Technically the sun set today before three in the afternoon. I say technically because while the sun might technically be up, it doesn’t mean I saw it. Not because I spend the majority of my day inside staring at a computer screen, but because clouds managed to hide it. Almost for the entire month of November. I am not immune to hyperbole, but I am serious. The sun was absent for nearly the entire month of November.
Turns out the average amount of November sunlight in Sweden is 54 hours. That’s not a whole lot considering there are 30 days. However, it is more than two full days of sunlight. This month though was well below average. Depending on your sources, I was privy to 17.5 hours of sunlight, or 14 hours of sunlight. Either way, that is less than 24 hours of sunlight. That is less than one full day of sunlight.
The month of November has a total of 720 hours in it. Let’s be generous and say that there was actually 17.5 hours of sunlight. That means there were 1050 minutes of sunlight. That means an average of 35 minutes of sunlight every day. Only 2.43% of the month of November saw sunlight. Which means Stockholmers were without sun for 97.57% of the month. 97.57%.
Let’s put that into perspective. 97.57% is an A+ in nearly all measures of grading scales. 98% is the rate of effectiveness if you were to use a condom perfectly. 97.2% of Argentineans over the age of 15 can read and write. 98% of Antarctica is ice. And 97.57% of the population masturbates. The other 2.43% are liars. That’s not true; I stole that from my high school history teacher. But you get the idea.
I wrote a couple of posts this month about homesickness and about creative Swedish winter advertising. Clearly my subconscious was at work wanting to either go home to Colorado and at sunlight that numbers in the days not hours, or sit in front of a billboard giving off artificial light. Instead my skin is more pale than usual, at least the skin that can be seen through my hair. My golden locks are darker than ever. And I am seriously questioning the mental stability of anyone who willingly moves to Sweden. Myself included. Did I mention that the sun shone for less than 18 hours over the course of 30 days?
Welcome to Sweden. But not really.