A "Crisis" in Stockholm

Trip Start May 23, 2007
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Trip End Jun 03, 2007


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Sunday, May 27, 2007

So my cushy job as backup professor was over before it started. As I was checking out of my hotel (in preparation to move to the hostel and meet up with my student group and other professor later in the day) I decided on a whim to check my e-mail at the computer free for guests.

Well, it turns out that the non-backup lead professor and 2 students are stranded in Germany. SAS is on strike and they can't get a flight to Stockholm.  I feel a little like a student teacher who shows up for her first day of work just to find out the regular teacher is ill and she's the one who will be teaching the class.... So I need to figure out where the hostel is, get everyone to buy their transportation tickets, make sure they're all there and checked in, find the restaurant where we have reservations for dinner, get everyone there, find the Ice Bar, then get everyone to the Ice Bar for our later reservations, then back to the hostel. Oh yeah, and I don't know any of the students or even their names...

Okay, I get to the hostel, the girl behind the desk doesn't know where the restaurant is, but she knows the name of it, I find what looks like the restaurant on the Internet and walk to it and they claim they don't have a reservation... I walk back to the hostel and the new guy at the desk seems to know that it's the correct restaurant and calls them and confirms. I meet people at the hostel and everyone seems to show up who is supposed to do so (as far as I and the students can tell) then we go to dinner which actually goes okay. The hostel wants me to tell them when and who is showing up and I don't have a clue. They also only don't need me to pay for the entire thing because the credit card machine is broken... Lucky me!

Dinner was at a local, traditional Swedish place called the Blue Door (except the door isn't actualy blue because either Swedish or Stockholm law forbids blue doors for some reason... I had moose meatballs and lingonberries for dinner. Yummm... Tastes like chicken! (Not really...)

We get to the Ice Bar which is an entire bar including chairs, tables, bars, walls, and glasses made out of ice. You put on a big parka and go inside. Your entrance fee buys one drink. I had and Absolut Soon something. It had citroen vodka, lingonberries (again!), and ginger in it
and was quite good.  We had reservations at 9:00 pm, they open to the public at 9:45. Everyone ended up leaving before then except for me and one student. It wasn't nearly as cold in there as I thought it might be. Anyway, we each had another drink and for about 10 minutes we were the only people in the place. Even the bartender left (I assume to warm up!)
After she came back, but before they let the public in, we had her take our pictures behind the bar.

3 more students who just got in met up with us at the Ice Bar. They'd been to the hostel and managed to get rooms...

So we get up today hoping that the other professor and students will make it....  The 3 people who got in last night don't have transportation tickets yet and there's sort of a confusion about where to buy them because it's Sunday and some places that sell them are closed. By the time they get the tickets I start trying to figure out how to get us to the
Vasa Museum and people start wandering off.... I'm up to 16 students by this point and it's hard to keep track of them. We finally make it to the museum.

Really interesting. It's a complete ship that sunk 300 years ago and they found about 20 years ago and salvaged. It's truly an amazing sight. And it's a good lesson about why you should study hard. Mathematical miscalculations were its downfall! So don't think you only need math in school! The students got bored. And I got another phone call (I can just see my Sprint bill this month...).... from the professor.... who can't make it today either....

Okay, now I'm off to the canal boats to find out where we're going to take the tour we have scheduled for 4:30 pm and to see if I can make reservations for everyone. I find the boats, but I can't make reservations for anyone but myself. I need the transportation tickets even to book the reservation. So I start scrambling around to find people, a few are near the dock, to let them know to make a reservation. This means I need to race back to the hostel, gather up everyone including 2 more students who just arrived (who also need to buy transportation tickets) and get back to get the reservations. And we all make it. Even with a few minutes to spare... Okay, now we've got that down.

We go back to the hostel and one student has a recommendation from a local for a restaurant. Yay! I don't need to do any work. Except, it turns out the person wrote down the wrong place and when we finally find it, it's not open on Sunday anyway....

We wander aimlessly. Finally we find a restaurant. But some people want to eat more cheaply and leave for a nearby pizzeria. Nevertheless, I'm relaxing at dinner... And my phone rings....

Yes, it's the other professor. She thinks they can make it for sure tomorrow night (they're coming to Stockholm through Estonia), but I need to go buy the ferry tickets for our trip to Helsinki, because tomorrow's the last day to pay. So, another 1300 Euros on a credit card for me!

But hey, I wanted to do this!

I'll write more when I have a chance...
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