Friday, June 13, 2014

Made for souls like mine

Kungsholmen, Stockholm  |  Made for souls like mine on afeathery*nest  |
I'm having a love affair at the moment...with Stockholm, of course.

It's a bit hard not to, right? Just look at it! It's beautiful, clean, cultured, efficient, thoughtful (in how resources are used and children / families / the elderly are supported), lively (but not TOO lively, as long as you steer clear of public places on weekend nights) and right now the weather is just glorious (which I've been told is quite special this year, so I shouldn't get used to it).

I also find most of Stockholm to be less opulently aggressive in its beauty than a place like Rome, which is no-questions-asked breathtaking. Stockholm is a bit more subtle in its allure. I like that. She's reserved, but worth getting to know.

In one of my many listicles up on Google Drive I pasted this quote sometime ago because I liked the rhythm of it, but now I realize I had saved it to describe how I would feel here:
"A wonderful cheerfulness has taken possession of my soul,
like these sweet mornings of spring which I delight in with my whole heart. I am enjoying my life in this region, which is made for souls like mine."

—from Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther
Kungsholmen, Stockholm  |  Made for souls like mine on afeathery*nest  |
As we settle into life here, we've fallen into a nice rhythm. I wake up early and have the morning to myself to pitter about exercising, making coffee, talking to my plants, tidying up and reading. Then after R leaves for work I set myself up at the kitchen table to study for a few hours before lunch and heading off to school. On the way back after class I'll stop off for groceries and get dinner started, then meet R on the balcony for a drink before sitting down at the dining table. We eat at home much more than we did in NYC—but that just means more dinner parties with family and friends, which is much better anyway. Coffee shop visits, though, are still a mainstay of daily life.

And at this point, almost all of our "administrative" things have been taken care of, like obtaining residency permits and IDs, registering for cell phone and broadband service, signing up with a doctor, etc. The only big thing left to do is reactivate bank accounts, which will happen very soon and then, well, we'll be living here 100%.

(Funny story about getting our IDs: My national ID is different from a citizen's and was processed via my already-approved residency permit at Skatteverket, the tax office. Since R doesn't want to carry around any of his passports on a daily basis for ID, and his driver's license is from Italy, he needed some sort of national Swedish ID as well. So, he went to the police station (where citizens go) to fill out the paperwork and have his photo taken. But, before an application can be processed, the requestor has to return with someone that can verify their identity—it's usually a relative, but could be an employer. Guess which foreigner got to go with him to wave around her newly-laminated Swedish ID to validate his identity as a citizen?).

All of which to say: I've fallen completely for this part of the world—although, perhaps we should revisit the topic come November...or March next year.

One year ago: The case for Svenska (<--Ha, how fitting!)


  1. I love that quote! how amazing that you had it saved for a while... :) And so happy that you're falling in love with the city and I guess she really wants you to like her so she is showing her best sunny side :) It was like that with me too, I arrived in April and it was the warmest april they've ever had apparently. Anyway super excited!

    1. Thanks, dear! Looks like we both lucked out with extremely welcoming northern European climes! ;)

  2. I know you are going to have a glorious summer. How can you not? Those beautiful colors. ..I am just drooling. If I was not working, I would be up on the next flight. FM

  3. I totally agree that Stockholm is a very pretty city. It's funny that you compare it with Rome, because I hate big cities but there are two big cities that I really enjoy, one of them is Stockholm, the other one is Rome. Stockholm has kept old buildings which I love, it is a vibrant big city but still nice for strolling around. I wouldn't like to live there but I love going there sometimes.

    1. I think the reason I like Stockholm so much is that it's a "city", but not at all a city in the way NYC and London are. Stockholm is much easier to get to know. After a few days riding the bus I had a decent grasp of where things were, for example. Another reason: it's a good blend of "country" and "city" in a way that NYC never was or could be. I'd never live in Rome, for example, and I don't know if I'd move back to NYC (at least happily), but for now? So happy to be right where I am. Now if only I could learn this language... ;) Thanks for your note, Susanne!

  4. Stockholm is an awesome city. I'm not just saying that because I live here and am completely biased.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a note!