Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Miscellaneous Observations about Sweden

First miscellaneous observation about Sweden: They really do have style.

Everywhere you look, the little details on buildings, furniture, and clothing all scream Scandinavian sophistication. Sitting in the hotel, whether the restaurant, the lobby or the room, feels like you're sitting in an Ikea store. The curved benches in the airport waiting areas; the clean, simple lines of -- well, of everything! There's the inescapable sense that these people know how to put things together visually.

Second miscellaneous observation about Sweden:

Although the hotel room had one large bed (queen size), it was made up with two individual twin-sized down-filled duvets, folded neatly on each side of the bed. At first, I thought it looked like they had just shoved a pair of twin beds together, though closer inspection revealed the truth. What a fabulous idea for sheer comfort it turned out to be.

See, one of the problems sharing a bed -- or more specifically, bedding -- with a larger individual is that the shared blanket doesn't drape down all the way around the smaller body (in this case, mine), allowing in drafts of chilly air. Whereas with this particular configuration of bedding, one can still share a bed yet still be wrapped comfortably against the elements. This needs to be further explored upon the return home.

Third miscellaneous observation about Sweden: People-watching is universal.

We spent a lot of time watching people. Alone in the airport the first day, I had ample opportunity to observe all kinds of travelers in assorted phases of travel. Once Darling Spouse arrived and we trekked into Stockholm, we watched people in train stations, on buses, walking the streets, and perusing museums. Both of us were struck by the variability of heights, weights, hair color, dress; everything. Until you heard people speaking the lovely, lilting, vaguely Germanic-sounding language that is Swedish, you wouldn't have been able to tell you weren't in any other city on earth. Commuters; tourists; teens; indistinguishable from those in the good ole US of A. The trains may have been cleaner, but the people were all the same. Reassuring, in a curiously humanistic way. Just helps to reinforce the old truism: Wherever you go, there you are.

Thus endeth the travelogue. We now return to (ir)regularly scheduled blogging.


At Mon Dec 21, 09:33:00 PM, Anonymous Christine said...

Interesting how things have changed -- I visited Stockholm in 1988 and was struck by how little variation there was. Everyone seemed to be tall, blond and exceedingly fit. I think the "melting pot" of immigration has finally made it to Europe....

At Tue Dec 22, 09:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ex and I switched over to the twin duvet system after a stay in Germany, where the bed was so equipped. It really is more comfortable and doesn't hinder connubiality.

At Tue Dec 22, 10:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, you LIKED the dual comfort approach. I thought your "shear comfort" phrase was a pun suggesting that the two duvets opened up in the middle, thus shearing apart & letting in the cold air.

Glad you enjoyed the arrangement: it does sound like sheer comfort.

(Incidentally, I figured out an easy -- and, I think, better -- variation on this technique: I make our [double] bed up with two warm blankets, and each of the bed users know which blanket is "his" and which is "hers", so one blanket ends up getting pulled somewhat to "her" side, the other blanket gets pulled somewhat to "his" side, and so we're both well covered, but the blankets still overlap by at least several feet in the middle of the bed, so there's no cold air coming in -- and since we're both under both blankets we can still enjoy the mutual body warmth that comes from that.)


Kensington MD

At Tue Dec 22, 10:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kensington MD again:

Just wanted to clarify: in my two-blanket technique, both blankets are the same size as the bed (double, in our case), which is why I think it's superior to the two-twin-sized duvets approach. With two twin-sized duvets, each bed partner is basically wrapped within his or her separate duvet, albeit with the bed partner close by. With my approach, each bed partner is well-wrapped within the outer 2/3 (or so) of the full-sized blanket, with the inner 1/3 (or so) of the blanket overlapping the inner 1/3 (or so) of the bed-partner's blanket -- thus allowing full bed coverage (no cold air), ample blanket coverage per person, yet also access to the body warmth of the bed partner, since both are under same two overlapping blankets.

Funny, I'm so used to this fabulous arrangement that it's never occurred to me that others haven't figured out this simple solution to the blanket-sharing problem.

At Tue Dec 22, 10:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kensington MD, yet again:

Actually, the two-blanket approach is what we use in the summer. In the winter, we add a third blanket (a pretty quilt) for extra warmth on top of the two his-and-hers blankets. This top blanket "belongs" to both of us equally, and it stays centered above the two "his-and-hers" blankets.

(I just now realized we developed this system over time by trial & error, and hadn't until now appreciated how strategic it really is. Somehow the topic of shared bedclothes had never before come up.)

At Wed Dec 23, 09:07:00 AM, Anonymous Stephen said...

IKEA (Swedish furniture shop) sells beds which consist of two single matresses in a single large bedframe. So you and spouse/partner can choose firmness of mattress individually, and are less likely to be woken every time your "significant other" turns over in bed. Is a great idea.


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