This Monday I will fly from Los Angeles, stopping in Chicago before landing in Stockholm, Sweden. I will take in the sites of Stockholm, both great and small before continuing to Copenhagen, Denmark. It has been years since I have been in either country — not by choice. The opportunity eluded and time went on its merry way. In any event, I will go prepared with camera and camcorder in tow sans the sandals, white tube socks and Bermuda shorts. I never go out of my way to look too much like a tourist. I only want to look forward to getting the shots of the Little Mermaid I missed the first time around. I promise to share all the details.

While I have previously reminisced about my beer-drenched, missing memories of Denmark. Sweden has its own memories. These are clear and indelible. One in particular comes to mind.

The streets of Göteborg (Gothenburg) seemed to move in slow motion around me as I scanned an over-sized map that flapped in the breeze looking for the elusive tourist information center. A young woman approached and told me she was the “tourist information center” and led me to her apartment. Actually, she and her roommate decided to rent their spare room to weary travelers. I was to become their first customer because I looked completely “lost.” The apartment was clean and the third bedroom was mine for as long I wanted to stay.

In the morning, I woke to the news that my hosts would need to leave town. I was given the keys and the instructions to eat all the food in the refrigerator, water the sickly brown house plant, and stay as long as I wanted — leaving my rent in the blue vase by the toaster. Before the girls left they also drew out a map of the local hot spots for the upcoming Mid-summer celebration. The door slammed shut leaving me alone in my new apartment in Sweden. I watered the brown plant and tried playing some Abba records to bring it back to life. In the evening, I went and explored Mid-summer, live music, and a never-setting sun in Göteborg. A week later, I put my rent money in a blue vase by the toaster and dropped the keys in the mail slot one last time.

Written by Devin Galaudet

For more on Sweden at ITKT
Back to the ITKT Home Page