We’re back. Back in the USA. Specifically, we are back home. And I have a few thoughts to share, in no particular order.
Things from Sweden that I will miss:
- Salted licorice
- Walking everywhere (instead of driving)
- The absence of suv’s and large vehicles
- The lyrical sound of the Swedish language
- Traffic lights that turn yellow before turning green (allows you to shift your manual transmission automobile)
- Our Swedish friends
- Food in a tube
- Lack of censorship on tv and radio
- Being geographically close to Rachel
- Fabulous cheese
- The goodis section of the grocery store (gummies)
- Delicious coffee and amazing teas
- Pourable yogurt
- A culture where everyone accepts personal responsibility (lack of a litigious society)
- carrying my camera everywhere. I need to change that because in the few days I have been home, I have reached for my camera many times (I have stumbled across many things I want to share with you!)
Things I appreciate/enjoy now that I am home:
- Watching Parenthood and Modern Family (I seriously went through withdrawal)
- My very own laundry room on the first floor of my home
- Friends and family (missed you guys!)
- Having a solid knowledge of public bathrooms (see earlier post)
- My pillow (the pillows in the apartment were subpar at best)
- Real washcloths
- Being geographically close to Max
- Brown sugar, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and my mixer
- Decaf coffee and tea (trust me, a decaffeinated Karen is better for everyone)
- Returning to the instructional kitchen (baking school)
- College football games on tv (American football)
- My electric toothbrush
One funny tale to share…
As you know, shopping in Europe was a bit challenging sometimes. Well, before we left home, Chris and I tried to clean out our pantry and freezer and leave as little food as possible. So, upon our return, we had serious shopping to do. I went to Costco today to get some staple items. I looked forward to shopping in a store where I knew the location of everything. WRONG!! Costco totally rearranged its contents while I was away. They even renovated the store and added new freezers and new sections. What the ?!? It was comical – I couldn’t find anything.
As I walked the aisles (every aisle because I couldn’t find a thing), I came upon a number of items and thought, ‘hey, we need that/I’ve been searching for that/ etc’ only to realize that we needed that item IN SWEDEN, not here. Oh, and I also found myself looking at the prices and converting them, as if the posted price was in SEK, not US dollars. Silly me. And when I saw something interesting, reached in my pocket for my camera, and realized that I didn’t have it. First time in a month I went out without my camera! I also found myself quietly using hand gestures instead of talking – as if people in Tukwila wouldn’t understand me.
And one totally random story:
When I was in college, oh so many years ago, my parents went to Sweden. It was actually a business trip for my dad, but my mom joined him on the trip. I vividly remember some things they shared about the trip. Being in Sweden the past month made me feel quite connected to my mom and dad because I knew I was experiencing (and enjoying) some of the same things they did.
I remember my mom totally loving the pourable yogurt. Me too! I like to use it on my morning muesli instead of milk. My mom has, for as long as I can remember, had a love for dishes and glasses. In recent years, I realized that I, too, love dishes and glasses. I mean, seriously love. Hmmm, if I kept a kosher kitchen, I would need two sets of everyday dishes AND two sets of passover dishes AND maybe even two sets of china. Mmmmm – maybe. Not. Just a thought. Anyway, my mom and dad really enjoyed touring the Orrefors factory when they were in Sweden. I didn’t tour the factory, but I surely enjoyed seeing all the Orrefors and Kosta Boda pieces in the stores and galleries.
I had to stop and share this last story with the group Saturday as we passed the palace. My dad was in Sweden to open a new work facility. He had the privilege of escorting the king and queen through the facility and giving them a personal tour!
Even though we are back in The States, please check back periodically. I will continue posting because life is amusing. I will surely have some entertaining tales to share. Chris sent the weekend in Pullman with Max for Dads’ weekend. You know there will be stories! And I head back to school Monday. The alarm goes off at 4:45. Ug. And aaahhh, too, because I am looking forward to seeing my friends and learning more tricks of the trade. But that 4:45 alarm will take a few days to get used to, I fear.