The days just sort of slip away.
This is what is think as I look up from reading and see it’s 11:39pm already (20:39 as I’m trying to remember to think of it) and realize that yet another day is ending here in Stockholm. The sense of time slipping away is even more apparent for some reason at night here, a summer night that never quite goes completely black, a night whose not-quite-complete darkness ends around 2am as the sun prepares for another early rise. I shot the photo just now out the window. It’s midnight.
Being here in the winter was perhaps more strange as I felt I never saw the sun. The cold felt even more cold as you walked through it knowing that there just wouldn’t be more than a few minutes a week where one might be exposed to direct sunshine against your skin. It was as if the lack of daylight itself was the source of the cold (ok so that’s actually kinda true).
But here in the summer it’s different. It’s warm (when it’s not record-breaking cold like last week) and fresh. Fresh is the word I think of most when I’m outside here. It really does describe Stockholm in June. There’s enough rain and wind to keep the air feeling very uncharacteristic of what I expect to breathe in a large city. LA has ingrained that expectation of staleness and an underlying hint of death into my nostrils and lungs.
The air here is definitely much more foreign than the language. Every day I plan to learn a little Swedish, and every day I’m reminded that practically all Swedes speak English, and that most Swedes speak English really well. I have a feeling that put up against high school grads in the US many of the Swedes that I saw parading around Stockholm (when they graduate high school they’d get in cars and big trucks and wave flags and yell as they drive down the streets, it was weird) would score equally well in 12th grade level grammar tests… and they know a whole other language!
Ok I’m really wandering now. I was talking about time slipping. Then again talking about high school students graduating is a solid way of reminding myself how quickly time is slipping. Great now I’m feeling old. But I won’t speak of mortality tonight, I’m just marveling at how quickly time can pass in 24 hours in Sweden.