Hej då Sverige

My final day in Stockholm was a fairly brief one, with a planned afternoon flight back to Sydney. Once again, I woke early to overcast conditions. Yes, the weather’s turned, and so it’s time for me to return. I went out for breakfast, wandered around for a while, paid a visit to one of my favourite photographic spots in Stockholm, returned to the apartment to tidy up and mop the floor, and then it was off to the airport, to return home, hoping the travel gods would smile upon me.

You know when you’re sitting on a plane, and you see people coming down the aisle and you think to yourself “please don’t sit next to me, please let the seat next to me spare?”. I’d already played my own game of “travel bingo” where I check in online, and try to decide which seat is most likely to have a spare seat next to them. If there’s already someone in the window seat, I’ll choose the aisle seat, because no one ever wants to have the seat in the middle. And then I’ll always choose either as far to the front as I can find, or as far to the back, on the basis people tend towards the middle. A lot of the time, these made up rules turn out to be correct. On the first leg of the flight, I’d chosen an aisle seat in the centre three, where someone had already chosen the other aisle seat. “Oh no, it’s a big beefy Kiwi”, I texted a friend, as a man came towards me, wanting to settle in the middle seat. After a short while, it emerged there were some free seats, and so both men actually moved, leaving me with three entire seats to myself. Just as I was about to spread out, a Thai woman asked me (in Swedsish) if one of the seats was free. So in the end, it wasn’t so bad, just me and one other person sharing three seats for the first leg of the flight home.

Arriving at Bangkok Airport, with a two-hour layover, I checked into the transit hotel. At about $21 per hour, my first instinct was that was too expensive, as all I wanted was to have a shower. But when I realised, they also had good internet, and an unlimited buffet/bar, I figured it was the best $42 I could have spent. A shower, a change of socks and underwear, a bite to eat, and lots of lovely fruit juice, and I was well and truly ready for the second leg of the flight home. Once again, the travel gods were friendly, with just myself, and a young woman from the Czech Republic (on her first big visit to Australia) sharing seats.

Twenty four hours later and I was home, feeling not so bad after all. It was a wonderful trip, which came at just the right time. I start a new job next Monday, and so it was great to take a break, to re-group in my mind, and to visit such a great city. Goodbye Stockholm. See you soon.

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