Nollning, directly translated into “Zero-ing” is something very Swedish and something very weird. Every fall when new students arrive at the university, they need to prove themselves in something similar to the rites of Heads and Skulls. Or, not really, but you get the picture. So it is not at all unusual to see a student bike in his underwear, holding a sword and wearing a medieval helmet. Not rare at all, but still hard to explain for two blond boys trying to adapt to being Swedes.
These two mentioned boys have discovered Pippi Longstokking. And they are in love. It is cute, but I hope they do not tell their friends too much about her, since you normally hang with her when you are younger.
It seems like wherever I move in this world, I have a hard time to blend in. My Scandinavian accent, more obvious at first and less in the end, gave me away in America. In Skåne, my stockholmska makes me an outsider. Oh, and my clothes – very hip in Texas, but not so over here where black is always the new black.
Lucky me, I have both my kids at an international school in Lund. Where everyone is used to being from somewhere else, and can chat about the advantages and the disadvantages of being new in Skåne. Everybody stands out and everyone blends in. And all I want is for someone to tell me where to pick mushrooms. But finding a Viking willing to reveal his or her mushroom paradise is by definition impossible. So next week, after I have dropped the kids off at school, I will go forest hunting. All by myself, with my knife (do not worry, it is for cleaning that mushroom I intend to find) and my basket. And don’t you dare ask me where I went. I am that much of a Viking.
After spending some magnificent days in the Finnish archipelago, enjoying the ocean and all what comes with that, my head is now constantly spinning around our new life in Lund. Tomorrow we will load the truck and head down south. A new start in a town I hardly know, and I suddenly feel completely like a grown-up.
Though there are things that needs to be taken care off before tomorrow, all I crave is to get our in the forests and enjoying some good old Swedish Allemansrätt. Which means that in Sweden you can walk in any forest and pick whatever berries, mushroom or flower you’d like, as long as they are not specifically protected by the law. Very different than in Texas. I would not have dared walking into someone else forest starting picking berries.
But we will see. For now I am trying to figure out which company to choose for electricity supply. That, however, is like riding the wildest bull on the rodeo.
And by the way, though everyone in Sweden thinks the weather right now is warm, it really is not. But lucky me, our new home has a sauna.
When I started dating the guy who would become my husband, I had no clue what a researcher did. He said he was working on writing an article, and being the journalist I am I offered to help him. Since I had written hundreds of articles I thought I knew how to pull this one through.
Today I have a more correct understanding of the daily life of a researcher, even though I will probably never fully grasp the content of the articles my husband writes.
So I understand that it can be hard for an ad agency to come up with something that attracts people to become researchers. But did they really had to fail this drastically? Let us see if they try to save their face by follow up with an campaign on how hard it is for female researchers to get funding from the European government. Oh, wait, that would not benefit the idea of inspiring young females to become scientists, would it?
Första dagen på sommarlovet. Och det gäller att maxa från start. Trots sömnbrist drog jag och grabbarna ned till Kemah för att bevittna hemkomsten av rymdfärjan. Ja, eller, det är ju ett så kallat tröstpris eftersom Houston-borna inte fick någon av de “riktiga” rymdfärjorna. Det är många sura miner för det här, men i ärlighetens namn så är det nog fler turister som besöker New York än Houston. Och dessutom kunde nog Houston gjort lite mer för att förvalta rymdarvet. I vilket fall som helst så var det en stor skara entusiaster som samlades längs piren i Clear Lake. Vi var riktigt tidiga jag och gossarna, så tidiga att vi inte ens behövde betala för parkeringen (vilket säger en hel del!).
Men ack och hu. Jag glömde såväl sun screen som batteriet till kameran hemma. Tack och lov för en snäll medmamma, och tack och lov att min mobil sköter sig så pass att man för självaste dokumenteringens skull kan knäppa några bilder med den. Jag fick ett par fina filmer också, men eftersom vi fått lämna in den starkare datorn på lite spa-behandling så får det dröja ett par dagar till innan jag lägger ut dem. Men några bilder kan jag ju bjussa på!
And for my English-speaking friends, here is a SwEnglish version:
First day of summer break. It’s important to start out strong. Despite the lack of sleep, I and the boys went down to Kemah to witness the return of the space shuttle. Or, it’s not a “real” shuttle, if you by real means one that has actually been in the space. This one is more known as a consolation prize, as the Houston residents did not receive any of the “real” stuff. Many are upset about this, but in all honesty it’s probably more tourists who visit New York than Houston. And besides, Houston could probably make some more effort when it comes to manage their space heritage to prove that they are worthy. In any case, it was a large crowd of enthusiasts gathered along the pier in Clear Lake.
But. I forgot the sun screen as well as the camera battery at home. Thank goodness for a sweet fellow mama, and thank goodness that my mobile is capable of taking some pictures. I got a couple of nice movies too, but since we had to hand in the computer for a little spa treatment, it might take a few days before I publish them here. Until then, enjoy these pictures.
Houston, we have a problem. And it’s big. We will miss you and your wonderful people.
Some time ago, the husband was offered a position in the Southern parts of Sweden. We decided to jump on the offer, which would bring us back to family and friends on the other side of the pond. So in the end of July we will head back to Sweden again. It is of course both exciting and very sad at the same time. We are grateful to all our friends who has taken care of us during our time here, and we hope to come visit soon again.
I hope to keep in contact with you all through facebook, instagram and who-knows-what-they-might-invent. This website is unfortunately mostly in Swedish, but you are most welcome to visit and look at pictures. Who knows, I might feel an urge to express myself in English after moving back to the Viking country again. And should any of you ever go to Sweden, you are obligated to contact us, so that we can pay back a little bit of all the hospitality we have experienced over here.
Hasta la vista, Houston! Hope our roads crosses soon again…
Saturday morning, and you are only going to buy some small stuff at the store. Off you go with the kids. The shopping goes smoothly, and you even take the chance to buy two packages of scout cookies (for the first time, and since the sale ends in two weeks). Load the car, buckle up both you and the kids and turn on the engine. If it had not been for that clicking sound. No strong power engine in this car. A feeling of being stranded. Reach for the cellphone, but of course you left it at home. This one time you needed it. Sending a thought to the husband in a country far, far away. Pump up the kids: “Well, isn’t this a great adventure! Let’s walk somewhere and see if we can rent a car!” After some walking, you spot the Enterprise logo on a sign not too far away. Which is exactly what you need, since the youngest son just realized he definitely need to go visit the rest room. You arrive a quarter after the rental car place closed, but for some magnificent recent it is still open. You get a fancy car that you do not need to insert a key in to start. How in the world are you going to turn off the engine?? You figure that out. Back to your old car, load the car seats into that new car, send off a little prayer that no cockroaches – more known as towing trucks – will take your car away. Home. Call that husband of yours in a country far, far away and ask him what to do. Call a friend, who happened to be not to far from that shopping mall. So before you call AAA you decide to see if you can jump start the car. Since you know that the battery is no good, maybe a little push from another car can help? Realizing you need a little push somewhere yourself. Thinking about the battery you bought Wal-Mart one year ago, and realize you should never expect to get quality batteries from Wal-Mart. Home to reload your own batteries. Strong coffee combined with a very cold AC can make miracles. Vacuum clean the home. Make the beds. Decides to buy take-out for dinner, since you are having an extra kid tonight.
Boy, do I look forward to an hour of SNL later tonight. I’m putting my kids to bed early tonight.