Those Grey Days of Stockholm

This may be as depressing for you as it is for me OR you'll see a certain beauty of the town at this time of year that I don't. Anyway, Stockholm has been rather grey and depressing for the past week and it certainly has affected my mood. I always get fed up with the place I'm staying in at some point just because I'm absolutely restless and bored by routine BUT usually it takes more than 2 weeks to get to this point. However Stockholm has got me this far after only 2 weeks and I'm certain that the weather has something to do with it. I mentioned this in one of my earlier posts but I think Stockholm is one of the ugliest cities I've ever been to when the weather is bad but absolutely stunning when the weather is fine. Unfortunately I haven't seen a clear blue sky for quite a while now.

But maybe it's not just the weather. Maybe it is because I was greeted by a pool of sick on Saturday morning in the elevator (of course I took the stairs) or it is just a general bad mood but I'm absolutely fed up with Stockholm's "dark side" - a.k.a. all those drunk and filthy people walking around. I grew up in the countryside so naturally I'm not used to see beggars every day. But here I see the same beggars every day sitting next to the supermarket and the metro station entrance and I'm hearing their "Hej Hej! Have some money? Tack Tack" every day.

In the first two weeks I just ignored it but now I can't help it. It's really going on my nerves! I can't hear it anymore! I don't know how people deal with that who actually live here for more than a month but I can't take it anymore. And don't get me wrong. It's not like I've never given money to a beggar. I have. To those who didn't freak me out by looking at me in a disgusting, indecent way.

It's because of those people that women are actually afraid to use the subway in the dark (including me) and if you've ever watched the TV show "Tunnelbanan" (a documentary on crimes in and around subway stations in Stockholm) you know how disgusting things are in this city. And again this is a big city, it's probably the same in London or elsewhere. It's just that Sweden has a relatively liberal politics concerning immigration and begging that clearly differ a lot from the UK or Germany. I don't want to be racist but it's a matter of fact that this is a big problem in Sweden. And metro stations are tiled for a reason.... But then again I've never heard anything like the following conversation elsewhere: Two people in the subway at NOON. "Hey Yo, what's up man! Haven't seen you in a while" "Yo man, I was in jail. Knocked someone down because he was talking too much" HE KNOCKED SOMEONE DOWN BECAUSE HE WAS TALKING TOO MUCH???!!! HOW CRAZY IS THAT? And as far as I've understood, he was in jail for only two months. He has a serious problem and I don't felt comfortable sitting behind him....But anyway, the guy he was talking too actually gave him some money when they parted. WHAT A GREAT IDEA! Let him buy alcohol and let him knock down another person, BRILLIANT!

But this is not even the worst part. The worst thing about using the metro every day is that your trousers smell like alcohol, smoke and sweat at the end of the day because one of those people sat on your chair before......I've never thought I would come to this point, but every time this happens I SO miss my boring little hometown....

Do you live in a really big city where the same problem exists? How do you deal with it?

But let's come back to the weather - definitely a far more pleasant thing to talk about. I took some pictures of the city covered in mist that I wanted to share with you. They do radiate a sense of calm on the second sight that I haven't felt when I actually took the picture but that I definitely enjoy somehow. So probably this would have been a great post for a Sunday (or not) but anyway I'm going to Latvia for the weekend and wanted to express my feelings beforehand so that my trip to Riga hopefully gets me in a better mood (given that I don't get sea-sick, again, - wish me luck!!).