Life in Sweden, Snippets of life

When the Sun Is Out

“If tomorrow is sunny like this, we should have lunch at the rooftop,” my colleague said one day, back in February.

“At the rooftop???” I exclaimed in disbelief. Such a true tropical girl. That February was considered warm, but in Gothenburg (and in winter, I might add), it would only take a little gust to make me chilled to the bone.

“Yeah. We’ll wear our jackets, but it will be nice.”

The sun had been shining for a few days, a rare occurrence for a city that is well acquainted with gales and rain. I was familiar with the idea of going out when it’s sunny, but had never actually done that in winter. It was below 10 degree Celsius, for goodness sake.

In the end, we never had that lunch at the office rooftop – the weather was back to usual the next day: gloomy, windy, and unpleasant. Typical. The idea was quickly forgotten, but my amazement at these people remained. The bold people who dared venture out in the cold for a little sun and blue sky.

Fast forward to April, and I’ve become one of those people. It’s still cold here, and winter feels like it’s overstaying its welcome, but at least it’s been sunny. And better yet, it’s actually warm when you’re in the sun.

After months of shielding myself from the cold by staying indoors most of the time, I’m in dire need of sunshine. And those things that used to shock me, like sipping a cold beer in the outdoor seating or having lunch outside with a coat on? I do those as well.

And my god, I get it now.

When the sun is out, you just drop what you’re doing and take a walk outside, because it usually doesn’t last long (especially in Gothenburg, in April). A little bit of wind wouldn’t deter you from having ice cream. The Pressbyrån’s posters ‘half price for all ice creams’ everywhere are a welcoming sign that warmer days are coming.


And if you wonder how excited we are about warmer weather, the other day I walked past a Pressbyrån kiosk with a huge sign saying that all ice creams were sold out.

It was still April, and the temperature was still a single digit.

But when the sun is out, you just pretend that summer is here (soon).

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