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Monday, January 28, 2013

On Arriving in Sweden and a Pair of Fluffy Handcuffs

My face is completely scarlet as I stand at the security line at Standstedt Airport, just outside London. The contents of my bag sit on a counter in front of me, and the security card rips open a box that he finds, like a child eager to discover what his Christmas present is. He shakes his head, smiling, and calls out to his colleague;
"Ah, it's jus' a sex toy mate!"
He dumps the pair of fluffy handcuffs on top of the pile of my stuff, and leaves me to deal with the damage, as well as my red face. Ryanair, you could treat your regular clients with a little bit more dignity, please. I'm not a criminal, I just bought a present for a friend of mine which I thought was funny!

At least he didn't find the Sex Pasta ;-)

Arriving in Malmö, the first thing I had to do was buy a ticket for 'the rainbow bus'. No, it has nothing to do with gay pride. It is simply a bus which takes you to the Central Station. As I waited for this luxurious vehicle, I noticed that there stood nearby a tall, slim young woman wearing a mustard coat. I decided to ask her if she knew how long the bus would take. So I did, and we struck up conversation.

We sat together during the trip, and I got to know that she was British, from a town near Cambridge, and that she had come to visit a friend in Copenhagen. I sensed that there was something else behind this, but I decided not to ask. Sometimes it's just not the right time, no matter how curious you are or how many questions you might have.... Not all questions are meant to be answered.

Within minutes of arriving, saying goodbye to my new friend, and walking outside, I was literally attacked by a midget attempting to jump into a photo I was about to take. I gleefully squashed the midget with a giant hug - my dear friend Mina Tolu, as pictured above, and my host over the coming 6 days. I rejoiced to see a familiar face, and excitedly chattering, together we walked around the main streets of Malmö. I was surprised to find that it was snowing, and hoped that I wouldn't freeze.

An hour later, I was convinced that I had made the wrong choice for Erasmus. Malmö is so beautiful with its graceful, elegant architecture, its carefully planned bicycle infrastructure, quaint little cafés selling organic Fairtrade coffee everywhere - I was literally gobsmacked at how different this city looked compared to the one I was living in!

Once we arrived at the student residence, we planned out how we would spend my trip. A student party on Friday, as well as a visit to Copenhagen, were both on the to-do list, as well as seeing some of the main Malmö sights like the 'Turning Torso' and the Pildammsparken old water tower. In the meantime, after a long day (I had slept for only 2 hours on a warm spot near a heater on the floor of Stanstedt airport)I was grateful to have a hot shower and something to eat.

During that time, I got to meet some of Mina's friends; a bunch of Spanish, several Germans, a Polish and a Lithuanian thrown in just for good measure. We all got along from the start...and ended up having some fun together.

This photo illustrates the kind of people Mina likes to hang around with:

Until next time, dear readers :P

Coming up: What to do when you're in Sweden, and daytripping in Copenhagen!




  1. Hey Tasha....liked the language flow..anyways wondering what happened at the air port security and handcuffs??????

  2. Hey Kaushik,
    Basically they were wrapped inside my hand luggage, and I guess the metal part must have showed on the screen when it passed through the scanning machine. When I was getting through the airport at Weeze it was more embarrassing, there were two young German guys and they just started laughing at me!!!
    Thanks for the comment :D and hope you enjoy the next blog...I promise you that the story gets better!