Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Miss You Europe

I miss you Europe. And I’m still here. And I’ll be here for another four weeks. I have plenty to look forward to when going back to the US, but I miss you already.

I miss learning bits and pieces of new languages. Because there is no better way to make a foreign friend than comparing swear words.

I miss meeting people from different countries. Because here people are actually from that country. For the record, you are not from Sweden if your great-great-grandfather moved to the US from Skåne in the 1800s. You’re just not.

I miss people speaking at least two different languages. Because your four years of B-work French in high school doesn’t count ten years after the fact. It just doesn’t.

I miss being able to jump on a plane and exploring a new country. Because Poland or Greece or Turkey or Italy are right there. And paying next to nothing to do it.

I miss five to six weeks of paid vacation. Because I’m on vacation right now. But it sure as hell isn’t paid.

I miss taking my shoes off when I walk into someone’s house. Because it’s just gross not to.

I miss laughing at the skinny guy in skinny jeans and a skinny t-shirt. Because you look ridiculous. Even if it is fashionable.

I miss boobs on TV. Because they’re just nipples. We all have them.

I miss being able to pick out the American tourist from a mile away. Because you wear tennis shoes everywhere. And are carrying a water bottle. And just a tip, use your inside voice.

I miss naked kids on the beach. Because when you’re three years old (or even 27 years old), there are few things better than running naked into the ocean.

I miss laughing at European stereotypes. Because Germans wearing socks with sandals is just funny.

I miss the history. Because as much as I love American history, there’s nothing like a medieval church.

I miss the museums. Because all those years of colonialism sure made for one hell of a museum collection.

I miss bitching and moaning about you. Because even though I love you, sometimes you need to get over yourself. I know. So does, the US.

I miss working my ass off to understand you. Because I hate the Ugly American. And I hate being the Ugly American even more. So be able to identify more than three countries. Read a newspaper. The international section is a good place to start.

I miss my adventure. Because you were the best adventure I’ve had so far.

I miss running away to hide only to realize I found so much. Because nothing can compare to crossing an ocean. For friendship. For education. For work. For love.

I miss you Europe. And I’m still here.

Welcome to S(candinavia). I think I’ll leave. Probably.

Subscribe to a Swedish American in Sweden


  1. For the record, we Asians always take our shoes off when we come into our homes. And we ask everyone else to as well :o)

  2. I completely agree with you. Aside from the fact that right now I'm super homesick - but that will pass and I'll likely miss Europe before I leave it again, like you. Do you think you will move back?

  3. You're making me SO EXCITED for my Scandinavian adventure!

  4. I feel a song coming on.

    You must feel really torn.

  5. Marcus, there HAS to be a book in you. You write so beautifully, and funny to boot ("And just a tip, use your inside voice" had me on the floor laughing). Keep up the good work. Find a publisher!

  6. I second that book motion. Although the format doesn't necessarily have to be a book.

  7. Haha I remember how suprised my American friend was when I told him to take off his shoes when he walked into my apartment. He only though that Japanese people did that. But the funny thing is that it's basicly only in Northamerica that you keep your shoes on.

  8. Good 'un, Hairy--quite poetical.

  9. I agree with Samantha. I always take off my shoes.

    These are quite sad. It makes me wish I was living elsewhere besides the US (especially in this political climate). One day, I will visit Europe.

  10. Boy, are we glad you are abroad!! You writing again is good not only for your own sanity, but for ours!
    Okay, so you miss Europe, I miss Europe and we will all miss Europe when you are back in the US and back to not writing again for months on a row...
    No pressure though, I understand it all too well, there are whole periods (less now, I guess, thankfully) in my life when I just can't bother doing anything apart from working. When I am simply so consumed by my work that when I am not working I just want to sit and watch American sitcoms... Sad, really. Fighting that off though. And hope to that back in Europe some time soon!!
    Cheers, enjoy the coming weeks.

  11. I was feeling nostalgic. I hope I always feel that way about Sweden and Europe.