Sat 12 Oct - Stockholm, Sweden / London, England

After today, after only one day in Sweden, Hans had already enough of Swedish red tape...

Well, no Swedish passport for Hans just yet. He missed 2 pieces of paper that he should have brought with him, as you do, but never had to do in the past:

  • A note from Swedish Tax Office that states who he is. Why? Because his place of birth is no longer in the passport registers. But hold on, his current passport states his place of birth. Doesn't matter. And regardless, why can one part of the bureaucracy not find that out themselves from another part of the same bureaucracy?
  • A note stating at what date Hans became an Australian citizen as Sweden did not allow dual citizenship... Before 1 July 2001. Hans took that step in November 2001. Not required in 2006 when Hans last renewed his Swedish passport (5 years validity only).

So, come Monday, a visit to both the Swedish Tax Office and to the Australian Embassy will be required. The logistics for how this can work out given Hans will only be in Sweden for the next week is still to be determined, never mind that he will actually get what he wants.

Paying taxes to servicing the public? My backside.

Now, we move onto some more enlightening matters...

This shelf is just above Hans' bed at Mike's place. Young Jeremy to the left and young Vic to the right. The Australian theme is visible throughout the apartment.

Hans asked Mike why he so often wore shirts with horizontal lines on them as those shirts make him look, well, wider than he is.

Then, Mike showed Hans his shirt wardrobe... Mike also quickly swapped the shirt he was wearing then (no prices for guessing how it looked) for a chequered shirt.

Mike's collection of fridge magnets. That is, places that Mike had been to are on the left and places that Vic had been to are on the right. Wait, the magnet to the right looks a bit different? Faded printing etc?

The right fridge magnet is of the Parliament Palace in Bucharest, capital of Romania.

Of course, Vic goes there regularly as his girlfriend lives there, but what a folly that building is, built by the former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu to and for himself. Vic said that the current government resides in part of the building today but that it is mostly empty.

A couple of pics outside Mike's place which with the autumn leaves made it look quite nice.


Hans had an 11am appointment to get his passport renewed, but let's fast forward to beyond that.
We, Mike, Vic and Hans, then drove into town to find where the Australian Embassy is in Stockholm these days (found it) and then onto where Alex lives with her boyfriend Magnus (Lindhagensgatan).
Unfortunately, we could not see her then as she was out to the gym. We did hang around the area a bit, parked the car in the parking station of a shopping centre and wandered along one of Stockholm's many waterways.

Outdoor exercise machines with a difference...

We had a simple lunch of wurst and mash within a shopping centre (eating out in restaurants is horribly expensive, even an espresso in a Starbucks style coffee shop will set you back more than A$6 (SEK 39).

A visit to the government owned bottle shop was also required as no Sunday trading is still allowed and they close at 3pm on Saturdays. The bottle shops are better than they used to be when Hans lived in Sweden, with more on offer and prices not as outrageous as in the past, but forget about getting any drinks cold or any discount for bulk buying.

Belly laugh about this... "Australian" white and red wine was sold in... small tetra packs. "Great white... Aussie". No, we did not buy any of those.

Three men and a parking station... Of course, all three of us forgot on what floor we parked the car and it took us 4 (four) attempts to find it. Level 1, no, level E, no, level -1, no, level 2, yes, finally.

Mike and Vic showed Hans a few new attractions on the Stockholm streetscape, like the new Friends Arena, where Friday's football game between Sweden and Austria took place. As you can see in the picture, there is still work to do around it.

Mid afternoon and we go back to Mike's place for a bit of a break. Vic has a new mobile with a super duper camera, with a huge amount of MegePixels, so he takes lot of pics of everything, even more than Hans can you believe it...

Alex, Hans niece, arrived...

Mike drove away for a little while to pick up Päivi, his girlfriend. The happy couple...

The Spotify software on Mike's desktop provided music entertainment for us. Alex chooses the next song...

So, Mike, when are you the two of you going to get married...?

Mexican dinner with the whole family, Vic - Hans' nephew, Alex - Hans' niece, Mike - Hans' brother and Päivi - Mike's girlfriend.

This is a Romanian, Dracula themed, beer mug. Looks good, doesn't it?

The female part of the family...

In the mean time, Di spent parts of her day at the "famous" Portobello Markets in London. Much to see and much to experience... Very multicultural.

Yep, that shop was right up Di's alley.

Di was mingling with the crowd.

Flowers for sale.

Don't these guys look like you probably shouldn't mess with them...
Just to confirm again where Di was... She was at the famous, no make that world famous, Portobello Markets.

Di also went to Chelsea Westminster Hospital to see her family friend Carolyn who just had an operation, which went fine.

Di bought and brought these flowers to the hospital for Carolyn.

And a final pic from the outside of where Di stayed...

Our parallel lives continue... Good night.


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