Stockholm, Sweden of June 2004, Log 01

     
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And so we were on our way to Brussels. haven't taken our first maiden budget airline SN Brussels. It has got meals (which we didn't expect) and a pretty good one! Even had chocolates. We arrived finally at the airport and took a train to the city centre. Fantastic train and first impression: EFFICIENT. All clean, all on the dot timing and they all speak good English! And so we headed out and tried looking for our hostels - Globens Vandrarhem Hostel (Abbes). We couldn;t quite get directions and so I asked a Swedish gentleman and the first thing he did was give me a lesson on pronouncing the names right. Swede is TOUGH! Start twirling and untwirling your tongue and I thought French was tough! Anyway, Exchange rate is at S$1 to 4.35SEK Swedish Kroners; kroners, aka crowns.

After just a 700 metre walk from Gullmarsplan subway station, (and we thought we were lost and had to turn into a dirt road) we arrived at the doorsteps of Abbes. Went to the kitchen first and cooked up dinner for the whole gang. Was almost 1am when we went to bed, all six of us in a room, and did a bit of chatting before the next day.

Strange thing then happened. The birds started to CHIRP! We thought the birds here were cuckoo and probably decided to wake up in the middle of 2am in the morning. But no, it started to brighten up and as I recall, Jen went: "Oh my gawd, it's dawn and the sun is coming out!" and she jumped out of bed and went to take a photo of this. It was like 7 in the morning.

By 4am, it was bright like 9am here in Singapore. How to sleep like that? WAH LAU EH!

Anyway, it was the beginning of an experience where you get a solid summer time with say 5 hours of darkness all across Scandinavia. Good...... Till Tze Long and Sarah's wedding then! 3pm in the afternoon.

     
 

Day 2 (5 June 2004) of Sweden saw us waking up and taking it slow in the morning. Em and Alex left us to meet friends and had their Swedish Meatballs. *Hmmph* and left us behind to eat pasta noodles with expired (but still good) Yeo's curry chicken. :p

Soon, all back, it was time to head for the wedding. All dressed up and ready, we rushed, taking the train AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (metro) before taking the bus. We arrived at the church late. YIKES! TL, sorry!

     
 

The photo on the top is a night shot I got from another site. Lovely church that was built in the 1100s. We arrived at the Bromma Kyrka Church when a lady was singing solo Peter Cetera's You're in Inspiration. All using the church's pipe organ! The 2 of them were facing the altar and they were holding on to each other's hands and the service continued (all in Swede of course) Saw more Singaporeans in the congregation. And as they did the recession, I managed this photo with Jen, Em and Alex in it.

     
 

As we headed outside, we were given test-tubes of bird seeds, to be thrown at the wedding couple as they came out of the church and we then lined the 2 sides of the walkway.

We proceeded with the greetings and photo taking and finally, a group shot of the Singaporean group! 12 of us, excluding TL's family, at the heart of Sweden while a fair maiden Viking lady has got as her MAN a very eligible bachelor (no longer!)

     
 

We headed for dinner in a coach that took us to a 1-Michelin star restaurant called Ulriksdals Wärdshus that was beautiful! And no one probably did tell us that their collection of wine has a place in the book of Guinness World Record! WHY NO ONE TELL ME? They made up for it by serving us champagne for a start and then mingled as a group. We managed to get this photo with the bride and groom. Wasn't too big a party, about 50 people. We then headed out to receive the bride and groom in an old vintage car.

     
 

Headed inside for dinner and we all split up at a group as would the custom assign us new dinner dates. As couples, we still sat at the same table of 8 but not beside or across. We had on our table folks our age as well, and it was fun with us all being seow! One of the girls even looked like Monica Seles, but don't play play, she's doing her PhD in Biology like Jen and had even done an exchange at NUS! There was another charismatic young man and his gf and he was the Singapore Club's President in Sweden! And so with his cho-choing, we did a YUM SHENG!

     
  A tradition we also followed was the whole banquet hall getting together to tap on the wine glasses and eveything this was done that the bride and groom should kiss. One time saw Sarah pulling TL over for a huge kiss! Eh, what is to come? Haha.. Of course we did the standard toasts (many times over, not the chinese way but the swedish way - scor!)
     
  And we didn't even tell the hostess who was inviting guests for a speech or reading out well-wishes received in telegrams. And so us gungho Singaporeans and Swedes went YUUUUUUM YUMMMMMM Seng! Much to the delight of TL's parents albeit. Food was great and alcohol was one for evey dish, white wine, red wine, dessert wine (riesling) and ending off with Brandy and Bailey's! The night couldn't end better with dancing and TL and Sarah took to the floor for the first dance. Did he take lessons for that?! All an amazing Swedish Wedding - Hellango, la la la la la la la la, Hellango!
     
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