Here in Falun, Sweden, that is. We arrived on Tuesday but only just now got our student IDs in order to get free internets. So. There’s so much to say but my head is spinning a bit… here’s a blog entry I wrote in the airport in Stockholm while waiting for the train to Falun.

By the way, Kostia has a Live Journal in Russian, if you’re interested/capable of reading it.

Written Tuesday 22 August, 5 p.m.

I’m sitting in the Stockholm Airport writing this, though I’ll post it later, since there’s wireless internet here but it’s awfully expensive. Our trip so far has gone incredibly smoothly, despite a lot of hair-tearing on my part trying to fit too many things into my suitcases. We paid a lot for extra luggage on the airplane, and we didn’t even bring our printer with us.

But, the taxi came on time, early even, and though traffic was pretty bad we made it to the airport in plenty of time. Several friends met us at the airport to see us off. No problems at security or passport control. We were seated in an aisle and middle seat, but no one took the window seat, on an otherwise full flight. The flight was fairly smooth and as the Stockholm archipelago came into view a rainbow appeared. We were greeted at the airport by attractive blond people who took our bags and gave us sweets and bunny rabbits. OK, the last line was an exaggeration, but up to and including the rainbow it was all for real.

There’s a train to Falun that leaves straight from the airport (thanks for the tip, Vilhelm Konnander) and I reserved tickets for the 8pm train, which was the cheapest, but it means hanging out in the airport for five hours. There are worse places to hang out than Arlanda airport though. The main challenge is avoiding the temptation to spend money at the lovely western cafes that are just not the same in Russia no matter how much they try. I don’t have a feel for prices in Swedish kronor yet so I have to divide by 7 to really understand how much something is. I suppose dividing by 7 is a lot simpler than dividing by 27 as I had to do in Russia.

So in the Teach-Yourself-Swedish books that Kostia and I have been using, they’re always talking about lättöl, or light beer. I mean, there are fewer than a hundred words in my active Swedish vocabulary at this point, but “light beer” is one of them. We weren’t sure if this was just a quirk of language teaching – you often get some really random vocabulary when you first start learning a language (“extraterrestre” was one of the first words I learned in French) but at the airport café it was the cheapest drink on the menu, cheaper than tea or coffee. We decided to try it, and though it’s nothing like my beloved Baltika 4, it’s quite drinkable. Kostia has already declared that it will be our drink of choice in Sweden.

So as we were sitting here reading the paper, a businessman with a posh London accent walked by, complaining into his mobile, “This is my third trip to Sweden in three weeks. That’s not my idea of fun.” Kostia and I just looked at each other and laughed. We’re like, totally psyched to be in Sweden.

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