I’m not sure what to tell you about Stockholm. I didn’t dislike it; but I didn’t really like it much either. I will not cast judgement on the whole of Sweden based on my experience of Stockholm though. It’s a bit like any country really – a major city is not representative of the whole country. I’m sure there are plenty of lovely green forests and quaint villages in Sweden. It’s just that I didn’t get to see them.

I was really disappointed with the shopping I must say. Most of the clothes I looked at were made in China. Now before I get abused for this comment, I am not some red-necked racist. I’m just sick and tired of the shoddy clothes made in China and I don’t support child labour whether it be in China, India or any other country. True to say that clothes and products from China are getting better but I look back fondly on the days when countries made their own stuff instead of outsourcing to China. Globalization has its downside. I did find some clothes and shoes coming out of countries other than China though with Romania being one of them.

Anyway. The clothes were just ordinary but the shoes were far more interesting. I’ve never seen so many boots in my life but guess that’s because of the snow in Winter. I did buy a pair of ankle boots – German-made. I bought a great pair of boots in Rome, which I wear a lot but I needed a pair of ankle boots to replace my sad, old black ones. I’ll post a photo soon. They cost NZ$150.00.

I found the Swedes very friendly and helpful if just a touch bland. But that’s because I’ve just been living in Rome where it’s all noise, chaos and vibrant Italians. Anything in sharp contrast is bland. I will say that the Swedes are far more accommodating of otherness (i.e. foreigners) than the Italians.

Last Saturday, there was an international fair in the middle of the city. There was British food and confectionery; French soaps; Thai and Spanish food; even an Italian stall with pasta. The one that caught my eye though was the Aussie stand – manned by Swedes LOL! They were promoting kangaroo and camel burgers. Despite being Australian, I have never eaten kangaroo. I just can’t bear the thought of eating Skippy. And a camel burger? No thanks. I’m not sure what the wombat icon is doing in the mix. Never heard of anyone eating wombat.