Sep 17 2010

Survived Stockholm, and its sense of style

I spent most of the past week up in Stockholm working a big corporate management event for my company. It was held at a large, modern hotel in the center of the city that specializes in hosting conferences and can accommodate multiple large groups at the same time, which was the case while we were there.

Now I can’t comment from the conferees’ point of view because I was working corporate communications in the “back office”, but the business and media support were quite good and the fika spreads were EXCELLENT. There were a few inconveniences, however, like the fact that the conference center restrooms were so far away from where we were working in that it was actually quicker for me to go up to my room when I needed to take a leak.

But at least I had that option. Most of the communications team was based in Stockholm and therefore not staying at the hotel during the conference. They had to make the long trek to the conference facilities, a journey was made slightly more interesting courtesy of the hotel’s decor.

Progressive Hotel Art

Yes, the hallway leading to both the men’s and women’s restrooms was lined with a series of black & white photographs of a naked lady floating in a pond. Now I know what you’re thinking…it’s Europe and I should be used to this sort of thing. And in fact, I am. It just surprised me that a hotel that hosts hundreds of business people from all over the world, including countries where women are not even allowed to have their heads uncovered in public, would have a series of nudes on the wall of a high-traffic hallway in its conference center.

The restroom itself was another example of questionable taste, with a completely black interior including the toilet paper. (This is enough of a novelty that they actually sell rolls of it that guests can take home.)

black toilet paper

Oddly though, the toilets were the usual white porcelain…which resulted in at least two very startling moments for me. In both cases I’d just taken a leak, but in the split-second it took for me to pull up my pants and turn around to flush, I forgot about the black toilet paper. And when all you’ve done is pee, it’s kind of scary to see something black in the bowl.

But the pièce de résistance was the photo in the restaurant, which gave a whole new meaning to the term “breakfast buns.”

Giving new meaning to the term "breakfast buns"

The funniest part for me was that the image reminded me of the Rude-vig Entitled-sson , who wore the exact same outfit while trying to convince me that Dr. Darling and I needed to find another place to sunbathe when she parked herself directly in front of our clearly occupied cubicle at Malmö’s Kallbadus last year. I had no idea she moonlighted as a photographer’s model!

Feed my ego!

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