Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 5 May (age 15): Paris

May 14

Our trip to Paris:

Södertälje to Helsingborg

The Helsingborgs hotel is called “Stads Motell.”  There are many TV’s outside of the room and one inside the room.  We are traveling (Mom, me, Aunt Siv and cousin Gunilla) together on a bus trip. Our room number: 109.  Orwald’s: 108.  We have a colour TV.  We bought food from a convenience store and ate in our room.  I watched Nadia Comaneci.  She didn’t win.  The bus trip to Helsingborg was really long.  I saw a windmill.  

May 15

In the bus in front of us, there is a man who looks like Hitchcock.  We are having a great time.  Dad came home today.  Too bad we missed him.

Helsingborg to Helsingör to Köpenhamn to Germany to Arnhem-Velp Crest Hotel.

Bought souvenirs. Expensive souvenirs: wind mills, cigar for Dad, stickers, small wooden shoe ship for Fredrik, Dutch cookie jar for mom.  German mouse and pincushion for me.  Stole a small stainless steel creamer from a German restaurant because of the rude service.  Watched German TV.  Didn’t understand a thing.  4 channels. Drove by a concentration camp in Holland.

We were on the ferry for an hour.  A lot of people and a nice restaurant.  Had ground beef patties.  Excellent!

Old lady by herself on the bus.  Really cute.  She always wears blue and buys postcards all the time.

Nilla and I have nicknames for everyone on the bus:


Dandruff Man

The Old Lady

The Lady with the red-blue glasses

She with the Bun

The Owl

The Chauffeur

The Leader

May 16

Holland to Brussels

Unknown soldiers grave.  Nuclear power plants.  The central square in Brussels.  The peeing boy.  The restaurant, the chicken, pineapple.  NATO headquarters.  Comic of Mickey Mouse- in French.

To Paris

Sightseeing Paris by night.  Consulate restaurant.  Singer.  Bought a record.  Eiffel Tower.  Arc de Triumphe. Tasted wine in Montmartre.  Gross!  Church.  Dark.  And cold. View over Paris.  Gorgeous.  Fountain by the Eiffel Tower.  Sacre Coeur.  The Consulate.  Got a red ribbon.  She with the Bun got a little drunk.  Started to sing and waltz.

May 17

Sightseeing Paris by day.  Winery.  Madeline Church. Caves St. Michelle.  Place de la Concorde.  Eiffel Tower.  Notre Dame.  Rennes Saint Placide.  Rue de Rennes.  Notre Dame.  So beautiful.  Restaurant.  Vegetables.  Schnitzel.  Winery.  Dome of the Invalid.  Wine did not taste good.  It stung the nose.  Perfume store.  Bought Marie Antoinette doll.  Bought wine and baguettes for the hotel room.  Wrote 9 postcards.  Dogs run loose.  Worries me.  Looked at dance shops.  Bought a ballet leotard.  With skirt.  I am having a good time.  Mom too.  I am so glad for that.

May 18

Louvre 10 AM.  Ate at a wonderful restaurant.  So nice.  Saw the Mona Lisa.  It has been stolen 3 times.  Guarded now with marble, glass, alarm and guard.  People were sketching from the masters.  People from art schools.  The Venus de Milo.  So beautiful.  One sculpture without head.  Wings.  Didn’t get to see Degas.  But mom, sweet mom, bought me a little copy- La Classe de Danse.  Mom also bought a little painting for herself.  I bought a Mona Lisa card.  Will sketch her.  Trip on the Sens. Bought light blue dress.  109 francs.  Got 9 francs off.  The boat.  Under 26 bridges.  Bought a key chain.  The guide spoke a weird combo of Swedish and English.  Ate French Fries and baguettes in the room.

Mom and I at Hotel Migny in Paris.

