Sometimes it really hits me that I’m in the US now. Certain things are obvious, like all the English being spoken around me (you’ll be happy to know that I no longer feel schizophrenic and am able to shut out all of the English conversations not involving me). Certain things are still taking some getting used to. Certain things took absolutely no getting used to and resulted in me quietly muttering U-S-A! U-S-A! to myself.
First, what resulted in me chanting to myself? Beer prices. Low, low beer prices. I bought a Guinness the other night during happy hour at a local bar. I paid two dollars and fifty cents. $2.50. 2.50 USD. With the current exchange rate that is about 17 SEK. When happy hour ended, with me still there, I paid five dollars. $5.00. 5.00 USD. With the exchange rate that is about 34 SEK. I was excited every time I found a beer for less than 45 SEK in Stockholm. And that was just your classic storstark. God forbid I go out on a limb and order something worth drinking. And so, beer for two dollars and fifty cents results in a U-S-A! U-S-A! chant. Obviously.
And the still getting used to. Marriage. Everyone is married. I am surrounded by married people. And they are my age. Colleagues are married. Friends are married. Cousins are married. Ex-girlfriends are dropping like flies.
I kind of forgot about that in Sweden. It seemed like people weren’t getting married until after the 30 mark. They might have been going together (as my mother would say. Going where you might ask? No one knows.) for years and years. They might have been living together for years and years. They might have had children together for years and years, but they weren’t married. They were sambo. There’s a difference. Not here. Here they are married.
Welcome to Swedish-America. And still adjusting.
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