Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Signs of Spring in Stockholm, Sweden

Spring is fighting its way through the gray skies of Stockholm. And it shows everywhere you look.

The obvious sign was the changing of the clocks. Finally. Now it gets dark a lot later. Sweden just sprung forward Sunday morning. Which I was actually awake for. Luckily, McDonald’s did not immediately adhere to the change and I was able to get two chicken burgers and a medium fries. Which was exactly what I needed at 3/4 in the morning.

Of course, it wasn’t just the changing of the clocks. Cafes and restaurants throughout town have started setting up their uteservering. Outdoor service. Suddenly, the chairs and tables that will fill whenever the sun comes out have invaded the sidewalks.

Having these chairs on the sidewalks is to my benefit. Because I am a sweaty guy. And this is the time of spring when I’m just a little confused. It’s still cold enough in the mornings that you think you might need a warm jacket. But by the time you’ve hustled to catch the bus, you have a light sweat going. And by you, I mean me.

When you catch the bus, and are the last person on, you sit yourself down next to someone who gives you the evil eye because they actually have to move their bag from the last available seat in the bus. That’s when it hits you. And again, by you, I mean me. It’s the post-exercise sweats.

You know the ones. You’ve been outside, hustling along, not thinking too much of your rising body temperature. But the second you end up in doors, whether it’s the office or the bus, your body gets pissed. Why did you wear a winter jacket? It’s the end of March. Idiot. And it punishes you by pouring sweat out of every sweat gland. By the time you get to work your forehead is glistening, your nice dark blue dress shirt is showing off the telltale signs of a sweaty back. It’s a wonderful way to start the day.

Tomorrow you should wear a light jacket. And by you, I mean me.

Welcome to Sweden. And the signs of spring.

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  1. Ha, I have that problem a lot lately, not sweaty but I always misjudge the weather and get too warm or cold. Our weather is a lot like there. I had that experience when visiting Sweden in late summer especially all the walking around in Stockholm. ;)

  2. Sounds tempting. Part of me wishing I was still there. And by I, I mean me :)

  3. The weather was awesome today!

  4. Awe I have this problem too, I am a sweater. And it's worse because I am a girl. Guys can get away with being rugged, dirty, even sweaty. But women have to always look and smell like roses. I am a firm believer in layering. If I'd get hot running to class even though it was freezing outside, I'd strip from coat to sweater to t-shirt. Because sweat marks ≠ sexy.

  5. @anonymous - its not easy. I blame the weather channel.

    @smek - it is tempting. hows the weather looking in finland?

    @erik - agreed. now if only I could manage to not have to work on all of these nice days.

    @m8surf - Its a problem Im not proud of. In fact, I actually brought old spice damn near a life time supply of old spice anti-perspirant from the US because its the best and I cant get it here. So instead of layering I just import old spice. its almost the same.

  6. Haha. Well lucky Swedes. I love the smell of old spice. It's better than cologne in my opinion. Esp. the mountain one.

  7. Re: sweating -- I'm not a sweaty guy, but almost always get sweaty when I arrive indoors to a public building in the winter. Is it my imagination, or do Swedes keep their public buildings too hot in winter?

  8. Ahh, look at that. You could have mentioned the beautiful flowers, the nice weather or all the cheerfully chirping little birds but you chose to talk about sweat.

    Ditto the sweating-thing, btw...

  9. A lot of snow, melting and freezing. Slippery as hell. Not fun...

  10. Hairy, I've been thinking about something. When you turned 18 you were a Swedish citizen, right? Did försvarsmakten ever summon you to mönstring (the military service medical examinations)?

  11. By the way Hairy. See what you did there? You have just written a post about the weather. You are becoming more and more of a Swede.

  12. I've never noticed that. I'm not really a sweaty guy. I mean I sweat as much as the next guy, just not more than that. What i notice about spring that I start loving to feel the breeze in my face when i cycle into town, I even open my jacket. It's a really liberating feeling somehow. I just love spring, it makes me feel rejuvenated.

  13. @m8surf – it does good work. If only they could export the product to Sweden so I wouldn’t have to weigh down my luggage every time I head back home.

    @pavellas – public buildings are pretty rough. I have a theory that it is done on purpose to make you uncomfortable so you don’t want to stay there for too long and instead leave before actually doing anything.

    @robban – come on now, you’ve been reading this thing for a while now. Sweatiness is about par for the course.

    On that note though, what is the best antiperspirant you have found that is available here in Sweden?

    @smek – oooh, well that sounds lovely.

    @fredrik – I was registered as an utomlands Swede. Turns out they aren’t all that interested in bringing you back to the country for military service. That being said, about a month after registering here in Sweden I received not one, but two, letters in the mail telling me that the Swedish military would not be calling me in for military service.

    Damn… you’re right about the weather thing. It was just a matter of time I suppose.

    @stanislav – the breeze through the open jacket is a glorious rite of spring. And I agree, it is a rejuvenating feeling. Well said.

  14. I have this same problem. Im from the US but the mid-atlantic can have some crazy weather. I take the bus and metro everywhere which means a lot of walking and then sitting on a warm bus or stuffy metro train. I often have to wipe my forehead in a sneaky fashion as to not look like Im wiping my forehead. Somehow makes me picture a dude stretching to get his arm around a chick...anyway you totally crack me up dude!

  15. Im pretty sure that was the perfect description. Im a big fan of the scratching/wiping of my head. Unfortunately Im horribly sweaty so all the "scratching" I do probably just makes it seem like I have head lice. Which I dont.