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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Chandler

Stockholm, Sweden

TWO YEARS. Two and a half fucking years and THREE flights booked, two cancelled, to make this damn trip happen. Covid was determined to make sure we never made it to Sweden, and we kicked its ass by making Stockholm our bitch and totally slaying this vacation. In layman's terms, we finally made it, and it was AWESOME. The story starts about 3 years ago when Stephanie’s childhood friend Kristyn invited the fools to Stockholm for a visit. So as per usual, we wasted no time and booked a flight for April 2020. Then March 15th came and, well, you know. We tried again over a year later and Covid did it again. WORTH IT ALL.

There are two ways to travel, as a queen and as a peasant. Normally we travel as peasants, this time we decided to travel as queens. We decided to go peep out the little Delta Sky Club at JFK, and found out that if you have a delta credit card, for a measly forty dollars, you can get free alcohol. Yes, you heard me, free alcohol and free food. Yes again, we said free. You won’t get an option of grilled cheese, pizza, chicken fingers, or burgers, but they had white rice and the cheesecake is out of this world. Who knew that delta sky club had the best cheesecake in all of New York. But fuck the food right? You get free alcohol. And you get to stand over the edge and watch all the peasants below you sitting at their gates like a bunch of poor fools while you are sipping your sparkling Brut (we assume it was some fancy ass champagne). I digress. Here is the advantage of finally not being late to the airport and arriving too early (cough cough Italy), we really got our forty dollars worth. We got four glasses of wine (each), three cheesecakes, and four plates of food…Stephanie. This makes up for not being upgraded to first class like we were hoping.

PSA: How many times do you think Stephanie peed her pants? Zero right? Because she’s a grown ass adult. You’re wrong! At least three times, THREE TIMES this bitch peed her pants in the span of a week. Please send your Depends donations to Nesconset, thank you.

The emergency exit row is not as exciting as you think it is. You quickly realize that you get those stupid tray tables that come out of the seat. V uncomfortable and very little sleep to be had on an overnight flight. But good news for Stephanie, you’re right next to the bathroom. And when you are next to the bathroom, you notice a few things. Like the astonishing amount of people that walk into a bathroom in socks or even worse…barefoot. People, it is still a public bathroom. Someone definitely pissed on that floor (you know men have no control). Don’t be fucking gross, and put some god damn shoes on to take a whizz.

We often mention that you should get yourself a Mexican boyfriend. That still applies, but also get yourself a Swedish friend or a friend that lives in Sweden. It is super helpful. You won’t have a language barrier here. All that Spanish we told you to learn? Don’t bother. Come here and you won’t have a problem. Like a civilized country, they taught English, as well as Swedish, to all their children from a young age. Although it does seem like most of their menus are not translated, everyone speaks English. So don’t be afraid to ask.

Stop talking shit in public, and stop assuming that no one understands you…they all do. Like when you see an abandoned baby stroller with a baby in it at a cute little cafe that you’re at, stop assuming no one understands you because the parents of that child are most likely sitting right behind you. And they probably heard everything that you said. Everyone here speaks English.

Because Swedish words are so hard to pronounce, it helps to come up with your own words for them. For example, if you need to take the Norsborg train, just say that you are getting on the “nose booger.” If you need to get off at Stureby, just say “strawberry”. We stayed at a friend's house in Bandwagon, or as the Swedes know it, “Bandhagen” We all know what you mean, your people will know what you mean, and the Swedish won’t. It is the perfect recipe. As you know, we have a reputation of booking a trip with barely any idea what we are getting ourselves into. How many times have we run into a situation that could have been avoided with just the simplest most basic google search before hopping on a plane to a foreign country? Here is our beef, the one time we decide to get adventurous while traveling outside of the country, we watch a bunch of youtube videos where people tell you what to try and what is super Swedish. Turns out most of it is not super Swedish. All the shit that you see in Sweden that you see over and over again, they don’t bother to mention. So you spend a whole day looking around for four fucking foods that are all over Stockholm and you have to walk 12,554 steps to find cold hashbrowns that were disgusting, and to never find some bullshit Beetroot tea that doesn’t exist anywhere anymore. We finally find Amy’s hot dog burrito. It felt like we walked to a different country to find a Swedish pancake. Belgian waffles are more popular here than anything. We were also promised alcohol at McDonalds, NO, maybe only specific ones. Your best bet is to ask a local. Considering we had no shortage of locals, we still managed to go on a wild goose chase looking for a bunch of food that was probably unnecessary for us to even bother with. Oh, but Swedish Meatballs….you know, the ones that Ikea sells? That’s a real thing there, and they are friggin delicious.

