I have a (5th grade) dream…

I visited my 5th grade son’s school earlier this week and I noticed kids’ projects taped to the wall for their English lessons that said, “I Have a Dream” (they’re also studying human rights).
Most kids had written things like “My dream is that no one should be poor.” “My dream is that there will be no more war.”

My son, very concerned that we have recently become stuck with a low-selection Swedish Netflix, wrote, “My dream is that we get American Netflix back.”

Priorities.

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So many types of royalty

Friday’s conversation with the kids:

Me: The kids at school will probably be talking about it so I thought I should let you know that Prince died.

Kids: Our prince? The prince of Sweden?

Me: No, no no!  The music artist. Do you remember who that is?

Kids: (with sad face) Yeah, it’s the one who sings “We will, We will Rock You.”

Me: Um, no that’s Queen, but I can totally understand the confusion.

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Pizza Hatt

In Stockholm, many businesses can be found in one building. While looking for directions to a doctor’s appointment, I noticed that the address was listed as a place called “Pizza Hatt.”

First, I will state the obvious, in that the owners are hoping a few people will be confused between the words Hut and Hatt and will just give up and eat there once they arrive.

Second, I was very disappointed I was not offered pizza at my doctor’s appointment.

And finally, a friend of mine sent me this picture as she was convinced the place must sell actual Pizza Hats.

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Monsieur T

Ever wonder what the A-Team theme sounds like in French? Wonder no more!

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I work part-time as a translator for Swedish to English documents.

My oldest son tried to translate a paper his school sent home about how he should prepare for singing in a concert. I don’t think he will be following in my footsteps any time soon.

 

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Buy My Book!

Buy my new book “As Long as I Have My Own Bathroom” and learn the secret of the mysterious Leprechaun Museum.

Available on Amazon (for the U.S.) – http://amzn.com/1530292964
Available Amazon.co.uk (for the UK) – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1530292964
And AdLibris (in Sweden) – http://tinyurl.com/jyjfkro
And most likely on other Amazon services around the world so just check!

Thank you!  All money goes to ice cream.

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Parenting lesson #15 – Why predicting the future is bad

Had a very detailed discussion yesterday on the subway with my son about the dangers of future prediction. As he is too young to have seen the movie “Minority Report,” I had to fill him in on why we shouldn’t predict crimes that haven’t happened. I also had to explain this:

Me: What if you found out that you would be hit by a car March 10?
Son: Then you could stay at home.Me: Then the car is going to crash into your house.
Son: But we live on the third floor.
Me: Then the helicopter carrying the car will have a lose cable and it will fall in your house.
Son: Ah…

Important moments in parenting and teaching in order to stop your future mad scientists from destroying society. Also, you get your own subway section of seats because people think you’re insane.

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Cat in the Hat

My husband and kids have wanted to visit Japan for quite a while. Of course they all want to go there because it’s a video game paradise, and it would be a cool place to go, but I’ve never been completely sold on spending that much money and flying so far for a trip.

However, a travel article on CNN today might have changed all of that.

I give you…  Nitama, the new stationmaster of Kishi Station in Wakayama Prefecture. She has been praised for her “hat-wearing” skills.

Checking into tickets now.

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Gangs in Sweden

Seems about right.

 

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If you only buy one book this year…

… you’re probably not much of a reader. But I guarantee you will enjoy “As Long as I Have My Own Bathroom.”

Why will you enjoy it? Because I WROTE IT!

Come along with me on a journey of my previous travels. You’ll experience rabid squirrels, eating snails, nude ice cream salesmen! You don’t want to miss:

AS LONG AS I HAVE MY OWN BATHROOM

http://amzn.com/1530292964

and

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1530292964

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You know what would be great?

My 8 yr old: You know what would be great?

My 10 yr old: What?

8 yr old: A burrito superhero.

10 yr old: A superhero who looks like a burrito? Or a superhero who gives out burritos?

8 yr old: A superhero who gives out burritos.

10 yr old: Ok, then. Yeah, that’d be great.

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Badgers!

This sign was just put up next to our building. Badgers! Yes! I’m keeping a lookout but I haven’t seen any yet. Thought I saw one from my balcony the other day but I didn’t have my glasses on and it turns out it was a small kid with an animal hat.

They keep claiming there are beavers all over too, but I haven’t seen those either. People get attacked by them apparently and I can’t even get a glimpse! Maybe I’ll have better luck with these badgers.

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I wrote a new book!

I have a new book out! (also available on Amazon.co.uk) !
How would you act if you accidentally arrived with your extended family on a nude beach in France? Or if a Turkish salesman in the grand bazaar in Istanbul offered to replace your husband with a new one? How about having to go to the bathroom in front of your friends in the forest behind a sheet with the words “ladies room” painted on it? Heather Jonasson has handled these incidents, and more, on her trips around Europe and the US. Heather Jonasson is a native Texan who moved to the small, frozen country of Sweden in northern Europe for love. Now, follow her along as she tells of her travel adventures in Europe and the US.
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The problem with Google Analytics

We all know that Google and other websites monitor our searches and interests in order to tailor product ads to our needs (as well as other things). While having ads tailored to you isn’t the worst thing in the world, it is annoying that I have to think twice before searching for something because of the nagging knowledge that Google will think I’m “into that.”

