Listen to the latest bonus episode of our expat podcast as we make our yearly attempt to explain Halloween and Day of the Dead to the country of Sweden.
Available wherever you get your podcast by typing in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” or at any of the links below:
It’s the giving season! I’ve picked out this special gift for a number of people on my
enemies Christmas list!
- Bus driver who didn’t stop for my son and I in the rain
- Old lady telling me how to raise my kids after meeting me for 5 seconds
- Every person who takes up several seats at my kids’ school performances with their coats and bags and says, “These seats are saved!”
This is my special Christmas gift to them. Luckily, you can order several packages so there are enough for everyone!
Today most Swedes go back to work from the holidays. The subways and buses will be full of bleary-eyed people chugging coffee and wondering where all those mornings in bed have gone. It’s easy to completely change your schedule with 2 weeks off. Lately we’ve been up til midnight and waking up in the mornings around 9 or 9:30am. (Don’t laugh – that’s pretty late when you have small kids.) Today we eased our way back with 7:30am. Tomorrow when the kids start school, it will be 6:30 am. Oh the horror! How do people do this? After 2 weeks, I’ve completely forgotten how this works. After 2 weeks I’ve also forgotten how to eat normal things for breakfast and not waffles and cookies! After 2 weeks I’m going to have to wear actual clothes and not pajamas!
I hope Easter gets here quickly.
I’ve been away from the computer for a few days. I blame it on candy coma. The holidays were just a 2 week candy binge. It’s actually not over yet. Today is also a holiday here in Sweden. Well, if I must… I guess I’ll have to have a few more chocolates.
We generally have a rule to only eat candy on Saturdays (many kids here do this and it’s good advice for adults too). But during holidays and vacations – every day is a Saturday. Right?
I noticed that most countries (at least in Europe) have some sort of slogan. At the airport, I saw, “I Need Spain” and “I Feel Slovenia.”
This got my husband and I wondering what Sweden’s current slogan is for tourists. Here are a few ideas:
Sweden – Booze and Hot Pants
Sweden – Not So Bad in the Summer
Sweden – Abba
Sweden – Bring a Jacket
Am I the only one taking my vitamin D up here in Sweden? Everyone seems quite depressed lately. Today was the first day back at work from the holidays. They called a meeting at work and tried to start with the usual, “How was your vacation?” to break the ice. This reminds me of the first day of school, when we would all have to introduce ourselves and say something interesting. It never worked. I wonder what the teachers imagined it would be:
“Hi I’m Fred and I was raised by wolves!”
When in reality, it was:
“I’m Fred. I watch t.v.”
The answers don’t get any better in adult situations. Here’s a sample of the answers to that question at our meeting today:
“My family had stomach flu all Christmas. It was great. I had time to paint the walls.”
“Some guy punched my friend in the stomach and ended up in jail on New Years.”
“I had to tell my in-laws they couldn’t come over because I found out they had a highly contagious disease.”
“My son works at the hospital. Instead of fireworks injuries this year, it was suicides and overdoses. That was a change.”
“Oh, but I heard some good news today! All the little kids that are dying in the hospital downtown get to have a dog.”
Thanks for that positive statement. Maybe next time, take out the words, “dying” and “hospital” when you follow the good news statement.
I can’t wait to hear what happens over the Easter break.
The days between Christmas and New Year are what we call the “in-between” days.
“Are you working the in-between days?”
“Yes, because I don’t want to take vacation days.”
The good thing about working the days between Christmas is that NO ONE is around! The subways are empty, the work building is empty. In a building that normally holds over 1000 people, there are only around 6 of us here today. This job is totally great without the customers.
Why can’t all work days be like this? It’s like being at a spa (minus the champagne and hot tub). However…. if I wanted a bottle of champagne, I could have one up here because it’s empty! I’m not saying I’m doing that, but it’s nice to know that I could if I wanted to.
A friend and I once had an entire movie theater to ourselves when we were 13. I have no idea what that movie was, but it was the greatest movie ever. We did cartwheels up the aisles. We changed seats every 5 minutes. Sometimes we sat on top of the seats. There is really something to be said for having a huge place all to yourself.
I feel like that now. In fact, I think I’m going to do a few cartwheels down the hall on my way out. Maybe some champagne would help me gain the dexterity I had at age 13. I believe I saw some in the fridge.