Transportation is pretty straightforward and easy. Google Maps makes it very easy. It is one simple app, you buy a seven day pass for forty dollars, and it works for trains, buses, trolleys and some boats. We definitely got our money’s worth. To get around Stockholm, if you are not walking, you are scooting. They even have their version of Lyft, called Bolt. Pro tip; when you are at the airport and it says “Taxis,” that is where you get your Bolt because the Swedes make sense. God forbid America allows Ubers and taxis to pick up in the same place. You’re never really going to worry about a cab driver scamming you because you’re a tourist, because taxi rates are regulated, and you are going to pay exactly what the locals are going to pay. But side note, you’re better off using Bolt. The taxis are generally more expensive. There is no real reason to use taxis. Scooters, they are a plus. You literally pick them up wherever you are, they are sitting on the side of the road, scan the QR code, you are on your way and you drop it anywhere. Really cool!

The conversion is pretty convenient too. If something costs 550 Kronas, it is pretty much $55. Just take away the last number and subtract one or two dollars, and that is what you are going to pay. It is so much easier to figure out than pesos or euros. Stockholm is also a purely cashless city. Many places don’t accept cash. Some of our new Swedish friends mentioned that they don’t even know what cash looks like anymore, because they changed it 7-8 years ago and they actually haven’t had cash in their possession. Everything is a credit card. So don’t bother going to the bank. Luckly, we are too lazy to do that so we wouldn’t have even bothered anyways. That mentality has bit us in the ass but this time it worked in our favor. But what about tips you say? Tipping is really not a thing in Sweden. They give their workers liveable wages, can you believe it??? We wouldn’t say Swedes are warm and fuzzy people, but as Stephanie will attest to and still swears, Paris is really not all that it is cracked up to be and the people there suck. Come to Sweden, the people suck less and it is just as beautiful. What are you going to Paris for? An eiffel tower? Who cares? You can see a picture of it, it’s just the same.

A big breakthrough happened on this trip. We got the answer that we were looking for this whole time. Yes, we do look like a lesbian couple that are together romantically. There is one advantage to that. If you go to a brewery on an itty bitty island (Fjaderholmarnas Bryggeri), you could possibly run into an amazing gay couple who will assume that you’re lesbians and become your best friends for the whole day. After a very large flight of beer (at least double the size of an American flight), we took a little tour around this tiny little island and found this really cool local Swedish artist. And now you have new gay best friends for life. That is probably the only benefit of appearing to be a lesbian couple.

Since we spend most of the blog complaining about food and people, we should mention some really cool notable things we did on this trip (ya know, in case you are reading to actually get some advice). The first night, after a cute little nap and some fika (Swedish coffee break), we headed off to Aifur, a viking themed restaurant owned by some hot shot Swedish celebrity that was absolutely made for tourists, but absolutely fucking awesome! So dive into that tourist trap with two feet, you won’t regret it. The next night we went for some karaoke, Japanese style, where you get your own room. The karaoke rooms were in what we can only describe as a Dave & Busters on steroids. It was a lot of fun, so drink and sing your heart out, ya little fool. The weekend came and it was time to spend some Swedish time with some Swedish peeps exploring Skansen, which was basically an old timey village, with…a zoo (insert eyeroll emoji here). Stephanie was not pleased. We took a million pictures of ourselves while constantly apologizing to the Swedes for being so annoying. After that, we explored the city for a bit, and even got a mini walking tour from our new best Swedish friend Disa, who was so knowledgeable and awesome (we told you, get yourself a Swedish friend). The next day we headed out on our very own to tackle all those Google Maps pins. Town Hall, Fotografiska Museum, Old Town, The Royal Palace, Ostermalms Saluhall. After our Ghost tour around Old Town that took us to all the places where people were massacred and executed, we had dinner at a small old underground prison, which was pretty damn cool.

So what have we learned on this adventure? Don’t bother reading or watching any other blogs. It’s all bullshit. This is the only blog you’ll ever need. We’ll tell you exactly how it is, and naturally, we love talking about ourselves. So we’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, don’t ever hesitate to reach out and send us a message if you have any questions about traveling. No, we aren’t experts, but we are two fools, and we’ve made the mistakes so you don’t need to.

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