Whatup crazy kids! I had quite a day yesterday in Stockholm. We had a match, watched the Euro Championship matches then had a night (and day) on the town.
The reason I was in Stockholm for the third time in a week was that we were playing against Vasalunds. This marked the fifth time in nine games that we were playing the team currently in first place in the league. In fact the only team we’ve played that wasn’t in the top 5 was our only win against Akropolis. Anyway, we got killed 5-1. I was available on the bench, but wasn’t used. The game was awful and we were on the back foot the entire time. Vasalunds scored in the 4th minute then continued to pressure the rest of the half, though they didn’t create many more great chances. In the 22nd minute, we scored completely against the run of play. We cleared a ball to our attacking midfielder Ernesto, who played a really great through pass to Erik who scored a great goal with his left foot. That was a great moment for us, but our happiness only lasted until halftime, because the second half started with them scoring again. From that point, it was only a matter of how many they would score and by the 70th minute it was 5-1. Vasalunds continued to press, but our guys showed some good pride and prevented the scoreline from getting even worse. We even had a goal wrongfully (in my opinion) disallowed for offsides. Long story short, it was a forgettable game. The fact that I didn’t play just made things all that much more disappointing for me.
After the terrible match, we were in need of a fun night. So Daniel, Robert, Joel and I took the subway from the stadium to Gamla Stan (Old Town) to watch the European Championship matches. After being initially turned away from O’Leary’s, the same chain of Boston-themed restaurants you may remember me going on about while I was in Jakobstad, Finland, we looked for another place to eat and watch the games. However during our search, we ran into Kevin and his pops who incidentally owned the O’Leary’s we were turned away from. After a quick phone call, we were in a booth at O’Leary’s with no wait. VIP service!
Most of you will be unfamiliar with the various areas of Stockholm. For you, I will explain a bit about Gamla Stan. This area is a small island that makes up the very center of Stockholm. I have done no research to support this next claim, nor do I intend to, but I think Gamla Stan used to be the entirety of Stockholm. That may or may not be true, but considering that the only thing connecting current day Gamla Stan to the rest of the city are bridges, then there must have been some time when the island was the whole city. Well, Gamla Stan is tourist central in Stockholm. It is the location of the Royal Palace as well as the Nobel Museum and many other historic sites. Amazingly though, among all that history and tourist attractions are hundreds of apartments that people still live in. This leads me to the next part of my story where we visited Tom’s house to watch the 2nd game of the night after we left O’Leary’s. Tom lives in Gamla Stan and was gracious enough to host us for the match. We had fun watching the game and drinking a little bit, then we went out to a club. We snapped this picture in the subway station on our way.
|L-R: Philip, Daniel, Tom, Me, Joel, Robert, Heradi|
There’s not much to say about the club. It was really more of a lounge feel but with much louder music. One thing I absolutely do not like about Sweden and Europe in general is that most clubs only play house music or some sort of house/dance music hybrid. I haven’t been going to clubs for too many years, but I’ve been to enough to know that I prefer rap/hip hop clubs to house music. It’s just my preference in music. I find it easier to dance and enjoy myself when my favorite kind of music is playing. For that reason, I spent the majority of the evening hanging out with the guys in one of those huge curvy sofas that clubs have watching drunk Swedes dance and being peer pressured into taking just one more drink, one more shot, etc. I’m not saying I didn’t have fun because I did, it just isn’t my ideal nightclub. I don’t know if my ideal nightclub even exists in Stockholm.
We left the club at around 2:30am and were faced with a dilemma: no public transportation to Enkoping was leaving until 4:49am. That meant we had two hours to kill in 50 degree weather and with nowhere to stay and nothing to do. So, like the majority of Stockholm it seemed, we went to McDonald’s. That only took up so much time so we just kind of walked around aimlessly. Finally, we stopped at some steps and decided to just hang there until the train station opened. For the story I’m going to tell you, you need to know that at 3:30am in Stockholm in the summer it is as sunny as the middle of the day. That’s not an exaggeration: sunrise is around that time in the summer. Anyway, we’re standing at the top of these steps when a really drunk (or on drugs) guy starts walking up. There were about 40 steps total, and maybe ten steps from us the guy stops and decides he’s going to pee. It’s the middle of the night, so this kind of thing isn’t the most unusual thing in the world. However, it was sunny outside! There was no cover of darkness that would usually protect someone doing something so stupid. When this guy started peeing, we all kind of looked at each other (Me, Daniel, Joel and Robert) like, “Is this guy serious?” He must have noticed, because he turned around and started aiming his pee at us! We ran away to wait for the train a bit further down the street, but not before the guy walked up to us and uttered some nonsense along with a buddy of his who rambled on about leaving 60,000SEK somewhere and having it stolen. I could tell by his eyes that the second guy was on drugs.
|3:50am in Stockholm. About to get peed at.|
About five minutes into our waiting for the train station to open, a guy came up to us and offered us a ride. When he heard that we needed to go 60km to Enkoping, he was shocked. Once he came to grips with that, he made his offer: 300SEK per person to take us. It would only cost half that to take public transportation so we denied. However, after a bit of haggling with him and another guy we agreed to pay 200SEK per person. That led to us getting a ride to Enkoping in a 2001 Audi A4 with some guy who was clearly not a taxi driver at 4am. I fell asleep and when I woke up we were going 100mph on the highway. I felt like I was going to die in an awful car crash. Fearing for your life: the fitting end to yet another terrible matchday.
The season has been awful so far, but now we go into a stretch of matches against teams that aren’t in the top five of the league. If we’re going to survive in this league, then we have to get results against the teams in the bottom half of the table. We’ll train for a week then go for some points!