Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mariefred for Midsummer

There's waking up on the wrong side of the bed, and there's waking up having fallen off the foot of the bed into a dustbin filled with dirty needles and feces. That's how I awoke. Disgusting? It was, but that's how I felt. Having traveled for about 21 hours (including airport time) and sleeping for almost none, I was awakened at the crack of god-knows-when to board a subway to a train to a steam train. The steam train was a tourist novelty that our half-English, half-Swedish friend insisted upon taking. It was located in a village miles from any bathrooms, convenience stores, and human life... save for a very angry old drag queen (I'm not making this up) who crept out of his house to yell at small childen, "Det ar min blommar!!" Apparently he had flowers, they were his personal flowers, and the Midsummer-dressed children wanted to pick them. He was not amused by this.

Between weary scowls and complaints as to taking every form of travel save the ever sturdy camel, our steam train finally arrived. I attempted to compensate for the lack of sleep on Simon's shoulder, finding myself jarred and my head wrecked against a wooden wall every two seconds. Lucky for me, I could hardly notice the pain of my travel worn head being pounded against hard surfaces because I was too busy recovering from the constant ear-piercing shriek of the train's whistle. Our friends couldn't be more amused, and I couldn't have been more ready to murder a group of people as then. Needless to say, I did not put my best foot forward. We finally stopped (THANK GOD), and ordered some traditional Midsummer dishes, all of which involved herring and some sort of mayonnaise. Apparently in Sweden all holidays, including Christmas, involve some sort of herring and some sort of mayonnaise. Together.

Having endured over 40 days as a vegan (and arguably anorexic) it was a fight to get me to eat it, but a joy to endure the fat suffering. I drank no less than 5 gallons of water realizing that in comparison to my Swedish friends, the relentless Texas heat had taught me to replenish my thirst continuously. Much to my dismay, our meal caused us to miss the ever-famous "Sm├ąGrodorna" song, but my disappointment quickly dissipated with the arrival of our steam boat (yes, Simon's friends were really into steam travel this day). We leisurely ate and drank our way, salmon and punschrulle all the while, passing up island after island until we arrived home. Stockholm. It had been a sleepy, white-wine soaked day dotted with families and little girls donning flower wreaths in their hair. A good day. En glad midsommar.

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