...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Slow mode"

We've through some big celebrations weekends here in Sweden lately: The fifth marked Sweden's national day, the crown princess got married on the 19th, midsummer was last week. At the same time, June also marks the beginning of the big Swedish vacation period. If you lived here, you'd notice how gradually, over June and July, Sweden would go on slow mode. Most offices will soon be closed or trimmed down for the summer holiday – without contest THE most awaited and important holiday period of the year. That summer is so long-awaited and short probably explains all the celebration, too. If you want to celebrate out in the sun, it's really now or never. Everybody knows that the sun in northern altitudes is only up this long for a short, short period of the year.

So for how long exactly is the sun out? Well, about 19 hours. Maybe more.

But I'm telling you, they are long, relaxed days.

Trying to take maximum advantage of each long "day" is probably the closest we would get to prolonging the summer. Summer evenings are particularly lovely. They're like an extra day within the day – the only difference being that you've already been to work.

I love summer nights. They're quiet and cool, sounds are muted; everything is in Swedish "slow mode" – even the sunset! There's no pressure to do anything at all during this part of the day; yet you could still do what you wished if you wanted to, since the sun's still up. Wonderful!

We mostly sit out in the balcony these weekends and evenings, staying clear of celebration obligations and just using the time to enjoy "slow mode" (Since our move at the end of January this year, we had been fixing our balcony just for enjoying it this summer). We're not even in the mood for cooking heavy food, so even our lunches are prepared slow mode-style (eaten "slow mode" too, for sure):

The only thing that's NOT in slow mode these days are plants. They grow like adolescents in puberty with all this sun. I just took these plant pictures a week ago, and already we've already grown about 6 more cherry tomatoes (none of them are ripe yet though) and we've grown about 5 more chilies. They could be more; I stopped counting since a new one seems to sprout every day. The jalapeño in the picture had grown to more than double this size.

I should go out now, water them, and ask their opinions about summer evenings.


Blogger Leplume said...

I loved the "slow mode" when I was in Sweden! I miss it. The first day I got there, the last time I was there, my sister-in-law had in mind a particular bar for us to go have a few drinks. We walked, walked and walked and walked and walked through the streets of Stockholm to get there only to find it completely closed for the summer holidays! So we walked and walked some more! Haha! Still it was a good time! Enjoy your summer!

6:48 PM


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