Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Finish Line

I am now in Stockholm feeling tremendously inedequate.  This city seems absolutely beautiful and I will probably see about 0.4% of it.  At least I can take solace in the fact that my hotel has good chai tea. 

I debated at length this morning over whether or not to stay in a hostel on my last night in Europe or splurge and get a hotel/ be alone.  I opted for the solitude.  I don't want to have to worry about some drunk 18 year old from Wisconsin snoring like a freight train while I lie in a crowded dorm room.  And the hotel I'm at is extremely nice even if from the outside it resembles something out of 1960's leningrad.   It is very modern and chique and has three bottles of mineral water for free in the fridge.  I promise I will never use the word "chique" again in my life. 

My last night in Åland turned out to be fairly exciting.  I went out hoping to meet some people I had been talking to on couchsurfing and just as I was about to give up and go home I ran into a girl who worked at a nearby cafe and who invited me to go out with her friends for the night.  Soon I was standing in line in my ratty Vans and vagrant-like beard waiting to get into Mariehamn's only night club whilst talking to "Jun", a Swedish-speaking Finn who would curse the music in the club repeatly and ask me on several occasions why on earth I liked the Vanvouver Canucks.  By the end of the night I spotted him at the bar, alone, swaying slightly and clutching a bottle of "Old Speckled Hen". 

The ferry to Stockholm was uneventful.  It was mostly a bunch of Finns feeling shopping carts to the brim with beer at the duty free shop.  In Åland the Swedish speakers don't even like the real Finns.  They regard them as wild and unrefined, which is interesting keeping in mind that they live in Finland.  The people I was hanging out with last night barely spoke Finnish, and said they had no real desire to learn. 

I will now go out and have dinnner and celebrate alone my last night of over three months of traveling.  The sun still hasn't set because it is almost midsummer and even though we're slightly further south than Finland it still by no means gets dark tonight.  And then tomorrow morning I will get on a flight to Frankfurt followed by a 10 hour marathon to Vancouver on Condor, an airline I'm still not wholly convinced exists.  But for now I'm going to enjoy Stockholm's wonderful gastronomy while hopefully not breaking the bank.  TGIF Friday's, perhaps?

1 comment: