It has been a week and a half of pure swedishness. I never thought i could overdose on strawberries (jordgubbar) buttt I have been close to strawb-induced chunder moments. Colourful wildlowers are practially weeds here lining the highways and overtaking the small little swedish summer gingerbread houses. Something that made me soo happy upon arrival as i realised i definately wasnt in Australia anymore, those birch trees never did last in our garden at home. Here the swedish weather encourages rather than challenges growth with plenty of rain and enough warm pleasant sunshine. So gentle isthe sun that my little kids here look at me blankly when ask where they keep hats and sunscreen before going to the beach. The weather is kind here. The flies piss off if you ask them nicely and the birds sing much softer than the machine-gun miners in Oz.
So what have I actually been doing? Enjoying summer with the rest (these swedes make the most of every patch of sunshine they get - dreading shortening days as the winter always creeps up on them too soon). I've picked birch leaves to construct and decorate a Midsommer Maypole to dance around. I've danced around the maypole like a frog. I've eaten Sill (herrings) and actually didnt mind it too much this time (thanks dad for 18 years of prep). I've had aquivit and pilsners and songs. I'm up with the European Football Championships. Spain all the way!
I've seen the Linköping collection of military planes and have watched them fly ahead while sunbaking. I've learnt eyes and ears and mouth and nose in svensk (swedish) and can now follow the kids conversations pretty well ("don't!", "look at me", "my turn", "stop it!" ) but the adult conversations aren't so easy.
Got invited to a swedish-syrian home for a syrian feast and a 2 hour long video of a syrian wedding. Wow. just. WoooooOw.
Cecilia, jocke, stanley (the dog), karin, fredrick, olle, laura and Brör (my first swedish love), and of course carl and lotte's new baby Ingrid --- all put up with me for the first week. I cannot thank them enough, it really felt like home so quuickly and the swedish/english mix in conversation was a good ratio for learning i think. (as well as a good deal of conversation with Brör that consitsted of "blabla!" "da" "skoll" and to my pleasure "ann-na!"
Now it is Sophie, Catha and the kids Mali, Louie and Annalise who have welcomed me into the cutest Pippi-longstocking worthy oldfashioned House on a hill by the lake. my job here is to get the kids speaking more english (their father's from new zealand and so they have been spoken to in english for many years- however they keep replying in swedish.Thats where i come in handy cause i force them to speak english due to my lack of understanding of swedish) I have my own little cottage and as the kids for some reason seem to like me quite a lot I am beginning to feel like Miss Honey. I bought a long summer dress from a second hand shop (called 'The Ants' in swedish) that fits my new character.
Life is fine. I go into Stockholm next week though so I must put all images of Open fields and socks-and-sandal wearing locals away as i move into Trend Central. I know already that i wont be able to resist SOME shopping just to fit in. Though how anything else will fit in my bag i've no idea.
So was that good enough for an update? My life is cruisy, organised and priveleged now - in 4 months time .... I hope i'll have clean underwear at least.
(and by the way that photo was sortof compulsory its not mine)