Thursday, January 03, 2008

The New Year in Stockholm, Sweden

After about a week long hiatus I’m back. It was an involuntary silence. One forced by our lack of internet. And so I have spent my time being social with other people. Including New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve started with DCP, MER, and I waiting in line in wartime communist Russia to get into the liquor store to get our ration of vodka. There was a guard outside the liquor store letting people in a few at a time because there were too many people in the store. He wasn’t checking ID’s or anything really useful. Just making sure the store didn’t get trampled.

After we got our vodka and I bitched and moaned about having my freedom to buy liquor at 2 in the afternoon impeached we headed off to our festivities. It started off with dinner with my cousins, a delicious roast and a whole lot of potatoes. And dessert. And copious amounts of wine. My cousin made sure our glasses were always full.

After that a cab was called. At 11 on New Year’s Eve. We were told they would be there in 10 minutes. We went down after about 5 and the cab was already waiting. Apparently Swedish efficiency may be nonexistent in the liquor store. But I’ll be damned if the taxis aren’t worthy of calling themselves Swedish.

Fireworks were exploding everywhere and at one point our cab driver was so entranced she actually stopped to watch. Which I obviously thought was glorious. So I gave her a tip afterwards. Because seriously, she probably wanted to be out drinking and watching fireworks instead of driving. And so I placated her with money.

We then went to a great apartment in southern Stockholm on the top floor of an apartment building looking out over all of Stockholm. And fireworks were everywhere. So life was good. And then the clock struck midnight. Except we didn’t know it because there was no countdown. NO COUNTDOWN. The lack of Dick Clark has never been more pronounced. Luckily DCP Americaned up, and from the depths of her soul counted down for us. No one joined in. And MER and I just laughed and laughed. The Swedes ignored her.

It came out later after having looked at a Swedish culture book that Swedes ignore people they don’t like or anything that might be construed as weird. And so the Swedes ignored her hoping she might go away just as the Australian echidna curled up hoping DCP would stop staring at it. But just like the echidna, DCP ignored all outward signs and continued on.

After finally deciding at 4 in the morning that it was time to make our way home we started the journey. Luckily we got on the wrong bus and ended up walking for 45 minutes (walking long distances seems to be a common occurrence for my New Year’s Eve celebrations). In the driving rain. Drunk and tired. And two hours later in the early hours of 2008 we fell into bed.

So Happy New Year.


  1. I really hate to say this, but I must. This count-down is just one of those things The Americans think all are doing, and should be doing. But we never do it here. Maybe some day...

    Nevertheless, happy new year to you!

  2. oh man... that's kind of a bummer. But at least it makes more sense now!

    Happy New Year!

  3. Concerning a discussion about a non-existing Swedish law I participated in here a long time ago:

  4. Jo! You're back. And I love the post. It looks like the US needs to make some moves. Can't be having any more goats dying!

  5. Well, you're usually too drunk to do a countdown but actually at the New years Eves I've celebrated we've usually counted down. Sometimes while wacthing the countdown on national TV from Skansen in Stockholm, so actually there is a countdown it's just that some people don't seem to care... Damn them!