuts soon…in the meantime, I can still drink the grape juice we made.

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