Today’s example:

For a haircare translation project I’m working on, I came across a product that I translated as working well for dandruff and “hair fungus.” I had (thankfully) never heard of hair fungus, so I looked it up to make sure it was actually a real thing and that I wasn’t mis-translating.

Yes, it’s a real thing and now the internet thinks I have hair fungus. The sacrifices we make for work sometimes.

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Parents! Want to be frustrated and exhaust yourself?

I was looking over a guide of things to do in a local neighborhood when I came across this article about ice skating. The article is very positive and lists this as a fun activity to do with your family, but what’s going on in this picture? This doesn’t look fun. It looks like an exhausting, awful day!

One kid is falling all over the place with the adult trying to keep him up (not easy to do on ice, I’ve been there) and the other man in the background has simply given up and flung his kid over his shoulder.

This doesn’t make me want to go ice skating, but it does make me want to go down there to watch the drama.

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Special Lady

There’s a chain of restaurants in the southern U.S. called “Waffle House.” It’s a good place to go if you’re:
– Poor
– Hungry after midnight
– In College

Back in the 90s, my friends and I fit all of those categories quite often, so we spent a lot of time at the Waffle House. Now, the Waffle House food is nothing exciting, but the reason to go there is because of the Waffle House jukebox. Every Waffle House has a jukebox with your usual standard fare in the south (lots of Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and strange pop R&B songs that were popular, well, back in the 90s). But every one of their jukeboxes also has their own Waffle House themed music.

Yes, they have their own label and musicians that write and record songs about food and experiences at the Waffle House. My friends and I would save our quarters just to choose the following song and play it over and over depending on how much money we were able to put in the jukebox. I give to you, “Special Lady at the Waffle House.” It’s a real song and apparently after you go in and play it several nights in a row on repeat, the employees of the Waffle House will unplug the jukebox – I speak from experience:

And if you enjoyed that, you should also check out some of these other wonderful Waffle House originals:

Waffle House Family – https://youtu.be/lYQUB5Wb_FM

Raisins in My Toast – https://youtu.be/N_LnuPFnJXY

 

 

Life on the Riviera

This weekend, I felt warm sunshine for the first time in six months.

I also wore something other than a large, down-filled coat and waterproof boots for the first time in six months.

My husband and I spent a long weekend relaxing in the French Riviera city of Nice. If you haven’t experienced six months of winter, constant cloud cover and darkness at one point in your life, then you probably can’t understand why I had tears in my eyes when the weekend was over.

As we sat in the sunshine sipping wine during the afternoons, we asked ourselves the same question we ask every time we are in southern Europe: Why do we live in Sweden?

Don’t get me wrong; Sweden is beautiful … in summer. It’s even a bit charming around December with the Christmas lights and children sledding in the snow, but that’s about all of winter we can take. Once January rolls around, this place is a slush-filled wasteland that honestly doesn’t get much better until around May.

I apologize for sounding bitter, but please take a look at the following picture. One is breakfast in Nice and the other is before dinner the same day back in Stockholm (picture frozen lasagne waiting at the end of this desloate trail). Which one would you rather be living in during March?

I rest my case.

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Prince hit by snowball

This headline was on CNN top stories. It was the only story I clicked on to read. However, it was not what I thought, but just a piece about Prince William of England playing in the snow with his family.

Of course it wasn’t what I thought. No one would ever do that to Prince. He’s awesome!

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What to wear…

I’m trying to pack for a vacation, but living in Stockholm and wearing a coat and boots for 6 months now, I’ve forgotten what other temperatures feel like.

Here’s what I’m faced with (Vacation above, Stockholm below). Sorry these are in C, but in F, Vacation is going to be between 60-65F, while Stockholm is (surprisingly warmer than usual) 39-44F.

Also, see how there’s not really sun here? Oh sure, it peaks out here and then, but we get no warmth from it until around April. So what is Vacation place like in direct sun? I bet it’s warm. Or I’d like to imagine it is.

I guess it’s layers as usual (with a hopeful bathing suit underneath).

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I’m gonna need more cannons

The big news in Sweden today is that the Crown Princess gave birth to a boy during the night. One of the coolest things about this is that when a new royal baby is born, they shoot the cannons! Yes, we have working cannons in Stockholm!

They’re going to shoot them at noon, which is in about an hour from now. I hope Stockholmers realize how fun it is to have cannons fire off for a nice reason. In Texas, we don’t really have any cannons in use, just a bunch of idiots with shotguns destroying road signs.

Canons just seem classier, right?

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