Stockholm Journal – Day 3

As I write this, my eyes are once again blurred and my thoughts fuzzied (is that a word?) by drink. We had a long time before dinner and I filled the time with two beers, then when we got to our awesome dinner location I availed myself again, this time with mead and cinnamon schnapps. Should make for an interesting blog post – or perhaps, an unintelligible one.

We had another round of Europa Universalis today, starting at 10 am. I woke at 6:00 with a pounding headache (I learned later I was one of the more fortunate attendees. Some of them didn’t sleep at all and instead wandered the streets like little lost grand-strategizing souls). I went down to the lobby, threw back some plain yogurt and coffee, then tossed back a couple of migraine-strength headache pills and went back to bed. I couldn’t really sleep, but I did at least manage to doze uncomfortably until 9:30.

Against my every instinct, I roused myself and made it to the venue in time and I’m glad I did. Despite some issues with instability, we had another interesting gaming day fraught with political intrigue, rampant warfare and random comet sightings.

Portugal shall rule the world.

We ended early and went to a nearby bar that happens to be on a boat – a place called Flyt. There we had beers and conversation while some of us nearly passed out as lack of sleep caught up to us. I tried this beer colorfully called “Hell”. It really wasn’t that bad.

We went to dinner around 7:30 or so at a place called Sjatte Tunnan (which we were told is pronounced Shyotteh TooNAHN). They’re probably playing up the viking thing for tourists but it was still really cool. The mead was flowing and the meat was plentiful, and here and there the night was punctuated by a Swedish drinking song. And yes, it really was this dark.

One of the developers was intent on me trying a unique Swedish candy – salty liquorice. He jogged off and came back with a couple of different kinds, which several of us were keen on trying. The one with the monkey on it is like a piece of slightly sweet rubber with a half inch salt coating on it. The other is like a Werther’s original – if Satan had made it. OK, not really -the latter was actually pretty good. It’s a hard candy that tastes a bit like pepper with an ultra-salty center. When you chew it, the salty/pepper taste combines with a kind of mildly sweet black liquorice flavor that’s more appealing than it sounds.

At 11 pm half the crew was still going strong but I was fading. I got to participate in a traditional Swedish toast (a number of times) where everyone says “Skaal” while raising their drinks, but as fun as it was, I just don’t have the stamina for late night drinking anymore. I bid some new friends a fond but goofy farewell (one dev named Jakob had a fantastic booming voice perfect for Swedish drinking songs), and headed for the good old Lord Nelson hotel. Tomorrow begins the strictly tourist leg of my trip. I plan to start it by sleeping in. Take THAT, 4:40 am sunrise!!

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