How to survive the fall

It always takes me by surprise, how quick it becomes November once school starts.

Autumn is difficult for a lot of people. It gets darker and colder every day. It’s easy to get sick and hard to get up in the morning. Especially if you’re not from a nordic area of the world, you might find it a bit overwhelming.

I happen to love november. And I’m going to tell you why. Maybe this will be of use to you if you find yourself in Sweden next autumn.

1. The lights
light
Yes, November is very dark. The sun sets at four p.m. (16) and rises god knows when. If it’s not raining or snowing that is.
But there are so many lights in november. Walking outside in the pitch black cold, there are few things as beautiful and warming as burning candles. Visit any graveyard on all saints day in the beginning of november, if you want to see the essense of what I’m talking about.
In the end of november, christmas lights will be all over.
We make a big deal of christmas over here, if you were wondering. And you should see how all the lights look in freshly fallen snow!

2. Exercise
running
Exercising in November is fantastic. People find it hard to get outside because it’s so dark and cold. It might even be snowing.
But dress properly and you’re in for a treat. The air feels so fresh and clear this time of year. Running in the dark, with your favorite music on max in your ears, is really something special!
And coming inside afterwards, your cheeks bitten from cold and muscles sore, having a hot shower and crawling underneath a blanket, is one of the best feelings in the world!
If you join a gym, make sure it has a sauna. Another fantastic hot-cold sensation, and excellent for sore muscles!

3. Fika
2013-11-04 16.19.23
Fika is a swedish word, mostly translated as coffee and a bun. However tea and a bun, hanging out at a café with friends no matter what you eat or drink, taking a break at work – is also fika. You can fika with a friend, but you can also eat fika. It’s not an entirely easy word to explain, instinctively you’ll know what it is eventually. I’m getting off topic.
Fika is good anytime, but extra cosy in November. Swedish people love fika, so there are plenty of cafés and a lot of different buns to choose from. Beach-season is a loooooong way ahead and good conversations with friends combined with the sugar-high, will definitely elevate your mood!
Suggesting to go for a fika is also one of the best strategies to get to know any swede or group of swedes better.

4. Travel
2013-10-20 16.21.29
Nobody travels in November. Therefore, it is really cheap. Especially if you don’t care where you’re going. Gather some people who have time when you do, and discover Europe! Having something to look forward to will absolutely brighten this month for you and going someplace new is always exciting!
norwegian.no is my favorite page to look for cheap flights from Arlanda (Stockholm airport).

Other wonderful things worth a short mention is:
The fall/winter fashion – Save money for it.
Watching movies – Under a blanket. Light some candles, eat candy.
Zatzuma-season – So cheap, so juicy, can’t get enough.
Clubbing – Make sure you find the right place. Ask locals.

There you have it. Every ingredient for a wonderful November.
2013-11-07 00.54.35

4 thoughts on “How to survive the fall

    1. Clubbing is a bit tricky as events varies from weekend to weekend and of course it also depends what kind of music you like. I’m also not the best local to ask as I’m not originally from Stockholm! But here’s some of my best tips:
      1. Keep your eyes open for flyers and posters. Especially around metro stations. There’s a lot of non-interesting things, but the really cool events show up there as well.
      2. Keep an eye open on facebook. Almost all clubs have a facebook-page where they will update what’s going on. And people you are facebook friends with who are from Stockholm, might be attending things which might then show up as “recommended events” on your events page.
      3. If there’s a line to the club, check what people are standing in line there. Does it look like people you’d like to hang out with? If no, move on.
      4. Here are just some clubs I like or have heard of: Berns (very expensive, but supposedly the best club in Stockholm), Under Bron (more reasonably prised, however be aware that Stockholm clubbing is expensive), Slakthuset (I’ve never been there, but supposed to be cool) and Maria Levau (I think it’s spelled like that… some people love it, others hate it, supposedly a lot of hipsters.) Debaser (mostly good for special events) and fotografiska (usually only has exhibitions, but have really cool club events a few times per year)

      In general, the more expensive clubs and richer people hang out at Stureplan (metro station Östermalmstorg) and the hipsters and “other people” hang out at Söder, which is the metro stations on the island called Södermalm.

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