Sunday, July 18, 2010

Going to the beach.

I have been living in Sweden now as a proper immigrant for a month. It's been great and I have had a lot of fun, but let's just say I've been quite the nomad (it goes like this, Stockholm, Trollhättan, Linköping, Tylösand, Linköping, Stockholm, Linköping, Kalmar *Sigh* for four weeks...oh, big comfy couch, dvd player, and big tv...nope keep moving!)

In order to 'relax' and to enjoy the insanely nice weather Sweden's been blessed with, I have spent an insane amount of time at the beach. Is this bad? Not really, no. Why am I a bit blah about it? Well one, I get sun poisoning very easily in Sweden (The second Stockholm trip was brutal, I looked like a leper) and so it has made me a bit hesitant to go out and lay in the sun for hours upon hours. However, with the pain of getting sun poisoning, something magical has happened. Never in my life has this ever happened before without unnatural help.

I, ladies and gentlemen, have a tan. I know. I know. For those of you know have known me for years, this is just unheard of. Abby has a tan. No kidding. Mostly on my face though are freckles. This is also been a shock to my system. I wear spf 30 on my face everyday, still have gotten freckles. Swedish sun, if you ruin my chances of fantastic skin when I'm in my 60s, I'll curse you, I swear!

Anyways, here are some things I've learned about Swedish (European?) beaches and the culture.

1. Just because this country is close to the arctic circle does not mean that the sun is lame. On the contrary, it's insane. Florida? Please. Swedish sol for me...just watch out for the sun poisoning.

2. People change on the beach. They don't bother with changing rooms here (and they also have the infamous unisex bathrooms). There is a unique dance that beach goers do to change into their suits or normal clothes. usually involving a towel and certain amount of coordination and flexibility. I have not mastered this technique and I think a few people caught sight of my snow white bum the other day. Oops....I'm just practicing the idea of being comfortable with my body in front of tons of people..ok.oh well...

3. If you are not equipped with a decent bathing suit, but still want to sun yourself on the beach. It's ok, just wear your bra (I'm talking to you granny a couple yards a way...)

4. Most kids under the age of 5 are naked, and loving the HELL out of the beach. Parents are not concerned about their boy or girls birthday suits being paraded around in public! It's the beach. Who gives a damn. Plus, clean up is much easier.

5. Fredrik does not like being a beach filled with children.

6. Even though the weather is fantastic and the sun is strong. Sometimes, I would still rather sit inside and watch a BBC historical drama.

And...on that note...happy Sunday. Should it be Clarissa or the Aristocrats? :)

<3 <3


Madame Berg said...

I'm not very fond of beach culture really. I don't like changing in public, I don't like exposing myself even with a bathing suit (I'm never wearing a bikini!), maybe if I got one of those early 20th c ones...

I'm okay with children running around nekkid, because that's what I did back then ;)

But overall, beaches (or rather the people residing there) make me rather misanthropic and nauseous :P Give my Aristocrats and Clarissa any day!

Oh, and this particular summer should give you a rather skewed image of a typical Swedish summer. Normally it's 12 degrees celsius and rain...

Abby said...

Berg- I have a 'retro' bathing suit that is a one piece and I keep trying to wear it but F just looks at me like I'm bonkers 'That's for like..pool don't want to try and tan in that do you?' (I don't quite understand why he thinks I'm so keen on this 'tanning' business...) ;)

Beach culture is quite strange to me as well. I grew up in the Midwest where there are no beaches in my general area (lakes, but then you're usually floating on a raft, drinking, on a boat, and not around a lot of people other than your friends). Plus, I don't like the crowds...or the kids that much more than Fredrik.

As for the nekkid, I've never seen that in US before, and I can only imagine parents freaking out about it if a child was to run around naked on a public beach in the US...maybe I'm wrong (again, I didn't grow up in a beach community or anywhere close to that) but I don't think that would go over well at home. Personally, I don't care, and I appreciate how comfortable the kids are in their skin. That kind of untainted by society thing. They don't care that they're naked and are 100% comfortable with themselves.'s time to finish Clarissa (mildly disappointed by it, must say) and move on to The Aristocrats. :)

Oh, and I have been told by many people that I have not seen a real Swedish summer, but last summer, when I was here for a week around Midsommar it was in the upper 20s & 30s all week and just tell people I bring the weather with me. ;)

Madame Berg said...

Many, many Swedes will thank you if you continue to bring nice summer weather to Sweden :) The summer weather is such a huge thing here, it's ridiculous really :PThe dreary winters make us nuts in more than one way, I guess.

Clarissa wasn't a huge hit with me either but still worth what I paid... At least bland movies are great when you're sewing!

Minda said...

You've been at the beach for a LONG time. It is time for an update!!