Tag Archives: confusion

Bad omen or very tired bird?

A strange thing happened to us this weekend.  We left our apartment building and came back an hour later to find a very large, dead bird in the middle of our street.  It was an unusual bird – a water type – that should have migrated weeks ago.  It was very strange to find it in front of our building and odd that none of the other people had come out and noticed it.

But here’s the weird part….

We went up to our apartment and went into the kitchen.  The kitchen window had the imprint of a bird, complete with feathers and a little blood.

So the mystery was solved of how the bird appeared dead in our road.  However, the weird thing is that we live in a big building with 36 apartments and 4 floors.  Out of all of the windows the bird could have flown into, he flew into ours and we were the people who happened to find him by coincidence.

I say it’s a scary omen meaning death or something bad.

My husband says, “A bird flew in the window.”

I want!

I’ve noticed that the woman at the reception desk at the swim hall always looks at me as if I’m an alien when I ask to swim.   I’ve thought about this and I think I have figured out the problem.  Even though I know the correct way to say a sentence in Swedish, I think I am lacking the basic social skills for the language and culture.  The problem is that when I want to do something new, I learn the most basic and direct way to say it.  I have no follow up.  I don’t know how to make my sentences polite.  When I go to the swim hall each week, I walk up to the desk and say, “I WANT TO SWIM!”   (Jag vill simma!)    When I get a haircut, I say, “I WANT A HAIRCUT!” (Jag vill klippa mig! – Yes, it sounds to me like I’m saying I want to cut myself, but other people assure me this means haircut.)

I have nothing to say after these sentences.  If I were speaking English, I would probably say, “I’d like to swim, please,” and then make some comment about the weather.  If I were asking for a haircut in English, I would say, “Yes, I’d like to get a haircut today.  Just a little off the ends.”

But in Swedish, I am forced to announce my needs in a caveman fashion and my only follow up may be occasional miming.  After I announce my desire for a haircut in Sweden and they ask me how much, I usually just make my hands into scissors and pretend to cut where I would like it.   This gets the message across but may also be why people occasionally treat me as if I am a crazy street person.

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