Sweden is dark. Damn dark during the winter. And it’s been a miserable winter. Not even snow. Just dark, cold rain. They kind that soaks you through the bone and leaves you feeling angry at having to go outside. It’s like Oregon. Except on the same latitude as Alaska. That’s not a good mix.
Well it turns out that this has been an especially miserable winter. And, seeing as how I just finished a big ass book that had me so enraptured that I kept collecting newspapers in my briefcase, I did some catch-up. When I say newspapers I really just mean the free ones that you can get in the subway. But they have news. And are made of paper.
What I found in one of the papers was shocking. Staring back at me from page 13 was a “Mörk start på vintern,” “A Dark Start to the Winter.” They weren’t kidding. Right under this depressing headline was the proof. A city in southern Sweden, Växjö, received 0, as in zero hours of sunlight in the month of December. Now this is actual sunshine. Not the hours that the sun is up. Just the hours that a person can walk outside and soak up some vitamin d. Zero hours. They average 23. The article that accompanies these numbers actually admitted though that of the 744 hours of potential sunlight, Växjö got 22 minutes. Hence the 0 when looking at hours.
Luleå, which is up north usually averages five hours of sunlight in the month of December. They got one. Of course that’s not even that much of a drop for those crazy northerners. It must take a special person to live up there. I am clearly not special enough.
Stockholm got a solid 25 hours. WOOOO! Over a day of sunshine in one month. This is down from the average of 33. The big winner is those lucky bastards in Borlänge who got 62 hours of sunshine. I can’t even imagine. Think of how tan they must be.
I wrote in this blog about the misery that is a Swedish November. And I stand by that statement. But December didn’t really come riding in on a gallant steed to save the day. Instead it kind of waddled in like a fatty Al Gore trying to save the world, making a lot of noise but not really doing all that much.
On a plus note though, every day sees just a little bit extra daylight. Now if we could lose the rain.
Here’s to hoping for some snow.