I arrive at 10.26.
Sunset’s last fingers still waving.
Lights on the river gleaming.
I walk cobbled streets, twinkling squares.
Face lit up by maps. Trying hard
not to look like a stranger in a new city.
But my backpack gives me away.
Besides, which of these smiling, laughing,
Drinking, chattering merrily,
Dining out because it’s the weekend, people care anyway?
My hotel is at the corner.
Worn yellow. Hotel Continental.
Chosen for its 3 stars and 5 minute walk from the station.
Hi – Hanna Sha?
Yes. Please sign here.
He gives me a key and I take the lift to the top.
My room is round the corner at the end.
It is minimal and bare. I imagine I’m in a monastery.
Then, I pick a stray black hair up from the pillow – 3 stars.
I wash my face, brush my teeth, open the window.
The noise from the city centre spills in.
Tomorrow I will round a corner and be awed
by Kungsparken’s trees, running paths and blue skies.
But now, this circle says no to my travel adaptor.
So I half-watch Bush Snr and Jnr silently charge my phone.
And sleep, feet at the headrest.
Unexpectedly, I holidayed in Malmö recently. I was meant to be staying in Copenhagen for the entirety of my holiday but Covid and last minute AirBnB cancellations interrupted those plans. I loved Malmö. The cycle lanes, the parks, the pastries, the falafels, the breads… I ate the best kanelbullar (a cinnamon roll) at Slottsträgårten Kafé and fell in love with breakfast sandwiches at St. Jakobs Stenugnsbageri. I did eventually make it to Denmark and my friends there.