Stockholm was my very first trip without any plans or research. It was cold in my home country, so I expected to have the same temperature, maybe a little bit colder. While I looked out of the plane over Sweden, I realized that I should have at least checked the weather. Snow and frozen lakes everywhere and I was only wearing summer sneakers. Outside of the airport, it was cold. Minus 4 degrees if I remember correctly – in March. I was staying over for two nights at a guy in the middle of his forties. I took a seat in a Café a continued reading “The game” from Neil Strauss. Isak from Malmö recommended it to me. It was a pickup artist sharing his years and knowledge of picking beautiful girls all around the world with presets of conversations. The decision to get this book took some time since many people stated that it could be a mindfuck. Per, my host for the next days picked me up around 6 PM. He had several bottles of wine with him. Inside of the building, we took the elevator to the 5th floor which was probably from the seventies. My first question for him was, why he visited over 100 countries. This information was taken from his Couchsurfing profile.
After we had our first glass of wine, he told me about his journey. At the age of 32, he was a CEO of a company. So a steady and good job. He felt that he never enjoyed life. That’s why he sold his car and went off on a world trip for some years. When he returned, he became CEO of another company and is currently working on his bed and breakfast outside of Stockholm with a lovely view over a lake. When he’s in the city, he lives in his two bedroom apartment. It was from him when I first heard about Workaway. It’s a website where you can give or ask for help in return for accommodation and food. Since ever he came back has he hosted over 1000 people via Couchsurfing, AirBnB and Workaway. We shared some stories about the past but which stories would match to someone’s who’s twenty years older than yourself. Per had in his both places the new “Google Assistance” installed. Back in Londen got I the chance to experience Alexa from Amazon, yet, Google assistance was incredible too. Questions such as how far away the moon is or how many citizens China has were thrown on Google Assistance. It was a fun night – until I broke up in his bathroom due to the wine-beer-caesar salad combination.

Next day, I took a shower and left to explore the city. I didn’t know where to go. My only plan was to look in every traffic diversion to every direction. If there was an impressive building, I headed to that direction. But, on my way to the building, I applied the same look around in every traffic diversion to make sure I get to see every interesting building. Several hours later, I found myself on the island of “Gamla stan” (Eng: Old city). This is the area where the royal palace and several other beautiful sightseeings are located. I found there a courtyard with cannons and soldiers until I realized that it was the palace courtyard of the Swedish royal family. There was an entrance where tourist looking people went in. I followed them and found out that you can enter the building and get in touch with the history of this building with its inhabitants. Wedding dresses, thrones, crowns, bedrooms, dining rooms, weapons, carriages and long hallways with painting on the walls were trying to tell you the stories of this place.

My stomach started to hurt. It needed some food. Down the road were some cafés, pubs, and restaurants. My choice fell for a place called “Cosy cafe” where I ordered a salmon sandwich and a cup of tea. While waiting for my food, I was reading “The game.” Time passed and then it was already 7 PM. I should meet Per around 8 PM. I got something to eat at a Pizzeria on the way and met him in a pub. The music was too loud and the atmosphere too empty, so we finished our beer and went to addresses further into a sports bar. They were showing an ice hockey game. Two teams from Stockholm were playing, and it was fun to witness the spirit of the supporters drinking their beer and screaming. Just as it is during a football world cup. Around the corner was another pub, where they served a wide variety of different beers from all around the world. We took a spot at the bar and ordered special Swedish beers some with snacks. Per spoke about his Bed and breakfast outside the city. He started building it several years ago with the help of family, friends, and Workaways*. Nevertheless, these people worked for him, he still had a great time with them. Per took out his smartphone and showed me pictures. It’s a two-floor building beside the lake. People all over the world have slept there and had a nice time with him and the other travelers.

We left early because Per needed to work the next day. He showed me an interesting restaurant where they served special dishes and a small haunted park, where he saw once with two Couchsurfers ghosts.

*Workaway is a website where travelers can work for locals in exchange for accommodations and food. Same goes for locals looking for workers.

 

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