I realised on Sunday that I have been in Sweden exactly 4 years now. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! There was a time when I couldn’t imagine being here 1 year, let alone 4, and now it feels like the time has gone and there is still so much to see and do, and so many wonderful places here that I must go to again (and again!) and such great people in my life – I am really lucky!
Some habits I have picked up since moving here, which tell me I have been here more than 1 year, include:
– avoiding eye contact with anyone on public transport;
– not speaking to anyone while on public transport;
– if someone speaks to me while on public transport (or in the street), assuming they are crazy, drunk, from the country or foreign (or a combination);
– popping into systemet to buy alcohol when I don’t need it, because you never know when you will need it and you can guarantee systemet will be closed when you do need it (systemet = government controlled liquor shops, the only place to buy your alcohol);
– becoming very good at pushing my way through in crowds (usually at rush hour in the aforementioned public transport system) without feeling guilty or saying sorry (that could be a Stockholm thing);
– having more black clothes in my closet than any other colour;
– thinking temperatures above 0 degrees are “warm”;
– thinking temperatures between -10 and 0 degrees are “not so cold”;
– “sunflowering” i.e., turning my face up to the sun like a sunflower starved of sunshine (or a person deprived of sunshine);
– no longer getting excited when it snows;
– no longer converting from Swedish krona to NZ dollars (phew, now I can finally spend some money instead of feeling horrified at the prices!);
– searching for the nummerlapp when I go somewhere so I can take a number and wait;
– getting excited when the first spring flowers poke their heads out of the final layers of snow;
– bitterly complaining about the lack of service/crappy drink/crappy food/silly decision made by someone/old person pushing infront of me in line etc., and not saying a thing to them;
– feeling irritated the public transport is a few minutes late (the public transport is SO good here!);
– loving the super long days in summer instead of wondering how to sleep properly when there is virtually no darkness;
– thinking it is normal to kayak and swim in a lake in summer and ice skate/cross country ski on it in winter;
– always driving faster than the speed limit, because it’s normal (hmmm, maybe I did that before);
– no longer paying so much attention to the GORGEOUS surroundings of Stockholm, because, well, it’s everywhere!
I’m sure there are many more things I can add to this list (and I probably will). If you have lived here for a while, what little habits have you picked up that remind you that you have been here a while now?