I have these moments. I’ve had them before, and I continue to have them. Moments where I realize that my time here in Sweden has forever scarred me. Not necessarily a bad scar, but those kinds of scars that girls ask you about that makes you sound like the epitome of man. Like the time you were out chopping wood to build a log cabin while wearing flannel shirts and chewing on toothpicks. You know, just as an example.
My ears perk up when I heard a diesel truck right outside of my apartment. This frightens me. I have never owned a truck. Let alone a diesel. I know very little about cars. All I have learned is simply because I am too cheap to ever buy a nice car and instead buy cars that are nearly as old as I am. Despite once again having a car that is nearly as old as I am, but one that is currently working. I decided to walk to the grocery store.
I walked to the store for one reason, and one reason only. I saw the sun. For the last week I had been living on cereal, milk, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They work well for breakfast and dinner. After a week of it, something needed to change. I was in line for a big trip to the grocery store. But when I looked out the window I saw the sun. I couldn’t resist. Despite knowing how difficult it would be to carry enough food to restock my apartment, I walked to the grocery store. I even walked right past my parked car on the way there. I needed the vitamin D. I needed the sun. On the way back I needed a break. I stopped for a couple of minutes and ate some of the candy I bought. It was Saturday after all. Today, with the muffled crunch of snow under my shoes, I’m pleased with my decision.
I took my ear phones out on the bus the other day just because I somehow managed to hear English through my podcast. I didn’t talk to them. I just sat and soaked up the language. This makes me kind of creepy. I know. It also made me realize how sensitive I have become to language. English floats above the everyday Swedish because it is so rare. The same thing happens when I find myself in foreign countries and hear Swedish. I have spoken with other people about this. It seems that no matter where you are, the languages you are comfortable with rise above the din of everything else. This never ceases to amaze me.
And finally, the real kicker? I take cloth bags to the grocery store. This is mostly because I am too cheap to play the 1.5 SEK for the plastic bag, but still. I actually own two cloth bags for the sole purpose of grocery shopping. Of course, they are incredibly masculine. Especially the baby seal on the one of them.
Welcome to Sweden. And baby seals.
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