At the moment, the Baltic Sea is not too rough, nor would I call it placid. But as I type this, sitting at a desk on board the M/V Baltivia, the stool keeps sliding back and forth with the movement of the boat. I boarded the ferry in Nynäshamn, Sweden and hopefully in 15 more hours I will be in Gdansk. Fifteen hours seems pretty long to be hypnotized by the ice and waves, but for the past four hours I have done nothing but stare out into the dark and marvel at how the boat breaks the ice floe with it’s prow, and the ensuing wake cause further little breaks along the sheets flowing parallel to the boat. If I search further into the distance, I am able to find this strange blur between the sea and the fog, which was the intent of a Sugimoto photo series on primordial seas. If I look up into the sky, the blizzard seems to speed up the ferry while the snow, lit by the light of the casino, streaks across the blackness. This is the perfect way to escape Sweden.
While I had a wonderful time with close friends and made new ones, I really can’t understand how anyone can live here. Especially men. If the family lives of my friends are any indication, the stereotype of Swedish women being aggro ball-busters is well deserved. And the snow and dark is ridiculous. I can see a reason for the drinking and the insanity now. And the boredom! After the art fair ended, Julie and I had one day to figure out what to see in Stockholm so we pored over a Rough Guide to find something interesting. We had spent 5 days holed up at one of the major cultural destinations, so we were ready to see something else. But in the end, our excitement came from the grocery store. We bought 30 tubes of food to take back to Turkey.
But, I am willing to give Sweden another chance in the warmer future. We have been invited to come back during the summer to stay at not just one summer home, but two—one in the north and another in the south. And apparently Sweden likes us—we made a splash at the art fair and out of hundreds of artists and organizations here for the week, we were consistently positively reviewed and mentioned in the press. I even gave a radio interview, which apparently was very funny, but I was dubbed in Swedish, so I don’t know what I said.
Read about our adventures here.