Saturday, September 25, 2010

One week in Göteborg

I'm in Göteborg, Sweden, for a week now. It feels like I haven't been here in like forever but in reality it's only been a few years. I've been wondering about how little has changed but also how much has changed. I've lived in Göteborg for about 18 months just before the change of the millenium and I've wondered about how much that supermarket has changed. The Gamla Ullevi, the football stadium, has changed drastically, it's been completely rebuilt. The last time I was there we stood on wooden floors and we jumped to the point you actually wonder if the wood would hold on and we got in for 80 kronor. Now we sat in a real stadium on plastic chairs and paid 200 kronor. The travel system has changed (rants on that later). There's this massive Wheel of Göteborg which gives you an impressive sight all over town. You can buy chocolate with licorice flavour (seriously!).

On the other hand it's still a big city with a small town feel. You can still buy the super ice cream in Nordstan (for more, obviously). The sausage stand at the bus station is still there (and equally good). The trams are all the same. IFK Göteborg is still the number one football team in town. And my Swedish still isn't as terrible as I think it is. You impress people by saying that you speak a bit Swedish because you lived there but you never think it's good enough. It still isn't good enough for my liking but I'm not a helpless monkey like I am when I'm trying to pay for a croissant in France. I just give 20 euro and have faith that I get the right amount back and hope to actually find a croissant in my paper bag when I leave the store. In Sweden I can order a forest fruit yoghurt pie with a coffee and ask if the next cup is included for free and ask the lady at the counter if she'd prefer five kronor to make the change easier.

I have a couple of days left in this city and the weather is promising. It's dry and there's the promise of sun as well. That's all I want. I don't need an all-inclusive resort in a warm country. This is just fine.