I thought maybe if I used Photoshop, I could make winter go away and feel better. I tried this picture with my son, but I still don’t feel very summery…
Someone today brought up how strange it is that many European countries have pay public toilets. This is something that’s always bothered me here in Sweden. I’ve been here 18 years and still think it should be a basic human right to use a toilet when you need it.
I get the reasons behind it… messy people, drug people, crazy people, etc., but when you gotta go, you gotta go!
Water is clean and free here, but not so public toilets.
When I was pregnant, I managed to make a list of all hidden and free bathrooms around Stockholm. Don’t ask me for it though. It’s of high and secret value and I can’t have all you people messing up my free bathrooms.
Have you ever been around a peacock for a long amount of time? They have the most horrifying scream. There’s no way a peacock could make someone calm.
Now, when it comes to meetings with people I don’t like, however, this would totally come in handy. I gotta get one of these.
The snow is melting today and it’s just a big slush of muddy roads and giant slabs of ice falling from roofs. I think most people here who claim they hate the snow don’t really hate the snow, they hate what’s going to happen because they know that eventually it will get melty and slushy, which I agree is no fun.
I think people would like it more if slush days were declared days off. When it ices over in Texas, most people get the day off school or work because it’s dangerous to drive with no winter tires. Well, when melting snow is making ice fall from the roofs, we should all get the day off work here and stay inside as well.
It’s actually quite dangerous with the snow falling from roofs, and many sidewalks are blocked off so that people don’t get hurt. All the more reason to order people to stay inside today. Can we just have this one thing? I mean, we don’t have sun for 5 months a year, so maybe a few days off on the nastiest days? I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
My husband got a special pickling jar for Christmas. He is currently buying all the cabbage available in Sweden and filling our fridge and counters with sauerkraut and kimchi. Everything in the fridge smells of cabbage. The kitchen smells of cabbage. The apartment smells of cabbage. I’m afraid to go out and meet friends today because I know I smell like cabbage.
Cabbage cabbage cabbage
I was talking to another parent in my son’s class about the weather being so snowy and icy outside that it was hard to walk anywhere without falling. The other parent told me that she has been riding her bike in the ice and snow lately, but is a little nervous about crashing.
I said, “I can’t even ride my bike in the summer without crashing. That’s how I got this scar on my chin.”
She laughed and said, “I remember that happened to me too! I have a scar on my chin from falling off my bike when I was five years old!”
I said, “This happened in September. This year.”
She smiled and moved on to talk to someone more coordinated.
I like to wear jewelry, but I also like to be practical. Fortunately, I found the perfect necklace!
I never read the context of these articles. I pretend they are direct questions posted to me and then I answer them. On to the next headline…
A family member posted a recipe today for a Pinapple pie. The recipe was listed as being “Johnny Cash’s Mother’s Recipe.”
Why would this make the pie any better? As far as I know, Johnny Cash’s mother was not a famous cook. Also, Johnny Cash did not always look the picture of great health or “fun” eating. Just saying.
My son had a good dentist appointment this week and the dentist gave him a new toothbrush when he left. He took it out of the wrapper and slowly ran his fingers up and down, over the top.
“This is so soft. It’s like when I touch your toothbrush. It’s soft under my fingers. My old toothbrush feels like straw.”
I realized I hadn’t replaced the kids’ toothbrushes in a while. I told my son that I didn’t know his toothbrush was so hard, and that he should remind me to replace it more often.
I gave him a hug and told him he could go on ahead of me to see if his neighborhood friend was home. As I watched him run down the sidewalk, I thought about how happy I was that he didn’t have to suffer through all the problems I had at his age with my teeth. What a healthy kid. He eats well, exercises and….
Wait a minute.
“Why are you touching my toothbrush?!”
I haven’t been writing much lately as I don’t have time between having accidents, putting on bandages and bleeding everywhere. Also, wearing a bandage on your face really brings your self-confidence down. Speaking of that, why did all my appointments and meetings have to be scheduled last week when I was forced to wear a bandage on my chin in front of people? You know everyone probably thought I was covering up a zit instead of the half-dollar sized bleeding scab. Swedish culture dictates that it’s not polite to ask why someone’s face is all messed up. That’s why I prefer other immigrants like me, who flat out say, “Whoa! What’d you do to your face?!” Let’s just get it out there.
After going through a set of bandages and almost an entire box of Band-Aids for my chin and hands, I was finally presentable enough to take them off by Friday, a week after flying off my bike like a moron by hitting a curb full speed at the wrong angle.
