For years I thought I was halfway normal. I never lied to myself and thought that I was completely normal. But halfway normal at least.
Until I went to college. Because suddenly I was thrown into a large group of people who weren’t used to the things I ate. Because it turns out that most of my friends back home had kind of just accepted me. Or at least the things I ate. My new friends weren’t nearly as accepting. Judgmental really. And they say Eugene is so open-minded. Hippiecriticals.
Anyway, it turns out that it is somewhat strange to eat toast with butter, cheese, and ham in the mornings. I had no idea. Why would something so delicious be weird I ask you? No one could give me a straight answer. But if that’s weird I just don’t want to be normal.
Ketchup on spaghetti. Delicious. And very Swedish. Even makes its way into commercials. But try to put ketchup on spaghetti in the US and people will look at you like you’re slaughtering puppies at the dinner table. Because American dinner habits are so refined. And despite the fact that ketchup and spaghetti sauce aren’t that different really. When it comes down to it they are both smushed tomatoes.
And finally, Kalles Kaviar. Caviar in a tube. A toothpaste tube. It’s glorious. And delicious. Like bringing the fanciness of caviar to the masses. When you think about it that is really quite Swedish. I suppose I knew this one was weird. And it is kind of weird. I’m not going to argue about this one. In fact, since being here I’ve realized that Swedes love all kinds of things in tubes. Cheese. Mustard. Caviar. Basically anything you might want to put on some sort of grain based product, bread for example, can be found in a tube.
The thing that always blew my mind is that for years I had no idea this was thought to be strange. Just one of those little things that I got from being stuck somewhere between American and Swedish. I just went about my business, eating my foods, and enjoying my life. I suppose that’s the way to do it though. Living in a little bubble where everything I do is seen as normal. The key is obviously to never go to college. Or at least to Eugene.
By the way, Romania and France just played to a 0-0 tie. Over 90 minutes of thrilling goal-less soccer that ended without a winner. They were the first two teams from the group of death. Luckily, the game lived up to its billing and I nearly died of boredom.