Monday, June 30, 2008

Flying to the USA from Arlanda, Stockholm

I made it back to the USA for a while.

I’ve decided that flying is a miserable experience. I’m not afraid of flying. I just don’t like it. The average flight sees me stress out because I tend to be late to the airport. Despite the glorious infrastructure between Arlanda and Stockholm Central I manage to show up sweating, hustling along, and impatiently waiting as I get checked in with just a few minutes to spare. And I hate standing in line because I feel like I’m a piece of cattle being moved through the gates to be branded. So even before I’m at the gate I tend to be slightly annoyed with the experience. Then I sit patiently, usually reading (in fact the amount of reading I get done is one of the few benefits to flying). Then of course it is time to board. Which is always an experience. Because you never know who you’re going to get to sit by.

Because once again, just like last time, I ended up next to a rather large girl with bad breath. Seeing as how this has happened the last two times I’ve flown to the US I thought it might be me. I seemed to be the common denominator in this equation of bad breath. So I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth. Mouthwashed even. Did the breath check into the hand. I was so fresh and so clean. And I came back to my seat. Only to find the girl had her face pointed right at me, dead to the world, her mouth hanging halfway open and breathing her death breath on me. It was somewhat of a relief to know that it wasn’t me. But that relief passed because the girl was able to sleep for about eight hours constantly exhaling death towards me. The funny thing was that when we landed she decided to put some gum in. I just wanted to scream at her that perhaps she could have done that when we took off instead of when we landed. But I’m much too nice for that. So instead I just bad mouth (see what I did there?) her anonymously on my blog.

Not only that but I had a sick person right in front of me. So sick that he even felt it necessary to tell the stewardesses that he had been vomiting, diarrheaing, and generally being on the brink of death right before getting on the plane. He just wanted them to know in case something happened. Awesome. And in front of him was a woman who was also sick. Coughing the whole time. And to top it off two old people got sick on the plane. One so bad that they had an ambulance waiting for the guy when we landed. Like I said, getting to your seat is always an experience.

I just hate the whole process. And I’ve also decided that airports are probably the worst first impressions of a country. No one wants to be there. Everyone is tired and haggard looking. Most people who are sitting around are annoyed because they have been waiting. It just doesn’t seem to be a good way to introduce someone to a country. Something needs to be done. Airports should hire happy, beautiful, smiling people to be sitting around as you disembark. I think it would put everyone in a better mood as they are delayed at O’Hare for three hours.

But either way. Here I am. In the US once again. So posting might be shoddy for a while. Consider it my Swedish vacation. Nothing happens in that country during the month of July anyway.

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  1. Seems like you'll miss out on some things in Stockholm; a strike which makes only a few buses will go as normal, which leads to a total chaos in the subway and no availible taxis. Apart from that, july in Stockholm is not the most exciting thing. Even the brats from Stureplan leaves the city for partyin' outside Stockholm in july...

  2. Good luck with your vacation in the US! I will also leave Stockholm for the most of July. Nothing happens in Finland either in July except for countless music festivals around the country throughout the Summer. There's one also in Nokia, but it's a schlager festival, no big deal.

    BTW, good description of a trip. Now I'm even more DYING to fly :)

  3. Shame u dont wanna experience the swedish summer on the west coast/south or in the "skärgård" on the east.

  4. Welcome back and enjoy the fireworks this weekend!

  5. Back in the USA to celebrate the 4th? I hope you have a good time lol. Did you say you were from Colorado? That's where I live when I'm not in Sweden. I prefer CO over Sweden however lol. anyway have a nice vacation

  6. Don't know if you are old enough to remember but it used to be that taking an airplane trip was fun! For real! Funny (or sad perhaps) how things change...

  7. Welcome home guy!!!! Um the bad mouth pun was brilliant and I am very proud of the cheesy display of humor.

  8. Hej! I bumped into your blog while looking for information about Sweden. I love the way you express yourself, your stories are very interesting and funny...I will keep on reading your blog =)


  9. did you see this one?

  10. Haha!
    You just gave me a good laugh before I'm going to bed. This reminds about when I was going to the U.S myself...haha!
    Hey, why don't you add me on by the way?

    Have a good day =)

  11. @magnus - yeah I've been reading a bit about the strike. good times indeed. and you're right. Stockholm is very empty of swedes in july it seems.

    @smek - thanks. enjoy your summer... and the music festivals. I know you love schlager.

    @braus - I've actually experienced plenty of summers in Sweden, especially down in Skåne. so it's nice to be home in the US for a while.

    @jay - thanks.

    @pinque - thanks. I am from Colorado. It's hard to beat really. And to be honest... I definitely prefer Colorado to just about anywhere else in the world.

    @jay - I don't remember flying ever being fun. Which is really too bad. Instead I just feel miserable. Maybe nexttime I fly Ill get all dressed up in a suit like they used to do back in the good old days and make it an event.

    @chase - thanks.

    @ruth - glad you're enjoying the blog. sorry its een so long between posts. Consider this my vacation. But Il start getting back into it here pretty soon so stay with me.

    @costin - very interesting. immigration in sweden is becoming a huge deal.

    @anonymous - glad you enjoyed it. I just added your e-mail address to the list.

  12. So I randomly happened to discover your blog while planning a trip from the US to Sweden in August. I have found your information interesting. I am pretty much clueless as to what to do for transportation once we arrive in Arlanda. It would rock if you might be able to give me any advice for our trip as far as taking train to the south vs. renting a car.

  13. so this is really late... but here goes. gas is incredibly expensive here. about 9 dollars a gallon. and I have never rented a car so I cant give you much info there but just so you know. trains can be expensive but if you plan ahead a bit you should be able to find cheap tickets. everything leaves from stockholm central and there are busses and trains that go right there. its faster and cheaper than taking a taxi. especially the arlanda express which costs a bit more than the bus but only takes 20 minutes. trains leave from central station to basically anywhere you want to go in sweden. sj is the company for traveling by train in sweden. sl for traveling by public transportation in stockholm. hope that helps a bit. sorry it was so late in coming.