Friday, July 17, 2009

red short summer

Summertime bears love summertime watermelon in summertime Sweden. Lund, Sweden. (2009).

For whatever reason, seeking the sights in one's own backyard always seems to take a backseat to (what's perceived to be) more exotic travel locations further away from home. Well, me and the editor have been living in Sweden for almost two years now and we're determined not to let this happen to us as well. That's just the way we roll here at starfish and waffles, see.

Happy coincidence, the good people at Skånetrafiken, operators of all trains and buses in the south of Sweden, offer a summer pass which allows holders to make 50 trips within the region for only 485 Swedish kronor (that's about US$62 or C$70 for our North American readers). Sounds like a deal to us. Time to hit the road.

Note the white, IKEA Klippan couch - centrepiece of my palatial living room at the Vildanden W - in the picture above. Lund, Sweden. (2009).

Today's scheduled destination: Klippan, Sweden. (Population: 7,778)

Why: As fans of IKEA are well-aware, many pieces of everyone's favourite prefab furniture are named after different places throughout Scandinavia, and my couch just happens to be named after the town of Klippan. What inspired IKEA to name my couch after Klippan? I want to find out, damnit!

In the field: There's a festival of some sort going on in Klippan, and "downtown" is shut down for rides, food stands, and pedestrian traffic. I see lots of kids, teen mothers and old people. Country music is playing everywhere.

First thought: Hey, it's kind of like Alberta here!

Second thought: Enough of this, time to go somewhere else.

The verdict: I have no idea why IKEA decided to name my couch after Klippan.

De-brief: The same day, over coffee in Helsingborg, Sarah laughs at me. Klippan?! Why? I tell her about my IKEA couch. She laughs at me again. Later, I get a similar reaction from Jonna. She also adds an interesting tidbit: Klippan has something of a bad reputation for being one of the most racist towns in Sweden. Oops. Didn't know that.

Note to self: No more spontaneous travel according to the names of IKEA furniture. Let that be a lesson for everyone.

A sign? "Wrong way" in Klippan, Sweden. (2009).

Picturesque Norra Hamnen in Helsingborg, Sweden. (2009).

Going for a walk in downtown Lund, Sweden. (2009).

Sundown in Bjärred, Sweden. (2009).