During the winter, life is dark and sad for us in Kiruna. In the Iron mine it is always dark but in December the mine seems to come up and, like a greedy predator, devours the whole town and drags it down into the darkest pit. People who live in the south of Sweden think we are so happy because we have the midnight sun every summer. They don't think about December when sun fades and dies and it is always night. Last Christmas we were all fed up and blue. Everything was so depressing. In my next life I really hope to be born in the south of Sweden!

I sought consolation by buying some unusual Christmas presents. It is no fun to buy the usual trash in the shops. There was a foreigner on the train to Kiruna's central station whom I happened to meet.



He had travelled from Uppsala in the south and only spoke a little bad German; I think he was Polish or Bulgarian. He was some kind of travelling salesman and I thought he said he had been in over two thousand countries.We sat in the waiting room and bargained. He opened his black suitcase and displayed the most bizarre objects. Some were so awful I doubted whether they were saleable. But there were a few fine things and I settled for a small round mirror with a wooden frame and handle. Strangely enough it was really quite cheap and only cost ten crowns but I had to promise to give it to a beautiful girl...so it became Mia's Christmas present.

I also bought two magic wands in black and white, one each for my mother and father. There was nothing wrong with the wands, but the mirror...

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