"Hey, don't take pictures while I'm sleeping..."
"No... No... No!"
Writing about things to take note of at Herräng dance camp for a couple of friends, then went shopping at Ikea last week made my memories wonder back in time. It’s been exactly one year since I packed my backpack and headed off to Sweden, Norway and London for 6.5 weeks of excitement.
As a first time solo traveler and being a petite black-haired Asian girl among the tall blonde blue-eyed Scandinavians, I was anxious, suspicious and cautious at first, but felt at ease after a while (may be I got distracted with their pretty faces with nice complexion, rosy cheeks minus the freckles…cute! :). The people is generally nice and friendly, and found it’s easier to make friends while traveling alone, whether be it in the hostels or trains.
Herräng Dance Camp!
2 full weeks of fun, play and dance. I really did have a blast! Working at the camp made blending into the scene easier, my friends who came a week later were surprised I have known many by their names.
Social dancing here requires some skills to dance smaller than usual as the dance floor’s normally packed like sardines earlier in the night. It was great nonetheless… if not I couldn’t have pulled myself up in the middle of night at 3am and went dancing until the cleaner came to sweep and mop the dance floor at 8am. Hmm… may be I can hide in my friend’s luggage before he leaves for Herrang tomorrow.
Ooh, and it’s here that I fell in love with blues dancing. ;-)
Hospitality of Scandinavians:
Another 4 weeks I spent walking the streets of Stockholm, Uppsala, Oslo, Flåm and Bergen. The great accomplishment for a map dummy was I didn’t get lost even
once. :D Ok ok… may be not in Scandinavia, but once in London :P ... I guess it’s a coincident that the cities are all not that big and the sights are pretty near to the city center.
2 online friends of mine hosted me, J. in Uppsala and T. in Bergen. J’s a friend but T’s almost a stranger before my trip. I know some of you would think I was crazy to do that. But they are really 2 kind generous souls.
J. brought me around town and even took me to the summer cabin to experience a day of life like in the days before there’s electricity, water supply and bathroom in the house. It’s interesting to know how to keep the house warm at night and during the winter days, to cook and wash dishes without the ease of modern tap. What about doing your businesses outside in the cold little shed with a hole in the ground and a raised wooden seat ... I’ll leave it up to your imaginations. :P All in all, it’s a good back to basics experience that made me appreciate our modern technologies and not taking it for granted.
In Bergen, T. met me at the train station and brought me to the hostel where I stayed for the first couple of days. He showed me the city, treated me to coffee and sandwiches, took me to dinner with friends, got invited to his friend’s birthday party, hosted me for the 3 remaining days I had in Bergen, then drove me on a daytrip to Rosendal with his girlfriend. Man, writing all these actually made me realized he’s been such a good host who went all out to make a stranger comfortable in a foreign city. I still remembered what his girlfriend told me: “It’s weird that he’s bringing me to meet a stranger for dinner and doing all this”.
Thank you very much, J. and T.! :)