Winter is here. Now i don’t know about you but i’m pretty excited. Winter is the best period of the year. The white snow covers up all the ugliness of the city and people become more kind. After all, it’s a Christmasy period. I loved it when I was small and I was sledging all day long, now I don’t do that so often but I still love the snow. It’s a period of kindness, closure, gluhwein (mulled wine) and Christmas markets. Don’t you like the Christmas lights, decorating the entire city?
This period also reminds me of the incredible winter I had in Stockholm, when I was living there as an Erasmus student. It was snowing the entire day, for days, sometimes for a week without stopping, and it was dark, always! Could have been also that I didn’t see the light of the day because i was sleeping till late, but around 3pm was already dark. Some of our parties were starting pretty early, around 8pm. If you are from the North you will understand, however, mediterranean people might say we were crazy. But hey!, you gotta take advantage of the long ‘nights’.
Besides partying (which was 80% of our time) we also did winter sports, such as sledging. As an Erasmus student in one of Europe’s most expensive countries, i didn’t want to waste the little money i had on getting winter sports gadgets, so we used what we had at hand: plastic bags, garbage bags, ikea armchairs (this didn’t work out as expected) or free fall from the roof in the snow (do not do this in places where you don’t know what’s under the fluffy snow).
Imagine yourself surrounded by at least 60cm high snow in a residence full of international students with lots of time to waste, what would you do? Well i can give you couple of ideas:
– Organize a snowball fight (this was basically our daily routine for sporting a bit since it implies skills for throwing and avoid having your ass kicked, and running as fast as you can)
– Artistic expressions of free art (also known as making snowmen or other inspirational figures based on human organs -you get it right?-)
– Build barricades in front of people’s doors (which implies that those people had to jump off their window in order to get out of their studio -relax! We weren’t so crazy, we just did it to people living on the ground floor)
– Dig up tunnels and create crazy paths under the snow
– Build up igloos
Yes, we had, indeed, lots of free time, and too much snow. However many nights we stayed inside, since not even with vodka we could handle -25 degrees. And for that we played so many games (also known as drinking games).
Anyhow, and besides the excitements of being an Erasmus, Stockholm offered me the opportunity of a magical winter. The ambiance of the city itself was delightfully welcoming with all those tiny Christmas lights all over the town.
Let me tell you something, Stockholm is an amazing and vibrant city. It has the coziness of a small town and the fantastic night life of a European capital city.