I had a Swedish episode today. It struck me, in passing I suppose. It’s not that I felt like I had surrendered my status of a tweener. But sometimes I find myself doing very Swedish things. Like today when I walked outside at lunch.
The sun was shining. I mean really shining. Not a cloud in the sky. And the Swedish winter sky is impressive, you know, during that small window of daylight. Something about the sun never getting too high over the horizon makes for some glaring blue colors.
So walking outside was a bit of a shock to the system. The pupils shrunk. The skin soaked up the vitamin D. And I froze. I stopped right outside the door. Closed my eyes, and threw my face up to the sun. It was ridiculous. And I realized just how ridiculous it was almost immediately. Not quick enough to stop myself, but still, I felt very much like a Swede.
Later in the day, on my way home I felt less like a Swede. I was hungry. So hungry that I stopped to buy a 10 SEK hotdog from Pressbyrån. That, in and of itself, tends to be a bad idea. But it was late, and I really was hungry. I ate my salty, greasy, and strangely delicious hotdog on the way to the train. Suddenly, I realized that I was going to miss the train if I continued at my current pace. So I devoured the remaining bites of hotdog and started to run.
Now, as a general rule, it’s never a good idea to run immediately after having eaten. It’s even less of a good idea after having devoured a large compressed tube of pig intestines smothered in ketchup and mustard. So with the remains of Babe sloshing around in my gut, I sprinted to the train. For some reason, sprinting to the train with a bunch of hotdog in my stomach all because I didn’t want to wait an extra 15 minutes just didn’t seem very Swedish. I don’t know why.
But I made it. Damn right. I felt like death. Babe was pissed off in my belly. I had developed a blister from running in dress shoes. But I made it. I wouldn’t have to wait an extra 15 minutes for the train. Life was good.
Welcome to Sweden.
By the way, the title of this post will be the title of my doctoral dissertation somewhere down the line.