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Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Swede Life

I pick up my virtual pen now that I have been living in Sweden for nearly 4 months. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, I'm far from home. I mean this both physically (I'm seriously far away from St. Louis), around 5000 miles, and culturally- ( Ummm, I wave to the cows and laugh as I walk to the city of Kärna). I use the term "city" loosely, very loosely, as there is only a small grocery store, a hairdresser, a florist and goodies/movie rental/post office and an elementary school in this "city" of Kärna.

I stepped off the plane, and arrived in Göteborg on June 2nd, 2010. The first month just felt like a long vacation. Sleeping in, enjoying fresh potatoes and salmon cooked by the world's most domestic woman (my mother in law), and relaxing were just common practice in the beginning.

By far I have found that the most enjoyable thing to do in Sweden is to take advantage of the incredible weather and visit islands by boat. Marstand, Dyrön are just a couple of my favorite places to visit. Breathing in the fresh ocean air, letting the wind blow thru my hair, I took in the amazing views of the archipelago and crystal blue sky.

However, life isn't all butterflies and salt licorice. Leaving family and friends behind wasn't easy, although I have to admit that Facebook and Skype have probably made this trip possible. I don't know that I could have moved without the ability to check up on my adorable little niece in St. Louis, or seeing what my friends were up to.

Quick list of things I love in Sweden
-Summer weather
-The fact that I've already seen 3 FULL rainbows since I've been here
-Archipelago
-Clean Air
-Proximity to other amazing places in Europe
-Sense of Community
-Walking everywhere and riding my bike
-Free education (my swedish language course is free)
-Free child daycare
-Contributions from the government for having children *thank you very much Sweden!
-Free healthcare
-An overall healthy lifestyle (organic foods cheaper and more readily available than back at home), people walk, bike everywhere
-Public transportation that doesn't suck! In fact, the busses are clean and the people watching is fantastic.

Things I dislike in Sweden:
-The fact that I don't speak the language (my own fault for not learning sooner, but I'm on it now)
-Skinny Jeans (WTF?) Why won't this trend go away?
-Everything more expensive(high quality, less quantity)
-Systembolaget! The Swedish government controls the liquor distribution. So basically, you pay about 40 percent more for liquor compared to in the states and you can't really get it when you want it.
-Hours of operation: retailers only open short while on Saturdays and not really on Sundays.

Things I miss from home (STL/United States)
-friends and family (a given!!)
-A close second...is.....TARGET! Nothing even comes close here.
-Having a car (and driving everywhere).
-Tostito's (don't you laugh!) .
-Pei Wei.
-Oishi, Kobe Steakhouse, Hibachi.
-Ability to go out to eat whenever I want.
-Good customer service (waiters don't get tips, so don't expect your water to be refilled).
-My TV shows.
-Being busy (it's a love/hate thing).

It's been an interesting 4 months. I have realized, however, life is pretty much the same no matter where you live. The day to day doesn't change SOOO much, it's really the people that make a place a home.
There's my rant..I promise future blogs to be much shorter!
Peace!
Brandi

4 comments:

  1. skinny jeans are all over the place here too....how do girls even get in those?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do think they look awesome on the right body shape, but yah, they are hard to squeeze into.

    ReplyDelete