I am sitting here at a Swedish restaurant in Lilla Torg, sipping a glass of Spanish wine and munching on the butteriest garlic bread (by this point I've accepted the tummy aches and decided that it will just be easier for my doctor to test for celiac when I get back since I've been eating gluten this whole trip... right?). My salmon is on it's way and I am happy. Sitting alone at tables feels less lonely than it used to. I get to watch and listen and observe - something those at full tables do not get to do.
They play top 40 here. Like, everywhere. Train stations, water closets, shops, restaurants. So much for the land of ABBA (though I did pass the ABBA museum while on Dhurgarden, but chose not to go in).
The little things are what I want to remember most:
The way the elevator in my building in Stockholm smelled like cucumbers. The calm I felt walking into my beautifully lit flat this afternoon in Malmö. The kindness of the people I interact with, even for just a few minutes (for example, my waiter just thumbs-upped me from across the way to make sure I was doing okay). The warmth I feel under the heaters on the patio of this restaurant I am sitting at, shielding me from the brisk Nordic fall air.
Every street corner I turn, I am grateful and in awe. The history of European towns is not something readily available in America. These stones and facades have been here for hundreds of years. Mere hours ago, I walked the halls of a fully-functioning 700 year old church. I sat and prayed. I am constantly baffled by the history that God knows every chapter of and dictated by hand. I am humbled to be part of His creation and able to witness parts of this earth that He has created - parts which I may otherwise would've never had the chance to see.
I am twenty-three years old. I am traveling abroad by myself for the first time. I am sitting, eating my dinner in Malmö, Sweden. I have never been so aware of my worth, my capabilities and my heart for the world. My wine is gone. I think I'll have another glass.