Saturday, April 07, 2007

Stockholm: small houses, big prizes

It's the fourth day in Sweden and I still enjoy every minute of it. The travelling on Wednesday didn't run very smoothly, but it could have been worse. When I arrived at the airport in Stockholm I couldn't find my passport anymore. When I searched for it in the train I found it again. Andres, my new teammate waited for me at the central station. I thought he'd never find me, but the station seem to have only one track and one exit. I've been a lot of many main stations and some of them are as big as a small village, so this is by far the easiest station to find somebody who arrives. So far so good. But then Andres put me on the wrong subway. So I had to search, with two heavy suitcases and one Turkish bag full of stuff, for the right track while my landlord Raffe was waiting for me at the station. After having slept so little the night before it was pretty exhausting.

So I was dead tired when I finally arrived. There was a guy I didn't know smoking on the balcony of my new apartment. Raffe was surprised because he didn't know him either. "Are you Italian?", I asked him in Italian. He anwsered "si" and it suddenly made sense to me. My good friend and new flatmate Hermanno is living there. Now one thing you can be sure of with Italians is that they never come alone. So it must have been one of his friends that came over. Hermanno was really glad that I arrived and introduced me to his friend: Massimo.

Although I was dead tired, I can always find some energy to celebrate my first day in Stockholm. So in the evening I went with Andres, Massimo and Hermanno to a university party. Here the beer is cheap, which means it's comparable to the prizes in a normal bar in Holland.

The next days all the prizes were big dissapointments. The food in the supermarkets is almost double the prize of that in Holland. The average beer prize is 6 euro, but for that prize you do get 0,4 litre. Now that is not too bad, but yesterday I was at Stureplan, the neighborhood with the fancy clubs. Everywhere you go they seem to have found a way to get money out of your pockets. Hanging up your jacket costs about 3,5 euro and the average entry fee is 12 euro. So if you're low on money I can't suggest going from one bar to another.

But I knew about these prizes already before I went there. It's a good thing that I regularily work for Energize again, or this city would make me bankrupt in the two and a half months that I'm here. I guess it just takes good budget planning here.

The good thing about Stockholm: everything is really really quiet here. My neighborhood looks like a bungalowpark. There are a lot of trees and small houses. I once described Holland as a country designed by a toy manufacturer. Well, the buildings here seem to have come straight from the toy factory. And even if there are a lot of people on the street, everybody is really quiet. Quite a relief after having lived in noisy Brussels. And if you're curious about the women here: when some of my classmates told me that the women here are "the most beautiful creatures living on planet earth" I thought they exaggerated a little. Well, they didn't.


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