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19 July 2005

nothing with eyes wide

woke up at approximately 1000; the train was due in stockholm at 1115. sat up in bed and waited for the train to arrive in the central station. german crew... much activity. much 'mein rucksack'. arrival [let me the hell out of here]; the central station was bustling. i sat in a corner and transferred the hostel information from my laptop to my treo and also loaded the stockholm map details into my gps. as it turned out, the hostel was less than a ten minute walk from the train station. i doubted i'd be permitted to check in before noon, so i milled around the train station for a little while and grabbed some food. milling time is important.

got to the hostel at 1230. i was right; no check-in until 1400. the hostel woman seemed frustrated and irritated. it looked like she had other things on her mind; i found out later that the hostel is in the midst of construction on a new room. i asked if i could store my pack until 1400... sure, downstairs, but please take your shoes off first. quite annoying. shoes off, packed stored, shoes on, i helped the hostel woman carry in some new couch cushions that the delivery men had left on the sidewalk. she called them lazy. i was out on the stockholm streets.

wandered a bit through the beautiful city, to gamla stan and sodermalm. narrow sidewalks filled with people. ice cream. at some point during the two hours of preliminary recon, i remember thinking 'hmm, another city'. my energy to explore stockholm was waning; indeed my energy for exploring any city was waning. back to the hostel by 1430. shoes off, blah. i didn't really care for this hostel. it was clean enough, the location was perfect, and there was free wifi internet access, but in addition to the shoe rule (which while seemingly benign really got under my skin for some reason), the rooms were in the basement, cryptlike and untouched by natural light... the complete opposite of my northern norwegian excursion where the sun never set and the curtains couldn't be bothered. the hostel woman seemed on the edge of hostel manager burnout. others commented that it was one of the nicer hostels that they had stayed in, but for me it was nothing but negative energy. i toyed with the idea of moving to another hostel for the following two nights, but decided i didn't want the hassle.

after check in, i spent the rest of the day with admin duties. did two loads of laundry, updated the site, and researched travel plans before heading to the crypt. i set my treo alarm to wake me up at 0830. with the lights out and the door to the room shut, the darkness didn't improve after fifteen minutes of adjustment; still absolutely nothing with eyes wide open. the beds were packed into the room; one exit. negative energy seething.

posted by paul on Tue 19 Jul 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)


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