Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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lilac in linköping

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The neighborhood we lived in when we lived in Linköping bloomed in the spring. Bloomed with lilac. Every house and garden had lilac. I assume it was a requirement – if you agreed to reside there you agreed to maintain lilac. A reasonable assumption.

It smelled wonderfully. For a few weeks each spring going for a walk was accompanied by the lovely redolence of lilac. It was wonderful.

Now that spring has sprung I wonder if our old neighborhood is teeming with the beautiful purple flower once again. I hope it is. I hope to take a stroll through those lilac filled streets soon.

For now my memories will have to do.
Until next time,

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första maj

Hello May

Pronounced fer-stah maie, today is May first. This isn’t news, I know, but in Sweden we get the day off. We get the day off because of something to do with politics and the industrial revolution.

I’m not clear on the details. I’ll have to do more research.

I do know that the day before the first of May is called Valborg, and is also a holiday of sorts in Sweden. Everyone goes out in the evening to see a big fire. The fire is to scare off witches. And a good excuse to drink. I’m actually not clear on the details of this tradition either.

This is the fire from last night, so this much is true.

Seems I have a lot of reasearch to do. Check back soon for more.

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april april

Here in Sweden you don’t shout “April Fools!” when you trick someone today. You smirk and quietly state “april, april”. People in Sweden don’t shout much. That’s how you spot the Americans in Sweden; the loudest people in the room – and their clothes. I’m American, so I can say that. Also, in Swedish the months aren’t capitalized, some knowledge for you. Now, I haven’t played any tricks today (yet) but last year I played a pretty good one.

I posted as my status that I was moving back to the Greater Boston Area. Man, I thought to my self, I am hilarious. Apparently not everyone thought so. Once I outed that it was an April Fool’s joke people were not pleased. One friend in particular got pretty upset about it. Katie*, please accept another official apology, I did not set out to get your hopes up and then allow them to come crashing to the earth, although that may be what happened. I’m sorry.

*Name changed to protect identity, I always change
all the names on my blog. In case you didn’t already
know. May name may not even be Meredith. You’ll
never know. Another piece of knowledge for you.

Anywho, last year my boss played a pretty good April Fool’s joke. She sent an e-mail saying the head of the school had told her that we were going to professionally ventilate two wings of the pre-school. Therefore we would need to vacate the premises between noon and 5pm Monday through Thursday. We would need to relocate about 80 children. For five hours. I remember reading the e-mail, laughing out loud, and then replying that I would be on vacation, so my colleagues would have to make the call on what to do. I totally bought it. And I was totally ecstatic I would not be there. They have a word for that in Swedish: skadeglädje, which basically means thinking things are funny when harm is done to others. Turns out the wings did not need to be professionally ventilated, and my colleagues were not forced to vacate the building. Too bad.

ClosedThis year the headmistresses went on vacation, so no alarming e-mail in our in boxes. I was thinking we should have closed the pre-school today. As a joke of course. To pull one over on them for a change. But realized the back-lash on that one would have been pretty big. I’m also not convinced I could have gotten my colleagues in on it.

Although today hasn’t been a very tricky one for me, you all should definitely keep your eyes peeled.

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book of may: the lucky one

Wonder what I was reading in May? No? Too bad, here it comes.

I borrowed The Lucky One, by Nicholas Sparks, from Emelie. Last winter. It was about time I read it. I dunno if you guys saw the movie, but I did. Even saw it before reading the book. Not cool, I know. It happened, nothing to do about it now.

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As is always the case, according to me, the book far exceeded the movie. Nicholas Sparks is a master, as everyone agrees, and this book should absolutely be on your to-read list. Especially if you haven’t yet seen the movie.

It won’t leave you bawling on the sofa like The Notebook did, but it certainly has the potential to bring tears to your eyes.

I’m now considering listening to my freshman roommate’s adamant appraisal of Nicholas Sparks (she has literally read all of his works) and I’m thinking I might read another book or two by him.

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what’s the deal sweden?

Today I checked when Sweden would have more sunlight hours than Boston. March 19th. I plan to have a party that day. I miss the sun. You are all invited to my sun party. Details to come.

In the mean time I’d like to complain. It’s one thing to have a ridiculously dark winter. But a snow-less winter? That’s just not okay in my book. Here in Sweden there was no snow on Christmas or New Years. As far as I’m concerned it might as well not snow anymore. The cheery cozy Christmas with snow outside and a roaring fire never came to be. A glistening snow filled walk down to the city to watch the fireworks was not the case. Now it might as well be spring.

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It has been grey and gloomy instead.

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Counting down the days until March 19th.

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swedish groundhog’s day, or is it fish day?

The other day was Groundhogs Day. I hope you all celebrated accordingly. With long, loud parties late into the night. That’s what I did at least.

Maybe.

you a'int nothin' but a groundhoggg....wait, is that right?credit

you a’int nothin’ but a groundhoggg….
wait, is that right?
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Here in Sweden I was really hoping for a cloudy day. REALLY. You guys know by now how cold I am. But when Saturday rolled around I was awoken by the sunlight streaming through the windows of our bedroom. I was simultaneously filled with glee and remorse. FINALLY the sun was back. BUT now it will be winter for forever.

Little did I know “murmeldjur” as they’re known here in Sweden, are a little known animal. There is no Groundhog’s Day. (Hope for me at last!) Here, instead, you cut open a female “aborre” (a European perch) and inspect the eggs. Depending on the number/size/etc. of the eggs determines how close we are to spring.

Say it like Dory says escape. Aborre!credit

Say it like Dory says “escape”. Aborre!
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This also seems to me to be a slightly more scientific manner of determining the seasons. Rather than whether or not a small squirrel cousin is afraid of his shadow. So I’m going with the fish. I’m also claiming that the fish say spring will come early.

Happy Spring Everybody!!

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