The Gist

Where to start.

So I went to Lapland with 4 friends. I’m going to wait with my report on that until I have access to my photos and the chance to edit them. Let’s hope I remember enough by the time I get home.

As said before, my friends then all went home. Me? I decided to stay.

The difference is that I just don’t necessarily have anything to go home for. They all have their office jobs and gorgeous girlfriends (Not jealous. No sir.) awaiting them at the airport and what do I have? I guess my dog would miss me- Oh wait I don’t have a dog.
So I’m taking some sweet advantage of all that and doing a little detour. I always wanted to see eastern Europe.

The first two days though, I stayed in Stockholm. I took the time to reorganize, since all that survival gear really doesn’t do you much good in the city. The cooking gear went home with my friends. Thermal underwear,  sleeping mat, photos thus far,… went. All might seem handy at some point or other but when you’re backpacking you have to prioritize. Instead, I am now carrying soap and deodorant (After 10 days without, mind), an extra pair of pants (nice and light in this weather) and tee shirt (spiderman!!) and shaving equipment. I learned something last night: No amount of baby butt-smoothness is worth the hassle of wet shaving. Unless you’re a lady.

I also decided to be a retard and lose my cell phone, Leatherman and souvenir shirt. I pondered ditching my travel pass as well to finish the job and fuck myself even deeper, but somehow it stuck on me and it seems I am still carrying it. I’m so proud.
So yeah; New cell phone. I literally walked into a shop asking for the cheapest piece of junk they had, lest I’d go and walk out again with the newest iWhatever. They asked me if I wanted an iContract with that but iRefused. So now I’m temporarily carrying a Swedish phone number.

Stockholm itself certainly isn’t bad, but terribly confusing. Everything looks the same and is positioned so that when you think you’re in a different part of town, it just turns out you walked into an exact copy of the last part and you can’t tell one from the other. The shopping streets are retarded as usual but when I followed my own advice and purposefully got lost, ended up finding a few cool shops that handle my kind of gear. I usually wouldn’t care still but it just so happened that I needed some.
The old town can fill a day if you’re skilled enough at the Tourist Saunter. The buildings are worth a visit but you won’t make it in anywhere (trust me I tried) without paying a hefty sum. Sweden is an expensive country and don’t we know it by now. I found a cheaper alternative though: Walk the fuck away.

This, sadly, was not possible when booking my boat out of there. Late as usual, I had to decide between booking a day later or paying for a first-class cabin at the price of 2.000 Krone and then some, no less than 200 euro. Since the former wouldn’t be possible organization-wise (I had 3 couchsurfing addresses booked) I had to bend over and pay up. Luckily the kind lady behind the counter was very understanding and instead booked me for the “romantic cruise” for 1.000 Krone less. Or she was extremely sadistic, it was hard to make out with that poker face of hers.

Barely tolerating the humping couples but still enjoying the Romantic Sunset™, I made it to Riga, Latvia and after finding the tourist information office to check for an internet café, getting lost, checking with the information office again, looking up the number and meeting my host, went to see the city. My host was so kind to show me around the city (literally- we walked about 15km I estimate) and I must say I rather liked what I saw. Whether that is because I have a fascination for all things industrial and post-Sovjet or this is just a nice town, I haven’t figured out yet. It certainly is cheaper than Sweden though, despite the Lats (local currency) being much higher value than the Euro. Note to self: Figure this shit out before withdrawing money like you’ll need millions of it for a candy bar.

 

All in all, I’m having a rather good time. It certainly is lonely but it seems like I can handle that a lot better than last time around- Probably because I’m not going through any mental breakdown right now. Might make the difference.
Tomorrow I’m booking the bus ride to Lithuania (I just had to look that up again, I suck at geography) but I don’t have anywhere to sleep there, yet. Fingers crossed.
I’m not hitch-hiking because frankly, I can afford not to. I hate hitch-hiking. You just stand there like a dimwit with your thumb skyward,  and if it’s not going too well there’s no way you could do it any better, no matter how hard you try. That’s not the way I work.

 

Another side note: яцšsiаи keyboards suck.

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