Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's the tourist island!

"Nej" "Jo!" "Nej..." "JO!!" Simon and I argued as we always do, and he seemingly loves... If not for the fact that I feel he encourages my my almost violent desire to take the opposite position of any stance, I would think he regretted teaching me that "Yeah" means "Yes," but "YO!" means an emphatic yes in terms of arguing. I think he was encouraging my bad habit (which he must secretly enjoy) in teaching me that one. I remember Stockholm 3 years ago and the alarmingly silly parallels of Stockholm for me then and now (shown below, me in Greta Garbo Square pretending to be an elephant both times):

This particular trip, Simon chose to take me to a place which had previously scared me off as a "tourist island." I had pridefully boasted having done every single thing one should do when in Stockholm, save for the uber-touristy items like tasting reindeer or visiting the aforementioned island of Gröna Lund. Upon his departure, a Canadian friend I met on the comedically pathetic boat hostel I stayed on took a photo with me in front, asking if I'd ever been. "Of course not!" I replied, unknowing that I'd later return and have a day to remember the rest of my life there.

Simon argued that it wasn't so much a tourist island, but more of a recreation island for Swedes. All I know is there's a boat in a museum, roller coaster, zoo, and more picnicking sunbathers than can be adequately accounted for without taking a 3 hour census.

Simon wanted to have such a picnic and knew I'd need supplies. Having just eased off the vegan kick I was still eager to load up on gurka (cucumber), tomater, vindruvor (grapes), sallad (lettuce), och olika frukte (and various fruits). Unwittingly, Simon packed one of my favorite Champagne bottles of all time, one I had grown rather attached to at Austin's downtown sushi joint, Kenichi. The bottle is called Deutz, and I had more than my fair share (typical). Simon had first tried to open the bottle himself, but I quickly snatched it away. We've got to leave such things to the pro's, and after a satisfying pop and fizz over my left hand, we laid under blankets of sunlight coyly shooing away black-headed geese prodding around in search of snacks. Admittedly, some parts of the small island reaked of geese shit, the hills overlooking boat ways, quaint architecture, and happy joggers made this little gem something I swiftly kicked myself for previously missing. Generally when I mention Stockholm, the first thing I hear former tourists bring up is, "Did you see the boat in the museum?! How did they get that in there?" Which refers to the famously sunken ship which was resurrected from the Baltic and cradled beneath the construction of a surrounding museum. Stuffed with produce, we passed the building and crunched through gritty paths until arriving at one of the largest, most insane looking constructions I'd ever stumbled upon (and later rode). The "Insane" as it were seemed like a fun and daring idea up until the moment my legs were dangling over the edge and I began to question the reliability of the machine's design. 2.5 seconds later? We'd survived and Simon seemed all but hell-bent on playing a game, but relented to let me play ringleader (also typical) and jumped into 4-hour queues for 4-second rides.

I tried to play my usual games of, "Spot the American, Guess Which is Brit?, and Definitely Scandinavian..." only to learn that there is something about adolescent females that throws me off completely. All were healthfully plump, over-accessorized, commanding attention, and had altered their natural hair colors in some way. Oh, Hanna Montana... is it possible your plastic pearls have infected those overseas as well? The most dangerous ride of all it seemed to me was the simple chain swing which seemed to deem my body weight and proportions unacceptable for its aerodynamics and I felt as though I'd surely tip into the water (or worst) onto the ground. I tried to look as brave as my six-year-old counterparts spinning around with me, but admittedly I was a bit scared. I lifted up my iPhone (which was tragically lost on a flight back from Germany) and snapped this photo of a small girl sitting in the rattling chains as we prepared for take-off. Maybe she was as scared as I was? Maybe she was just telling herself she was? Outwardly she perhaps felt as I did, brave and terrified all at once but electrified with excitement at being exactly where she was at that very moment.

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