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16 May 2012

Getting settled

The morning started like a normal workday.  For once, taking a plane wasn't synonym of having to get up in the middle of the night.  You won't hear me complaining :o)  So, as usual, the alarm went off at 6.00 and we were all set when the taxi showed up 10 minutes early.  Unsurprisingly, the Brussels ringroad was already jammed, even before 7.00 AM, but we were still well on time at the airport.  I already checked in online yesterday, but apparently you have to do the check in yourself with Brussels Airlines nowadays, either beforehand or at the airport itself. The staff is only there for luggage drop off.  Result : baffled senior citizens staring at computer screens wondering how to work the machines.

After the drop-off, it was time for my airport ritual : a stop at Starbucks. For most people, Starbucks is the most ordinary thing in the world, but to me it is still a treat, because the coffeeshop at the airport is the only one in my surroundings.  My ritual consists of 2 things : grande White Coffee Mocha with cinnamon on top and a muffin, either banana or apple/cinnamon.  Hmm ... starting to see a pattern here? ;o)

So after a coffee in the icy wind (outside = last smoke for the other half), I tried the mobile boarding pass on the iphone, but I couldn't get it to scan it at the entrance to the gates.  Luckily I had a printed copy as well (always prepared), so I didn't cause to much of a jam (although the yuppie behind me was clearly annoyed by my failing technology).  The security check went smoothly as well for a change : for the first time in 10+ years of international travel, I didn't set off the metal detector.  And I didn't even take my boots off!  The wondrous world of airport security. Last year my bra's underwire had the detector beeping wildly while dearest passed without a problem with a forgotten jackknife (10 cm blade) in the carry-on luggage.  Makes you wonder ...

So, anyway, the plane was on time (yeah!) and thanks to tailwinds, we made it  to Stockholm Bromma Airport 15 mins ahead of schedule.  With our fancy suitcase covers, we spotted our luggage right away (and were spotted by the other passengers as well -> Flower Power :o) ).

The taxi driver was already waiting for us, so in no time we were on our way to our rental.  If you are looking for a flat in Stockholm, I can definitely recommend the service of c/o Stockholm and Anna's and Andreas' flat especially.  I was a bit surprised that they are actually renting us their home. Usually when we rent a flat, it is a place that the owners have bought in view of renting it out as a holiday home.  This one clearly isn't : family pictures on the wall, filled cupboards and wardrobes, ... Anna and her family are staying at her parent's while we're staying at their place.  Little Pelle was very excited about the upcoming traintrip and his little suitcase he helped pack yesterday, and was talking to us about it with all his 4 year old enthusiasm (in Swedish obviously).  We didn't understand a word of it, but just nodded with a big smile and he seemed to be happy with that response :o)

Today was a "chill" day, we just went looking around the neighbourhood and shopping for groceries at the local supermarket.  The shopping experience was a bit more challenging than expected, especially since I forgot to take my little travel dictionary with me.  When the packaging wasn't really tell-tale, the contents immediately became mysterious. I wouldn't mind trying out mystery meat, but travelling with a fussy eater, I have to be more careful in my choices. I have a little Swedish phrasebook on my phone which features such incredible phrases as "Jag är delfintränare" (I am a dolphin trainer) or "Ska du ge mig ditt nummer eller måste jag förfölja dig?" (Are you going to give me your telephone number or will I have to follow you around? ... hmm, stalker comes to mind...) but can't tell me the difference between gris and nöt (pork and beef from what I gathered, looking at it).  One thing I did notice : Swedes have a sweettooth.  I have never seen such a big assortment of pastries, chocolates, sweets, cakes, cookies, ... anywhere. Really. However chocolate cereals seem to be a no-no ... impossible to find any special K (or lookalikes) with chocolate ... strange.

To recover from the shopping experience, we did enjoy a typical Swedish fika with cinnamon and pistachio buns on our terrace in the sunshine.  It feels definitely warmer over here than at home, and even if according to the weather services it was only 14°, we changed into T-shirts as soon as we got here. Hopefully the weather will stay this way because tomorrow will be a busy day visiting Djurgården.

Stay tuned for more stories of me in Sverige :o)


  1. Qué entrenido leerte... no sabía que a los suecos les gustaban tanto los dulces... supongo que los acompañan con café y té calentito para poder hacer frente a los duros inviernos... El apartamento en el que estás parece muy acogedor... ¡pasaróslo bien!