Wednesday, August 31, 2005

There and Back Again (A Swedes' Tale)

I'm sitting on the last lap of the flight back from my visit from Sweden and what better time to try to write up my experiences coming back for this time around. This was my first visit for almost exactly one year (And then only for around 2 weeks) and I have to say this is the first time I at least partially felt like it isn't exactly home anymore. Let's start with the simple stuff that I have gotten used to that is different between Sweden and the US.

  • I can't shop in a supermarket anymore since I never ever remember that I need to buy bags until I have already paid for all my stuff. In the US bags are always free (Even though they are completely useless and break if you ever try to put anything heavy in them), and the even pack the stuff for you (Poorly usually, what you wanted your eggs on top of the milk carton?).
  • The right on red traffic rule is scarily easy to get used to which almost caused me to go against a red light a couple of times. Also different is the fact that you almost never need to over take anybody in the passing line in the States, which you do all the time in Sweden.
  • Not really a US thing, but an Orange County vs Stockholm thing. I miss the big city. At one point I could distinctly hear at least 6 different languages being spoken in a subway car on my way home from town during this trip, you never hear anything except english and spanish in OC. Even though Los Angeles is a really, really big city it has no real pulse and no city center with a little bit of charisma. On the other hand when I go back to Stockholm I also miss the beach so you can never be completely satisfied I guess.
  • One thing I also miss a little bit is that I no longer have my own language in which to speak with close to reckless abandon as to who might be listening. Not that I ever really have anything secret to say it's still nice.
  • A lot of things have also changed over the year in Stockholm. As always all the clubs change name and place with a fearsome pace and it's really hard to keep track if you're not there anymore (I could hardly keep up when I lived there). That was an interesting thing when I first moved to Stockholm that everyone described places with what used to be there before (Buddha, you know where Biblos used to be). I was just starting to experience the second "generation" of names as I left and soon I will be completely left in the dust again.
  • And finally one thing I don't miss about Sweden... The mosquitos. I had almost completely forgotten about them since last time.
I don't remember if I mentioned this last year I was home, but it is really hard to come home like this since everyone takes time to see you and there is always something fun going on non stop for the entire visit which makes it seem even better than when you lived there (I have even had good fortune with the Swedish weather for petes sake). I did also completely pork away on really crappy food for most of the trip. I think it is that good food is pretty much the same everywhere in the world, but the crappy food is way more different. I'm talking about Kebab, Sibylla (Hamburger and thin bread roll, always with shrimp sallad off course), pizza with sirloin and Bearneaisse sauce and that kind of stuff. I've also stocked up on some of the foods that are not perishable that will come in handy in the year to come.

Someone during the trip also asked me a question that I found intreaging, but didn't really have a good answer which I think is telling in itself: "What do you like least about living in the States?". The more I think of it I realize that there really isn't anything that I can complain too much about in my current setup. The minute I manage to think something up that is a bit annoying I realize that if that is my main concern I really shouldn't complain about anything.

Anyway, I know I recently sent another mail so I'll try to keep this at least not too long so I'll cut this short here. I would like to thank everyone for making the week awesome and hope to see you all not too far off in the future. If all else fails I guess I'll turn up around this time next year as usual. I would like to round up with a quote that I for some reason am thinking of right now (Though not really connected to anything I've said):

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans"

No comments: