Take my hand, come with me....

My friends and family in the States want to hear about the start of Sweden round two.

Job? Apartment? Friends? The city?

First, some snapshots of those things...

I wake up and my flatmate has started boiling water for tea and put on Bon Iver to greet the morning. We talk about what we're doing that day and plan to keep in touch about evening activities. When I step out the door of the apartment, I'm immediately faced with a buzzing avenue, cool sunny weather, bustling cafes and people of all sorts criss-crossing their way around the city. I see something new everyday when I walk the brief 12 minutes to the office, which is right in the heart of the city. Where I live is perfect.



*View from my window


*Up a block from the apartment

My office had a crayfish party, and to start the evening we decorated hats for each other to wear. We cut paper plates, wound ribbon, drew on glittery crayfish shapes. Someone made our colleague from Mexico a sombrero-like hat, and the one who made my hat made it look like a Robin Hood hat to represent that I've worked in non-profit before. We toasted and sang songs and made a mess with the food and laughed and danced. And the next morning, it was back to intensive trainings and hours of doing work that I can barely keep up with, how it's been every day so far. Exhausting me but thrilling me at the same time.







I joined several friends for an "afterwork" (what they call happy hour over here) last week. Several of them were friends I hadn't seen all summer. We sat around glasses of white wine on the patio and told stories of our summers and our new jobs and all our other news. All the faces around me were so dear to me, it was a collection of some of my closest girlfriends in Sweden, and I felt so very grateful that I've chosen to live in the same country as them. It was hard and painful to say goodbye to friends in California a couple weeks ago, for the second time, but being back with the ones I have in Sweden positively delights me.




Then a few of us found ourselves at the afterparty for Sweden's version of the Emmys last night. Don't really know how we got in. But we did. And we hardly left the dancefloor for two and a half hours... the DJ played anything you've loved dancing to in the last 20 years and more, and we spun around and around, surrounded by some of Stockholm's fanciest people. We really didn't pay them any attention however, as we just reveled in the spontaneity and mischievousness of the unexpected night.

So there you go. Some snapshots. I want to go on and on. But to summarize, everything here is wonderful. Life is exciting and fun and unexpected and the apartment is perfect and Stockholm is so very very good to me and shows me something new at every turn. I am so grateful and so happy to be settled again.

*********************

I always love writing about things that I've done, giving a window into my world, my happenings, with my words. However, what I aim to do more often with this page is to observe the people and the culture and the country around me, and supply thoughtful, regular writings that explore them on a deeper level. There are several blogs out there written by expatriates that talk about the Swedish concepts of "lagom" or "fika", and in between explain the things that they do and places that they see.

But I want to create an archive of writings that gives the feeling that you've taken my hand and are walking with me through this adventure in a foreign place. I could tell you about the cafe on top of the hill by my house, but I want more to explain things like what makes a Californian feel out of place in Sweden. If I had the skills I would love to make this a beautiful photography blog and capture the gorgeous faces of my friends and corners of Stockholm, but in reality, I actually would rather attempt to reveal the complex and endearing nature of the Swedish heart and mind. Through the heart and mind of this American girl.

The first Swedes I ever met truly love Sweden. Everything they spoke of, every story they told me, was laced with their genuine and unconditional love of their home country. I discovered my love for Sweden bit by bit, through my friends showing me the way, and on my own. For you, whether you live here or far away, I want show you why I love it, even when it isn't perfect.

"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.

After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way."
~Donald Miller

Comments

  1. I'm moving to Stockholm from Gothenburg in a few months, and the way you describe it really mkes me excited about the move :)

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  2. Just saw this comment:) I adore Stockholm. Good luck with your move! Exciting.

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