Sunday, March 12, 2017


So we've been to Sweden for a week. Not for holidays unfortunately, but for a family funeral. It was nothing sudden, it didn't come as a surprise, but still you hope the people you love will never leave, and it's heart-wrenching when they do. The far-flung family members all got together again for the first time in years, and this was fun even though the circumstances were not. I even got to meet a relative I never before knew existed.

Yes, this looks great. Too cold for me, nowadays. Borlänge train station.

I never used to have any problems with the cold in winter. In fact, I always rather liked wintertime — the white snow, the crisp air, the peace and quiet. But many years in Osaka, and six months in Okinawa must have softened me up. It was only -5 degrees and I was freezing. I will never complain about the winter in Okinawa ever again.

Now why did I ever leave Borlänge? Oh yes, now I remember: it's a small industrial town in the middle of a forest, with nothing much but trees and mosquitos to keep you company.

My employer OIST gave me another reason to appreciate them. They give you up to a full seven days of leave for this sort of occasion. Travelling from Naha to Borlänge takes three flights and a train ride, about 26-30 hours in all even if you do the whole trip in one go. Had I had just the more common three days it would have been impossible impossible to attend the funeral as well as talk things over with the other family members.

We spent one evening in Stockholm. Too cold for walking around, but I managed a few pictures before my hands started freezing solid.

Finnair is probably the most convenient way between Okinawa and Scandinavia.