Oh shoot, I dropped my keys into the drain!-How to survive in Sweden while clumsy PART 1

This is a story about how I lost my keys into the drain and what I did  to get them back, if you are facing the same problem, it might help, so enjoy!

Few days ago, in a cloudy afternoon, I was screaming on the street:“Yes!!! I got my keys back!” At the same time, there was a lady passing by and of course, I SCARED HER. Just picture this: two strangers were screaming together out of different reasons(me being thrilled and her being frightened), super funny huh?


(the picture of me taken by the passing by lady)

After knowing the reason why I was acting so crazily, she forgave me, took me a picture and even gave me a hug. God knows how much I love Swedes. 😉tumblr_nmqqxo5FLr1tm3jmyo2_500

the understanding smile I got from the lady-(‘photo credit: TV show ONCE UPON A TIME, gif made by showandwrite on tumblr’)

So how did it even happen? Please don’t judge, we clumsy people do exist in this planet. Sometimes, things we do/ meet will totally amaze you, even ourselves. 🙂  Just like this time, I was completely shocked.

It was a lovely Friday night, after the first digital ambassador meeting, I went out with some friends for a drink(drinks? maybe). At around 1 am, I went home and of course I was a bit tipsy. I was standing in front of my building and using a finger to get the keys out from my very niche pocket. As a result, you may all know already: I got the keys but didn’t catch them well, with a very clear and melodious sound, my keys went for a trip to the drain.

I could list some facts that made the situation worse:

1. My phone was dead

2. My very good friend Mikaela was living 30 minutes away and there was no train going there anymore

3. The feeling you will probably have that you are in front of your apartment but you could not get in because you lost your keys into the drain in the middle of the night. In general, this was too much to take!


(‘photo credit: TV show SUPERNATURE, gif made by http://www.ryot.org/’)

At this point, instead of being freaked out(which I did for 30 minutes), you’d better find a solution. As you know, you are living in Sweden and the temperature at night in autumn could drop down to -5 ℃.

This was what I did: I went to the nearest convenient store, got a coffee(FIKA at night, not so bad) and charged my phone a bit(fortunately I brought my charger). When I can turn it on, I gave a call immediately to the guy that I just made friends with at the bar and asked if I could stay since we came back together and got off at the same stop. Thank god he agreed, otherwise I would probably have died on the street because of the temperature instead of sharing this story with you guys. 🙂 Just so you know, it was almost 3 am when I was able to sleep. But at least I had a couch to crush on, I was not complaining…

That was pretty much everything about the nightmare, so now I’m gonna talk about what you have to do if the same thing happens to you especially you just rent this apartment for a short term and don’t want any bad comment from you airbnb host.

  1. Don’t wear super tight jeans when you are going out. In my case, that was the main reason why I lost my keys!
  2. Since the tragedy happened, you should at least try to fix it. Here are the things you should prepare when facing such problem:
  • A super thin, long and hard stick, at least 2 meters



Why long?-the drain could be very deep and you do want to reach the bottom!

Why thin?-the gaps of the manhole cover are mostly very niche, at least the stick could get through it.

Why hard?-there might be water and dirt underneath, a soft qvist(branch in Swedish) won’t help with stirring.


  • A magnet that carries 10 KG


  • A tape



With these 3 things, all you have to do is to combine them together, make sure you don’t cover the magnet surface because doing so will reduce the magnetism massively. Here is a pic shows the right way to do it:



After stirring the drain for 15 minutes, I took the stick up and guess what: I GOT THEM BACK! And you have heard the rest of the story already, what a nice surprise wasn’t it?

First time trying with a branch but failed. That’s why I told you guys branch wouldn’t help :)(‘video credit: Mikaela R.’)

Let’s count how much I spent on these tools: 10(stick)+69(magnet)+29.9(tape)=108.9 kr. So how much is it to get a new set of keys? I don’t know about Stockholm, but in Örebro I have to pay at least 1000 kr, which is almost 10 times as what I paid. Plus, if I don’t get them back, I might just get a negative comment from my host and won’t be able to use this app to travel anymore. Apparently that’s not the thing I want. 😉

At the end of the story, I bought a bag of candies and wrote him a card to apologize, which is totally necessary: you caused chaos and trouble to others, of course you have to do something nice back and in Sweden, tons of candies could help since Swedes love candies!



During such a funny experience, there are many people who were helping out. For instance, a lot of people passing by stopped, asked and suggested/helped which just made me love this country even more. Also, thank you Andaç, Mikaela, Doug and lady who was working at the cafe for your help, I appreciated it a lot!

So this is it, my losing keys adventure in Stockholm, hope you guys enjoyed reading it and found the information you need. And what’s more? Well, god knows what and when will happen to me due to my clumsiness so you will probably see the HOW TO SURVIVE IN SWEDEN WHILE CLUMSY PART 2 SOON 😉


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A Chinese student studying Journalism at Örebro University. Hong has finished his study in July 2016.
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