Thursday, August 06, 2009

Further Proof That My Idiocy Knows No Borders

I struggle. A lot. Sometimes more than others, but today was just not my day.

I’ve been attacked by insomnia. Having spent a lot of time in Sweden during the summers, the insomnia wasn’t horribly new to me. But it usually happens early on and fades. It’s getting darker now. Sleep should be easy.

So I’m grumpy to start with. Then I have to wake up to some sort of earthy smell in my apartment. I don’t live outside. I don’t live on a farm. Hell, I struggle to keep cacti alive. Dirt and I don’t really have a close relationship.

But that hasn’t stopped this smell. It’s been there since I moved in and it’s just getting worse. I don’t know what it is. Imagine shoving your head into a pot of soil. And sniffing. For all eternity. That’s what it’s like. Some people say they like the smell of fresh soil. Those people haven’t been forced to sniff it every waking moment in their apartment. I can’t isolate the source. I’ve scrubbed things, cleaned things, emptied things. Instead the smell just lingers.

Of course, when I bit into my peanut butter and jelly sandwich (toasted of course) and realized the bread was moldy, I thought I had solved the problem. Mold tends to stink. I had found the culprit. I had not. Instead, I had just eaten mold. Which is almost as good. This of course followed my ramen noodles exploding out the wrong end of the package and covering my floor in mini bits of noodle. You’ll notice that despite having lived in Sweden for over two years and actually having a full time white collar job, I eat like an American college student. A Swedish college student eats noodles with ketchup. Duh.

But in the end, these were just minor annoyances. Just like the old man on his motorized scooter in the bike lane honking at everyone at the bus stop because damn it they had better move. Minor annoyances. Today after work I had a less minor annoyance. Because I am an idiot.

I walked in through the door, cursing the smell I threw my stuff down in disgust in hopes of once and for all figuring out why it smelled so bad. I even sniffed the few plants I haven’t yet killed. That’s when I saw it. My fridge door was open. Suddenly the smell took a back seat to my idiocy. Who leaves the door to the fridge open for 11 hours? Me. Awesome. I wasn’t even in a hurry this morning. As a general rule I don’t close the bag of chips. I don’t close the bread sack. I do close the fridge though.

At some point I thought I would get old enough that I would be able to take care of myself. You know, not eat mold, not leave the fridge open. This is what you do when you’re five. Or 85. Not 25.

Now I have a fridge full of dairy products and condiments that will probably destroy my gut for the next few days. Because I’ll be damned if I throw anything away. If it doesn’t stink or look moldy I’ll eat it. And it turns out I’ll even eat it if it is moldy. Albeit not on purpose.

Welcome to Sweden. And learning to be an adult. At the age of 25.

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  1. Maybe your neighbors are growing something. Lots of something. Do you also smell patchouli?

  2. How can you not close chip bags and bread bags, it gets all stale. Blegh. I absolutely love your blog though, it makes my day.

  3. where is your sambo? can she not help?

  4. Ok, first, didn't I always teach you to close the fridge, after sticking your head in it to see if there was anything good to eat that had materialized since the last time you looked ten minutes before??
    Second, come on now, peanut butter sandwiches and ramen!! I KNOW you can do better than that!!

  5. oh yeah, AND third.... PLEASE don't eat that stuff that was in your open fridge in warm apartment for 11 hours!!!

  6. @An American Girl - no tell tale signs of that. although, I did see what loked to be a hippie wandering around just recently. I'll stay on the look out.

    @anonymous - it's not that I do it on purpose... it just kind of happens.

    @anonymous - Ive got no sambo to help me.

    @mamma - yes. yes you did. and I failed you. but come on. peanut butter and jelly with ramen is a classic meal. Im pretty sure it has served me well since at least sophomore year of high school.

    and don't boss me. I had some of the milk on my cereal this morning and I feel glorious.

  7. Funny stuff...

    I did the same thing last week except with the freezer. There was a pool of water all over the floor. Luckily the floor was already damaged. I think the owner's had done it too.

    I don't understand the fridges here anyway. All the condenasation all over everything? What's that all about?

    I can't believe you are only 25 HS. This is a good place to be and be 25 and single. Never saw so many damn good looking women.

  8. condensation...Why can't i edit these things?

    We eat PBJs and ramen quite a bit.

    I can buy a giant case of Ramen at Costco for about $3 in the US. I costs about 50 cents for a package here...

  9. We have a saying in Finland that if it doesn't kill you, it'll make you stronger. I guess you're pretty strong by now, LOL!

  10. oh, man!
    if you think you're the only one who does all those stuff, you're so off base. we're all on the same boat. probably not exactly same but still we're all on some sort of boat .
    i just say it's a little wierd to not notice moldy food under choppers.
    i actually have a cousin who believes when you pay for sth you have to eat it no matter expiration data and the funny thing is, i've never heard he got sick of food.
    and you're so lucky your apartment smells earthy ,when i open the main door of the building i get a nasty welcome of some wierd stink ,like garbage or zoo or just humid garbage or i really don't know! yesterday thx god someone had the door open, so i became quite faint.
    by the way do you know of any night club where people actually dance not sit and just talk?

  11. I typ 98% av fallen så är Jordlukt = Mögel någonstans. Du borde kanske ta kontakt med någon firma, fast det lär ju antagligen kosta en hel del I guess.

  12. My apartment gets the cigarette smoke smell because of the neighbors smoking on their balcony. I usually leave the balcony door open to let in fresh air but often sometimes the smoke comes in. I hope you have fixed your dirt smell. I think thats better than a smoke smell.

  13. I hate that smell. Reminds me of the smell of frogs or earthworms and it turns my stomach a little. Sort of brings back memories of high school biology smells, doesn't it?

    I'm trying to be better about leaving doors open...I do that with cabinet doors all the time and since I'm in a new place, I'm constantly running into them. Boo. I do close my bread and give it a spin, but I can't stand it when people use twisty ties...I hate those dreaded things.

    I had to look up sambo and one of your previous posts was my first hit. ;) You had written something about sambos & the other one (sorry...can't remember the word). You also wrote about the high divorce rate. There have been studies which show a couple is more likely to divorce if they cohabitate (before marriage). I read it quite some years ago, so I don't know the numbers or anything else about it...just came to mind as I read that post.

    Sorry for rambling. Cheers.

  14. First of all, I am not paid by either Heinz or Barilla, but I can tell you that Barilla Pesto (don't even bother trying other ones - they are yucky) and Heinz Chili Sauce (the name is a joke since it isn't hot at all; it's the best ketchup) on italian pasta is PERFECT. Other kinds of ketchup or tomato sauce probably works fine too. However, I have yet to see a Swede putting ketchup on Ramen noodles (which is kind of the impression one might get from reading your stuff). Asian pasta/noodles are different from Italian. It would never cross my mind to try ketchup on that, Swedish as I am.

  15. @kmbr – luckily my freezer managed to stay frozen so I didn’t have a mess to clean up. And so far the milk hasn’t made me sick.

    The price of ramen is outrageous here isn’t it? I refuse to buy it in Sweden and instead bring some back with me from the states. Yup. I really am that cheap.

    @smek – I’m basically He-Man.

    @Persian Guy – I’m so glad to hear that. One of my friends e-mailed me with a similar story of absentmindedness.

    Well, in my defense of the moldy bread, it was only a small piece of the bread. So it snuck by almost undetected.

    And you’re right, earthy smell is better than humid garbage. Because I am familiar with that smell. And it is bad.

    In terms of dance clubs where people dance. Cliff Barnes. Check it out.

    @anonymous – I was kind of afraid of that after I cleaned and scrubbed and emptied… know any good companies to get in touch with?

    @Lacey – also true, dirt is better than smoke. I’ve been airing the place out but it doesn’t seem to be helping.

    @E – the smell of earthworms is a glorious way of describing it. Because that’s exactly what it is. And its not nice.

    I also struggle with the cupboard doors. Having banged my head multiple times because of it. You would think I would learn. But I don’t.

    The sambo and särbo thing is pretty interesting in this country. Despite the studies though, I still think it’s a good idea to live with a person beforehand. Nothing wrong with a little test drive.

    @anonymous – I appreciate the disclaimer. You’re right about Swede not putting it on asian noodles. I have yet to see that. I was using the word “noodles” in the italian sense.

  16. Almost certainly mold. If it's the wrong kind you can get ill. Begin with checking the weird places like behind your stove, under the tub, your mattress, the sofa, things like that. Then have a chat with your landlord or bostadsrättsförening.

  17. You wouldn't happen to have suffered a hit on the head just above your nose recently, would you? I did, and smelled burning for weeks on end - until my sense of smell just disappeared.

    So let's hope it is mold!

  18. 25...25? you're only 25?! Well my dear, you seem wise beyond your years. Thoroughly enjoying your blog.

  19. @greenfluff - damn it. damn it. damn it. so far I think Ive been able to isolate the smell to under my sink.

    @nosmell - no hits to the head. and the smell is confined to my apartment. so I feel fairly confident that it does in fact exist.

    @SwedishJenn - 25.. half ways to 50. But thank you!

  20. In college I once suddenly started being really nauseous and ill. I was so worried. Then my dad came for a visit and informed me that the giant container of cranberry juice I'd bought she have been refrigerated and not left out and drunk from for weeks. Problem solved!

  21. As a mother myself, I immediately felt for yours when I read this. She's probably already emailed you with a good lecture, so I'll spare you mine. For your mother's sake, though, when it doubt, throw it out.

  22. @eva - I actually just finished off the last of my cranberry juice. Luckily it was mold free.

    @Laura - I did get a warning about not eating spoiled food. But my gut lives on despite the warning.