We arrived and dropped our things in Erik and Karin's apartment, but we would come to spend very little time there over the next few days. We had a very busy schedule, which began almost immediately as I took the bus to join Sofia in her apartment viewing. My brother and his wife had an apartment secured--or so they thought, until the landlady abruptly texts them and says otherwise. It was very disappointing, and they had to scramble to find a new place. They have been living out of a suitcase for over six months and are very ready to have a place of their own.
As of now, they have a signed the contract for place in the same, shady part of Uppsala, an area which has been subject to numerous car burnings and shootings, as it is the haunt of seven gangs. They are very happy. (My brother and his wife, that is. Not the gangs.) When Sofia heard about the gangs, she grinned. That only makes it more exciting. Like pastors should, they go where they are most needed.
On Saturday, father and I drove to Hans and Lotta, my brother's parents-in-law, for fika. We all sat around the kitchen table in the blue morning light and ate freshly baked bread and apple cake and drank tea. She has given me the recipes for both bread and cake, and I intend to post them as soon as I have made them myself.
After fika, Lotta and I went for a walk in the fields outside their house. We wrapped ourselves in scarves and coats because it was one of those brisk autumn days. The south of Sweden has a great deal more decidious forest than the north, which has largely birch and pine; but here in Uppsala I was treated to a feast for the eyes. Coppery, burnished hues!
A fruit seller in Stockholm
After the visit to Hans and Lotta, father and I drove to Stockholm for lunch with my grandparents, after which I took the train into town (by myself!) to meet up with Emma, my friend who I rarely meet because we seem to miss each other every time we are in the same city. I met up with her and her party at Brud & Fest, a bridal store on Drottninggatan. Her Canadian friend was trying on dresses for her upcoming wedding, and I was able to slip into their inner circle without fuss and offer my emotionally uninvested opinion about her dress. Though I had only known them for half an hour, we all went to Wok Sushi afterwards and ordered thai satay with peanut sauce and rice.
We had all parted ways, after receiving compliments for my hair and invitations to Lidingö and to church, Emma and I ducked into the nearest coffee shop for chai lattes and managed to fit four hours of conversation into an hour and a half. Though we hardly ever see each other, our low maintenance relationship has always been picked up wherever we left it the last time, and for that I am very thankful: I leave friends behind left and right, and I myself am often left behind, but that is not the end.
The biggest accomplishment of the weekend: I took both bus and train to their correct destinations! I did not lose my way even once in Stockholm! Take that, feeble cannon restraint rope.