Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Sweden: The Beautiful Outdoor Freezer
With talk of global warming on the tip of everyone's tongue, it's refreshing to know that in the middle of January it's still cold as hell in Stockholm. It has been below freezing now for over two months.
In Stockholm, the locals think that winter is often better than summer. Having experienced both seasons here, I am beginning to agree with them. In the Winter people sleep and drink a lot, go cross-country skiing in the forests, skating on the frozen lakes and football fields, and of course at night there is lots of watching videos and snuggling under the blankets.
There are downsides. All the water around the city is now frozen, not to mention the streets, sidewalks, and everything else. Every time you take a walk, you are literally putting your life at risk. Wherever there is a gap in the gravel and a slight incline, you are walking a slippy slidey tightrope. They do not salt the ice for several reasons: 1) it is bad for the environment, and 2) it would probably still be frozen anyway.
Life in our times is a constant struggle to avoid depression and boredom. These people who grow up in one town and live and work in that town for 70 years and die there... I do not know how they do that. I love to travel and to move (although not too quickly). I have pretty much lived and traveled all over North America and Europe. After eight months, I am starting to fall in love with Sweden in winter.