After getting settled into my room at the hotel, I went out on the Malmö streets to explore a bit.
Most everyone in Sweden can speak English — it’s a required subject in school from 3rd grade — so I’ve no difficulty communicating. The hotel staff, my taxi driver, and a random stranger on the train (whom I asked about the next stop) all spoke clear English. Hearing them made me a bit self conscious about my own spoken English.
In the airport, about half the signs were in English, but in the city, the percentage is much less. Because all the streets look the same to me (brick instead of asphalt — cool), and all the signs are in Swedish, it would be easy to get lost if I didn’t keep looking behind me and noting landmarks for reference.
This is the entrance to my hotel:
This looks just like any of a dozen entrances along this street — no obvious sign or other identifier.
After exploring, I retired to my room to get some work done (my work, not work work) and make phone calls. At one point, I turned on the TV and surfed the channels. I found this almost immediately:
Star Wars! (Note the subtitles in Swedish.) What a welcome this was. I felt like Sweden knew I was coming and broadcast this just to make me feel at home.
I went to bed at 8:00 p.m. and slept solidly through to 6:00 a.m. I stayed in bed watching Swedish TV. About half the channels this hotel TV gets, that aren’t pay-to-view movie channels, are in English — American or British shows (with Swedish subtitles). But I’m most taken by what looks like some kind of Swedish national morning news and talk show; something like a “Good Morning Sweden.” I find the woman anchor fascinating — the Swedish language sounds so masculine, not at all feminine, and listening and watching this woman speak it is just mesmerizing.
I wanted so bad to call home and talk with my family. I wanted to say good morning to Cowgrit. (I wish she was here, to experience all this with me.) But when I considered calling, I had to calculate out the time back home: 8:00 a.m. here = 3:00 a.m. at home. <sigh> It’ll be noon here before the family is awake back home.