One day in Sweden

Taking the train from Copenhagen to Malmo in Sweden. The train is currently going across the sea into Sweden! What a marvel of engineering, rails running across the deep into another land. Hello, Sweden!

The landscape is sparse and bare. Muted autumnal greens and oranges against a foreground of fierce greys… I say foreground because grey is the predominant colour. The sky is grey, the gravel is grey, the sea is grey, all in different grey-dations of colour. Ha-ha. Scandinavia is a land of bare-boned minimalist understated tastes, at least from the short time I’ve been here. Landed in Copenhagen last night at 2300hours, and we’re off the next day! Am looking forward to some real deal rosti.

Unfortunately there is no rosti to be found but in a little hole in the wall gem of a bakery I find this delicious thing called a mazarin tosca. Probably getting the word wrong but that’s what was on the card! Essentially it’s a little shortcrust pastry filled with something like marzipan… But lighter and more buttery. Quite good! Not exactly almond-y but same sort of texture. Then it’s topped with walnuts covered in gooey sticky sweet caramel. A treat indeed! It is delectable enough for me to perform out of character and consume it in what I consider to be dainty bites.

Malmo is austere, quiet. Grey sky and drizzle has that effect on places I think. And it’s cold… Cold cold cold. This European weather, I am not particularly fond of. Especially the dark-at-5pm. Oh my!

After lunch it’s a walk in the King’s Park. Not sure why it’s called that… But the rain has stopped and the still serenity that layers the park settles around you like an old oversized tshirt. I love these autumn colours. Evergreens are still green while other trees have lost their leaves. They stand barren, like kings uncrowned but still regal. A slightly ghostly feel there is to them. The cold air suits their imperious, superior, solitary splendour.

There are ducks! Mallard ducks I think. Those which the males have wonderful green heads. The ducks float around. And float. There’s a splash! I turn just in time to catch three ducks treat the canal as a runway and come to an abrupt stop. They remind me of V/STOL aircraft, with their super short braking distance. Oh, to be a duck! What is it like, to float and preen and bob along?

H&M is in sight. It’s everywhere in Europe… In Oxford Street you can barely walk down the street without having a H&M sign in your field of vision. Ironically in its home country… this is where it is the most expensive. Fascinating thing, economics is.

The day ends with a trip back to Copenhagen Central station. As with big central train stations I am enamoured. This one has dark dark ceilings and brickwork, lit by warm lights. It has this old school charm to it, yet also possesses an elusive sense of mystery. Oh! It is busy but it doesn’t have the sheer noise of other stations. There seems to be an invisible line in the air (maybe 3 meters of the ground), below which people are accepted and welcomed into the warm embrace of the station, but above it is the essence of the station itself, something big and hidden and aware, but something you can’t quite define or point to. Not malicious, just hidden. Oooh! I like train stations.

Other cool things:

Mau and I were traipsing around Malmo in our matching jackets when we were approached by a Swedish couple to help them in filming some cover of a song. So there we go, three seconds of maybe-not-fame.

Swedish train station had a super cool projection thing going on. Instead of the standard advertisements that adorn the walls they had projectors throwing moving panaromas on the wall. Guess what? It was Singapore! The point of view of the camera was a boat floating by the Singapore River, starting from boat quay down. Ah!


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