Sunday, October 23, 2005

So I'm back from Budapest and I've got stage fright.

The problem is, I got my name in the paper, and now I'm scared to write anything, um, pointed about Swedish travel habits, on account of the thousands of Swedes that are suddenly reading this.

Do I dare mention that Swedes, who are a well-travelled people on the whole, are surprisingly squeamish about dirt (and sometimes don't seem to realize that what may at first glance look like dirt is merely age), and are unnecessarily picky about their food and wine (even though most actually don't really know a good wine from a bad one... not that I know any better myself)?

Still, they are hellbent on having a good time, and usually succeed. I can't come close to keeping up with the drinking and dancing into the wee hours, three days in a row. Especially when I'm suffering from the tail end of a nasty flu.

Sadly, the old Turkish baths in Budapest that I wanted to go to were being renovated, so I ended up going to the Gellert baths to cure my aching lungs.

(Coming back into Stockholm on the airport train, I noticed that they've changed the message that comes on over the loudspeakers as the train approachs Centralstation - it was a welcome from, god help us, Swedish personality and grade B-celebrity, boxer and "politician" Paolo Roberto. Strange, that.)

The Swedish word for the day is kändisar. It means celebrities.

- by Francis S.

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