In another life, I’d vote for wanting to be Swedish and all the perks that come with it – shopping at Granit (and sometimes Ikea), Gina Tricot and H+M, camping in a summer house in the countryside in an eco-friendly car, taking fika(s) daily and eating all the seafood, meatballs and the cloudberries that my stomach can possibly take. After all, the first thing I asked about as I checked into the hotel was the name of the Christmas album that they were playing.
Obviously that’s not going to happen, but a girl can always hope.
I wasn’t too hard up on seeing the big tourist sites this time around; instead, I stayed out of the core city centre and wandered around the parts that I didn’t see on my first visit here. Sadly, that meant getting gobsmacked by the glitzy chic shopping district in Stureplan and Östermalm, making my way to the Moderna Museet, going to coop supermarket and actually eating proper food for dinner. Old towns are always irresistible, so I eventually made my way to Gamla Stan and ended getting lost in the maze of streets in worsening weather.
Traditional Christmas lights abound, particularly so in Scandinavia because it gets dark so early. Visually, it’s a brilliant sight (all puns intended). These shops get brisk business as locals grab what they can.
Armed with a 3-day transport card, I rode the buses and the subway merrily, squeezing as best as I could into the seat with bulky winter wear that was meant for the Arctic, wondering all the time at the possibility of looking chic yet prepared for cold (and extreme) weather as I envied the easy glamour that seemed inherent in Swedish girls. They’re mutually non-exclusive options, I concluded. Unless people are packing geniuses – which I’m not -, a stylist is probably required (Gok Wan?) for effortless mix-and-matching.