It’s been a glorious weekend. One that has left me sunburned. The first time I have managed to sunburn myself in Sweden in a long while. It takes me approximately 137 seconds to burn myself back in Colorado. Whenever I leave Colorado I tend to be a bit cocky. I figure that the extra 5,000 feet away from the sun makes all the difference and I don’t need sunscreen. That’s just not true.
Yesterday, I discovered a beach in my area. And of course by beach I mean a small swath of sand the size of a basketball court. But the water was cold and the sun was shining. So I snagged a good book and lay down. The problem was the book was really good. And I didn’t put any sunscreen on, leaving me looking a nice shade of Valentine’s Day pink.
The day progressed with me sitting in Kungsträdgården watching two men play chess. For 45 minutes. This was boring beyond all words. And I know a lot of words. I can’t explain why I did it. I don’t even know how to play chess. Actually, from the pace of the game, neither did these two men. Perhaps I was suffering from a bit of sunstroke. I have no excuses otherwise. Learn from my mistakes. Never do this.
Luckily, the afternoon was saved by my stumbling upon a flash mob at Sergels torg. I am fascinated by flash mobs after having seen Stockholm Central Station freeze for April Fool’s Day in 2008 (which was much better than what I saw yesterday so you should probably click on the link. Do it. Seriously.). Some people worry about being exposed to assassins in big open spaces. Like Sergels torg. I look for a flash mob. And yesterday I found what I was looking for. Luckily no assassins.
In the evening I had dinner with two of my former Scandinavian Studies professors. They kindly put up with my neurotic questions and need for some semblance of control in my decisions. This was appreciated beyond all words. Again, I know a lot of words. I am constantly amazed at the kindness and generosity of my former professors. A rousing endorsement for the University of Oregon if nothing else.
It wasn’t until I had filled my belly with delicious food that I realized just how badly I had managed to sunburn myself. The itch started setting in. I have had enough sunburns to know what the itch means. The itch means that my Valentine’s Day pink had turned to Valentine’s Day red. Valentine’s Day red is not a becoming color on pale skin. Trust me.
So being the responsible and intelligent young man that I am, I decided to go for a hike and a swim today. Without sunscreen. Because what better way to treat a sunburn than with even more UV rays?
Welcome to Sweden. And melanoma.
Subscribe to a Swedish American in Sweden