So what did I do to celebrate? I took out the moped Saturday and ran it into a curb at the wrong angle, falling down and ripping up my knee, as well as my new jeans. Plus my whole right leg is covered in bruises. My husband was sent back to the store once again to purchase more large bandages that I will run out of soon because somehow my knee is still bleeding 2 days later.
I’ve learned two things over the past 2 weeks:
- “Flesh”-colored bandages on your face make you look like a serial killer.
- I should not be allowed to ride things with two wheels.
I’m leaving the house in a few minutes and walking to the subway, where I will trade in disgusting sores and bruises for contagious colds and flus. Instead of financing the bandage industry, I’ll be moving on to tissues.
Today I learned that you can’t jump a curb full speed with your bicycle if you’re a 42-year old with bad coordination and a history of extreme clumsiness.
In my head, I thought, if you just believe in yourself, you can do anything you put your mind to.
So now I have a busted up chin in a huge, hideous bandage and a mild concussion. But on the bright side, you really get to know your neighbors when you smash your face on a sidewalk. They were all helpful, and I like to think I added to their day by giving them a good story for work. “So this moron tries to jump the curb and goes flying ….”
I’ll wrap this up by reminding everyone that no matter what those inspirational books say, believing in yourself is not enough. Wear crash pads everywhere.
Boy 1: Are you ok with guacamole on your tacos?
Boy 2: You don’t seem to understand the meaning of tacos. With tacos, you can add what you want – meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato…
Boy 1: Yeah, but would you eat guacamole?
Boy 2: I could do it if necessary, but I just don’t see the point.
“Well kids, they might be chips and they might be cobras. How about a nice apple instead?”
We inherited this book from the 1960s that was apparently given out to Swedish citizens. It’s called “If the war comes” and it’s an instruction book on what to do in the event of war. In my opinion, the best parts are the nicely dressed 1960s housewives with their pretty skirts and gas masks. They seem totally unconcerned. A close second is the men in suits. Gotta look sharp when the nuclear bomb drops. Here’s a few pictures from the book:
If the war comes…
The Ikea table can withstand an atomic bomb. Don’t forget to casually put on your gas mask! Watch that hair!
Stop, drop and roll is universal. I like the look on his face as his suit is on fire. It’s a look of mild discomfort.
Honey, put on your coat, we’re late for dinner!
Sometimes I think I might have a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder, but then I remind myself that there’s nothing wrong with me except the fact that I keep certain commercials in my head. Let me explain:
There was a commercial running for a while here in Sweden for a coffee company reminding everyone that you should always have coffee on hand because you never know when someone might be dropping by. Example:
So now every time we’re out of hand soap, or there’s some food in the sink, or some crumbs left on the coffee table, all I can think of is, “What if the King stops by to visit?” “What if my favorite band happens to be staying in my apartment building and comes in to use the bathroom?” And then I have to make sure everything is clean. (Having coffee is actually never a problem in any Swedish home. EVERYONE has coffee always. It’s the law.)
So it’s not my fault I’ve become obsessive about cleaning. It’s T.V.
I had to look up my doctor’s name to get a prescription filled yesterday so I went to my local clinic’s webpage to find a list of doctors. I got a hilarious surprise when I discovered that the webpage had been recently updated.
Anytime I have to go to this place it’s crawling with infected zombie patients and irritated doctors who seem like they would enjoy their job a lot better if it weren’t for all the sick people.
Let’s take the opening photo on the website. I’m guessing this is a picture of the waiting room.
First of all, this is NOT the waiting room at our local clinic. How do I know this? Because the waiting room at our clinic has NO WINDOWS!
Also, who are these bright, healthy-looking women? And one of them is smiling! This is not anywhere near the type of people I see when I go to the waiting room. They look more like this:
And then when I click on the page describing doctors, I’m met with this, which I assume is a stock photo as I don’t remember ever seeing any of these (happy?) faces around our clinic:
Who are these fresh-faced, energetic, clean-cut doctors? They certainly aren’t the people who work at our clinic. They look more like this:
But thanks anyway, local clinic website, for giving me a laugh this morning. Maybe next time I’m feeling sick, I’ll just look at these ridiculous photos instead of submitting myself to the depressing, infection-filled cesspool of irritated doctors down at the clinic. Half the time, it might even be more effective.
My son recently got back from a school trip to Tallinn, Estonia where his class visited another school. A nice parent took pictures (because in 4 days my son only took one), and he included a photo of the school cafeteria lunch.
My husband thought I was a weirdo for saying that. He said, “They didn’t serve you on plates at your school?”
I said, “No, it was always rectangle plastic trays and usually rectangle food.”
Estonia, I am impressed!