Waking up to pouring rain, thunder and lightening did not bode well for another day walking around the city. Wednesday was Eva Lotta’s 41st birthday and we were going to a Caribbean restaurant under a bridge in Sodermalm, the main southern island of Stockholm City. The arrival time was 1pm and we were praying that the weather would improve before having to walk out into the thunder and lightening. Things only got worse as our departure time approached. Hail stones! Coming down really fast! Things did not look good for a nice outdoor lunch under a bridge. But, the one thing we’ve experienced about Swedish weather is that as fast as it comes, it can go. So, as we left the warmth and security of our lovely temporary home, the rain eased a bit giving us a chance to dart to the subway station.
Arriving at Sodermalm, we walked about a quarter mile under umbrellas to the restaurant. We had to go through a metal fence down to the dock. It looked a little “shady” at first but as you headed down the walkway you begin to see this really cool space with outdoor tables on the water and a glass enclosure filled with wooden tables. The owner, Pierre, happily greeted us at the door taking our drink order. He’s a friend of Per’s sister and lives part time in Barbados – which is what inspired his restaurant. It was very quiet on this day due to the weather. Hugs were abundant as we greeted the family. We had Marie (Per’s sister), Birgit (Per’s mother), Eva Lotta, Per, baby Hugo, and the four of us. Per’s mom was excited to see Bob, her long lost American son. She has been suffering from dementia but was so happy to see
us and did remember a lot about Bob’s time as an exchange student with her family. The food was delicious and we laughed, told stories, and caught everyone up on our lives back home.
After lunch we took the opportunity to walk with Marie to see her home, meet her son, Henrik, and explore the island. Suddrmalm is the trendy place to live. It used to be an island of poor people living in tiny cottages along the sea. Quite ironic that today it’s an area where the “new money” lives and these cottages are worth big bucks. Marie told us to walk down to the area called “SoFo” – Soder Folkungagatan – similar to “Soho” in New York. This was definitely the place to be! Lots of trendy, artsy shops, thrift stores, upscale eateries and markets line the streets. Every once in a while a little park would pop out of nowhere and the boys would race to find something to climb on. At one such park the boys were playing on the merry-go-round along with a father and his 4 kids. Jor
dan seemed to speaking with him about something and they were both laughing and smiling. After awhile Jordan came back to sit with us and I asked him what they were talking about. He said the man and his family were from Menlo Park and his daughter played for the MP Striker’s Soccer Team. Can you believe it?! We are halfway around the world from the Bay Area in a small neighborhood park on an island in Stockholm and we run into a family who lives not to far away from us back home. I guess he was pretty amazed when Jordan told him where we lived and that he used to play soccer against the boys MP Striker team. It truly is a small world. The family ended up leaving before we had a chance to chat. Who knows, we’ll probably run into them again!