Vacation, vacation, vacation...the vacation mode and spirit has sure conquered Stockholm. Now in July the pace of the city slows down. No crowds on the bike lanes. Our lab is getting very deserted. July is the month when most people take their vacation. Restaurants and coffee shops close. Signs posted on the door saying "We are closed for vacation. We open again in August".
Something else that I have been wondering about is if it is typically Swedish to keep track of time by counting the weeks that make up one year. When I ask people when they are going to be off for vacation most people just say "oh I will be off week 29 through 31" or something like that. I went down to one of my favorite stores this weekend and happened to ask if they were going to be open all summer or if they were going to close for a while. They replied that they would close for one week, week 30. That just means nothing to me. Why can't they just say the dates and give a normal answer such as "yes we will close the last two weeks in July or between July 10 and 25. I just can't get used to this counting weeks. I find it very annoying.
Why did I take a picture of this girl wearing this hat you might wonder. Well the cool thing is that it is not a hat, it is a bicycle helmet. I have read about these kinds of helmets in the paper but never seen one until now. You really have to take a close look to see it is not a hat. They make them in a number of different kinds. I think this is kind of fun to have a helmet that looks like totally something else.
The heat is on in the city. We had to buy one more fan actually. The thing is there is no air conditioning in homes and homes are not built to keep cool during summer but to keep as much heat as possible from escaping. Our apartment also only has windows in one direction so we can't create any circulation of air inside. We can't either leave the windows wide open all night long as we live on the ground floor and don't want to risk someone sneaking in while we are asleep. So when we go to bed we now have two fans to keep us cool.
Having breakfast outside is the best. That sure makes it feel like summer. I love the back porch we have. It really feels like an extra out door room. It definitely adds space to the apartment.
Cold water is just the best to quench thirst. The tap water here in Stockholm is of a very high quality. You don't need to filter it, it has great taste and it is very safe and clean to drink. It comes out cold directly from the tap. You don't need to put it in the fridge to cool it at first. That is something I remember from Alabama, the water from the tap was never really cold. Also it tasted to much of chlorine. So filtered from the fridge was the only way to get cool and good tasting water.