2010.02.02 - Wilson & IKEA

Our Sweden Diary - February 2nd, 2010

Visit from the Tibetan Steppes

Today it took 3 hours from the time I left work until I was home ! Had it only been three hours sitting in a limo with a fully stocked bar and heated seats, I might have been in a different mood now, but it wasn't and I'm not. I stood outside in a snow storm at Copenhagen Airport for one full hour awaiting the promised buses to take us across to Sweden when the train operator had shut down the trains across the bridge. They must have been very surprised that the snow was coming ..... don't know how 'cause all of Denmark had been following the radar images for two days up to the storm. Whatever the reason, we were standing around for ages waiting for buses, then getting squeezed like youths at a rock festival when one or two buses arrived. I reckon I saw 8 buses leave before I was lucky enough to have one stop just in front of me so that I basically couldn't avoid being swept into it. Bloody fools!!

After this little burst of unpleasanties, it's time to turn away from the dark side and look into the light! Last week the visitor season started with a short but good visit from our friend Wilson. We met Wilson on our trip to Tibet last September. Since then he has travelled extensively through Africa and parts of the Middle East, and he had decided to stop by to see us before heading on to the US. Having spent the last 4 months in Africa and the Middle East hadn't really prepared him for the Scandinavian welcome he was about to receive!!

Welcome to the cold North !!

Well, we got him home in one piece. I had brought an extra hat and scarf with me to the train station, but I didn't have a jacket that would fit him, so he had to stick it out the 10 minutes walk to our apartment. He arrived late in the evening so after a short while chatting, I had to call it a day. Next day Paula and Wilson did a bit of sightseeing in Malmö, but from what I could understand he didn't last very long in the cold. Can't blame the poor sod! I am cold and I have had over one month to get used to it. When I got home we walked over to Svend and Shirley to borrow ajacket from Svend. Paula and Wilson had planned to go to Copenhagen the next day, so a good warm jacket would be essential, as there would be no running back home to warm up once they had crossed the bridge.

They weren't too unlucky with the weather. It was cold but at least the wind had died down a bit. They started out in Christiania, then Borsen (the stock exchange), Christiansborg (the parliament), Strøget (the pedestrian street) and then a MacDonalds. Wilson was taking loads of photos inside the MacD ... maybe they haven't got fast food in America!! haha .... well, he explained it differently - it was just that it was so stylish. It's all relative I guess.

The entrance to Christiania - the free commune

The Church of our Lady

The Stock Exchange

The City Hall




Holmens Kanal

Some cold fellars!

After the MacD pit stop they continued to Nyhavn and then met up with me as I left work. Together we went down to the water to have a look at the Opera across the water and the new theater next to my office. From there it's only a short stroll to Amalienborg - the Queens palace - and the Marble Church. We were able to persuade Wilson to continue on the tour for a bit longer, so we walked through the old fort Kastellet to the little mermaid. I am not a huge fan of the wee mermaid, but on this day she was pretty spellbound. The sea was all frozen around her and the twilight played a fantastic duo with the snow.

The Opera

The new theater (ugly!) and my office to the right

In front of Amalienborg and the Marble Church

Poor Wilson!

... but he was still smiling!

Sensible headgear!

The entrance to Kastellet

You don't normally come this close to the wee fish lady

She looked pretty in the twilight

Wilson might get a chance to see her again when she travels to Shanghal later this year. Wilson lives in Hong Kong.

Reflection in the metro windshield

Heading home in the metro.

We ended the day at a cafe and then on a train back to Malmö; frozen but pleased with the days events. Wednesday was another story. The weather turned and apart from a short trip to the supermarket, Paula and Wilson stayed at home. By the time Thursday came around I think Wilson was ready to go somewhere warmer! He didn't say it outright - he said he was happy to do nothing for a while after all the traveling, but we all know that a while means a couple of days only, right ?! In either case we enjoyed having him here but could have hoped for better weather.

Wednesday was a bad day for smokers ....

.... as it was for anybody who had to go anywhere....

... like shopping

Home and dry !

Recently I found an old friend on Facebook. Seeing that he lives on Greenland, I reckoned it was time for a reunion, so we have booked two flights to Ilullisat in May! Can't just stop traveling from one day to another, can we ? No cold turkey for us ...

Friday we had Shirley and Svend over for dinner and a chat. Everything went really well until I fell into a hole ... occupied by the big bad sleepy monster!! I don't know why I can never stay awake on Fridays ....

Saturday we were back to IKEA - our third visit since we are back from Korea. One would think that with 64 boxes arriving from Korea, we really don't need more stuff in our apartment, but no! This time we bought three closets and a chest of drawers. I guess this was a reaction to having 64 boxes arriving in two weeks, as we will desperately need a storage solution then. The goods arrived late in the evening so we could only do light assembly jobs before turning in. Sunday was dedicated to "homework" though. Starting at 9:30 we spent all day with screwdrivers in hand. Amazing how long time it takes to put a couple of boards together. No wonder it's cheap when you have to do all the work yourself! We like the result though - it looks pretty and is handy at the same time. But it wore me out! And I didn't finish until the next day when I put up the last of the shelves.

So keen I didn't even have time to get dressed!

One (half) up - two to go.

A job well done!

Almost finished - late Sunday. Paula was also tired.

But happy.

And then we are back to today and the beginning of this ranting. Don't need to be reminded ....

In two days the next visitors arrive. Hope the weather turns around by then.