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On Friday we went to Systembolaget to get some of their finest cheap wine. While I was in the checkout line, Kostia went to the front of the store to wait. The cashier said something in Swedish I didn’t understand. I said, “Sorry?” She said, “Do you have your ID?” I didn’t. You rarely need your passport in Sweden (unlike in Russia), and I’ve never been carded for alcohol in Europe before. “Kostia!” I shouted. “Do you have your passport on you?” He came over to the cash register. He didn’t have his passport either. “I’m thirty,” I said. (You’re supposed to be 20 to buy alcohol.) “OK, OK,” said the cashier. We got our wine. I no longer mind the fact that I look younger than my age, but I would have been pissed off if we couldn’t buy the wine.


The summer-like weather continues. On Saturday we walked around town and saw some new things.

This building was a prison til 1995. Now it’s a youth hostel. They were having an open house, so we went in to check it out. It’s still pretty prison-like. I think in order to want to stay here you would have to be in a really kitchy mood. They have a prison history museum in the basement with things like handcuffs, works of art made by the prisoners, and police almanacs going back to the 1800s.

Another view of the city from near the prison hostel.

A building that reminded me of a run-down palace in St. Petersburg. Grass gone wild and all. Very un-Swedish. What’s this doing in a residential neighborhood? Will do some research and get back to you.

A dog waiting for his owner outside the yarn shop.

We see vintage Volvos all the time, causing me to hum the theme song from the film “Kitchen Stories

Falun is in a valley, and Kostia had been looking longingly at the hills, wanting to see what was at the top. So last week, we went to have a look.

We hiked up toward some sort of communications tower. We didn’t really find a lookout point, and could only see across the valley in small patches:

The hillside was really nice, though. Lots of pine trees and boulders. And wild blueberries everywhere.

And a little cave in the rocks.

About This Blog

I'm an American who started blogging when I moved to Russia in 2004. Eventually I moved to Sweden, where life is pleasant but uneventful, and stopped blogging for lack of interesting things to say. And then I joined Facebook, which further destroyed any motivation for blogging. Maybe someday I'll start blogging again, but for now, this blog is dormant, an archive of The Russia Years: 2004-2008.

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