Monthly archives: June 2012

“Oh when I look back now that summer seemed to last forever”

For me, as for Bryan Adams (please, don’t judge my music taste) and for a lot of you I guess, summer is a special time of the year. As one Russian song says: “Summer is a small life”, meaning that it’s a whole life on its own, isolated from the rest of the year.

At the end of every scholar year I have the feeling that summer is going to bring something, something exciting, something incredible in my life.

And here, in Sweden, the relation to summer is even more particular.

I had a conversation with a Swede who told me that for a lot of people in northern Europe, Scandinavia and especially in Sweden, summer is a sort of a huge getaway. Summer is the time that everyone is waiting for, the time during which we can do everything we were dreaming about during the cold winter. And especially in Sweden summer brings hope and people believe that it will arrange things and everything will be better afterwards.

Summer is here, and then there is nothing.

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You know you’ve been in Sweden too long when you…

* Call your friends to go for a “fika“…

instead of inviting a friend to go for a coffee, it becomes natural to ask:

“Are you up for a fika around 4 p.m.?”


* Write “hej” instead of “hey“…

when you begin text messages. And no, it is not misspelled.


* Get angry when people do not recycle properly…

because everyone should know what plastic and what carton is.


* Think it’s usual to see cows on the way to uni…

when you’re walking from the student residence Lappkärsberget to Stockholm university.


* Appreciate the smallest ray of sunshine…

when it’s the only one you’ve seen since several days/weeks/months.


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Good morning, Gotland.

We were walking in the dark blue. The sky was almost black but the horizon in front of us it was still purple and orange. 1 a.m. Salty air. I was walking a little behind my friends with my heavy back pack trying to guess what this city looks like. “Here!” One of my friends in front shouted. We stopped and started to build the tents.   Waking up on the next morning with the eyes still closed I heard the waves murmur. I pulled my sleepy head out of the tent and half-opened my eyes. White beach. Rocks. Turquoise water. Good morning, Gotland.

White and blue. Gotland, June 2012. Photo by Nathalia Mikhalkov.

White and blue. Gotland, June 2012. Photo by Nathalia Mikhalkov.

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Suddenly, my room became empty.

Suddenly, my room became empty.


Now it looked almost as I found it when I moved in last August.

Empty white walls. Empty book shelves. Empty closet. Bare mattress on the bed.


I was sitting between my boxes and suitcases, horrified by the amount of  things I had managed to accumulate in Stockholm and wondering how many kilos I had over 20…


All at once I received a text message from my Spanish friend:

“Last cig at your window?”


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These little things I love about you

I was sitting on the waterfront of Strandvägen and couldn’t believe that it was 20°C and that it was in Stockholm and that spring has finally (finally!) arrived. I had a book with me but I couldn’t concentrate on it and was just discreetly observing people walking in the streets, sitting near the water, laughing, talking, eating sandwiches.

On the other side of the water was the Radisson and further on the left Djurgården and you could see the beautiful building of Nordiska museum. So I was sitting there and when I was closing my eyes all I could see was the red color of my eyelids.  And all I could think of was: “I love Stockholm, I don’t want to leave!”. It’s almost the end of my Erasmus year and all my international friends are leaving in a couple of weeks.

A woman was standing on my right side, several meters away from me and was looking at the water. Suddenly a little boat arrived navigated by a smiling man with a big brown dog on the bow of it barking. The boat moored in front of the woman, she jumped on it and they went away.

People on the waterfront didn’t even glance at them and I thought that I have had never seen anything so special turned to be such a casual thing and that Stockholm is special because of these small things. So here what I’m going to miss about you, Stockholm.

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