Here and There

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.

The Other Swedish Chef


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