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It’s definitely a luxury problem to be busy day and night seeing friends and family who truly appreciate you for who you are!  

    
    
    
    
 

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Sweden 

I was worried the snowstorm was gonna stop me from flying home to Stockholm, but luckily it didn’t! Haven’t seen my friends and family for six months and now the tickets were really cheap. Hot tip: go to Sweden in January / February, maybe even March, with Norwegian. Cheap and fast since no one wants to go here during the season of snow and eternal darkness.

Anyway for us natives it doesn’t matter, as long as I get to see my gorgy hometown! I spent the day being jet lagged, watching my mom playing Sim City (her latest obsession), eating food and watching the first episode of the X-files with mom, bro and youngest sis (who had made homemade peanut butter cups! Delish)
  

Sweden 

Cultural differences: childcare 

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After babysitting in New York City for 10 months, I am determined to NOT have kids in this city. Not only does the air smell like exhaust fumes anywhere you go and there’s no real nature close by, everything is also so poorly adapted for strollers (or wheelchairs). Going on the subway is a nightmare and if no one is there to help me I have to take out the kid and carry him up all the stairs and then take anther round to carry the stroller up. People glare suspiciously on us wherever we go, as if kids are not allowed in the city, and they would never move out of the way because I need to use a ramp or would like to sit down when juggling baby food, pacifiers, stroller and baby.

There’s also the lack of educational, outdoorsy child care. I don’t know since I don’t have kids of my own, but the moms I work with all say the day care centers they’ve tried either has the TV on all day or never ever goes outside. Now compare this to Sweden where everyone is entitled to free kindergarten where they are outside most of the day no matter what weather it is, get healthy food, go on excursions and actually learn things, not least to cooperate and socialize with other kids, sharing toys, expressing their feelings. Over here, if another kid starts playing with my kid’s toys at the playground, the parents immediately come up and carry their kid away, like they’re afraid of other people.

In Sweden the air is cleaner, we have lower speed limits close to schools, school is free all the way (even college), parents with strollers go for free on the bus (and people have to make room for them in the center of the bus), there are elevators or ramps in the subway and most public areas to make it accessible and there are natural areas very close to the cities, including Stockholm (I don’t mean parks, but actual forests).

So! No kids until we move to Sweden. But I do LOVE New York City! And I always have a super cool view when working. I just thinks it’s a great place when you’re young, before you move on to the next stage of life.

Cultural differences: childcare 

Missing home

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Almost exactly a year ago my tourist visa for being in the US was up and I was about to head home to Sweden. We didn’t really have a plan for the next step since Ever had his job here and didn’t want to leave, and I couldn’t afford to keep traveling back and forth every three months, recent graduate from college and broke. SO I left with a really heavy heart, not even knowing when we were going to see each other again. He said he’d follow me a month or two later to experience the Swedish summer and then we could go back to NYC together. But he hates planning and has to do everything spontaneous so he didn’t buy a ticket.

Turned out it was the hardest summer of my life – after living together for 6 months we weren’t even able to talk on the phone every day because of the time difference. He used to be a party animal so that worried me. He freaked out a bit about the distance, saying he needed to feel free, and knowing that the decision and responsibility to bring me back was totally his. He even told me he couldn’t do it.

But also, it was one of the best summers in my life. I got to go back home after spending a year away (Thailand, Burma, US) and see the Swedish summer from another perspective. I loved my home country again (although I’ve ALWAYS lived for the Swedish summer!), met a lot of new people because living abroad on my own had made me more confident, I found a summer job really quick because of that and I spent a lot of time with my family and close friends.

Eventually he DID come to Sweden, we did go back together, and we got married. It’s been a tough year but it’s always been going better and better. He’s a complicated man and I just want everyone to be happy. But I learned I need to look out for my own happiness to be able to survive. And this year when I go home to Stockholm for the summer, I will do it confidently and happy, knowing for sure that everything will be ok.

Missing home

Memorable Weekends

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Memorial Day Weekend. Until today I wasn’t sure what I’m supposed to remember this time of year, but it’s actually the holiday to honor all the Americans that have died in war. Anyway, I like having one extra day off to hang out with my dear husband. Even if this morning started (actually in the middle of the night) with him having major stomach problems (sorry if I’m embarrassing you, babe) so we barely slept a second, and I biked to Walgreens at 8AM to get stomach stuff. We had planned on going to a friend’s graduation party in the park, but he finally fell asleep after drinking my coffee (?) around noon so I went for a walk and called Sweden. Dad told me about him and his wife’s recent trip to Amsterdam, where my stepsister lives. Apparently dad was attacked by a seagull that snatched a fish from the ground (don’t ask me why there were fish on the ground), it was spooked by dad, and dropped the fish on him. Sounded like a successful weekend trip. Anyhow. Welcome to my new blog where I’m going to ponder on what it’s like being Swedish, living in NY with an American man. I’ll probably toss in some posts about my interest in fashion and fitness, as well as the eternal question why women are so much better than men.

Memorial Day Weekend. Fram tills idag var jag inte säker på vad det är jag ska komma ihåg den här helgen, men den är till för att hedra alla amerikaner som dött i krig. Hursomhelst, jag gillar att ha en extra dag att hänga med min kära man. Även om imorse började (mitt i natten faktiskt) med att han hade så sjukt ont i magen (sorry om jag är pinsam, babe) så vi sov knappt en blund och sen cyklade jag iväg till Walgreens när det öppnade vid 8 för att köpa maggrejer. Vi hade planerat att gå på en kompis examensfest i Prospect Park, men han somnade äntligen efter att ha druckit mitt kaffe (?) runt lunch så jag tog en promenad och ringde Sverige. Pappa berättade om sin och sin frus resa till Amsterdam, där hennes dotter bor. Tydligen blev han attackerad av en fiskmås som ryckte åt sig en fisk från marken (fråga mig inte varför det låg fisk på marken), blev skrämd av pappa, och tappade fisken på honom. Lät som en lyckad weekendresa. I alla fall. Välkomna till min nya blogg där jag kommer filosofera om hur det är att vara svensk och bo i New York med en amerikansk man. Jag kommer antagligen slänga in några inlägg om mina intressen mode och träning, liksom den eviga frågan varför kvinnor är så mycket bättre än män.

Memorable Weekends