Thursday, July 07, 2011

How to survive Stockholm's summer

Although it is much easier to live a life than during the cold, long winter, Stockholm's summer still requires a bit of effort for me to survive.

First, I need to make sure the darkness while I'm sleeping. Complete darkness during the night lasts only a few hours. I need a thick curtain in my bedroom (which is rather hard to find in a shop because Swedes prefer letting in light to inside the house/apartment as much as possible) or need to wear an eye mask. Otherwise, the early morning sunshine around 4'o clock wakes me up (and that's why I'm blogging now at 4 am).

Second, I need to always check whether my favorite shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars are open before going out. Many, especially decent and non-touristy, places in Stockholm shut down during the summer because they go on holidays for a month or so. Stockholm's best contemporary art gallery Magasin 3 is closed during the entire summer (see this post). My favorite delicatessen Hantverkargatan 14 Specerier was luckily open yesterday, but they told me they will close from next week until 1st August.

Third, I need to make sure I bring a jacket when I go out. With the sunlight, the summer in Stockholm is pleasantly hot. That is something much better than living in Tokyo. But in the shade or when it gets cloudy, it becomes rather chilly. I caught cold the day before yesterday because I forgot wearing something on top of a t-shirt.

Finally, as the metro trains run less frequently (many Swedes disappear from the city to go abroad to enjoy the real hot summer or to stay at their summer house in the countryside to enjoy an inconvenient but simple life (often without electricity), I need to go out earlier than usual so that I will arrive at the destination in time.

Otherwise, it is a pleasant period to stay in the city as long as you manage to have a place to live, about which I will blog next time.