A Trip To Europe, Hold the Tourists Please

Stockholm is gorgeous in the early evening Stockholm by night

From: Philip Semanchuk
To: john, irene & scott, steve & liz
Subject: Re: yuk yuk
Date: Monday, August 16, 1999 8:26 PM

At 9:21 PM 8/13/99 -0400, you wrote:
> While proudly showing off his new fraternity house
> to friends, a college student led the way into the
> den. "What is the big brass gong and hammer for?"
> one of his friends asked. "That's the talking clock",
> the man replied, with a grin. "Let me show you how
> it works!" And with that, he gave the gong an
> ear-splitting smack with the hammer. Suddenly
> someone screamed from the other side of the wall,

: ) Good one...reminds me of recent experiences I've had in youth hostels. I'm in Stockholm now after spending a few days in Göteborg. I serendipitously stumbled on the last three days of the biggest festival/party that town has every year. Happy drunken Swedes everywhere...

The hostel, the town, and especially the Swedish culture has exceeded my high expectations. It is hard to imagine that the rest of the trip won't be a letdown but I'm prepared to be pleasantly surprised (again). Spent a couple hours chatting at a table with a woman from Croatia and a guy from England, another from Israel and another from Germany/Tunisia. Watched Swedish cartoons, very funny. Talked to lots of locals, they are all beautiful, all of them. Amazing. The culture is terrific. More later, Net access is way expensive and slow here. Hmmm, do I sense a business opportunity?

Happy sober American trying to fall in love

Stockholm is gorgeous during the day too Stockholm by day

Notes from Skeppsholmen Vandrarhem in Stockholm

Ranfar speaks a lot of languages

Another good hostel. Met a guy from Amsterdam named Ranfar who speaks too many languages. We walk around the city; unfortunately he gets cheap sneaker blisters and goes back to the hostel. I walk some more by myself, get lost. Nothing new there. Checked out the Vasa museum. Very impressive. Checked out the subway, the T-bana. Ranfar and I agree that "T-bana" evokes images of a fruity drink with a paper pink umbrella in it, not a subway. Whatever. Each subway stop is decorated in a theme, the main one looks like a giant underground cave, totally cool. They should design one like a fruity drink with an umbrella. Herman's Restaurant rescued my digestive system and provided Ranfar and I a gorgeous sunset view over a gorgeous city. Two Swedish women tried to pick me up last night but I declined; they did not compare favorably to the ones I met in Göteborg. Butt bumping is discovered...

Shared a walk across Gamla Stan last night with a bunch of fellow bar hoppers. Drunk. Sundry simultaneous questions about the USA. Star Wars boxer shorts.

184SEK is nothing unusual for Stockholm bar drinks

From: Philip Semanchuk
To: john, irene & scott, steve & liz
Subject: Stockholm rocks, dude!
Date: Thursday, August 19, 1999 10:37 AM

Off to Poland this afternoon. Sweden has been ab fab. Found a great veg restaurant last night; got my first dose of fiber since I left the USA. Now I'm off to the land of cheap beer. Went out with new friends from Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and California last night. Bought a round of drinks glass red wine, 2 beers, glass OJ) in a chi-chi bar and it cost 184 kr. I don't know exactly what that is but I'm afraid to look. You can find out at http://www.xe.net/ucc/

Net access is a little dodgy in Eastern Europe so I might not chat for a while. Off to find Dad's cousin Wieslaw. I hope his English is better than my Polish.


Thursday, August 19th. Lunch Notes Over Sergels Torg in Stockholm

Boom! Swedish thunderstorm!

Eating a cheese sandwich...clouds...religious group singing "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" in Swedish...surprisingly comforting. Time to finish this sandwich and catch the train.