It’s been one of those weeks full of little things that kept happening that made me pause but never really take notice. But they just kept adding up. Some made me laugh. Some made me angry. And some just made me really, really uncomfortable.
First, things that made me laugh. There were a few of them. Which obviously means it was a good week.
For example, the girl who said her favorite part about football (of the American variety) was watching the cheerleaders. Because she was a gymnast and liked watching the formations. Now, I’m no gymnastics expert, but I do know what the typical gymnast looks like. And they do not look like Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory post-chewing gum. This girl looked like a small balloon. All that was missing was the blue tinted skin and Oompa Loompas running around. Let’s just say her body type didn’t seem conducive to gymnastics.
The four Asian looking tourists who stopped a very blonde Swedish looking man on a bicycle and took a picture with him. It was like a bad stereotype come to life. On so many different levels.
The girl on the ski bus prancing around in long underwear. Unbeknownst to her was the gaping hole in the seat of her pants. Right around the bass crack. That’s funny. And maybe someone should have told her. But it wasn’t going to be me.
Things that made me angry, there weren’t too many really. Which also points to a good week.
One was the two stinky guys sitting in front of me on the bus for over two hours. I know we had all been skiing. I know we might not have showered beforehand. I know. But damn it. If you smell like that throw some deodorant on. Every time you moved a cloud of your stink reached back and sucker punched my nose. And no one likes being sucker punched in the nose.
The silly anti-sexist ad agency here in Sweden that just can’t relax. Sometimes it’s ok to laugh at bad advertising. And everything doesn’t need to be sexist. Like swimming suit companies. Or Coca-Cola.
And then, there was just one thing that happened that made me feel really, really uncomfortable.
The man standing at the urinal next to me. There are a few rules to using the urinal. All of them of the unwritten variety. Allow me to write a few of them. Do not look over at me. Below or above the belt. It doesn’t matter. If you would like to speak do so while staring at the wall. Do not look over at me and continue to do so hoping I will return your eye contact. It makes me uncomfortable.
Welcome to Sweden. And my week in Stockholm.