- Leave your cowboy hat at home. This isn’t Texas. You aren’t Wyatt Earp. And you are only validating stereotypes. You don’t need to leave your American-ness at home. You do need to leave your cowboy hat at home. Don’t think you can check it either. It will not travel well. Just leave it be.
- Brush your teeth. Take a shower. Wear deodorant. This isn’t necessarily Swedish or American, it’s just polite. While I might find foul smelling things entertaining in short bursts, being stuck in a flying metal tube with your smell is not entertaining. At all.
- Leave your bible at home. Or at least in your bag. I get it, you’re religious. Fine. I’m not. And neither are the Swedes. So when you walk off that plane clutching your bible as if it is God’s gift to the written word (see what I did there?) you aren’t fitting in.
- Wear comfortable clothes. I know the Swedes look as if they just stepped off the latest fashion runway and I just told you to leave your bible and cowboy hat at home so you would fit in, but let’s be honest, you’re going to be on a cramped airplane for several hours, don’t get dressed up. Comfort is style.
- Do not complain about the locals before you arrive. The locals are on the plane with you. They speak English. In fact, use some of that time on the plane to maybe talk to a local. Or at least try to learn the word for hello (hej pronounced like hay) or thank you (tack pronounced kind of like tack but with a soft ah sound for the a).
- The US is not number one. It’s pretty great, and I moved back for a reason, but it’s not number one. Or maybe it is. But whatever it is number one in your shirt is unnecessary.
- Use your inside voice. You are inside. In fact, you are inside a very confined space.
- And finally, if you really are the stereotypically fat American just buy two seats. I know. This makes me a bad person. But I think we both know that you will be more comfortable and so will I. While I enjoy the warmth of a snuggling person next to me as much as the next guy, your uggghhhh spilling over the arm rest does not count.
P.S. Don’t wear fanny packs. Ever. No matter who you are or where you’re going.
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