I arrived to the airport over an hour before I needed to so I called Amelia and she came and picked me up, I took her to breakfast at 13 Coins. When I got back to the airport I had plenty of time to go through security where there were Christmas Carolers in period costuming singing “Jingle Bell Rock” an odd combination. I saw Mr. Nilsson! Yes indeed, there he was going through security! Pippi Longstocking’s little side kick -a monkey- well this Mr. Nilsson belonged to two cute queens who were headed to Denver, if I remember correctly with their 8 month old monkey for the holidays. As I came down the escalator to get on the train to the S Gate my eyes were treated to a vision of six lovely Korean stewardi for Asiana Airlines in their very chic topeish uniforms. Their hats had a detail on the back that made me think of a temple. They were darling and very modest about my compliments.

I get on plane after doing last minute e-mail, as I know that Internet access will be a challenge once I get to Stockholm. Board the flight sit next to a young lady who is flying home to Ghana for a month on school break from Reed where she is studying Bioengineering. I watch, A Good Woman, Little Manhattan (too cute), The Boston Strangler, and Four Brothers 1 and a half times to get my Marky Mark fix. Slept maybe an hour, and land in Amsterdam at 7:45 AM where the sun has not risen as yet, it finally did at 8:45 AM. I go to the transfer counter where my eyes are treated to a sea of Nordic blue and Navy. I find it comforting that their uniforms blend in perfectly with the early morning sky that frames them from behind through the glass. Are the Europeans always so smart to play off nature in this way? Is that why I find there design palette so pleasing and comforting? There are priests who are either Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox in their black floor length gowns and round little hats. Long white beards and hair in a chignon no less.

Walk to the other end of airport to board the flight to Stockholm. Feeling weary as I sip my tea and drink a yogurt. There is a man waiting for the same flight who is in a complete sweat, dose he have a fever? Is he in withdrawal? Is he just an unfortunate sweaty guy? I decided I do not want to stand near him and hope he is not going to be in the seat next to me on the flight, as I really do not want to get ill. I have been fighting a damn cold for days and am pickled with the concoction I have been downing for the last four days- Airborne, Elderberry, and Astragals every three hours, with lots and lots of water.

I fake sleep for the hour and 50 minute flight to Sweden. There is a break in the cloud coverage and it is beautiful to see the flat land with the slight gentle bumps here and there with farms scattered here and there with very slight snow coverage. It is so pretty as you look at the landscape you can see how the glaciers dragged there way down this land leaving trenches, and rock out croppings. It is a very harsh but beautiful landscape.

There is now a train that travel into Stockholm which lets me know that it has been at least 8 years since I was here last- as that is when the train was added- it takes 20 minutes and I am at the Centralstationen the central train station in town. I get off and walk down the walkway and in the distance see someone who is unmistakably my Aunt. I can tell from 20 feet way that she is my relation as we bear many similar physical traits.
The last time I was in Stockholm I had recently fallen very much in love with Tsilke and was having the hardest time coming out to my Aunt. She kept asking me during my stay if I was dating anyone and wasn’t I lonely for a companion? But her questions and reference to this always had a male gender attached to it and I kept wanting to try to tell her in a casual way that I had fallen in love with a woman, I found the whole situation so overwhelming I ended up never telling her. Hence she has never know about what ended up being a five year long relationship with many plot twists and turns- but that is another story in and of itself. Oh Well! I was a chicken and what I get for not being more open to my family is that they really don’t know me. That being said I have so many things to come out about to my family I don’t know where to start. Bottom line I have always felt that they don’t really want to know.

Stockholm is one of the prettiest cities. The architecture is beautiful and the colors of the buildings as so pleasing to the eye, soft yellow, burnt orange and the classic Swedish green.This time of year when the sun is going down at 3:15 the houses have a warm glow to them and appear as gingerbread houses with the Jul lights a glow.