Last week I met up with an American friend for lunch here in Stockholm. It was on Wednesday, which happened to be sunny and 11c (51 F) ! Now that I write this, it seems pitiful, but it was huge news for Stockholm. The news that evening showed the whole town outside eating ice cream. People were all over the streets. I called my friend and told her that we had to change our plans from the dark, indoor restaurant we had agreed on because we must find somewhere to sit outside!
We ended up at a restaurant with a large outdoor seating area near her building. Most people were inside, but there were two tables with people outside plus heat lamps. Perfect! We went inside to order our food. She chose a warm sandwich and I chose warm pasta.
I don’t know exactly when the other people sitting outside disappeared. Probably about 2 minutes after we sat down. I also think that I might not have noticed they were bundled in jackets and only drinking hot chocolate. After 6 long winter months, we were going to be Swedish and eat outside at the first sign of sun!
I managed one bite of my pasta before it turned ice cold. My friend kept her coat on. I insisted on taking mine off. After a while, I noticed my hands were shivering and as I looked up, I found that even though this restaurant had heat lamps, they hadn’t bothered to turn them on.
I should have listened to myself 2 weeks ago when I was making fun of people sitting outside restaurants and freezing just because the sun peeked out. Now I’ve become one of them! I felt like such an idiot.
After eating, we went to have ice cream. Even though I see where my freezing cold train is headed, I still can’t manage to get off. I’ll most likely be forcing my family into a picnic next to the big snow pile in the field sometime later this week along with kites. “It’s April! Now quit complaining and eat your hot dog!…… Please pass the hot chocolate.”