There was a brief moment when min kompis Graeme and I looked at each other and thought “this is not real”. We have only ever known each other in Sydney and surrounds, but there we were, sitting together in a bar in Stockholm.
As late as I made my decision to come to Stockholm, he made his even later. The temptation of a mid-year escape from Sydney, Stockholm and Stockholm Pride became far too great in the end. He’s here for about 10 days, staying for a few more days after I return to Sydney.
We spent several hours together wandering around the city, looking in shops, taking photographs, and generally enjoying ourselves until all of a sudden we realised the day had almost disppeared before our eyes. It was six o’clock and time to head off home to freshen up. In my case that meant a brief nap before heading out to enjoy some of the festivities of Stockholm Pride.
Later, we met up with min kompis, Kim and his friend Linus at Victoria on Kungsan to see Hallå hela pressen. They’re the Swedish schlager band we have both seen before and both like very much. They perform great Swedish pop songs with enthusiasm, passion and fun.
The venue was really crowded. “It’s our busiest night of the year” the waiter told us when he asked us to move from the table we had been sitting at for an hour. “Someone must have forgotten to put the reserved sign on, or someone must have taken it away” was the rather lame excuse offered to us. And so we made way for a group of young attractive women who spent the next hour or so with their backs to the stage. Not that we’re bitter about it, but it reminded me of the joke “What’s the Swedish word for customer service? Oh, you mean there isn’t one?”.
Still, we had a great time singing along to their songs, and managed to make it home before the sun rose.