Stockholm, do you remember us laughing hysterically at a metro station?

All journeys have a life of their own. When we planned our trip to Sweden, (with loads of help from my husband), we felt like two school girls. All excited and giddy. We were hardly school girls though. Far from it.

We were two women hanging on to our thirties, dangerously close to our forties, and we didn’t have a clue how funny and adventurous this trip was going to be.

Everything was booked. Our flight tickets, the hotel, travel insurance paid for, and even the tickets for Arlanda Express – a train (airport rail link) that would take us from the Arlanda airport, Stockholm to the Mariatorget Metro Station. Our hotel – Hotel Rival was just a walk away from the Mariatorget Metro station.

What could possibly go wrong when everything was planned?

Hmm. The travel gods were laughing -women, oops, girls – here’s a little twist to begin your trip with!

When our flight landed at the Arlanda airpot (at about 12.50 ish in the afternoon), after collecting our luggage and getting through the immigration, we quickly headed to the terminal from where we were to catch the Arlanda Express.

When we reached the terminal, we were told that the train was cancelled because of a technical fault. Arlanda Express was usually available for about four to six times every hour, but on this day, that is on, July 2nd, 2018, all of its services were suspended.

We were directed to take another train from a different terminal.

We finally found that train. I say finally, because there were a lot of confused and unsettled travellers like us – those who had booked the Arlanda Express and were now utterly at a loss on what to do next. Not everyone spoke English; I could hear a splattering of different languages and after some signing to each other, trying to follow the instructions (the announcements were in Swedish as well) and such, we found the train.

We sat ourselves in the train.

The train started moving. As it should. As trains should.

We were happy.

Then, after a while, at a station that we didn’t quite know, the train stopped.

We continued sitting. We were told ours was a direct train. We had nothing to worry.

So, we continued sitting and smiling at each other. A lot of people got off the train and started running. We looked around, spotted another person who continued to be seated and asked him – everything is alright, right?

He spoke a little English and was a tourist like us. Or it seemed. He said, yes. Or perhaps we thought he said yes.

We were then the only three people in that compartment.

Other passengers continued running. There were some announcements, but again in Swedish, and as you would have guessed by now, we couldn’t fathom a word of what was being said.

“D,” I said, “do you think there’s a fire or something?”

D looked around. “I see no smoke, P.”

“Why is everyone running? It’s just us three in the compartment now,” I asked, truly confused now.

D looked around again.” I don’t know, P, we should remain seated. The train will take us where it is supposed to.”

We remained seated.

A man, a kindly man, came to us, after five minutes or so.

“Excuse me,” he said.” You should get down from this train. It has been announced that this train is now going to head to a different location. In the opposite direction, in fact.”

Oh, we said. Then, thank you, thank you!

We jumped out. The other person in the train also jumped out because he saw us jumping out. I still can’t tell to this day whether or not he understood a word of what that kind man had said to us.

We followed the stream of the people running towards a train. We could make out Mariatorget on the train announcement screen.

I looked at D and said, “let’s run D! We need to catch this train. It is going to go away!”

And D stood there, tears rolling down her cheek. Soundless laughter engulfing her. Her suitcase was flung on the ground.

“D, D,” I said, “why are you laughing. Why is your suitcase on the ground? We should be running to catch the train.”

“Too funny, P,” she said, “too funny. We were sitting in the train all along and would have headed somewhere else. I can’t run. I don’t want to run. I need a coffee. And there will be another train.”

So, we stood there. I caught on to the laughter too.

We let the train go. We raised our hands to the passengers in the train, waving goodbyes and laughing hysterically.

I don’t know what they must have thought of us. What we must have looked like.

Two nearly-forty women. Laughing like there was no tomorrow. Waving at strangers. Their suitcases flung besides them. Laughing like they had just watched the most hilarious stand-up comedy act ever.

I hope a little of our laughter and happiness travelled with them. For eventually, we got the right train and arrived at our hotel, where another little adventure awaited us.

(More from our Sweden trip here and here too!)

5 thoughts on “Stockholm, do you remember us laughing hysterically at a metro station?

  1. So cool to read your post, it just made me confirm how Travel is a perfect way to spend some time with those we love and create beautiful memories πŸ™‚ stay safe and greetings from Portugal, PedroL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for writing in and for your lovely words. We have never been to Portugal and so I will visit your blog to live a little of Portugal via a blog or two by you. It’s so beautiful to be able to travel and it is equally beautiful to experience a new city or country via a piece of evocative writing, painting or a film.


      1. That’s true and that’s one of the few reasons I blog eheh Portugal has a lot of different places, I’m sure you will love to come here πŸ™‚ have a great day, PedroL


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