The most important sentence of a Swedish trip
“Var toelettar de ar?”
COST OF LIVING IN SWEDEN:
210 kr = 25 euros
I see Fredrick with two Starbucks-style coffee: “Velcommen Dearling i Sverige!” he says with his usual thirty-two teeth smile. Fredrick? Honestly I’ve never seen him angry. I think he’s the most positive person I’ve ever known. I’ve always seen him smiling, and when he came to visit me in December, it was a difficult period for me, but his spirit lifted me and made me feel better. I LOVE it! I look forward to our time together.
During the journey in his “Mafian Car” as he calls it, he mentions the program that he has made for me and I’m excited.
We will be in Stockholm this weekend; Monday we will leave for Norrland—Northern Sweden. We’re going to stop one day in Umeå, spend two days with his parents in Jörn, and then stop in Uppsala on our way back. Friday night we will leave for Helsinki.
Fredrick also likes to travel; that’s perfect with me. Usually his friends like to stick to the hot destinations, which he prefers, but when he has to visit his parents, then his friends pull back and he has to go by himself. So, in my case, he confesses that I’m doing him a favor!
He tells me that his life has changed radically since December, the last time we saw each other. He now has a house and a new job assignment. He was a criminal lawyer; he has been promoted to “prosecutor”. And he also has a new car, his Mafian car, a BMW 1998, vintage, dark green; he’s excited to explain each single detail: personal lighting, independent air conditioning controls for the passenger and driver, automatic transmission, and GPS in English language. In my opinion the coolest thing is the door where I can put my hot coffee.
Then he tells me about the engine and the horses, but it’s as if he speaks Arabic to me; I really don’t understand the “car language.” Once he asked me how many horses my car had; I told him: “Hey, it’s not a coach!”
Fredrick tells me it will be a long trip, eight hours to arrive in Umeå and another two to get to his parents’ village. I open up to him confident that he will not be indiscreet with my sharing.
We arrive in his new apartment and he tells me that he did not sleep the day before, because during the day he moved his stuff and during the night he organized everything in the apartment. He is thrilled with his new apartment, gives me a tour with excitement: the bathroom, the pantry, and the walk-in closet. I honestly love it. When I get my own house I will have a closet! The bedroom, the dining room and the living room all form one single room. Finally he shows me the balcony. The apartment, like the entire building, is brand new and in fact Fredrick is not the only one who has moved yesterday. The elevator still needs to be repaired; the lobby and the waste area are full of boxes. The garage is not yet available; Fredrick is concerned about the safety of his car. The building smells of fresh paint with immaculate walls and black fixtures; the outside is a gray.
I take a shower to freshen up from the fatigue of the trip. For dinner we have a Swedish hamburger with a cocktail-like sauce; I think there’s some kind of secret ingredient in it. Right after dinner I collapse on the couch. I wake up to the smell of coffee.