The Old Lady: she is so cute.  On May 17, she took the subway all by herself and had a great time.  Everyone offered help.  Meanwhile, the four of us walked hand in hand and didn’t dare to do a thing.  She is so energetic.  She runs and skips and is interested in everything.  I want to be like that when I grow old. 

May 19

Versailles 9 AM.  Drove through the Bois de Boulogne to Versailles Castle.  Very large and many, many people.  Lovely but each room is pretty much the same.  Big garden.  Several kilometers.  Forgot to go up the Eiffel Tower but did visit there.  Shopped for the rest of the day.  Very tiring.  Bought a wallet, necklace.  Went on the subway.  Easy to find your way around.  Strange machines that suck up the tickets.  Long tunnels underground.  No drunk old men.  Went to a bar and drank Pepsi.  Paris’ most famous café.  Very hot.  Ate baguettes and drank juice.  I ordered wine on my own.

May 20

Started the morning with breakfast.  Tired of baguettes.  Traveled to Champagne wineries.  Stopped at Mercier Champagne makers.  Rode a train through the underground vaults.  Got to taste.  Not very good.  Burns the stomach.  Got an inflatable Champagne bottle.  Traveled to Reims.  Stopped and looked at France’s largest cathedral.  Bought post cards.  Then traveled towards Belgium.  The bus planned on making it to a gas station in Belgium where it is cheaper to buy gas.  Didn’t make it.  Sat in the bus 8 HOURS!  The pump was broken.  People from the local town came and picked us up and drove us to Grand Hotel.  No bath.  Haven’t had a bath in 5 days.

May 21

Went for a walk in the village.  Cute small streets.  The bus arrived at 7 AM.  We thought it was leaving at 10 AM and we didn’t get a wake up call.  So we got ready in a hurry.  Björn said we were going to try to make it to Helsingborg tonight.  But everyone protested.  Everyone was too tired.  So he arranged for a hotel.  Gorgeous.  With bath, kitchen, sofa, balcony, all the fixings.  And a view over the ocean.  But we just had it for one night.  Before that we traveled through Hamburg.  I like Paris better.  Hamburg is modern with lots of nightlife. All the men on the bus went into one of those clubs… you know the kind.  A couple of men in the city started whistling and yelling after us.  We hurried along.

May 22

Today I bought two small cat figures at a rail station in Hamburg.  We woke up before wake up call this morning.  A lot easier after having had a bath.  Our beds folded down from the wall like a Barbie house.  Ate breakfast.  The bus didn’t start!  I thought we would be here one more night.  But they worked on it and we made it to the ferry.  Just in time.  Bought Dutch licorice.  One to Nilla, Tomme, Aija, Eva, Fredrik, Anders and me.  Really good.  But you get thirsty.  Now we are traveling to Denmark.  The trip is almost over.  It will be nice to get home.  Thought we’d never make it.  But we got home at 11:30.  So nice.  Milton.  Cute Milton was happier than ever.

What I bought on the Paris trip:

Marie Antoinette Doll

Belgian Doll

Two cats

Eiffel Tower

German mouse

Key chain



Mona Lisa post card



Ballet leotard

French magazine

German magazine

Inflatable champagne bottle

May 23

Stayed home today.  Sore throat and tired.  Presents from Dad from his trip to Canada: Nadia sweatshirt.  Rudolf Nureyev book.  Canada sweater.  Ludwig Coloring Book.  Like a dream.  The Nureyev book is as thick as a mountain.

The Nadia sweatshirt is beautiful.  If I had three wishes- they would be:

1. To be as good as Nadia in all events. 

2. To be a ballerina.

3. [I forgot to write a third wish]

I feel sorry for Nadia.  She lost and was also disqualified when she went out of bounds.  Romania and Soviets always competing.  The power ruins everything.  Nadia, I wish I were a perfect ballerina.

