Here’s a weird thing. Stockholm bus drivers seem to believe that they are competing in the Indy 500. I’m not a great fan of speeding vehicles in general, I have some friends (back home) that I’ll never, ever, ride with – but I’ve never in my life thought twice about getting on a city bus before. The bus I got home from work last night was literally shaking as it trundled at great speed around the narrow streets and sharp corners of Kungsholmen and Gamla Stan – it wasn’t even just me noticing, people were holding on as we were practically thrown from one side to the other every time we whooshed around another bend. Then of course the ridiculous thing is that they then have to wait ages at each stop so as not to get ahead in the schedule… what is the point of that?
Now that I actually need to travel across the city regularly, I’m thinking about getting a bike. Bikes in Stockholm are a big thing. They have their own lanes and signals, and I’ve even seen “traffic jams” at lights, which I guess was annoying for the people in them but pretty cool to see. Stockholm is a pretty small city – it’s compact, unlike Western US cities that stretch leisurely across miles and miles and miles, so I guess cycling is a pretty easy way to get around. It would be healthy, kind of fun, and I wouldn’t have to fear for my life taking part in the movie Speed twice a day.
On the other hand, I’m not going to work at the kayak place forever. As the Viking keeps telling me, “winter is coming… “, and I guess a bike isn’t much use for nine months of snow and darkness – so do I want to spend a bit of my precious, oh-so-finite savings on something I might just use for a few more weeks?
I told the Viking about the speeding thing, and he said that they spend so much of the year stuck in traffic that for the month-and-a-bit that Stockholm is quiet over summer, they take advantage. Which I guess is an explanation if not exactly an excuse.
The weekend passed pretty relaxed and enjoyably nondescript. I worked a lot, so did he, we managed a nice Sunday brunch together in which I actually managed to make pancakes from scratch and they were not a disaster! They didn’t exactly have the taste of American diner pancakes, but they were edible and that’s an achievement to be proud of. We had a relaxed chat about nothing much, and yes it did cross my mind to bring up Jenny and ABBA Girl and everything, but in the end I just didn’t feel like risking ruining our nice Sunday morning.
Also, when things feel good, I could care less about that stuff – I’m still curious, sure, but I’m happy to let things drift along contentedly. It’s typical: when I feel the urgent, burning curiosity to know more about the whole picture of the Viking and his gang, I’m not in a good frame of mind to approach the conversation, and when I feel relaxed and confident enough to handle whatever he might have to say (or handle him refusing to say), I just don’t care so much.