Thursday, March 20, 2014

Things I miss (and don't miss) so far

I anticipated having to adjust to living in Sweden, their products and procedures, being in a city after being a small-town girl.  It's still a novelty, and so far I'm happy, but I've been keeping a list for the sake of "what's it really like."

What I miss
  • our friends and family... although Facebook, email, and web chatting help a lot
  • good burgers (Talking to you, Five Guys. Please come to Sweden.)
  • strangers making eye contact or smiling
  • having a dishwasher
  • hearing and seeing English (although that's changing)
  • our quiet street
  • the view in Virginia, especially Apple Pie Ridge
  • Honey Bunches of Oats
  • (added 5/4/14) corn tortillas, American-style processed meats (pepperoni, hot dogs, Italian sausage, and breakfast sausage) (We do have those things here, they just don't taste the same)

What I don't miss
  • Steve being away for work 2-3 days e.v.e.r.y week
  • having to drive to go anywhere
    • packing lunches e.v.e.r.y. school day
    • emptying the dishwasher
    • Disney Junior as background noise (there are a few cartoons in Swedish at strategic times, but that's it)
    • yard work, shoveling snow
    • taking 2 hours out of e.v.e.r.y weekday to take the kids to school and pick them up
    • finding parking, getting gas, washing the car again
    • Disney princesses (and other characters) everywhere
    • stink bugs
    • having to move the vacuum cleaner plug (Patti den Hartog, I'm thinking of you and being thankful for a small space to clean!)

    It has been a little over two weeks and we're starting to get our stride.  Bowen is still a little sad to be dropped off at preschool, but a few minutes later he's a happy clam.  Olivia always cries when I come to pick her up, so it's safe to say she likes her class, too.  (Others in her class get to stay longer, so she doesn't want to be the one to leave early.)

    I got to hang out with English-speakers yesterday at an international church's Bible study, and then later at the monthly meeting for the American Women's Club.  Both groups were fun, and it was nice not to have to explain our situation beyond "expat contract."  Almost every one of those women is here because of her husband's work.  Some of them are temporary residents like us, and others are married to Swedes or in a permanent job situation.  Hanging out with English-speakers was like being on an island in the middle of a sea of strange.

    Did I mention not having to pack lunches?  We're still on our first tiny jar of peanut butter!  The kids have lunch cooked for them at school, so now there's even a little peer pressure to eat things like fish that they've never liked before.

    And I may miss seeing the Shenandoah Valley, but I was in awe when I looked out this window yesterday and caught a glimpse of the ocean through the rain at the host lady's house. I could get used to a view like that!

    1 comment:

    Malin de Koning said...

    Oh Anne, I love to follow how you are slowly settling in. Becoming more and more Swedish ;-). And I also love to hear about what typical things you pick up about the Swedes and the Swedish society.