Back in the hood

The girls and I left Redmond Friday around lunch and took our first steps on Swedish grounds Saturday in the afternoon. No sleep for more than 24 hours. The kids did great as always, they are travelling pros. They plug in their music, get their books and zone out. The only thing they complain about is screaming kids and smelly people.

It’s good to be back. Not much have changed since last summer, maybe a few new houses and shops but that’s all. We managed to stay awake until 9.30ish the first night, not bad actually and slept until 11.30 and thought it was morning. It never gets dark here. After sleeping and waking up all the time I started reading at 3 and forced myself to stay in bed until 4.30 before I went for a run. The sun was up but the city was sleeping. After a couple of kilometers I ended up down town and started meeting people that was on their way home from pubs and restaurants. That never happens in Redmond or Kirkland. You meet runners, commuters and animals at 5ish in the morning but never drunk people. I met a few paperboys with their bikes and a lot of birds. I ran into two scared hares by the castle and a deer behind the hospital. No cars for more than 75 minutes but the bikes are still around. Summer in Uppsala is very sleepy, no students and kids. And it is not every day you get to run on cobblestones that’s been in the same place for hundreds and hundreds of years.

What really takes me back every time I come back here is the smell. The smell takes you back years and years gives you a sense of deja vu. The beautiful smell of flowers, trees and grass that takes you back and memories turns up in your head. You start thinking of people that reminds you of roses, jasmine and lilac. The nice smell of coffee outside the market, fish outside restaurants, the smell of the river that goes thru Uppsala. It gets very clear when you don’t smell it every day. And when I finished my run and got back into my parents garden I smelled the tomatoes from the green house. That is a lovely way to start your morning.        

I went to the pool this morning, that is not as relaxing as running. You need to bring your own towel, lock, shampoo, fins, buoy… I forgot how that works. Surprisingly I met a few people I know 6 in the morning. Very nice. I swam the 50m lanes and felt out of breath and tired. It looks like it is regular crowd that swims at this pool and I was clearly the outsider. A couple of old ladies in the slow lane took me to the side, against the wall by the sauna and asked if I planned to come back, in a very friendly way. And they say Swedish people are cold and unfriendly… I am part of the group ladies 85 and up now, the cool group that somehow manage to walk in and out of the pool without getting their hair wet.

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