Tunnelbana

                  A room with a view…with tube tracks in the foreground.

It’s 7.53am, will I make the 8.04, I’m not sure, I still need to find a pair of socks, warm socks and wrap myself in a big jacket and scarf and must not forget gloves! Oh and I almost forgot lunch there, phew…I guess I won’t make the 8.04 but hopefully the 8.09, but I don’t want to wear my glasses so I better put them in a glasses case and so again, I have to open my very cool and very retro purple rucksack (or käppsack as I like to call it, another one of my random Swedish words, which turns out is a very old word that hardly anyone, but me, uses). And there goes the chance of making the 8.09, so 8.14 it is, MUST.NOT.BE.LATE…..So on go the leather knee high boots, essential in the snow and ice and I step out…ipod out, ear plugs in, let’s dash. Outside the cold hits me like a train, at high speed, its freezing, but oh so fresh! If I wasn’t awake 40 minutes ago I certainly am now, the air enters my nose, I can’t breath, don’t want to breath, it’s so cold! Brrrr! I jump over the slippery icey part of the path, scurry along the side walk  dodge the air from other walkers, green man, yes, cross the road, gloves off, hand in pocket, tube pass out and I’m through the gates.

The tunnelbana (tube) rumbles closer, the glimmer of the headlights lets me know, is it an old tube or new tube…I prefer the old ones. When I step in, I think, I wonder, who used to use these tubes, I doubt that the old tubes are that old, but I just like thinking that they were used during a time when every other passenger was looking outside or reading a newspaper not fervently on their mobile phone or donning headphones of every size, shape and colour.

“Nästa Midsommarkrasen” – we race forward to the next stop and the name of the station rings aloud. People rush out and others rush in! It’s everyone for themselves! Early morning tube journeys are not for the faint-hearted! I keep an eye for the odd seat, but it’s not my day. Instead I stand precariously, hoping the journey will be smooth. I’m not a fan of small spaces, especially coupled with many people, so these parts of the journey aren’t my favourite. Thankfully at the next stop several people get off, I’m in luck! I notice a seat, empty, just for me, it has my name on it! I shimmy forward and perch myself, all happy. No more balancing act for me! Yay! There’s an older woman sitting opposite me! She has a walking stick in her hand. I smile, I always try to, especially if I think I’ll get a smile back, I like adding cheer to an otherwise uneventful journey! She smiles back and utters something in Swedish, I wish I knew what, but unfortunately, I can’t quite hear or understand. I just continue to smile…it gets you a long way 🙂 There’s a mile in every smile, as I like to think!

After approximately 15minutes, we draw into Slussen! Everyday the same words ring in my head: “Nästa Slussen. Byte til tunnelbanna mot Ropsten, Hasselby Strand, Skarpnäck, Farsta Strand och Hagsätra samt till Saltsjöbanan och bussar mot Nacka och Värmdö”…Apparently I’m not alone on this! Another girl, lips the words, this makes me chuckle a little, only inside of course. Slussen is a major swap station, young, old, man, woman, clearly awake or obviously tired…every type of person eagerly awaits the opening of the doors so they can dash out and hop onto the train on the green line! I too jump off and sprint across to the adjacent platform! It’s my lucky day! The tube is waiting, doors wide open and I even manage to grab a seat! Yes!

The journey continues in much the same way! My mind wonders to a cinnamon bun! Yes, maybe today is cinnamon bun day…

Awake and ready for my cinnamon bun. Photo: Oscar Eriksson.

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