The real Sweden

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I spent Tuesday travelling. Basically across Sweden, I made my way from the capital to the Norwegian border (almost) on Tuesday. My reason for such an unreasonable journey is my dear friend Michelle who wished to gather her friends in a remote cabin for her birthday and New Year’s Eve. As I of course felt honored to be chosen as one of the exclusive circle of nine, I said yes, only realizing later that this meant three hours on a train and then three hours on a bus. We were going to Dalarna where I had never been before but which I have early on learned claims the title „The real Sweden“.

The bus stopped at places called „Stinas kiosk“ or „The School“, so you can imagine how big the villages here are. Night fell as we were travelling, so I don’t really know much about the surroundings yet. But it took us another 15 minutes by car to get here. We’ve had a lovely dinner in the cabin for Michelle’s birthday and she’s prepared song books and quizzes about the nine of us. We also had cake which was put on the porch for a while and when it was time for dessert and we took it in, it was ice cake. That’s how cold it is up here in almost-Norway. We have no internet (except phones and that’s not working well so don’t expect too much) and I believe the nearest supermarket is 15 minutes by car. Which I consider a lot but German-city-girl-standards do not apply out here as Malin, Swedish-remote-country-side-girl, repeatedly has taught me. I have tried to obstain from uttering any Stockholm-typical remarks („Oh my God, they actually have a pharmacy here?!“) and diligently observe the local dialect as it is one of my outspoken goals to be able to place Swedish dialects correctly.

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Swedish drinking songs are wonderfully creative. This is about political science students who should not get their hopes up to become a diplomat, instead their future as the canteen lady in the Foreign Ministry is predicted. Cheers to that.

Our cabin is in Sälen (which if I am not completely wrong also means The Seal), a village known nation-wide for skiing. I knew that too but it never occured to me that everyone would actually hit the slopes. I am lucky to have one fellow non-skiier with me so we are going to have a sleeping competition, build snowmen, watch the others ski, and read Emperor Wilhelm II’s biography. I guess she is less interested in the latter, actually, but I brought the 3-kg-book all the way from Düsseldorf so I must read it.

P.S.: I share the bunk bed room with one of my two fellow Germans. It is amazing how many things and people find space in a 3.2 square metre room!



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