May 27

I have sent Steven a card.  He and I talk more often now.  I actually sat with him on the bus on the way home.  We talked a lot and I waited for him to get his bike and he rode slowly while I walked beside him.  And he waved at me when Marianne, Catharina and I were walking home from town.  And in PE he watched my belly as I did arm lifts.  And he asks me all the time about America and schools and such.  He says he may visit me because he is going to USA to play basketball and study.  He is really nice.  I have also started talking to Mikael Andersson and Per-Arne.  And I can speak up in class without feeling stupid.

The whole class went camping.  They will be biking and camping for 4 days.  I wanted to but not.  I don’t dare even though I am not so scared anymore.  Ballet prevents me from going, which I am very proud of.  I think I am supposed to go to school but Mom says I may as well stay home.  I am going to train.  Ride to the lake with Milton.  Ballet.  Suntan.  I hope the weather will be sunny.  I have drawn a large poster for school, which I can paint during the week.  I will write letters and choreograph.

We got to borrow room C at Balettakademien.  Eva, Charlotte, Marie, Katarina, Anna, Maud, Anna-Carin and I are in the group.  I have learned character dance.  It is really fun.  I got to borrow a pair of shoes from Eva.  They are wonderful to dance in though they do hurt a bit.  We want to perform for the elderly and for grade 4/5’s.  That will be fun.

We got our Visa for Canada.  Now we have to find a house we like.  I want to find the best ballet school in Vancouver.  And I want to audition for the National Ballet of Canada.  Then maybe I could meet Rudolf.

There is only 2 weeks left of school.  I have survived two years at Rosenborgsskolan.  It was hell.  Milton, ballet, Mom, Dad, Anders and Fredrik have helped me.  I am lucky.  Now that I have only 1 week left with my Grade 9 class, I dare to talk to them.  Typical.  But better late than never!

May 29

Now it is Sunday.  And it is Mother’s day.  But it seems strange.  There has been nothing abut it in the papers.  And just a little in the stores.  Annika was the only one to give Siv a present.  And we were rather mixed up here this morning.  I didn’t know whether I should give Mom the glasses I bought her.  But I did.  And Dad got Mom a brass planter that hangs from the ceiling.  Mom and Dad seem mad at each other.  But I suppose they have the right, as we all get mad from time to time.  Mom visited Grandpa today and he was happy about that.  He can sit up in his chair and he likes the physiotherapist.  He seems to be getting better.  I am so glad.  Tomorrow there is a holiday.  Mom and I are going to the castle.  And we will tour the inside.  I hope we visit Grandpa.  Dad and Fredrik will go fishing.

I have written out a schedule for myself about how or what I should eat and when and how to train.  For example, biking, dancing, jogging etc.  I want to be in top form when the school class gets back from camping.  I don’t want them to come back bragging.  I want to be suntanned and I want to stop biting my nails.  I have made a whole binder of the Paris trip.  I want to start taking photos with my camera.  I want to go up the mountain with Maud and take pictures of us as angels.  I want to start dancing more than classical ballet now.  It is fun to discover new things.  Shirley MacClaine is going back to corps (gypsy) dancing.  She considers it the most fun.

My Diary, 1977  SÖDERTÄLJE– translated from Swedish, word for word, unabridged, sic, ad nauseum

Recall first post: My Diary 1977

For January 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 1, January

For February 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 2 February

For March 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 3, March

For April 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 4, April- The Audition

This post is dedicated to my friend, Julia Kozlov, who embodies my love of all that is Russian- dance, literature, poetry, art…

Photo by Conrad Brown

Here is Julia in Grade 4:

From Julia re the 1977 diary:

I have greatly enjoyed reading your diary entries – what a beautiful youth you had – just as beautiful as your adulthood. I didn’t know you were Swedish and lived in Stockholm – amazing. Such great culture in Sweden and they sure are strict about their artistic schools! Anyway – amazing diary entries…

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Fredrik Thorsen says:

    It is SO painful, and SO amazing to read. I’m cringing, and in tears (laughter and sadness). Because of the memories!

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