I have made it to Gothenburg and I already have stories to tell. The plane ride was eventful to say the least. It was a tiny airplane with over half of it filled with Swedish men quite possibly on a stag do. They occupied the five rows in front, four behind and 7 rows next to my seat. I was surrounded. Over 50 tall, blonde, blue eyed Swedish boys and not a single girl in sight. It was safe to say I stood out like a sore thumb. I won’t lie though, there are worse situations I can think of being in but I was exhausted and our half Swedish, half broken English conversation didn’t get us very far but apparently I agreed to have a drink with them this weekend. Also, they were all kind enough to offer their couch if this mysterious “Brad” ended up being a weirdo.
Brilliant. I was not even in Sweden yet and I already made 50 friends, and got hit on about 40 times within the two hour and a half plane ride.
Upon arriving, I followed Brad’s instructions and took a bus into the city. On my bus ride I finally got a message from my friend Alex, asking me where I was.
Alex: “Where are you?”
Laura: “I have no idea.”
Alex: “What does the last stop on the map say?”
Laura: “Gothenburg City.”
Alex: “Well at least you are in the right place.”
Laura: “It also says beraknad ankomat? Does that mean anything?”
Alex: “That means estimated time of arrival.”
Laura: “Oh right well I’m lost then.”
We did eventually find each other central and had a drink along the canal. A couple hours later I met up with Brad, who I now know is Canadian and went with him to an after work in a bar not too far from his house. Alex met back up with us and we spent the night wandering the streets with an Irish mate of Brad’s, Adam, a Londoner we met at the bar, and Hugo, the bartender who had just gone on his break.
Brad left early which meant that at about two in the morning I had no idea where his place was. We had been walking in zig zags for hours through town. I debated sleeping in a park at one point but eventually crashed on the floor in Alex’s living room with his 18 year old step brother and his friend.
Apparently when you say you are American, it makes you an expert on all things American because I then spent an hour answering all the questions they had about living in the United States, whether or not I owned a gun and if I supported Donald Trump.
It was a long night.
The next day, his step dad walked in in the morning wearing a robe and handed me a cup of tea.
“Welcome to my hotel, he said.”
This greeting wiped away any embarrassment.
I then took a quick tour of the house before leaving as it was too dark to visit the night before and realized that my modest Swedish friend was in fact loaded. Indeed, I was in a “hotel”. There were over 6 rooms, huge dining room, balcony with a view of the center.
I thought about all the pints we split and dinners we had together because we were broke in London. I guess I know why he’s back now.
I left Alex around ten in the morning as he had to pack for his trip to Berlin. We hugged and said “see you later” as if to say we would see each other again.
Who knows we might end up wreaking havoc in Ecuador together.
Happy birthday Alex, hope you had a good one.