(In reference to the title – we got pulled aside by a cop before 8am in the morning for a breath test. How many farmers are getting drunk on a tuesday morning in an alcohol-conservatively governed nation?)
What I learned in a sweet small town.
I landed on this continent to automatically stay with a good friend who i hadn’t seen in 3 years. It was cozy and comforting to my globe trotting soul. i instantly made a lot of new friends and climbed on a bus into the unknown. As my bus pulled in, two rather charismatic women picked me up and drove me into the countryside, my new home for almost a year. (Although at the time I had planned only 3 months.)
The town of Ljungskile and its surrounds have taught me more about myself than a lot of the years I spent in my home country. I haven’t been more uncomfortable, I haven’t been so homesick, I haven’t been so alone, i havent fallen in love with stranger foods, (some of which even my father raised his eyebrow at) and i haven’t had the opportunities to create from scratch and use skills that have laid dormant than i have in my time in this tiny farm in the middle of nowhere.
I found out quite deeply that i am a city boy. As evidenced by the sigh of relief let out by my soul anytime i entered a town larger than 5000 people. I found out how well my parents taught me how to be ‘house trained” (although i still avoided ironing like the plague)
I drove on the right-hand-side, I created a curriculum. I set social media goals and met them. I spoke at youth groups, half whom understood me and half who laughed after i was translated. (two laughs for the price of one. BOOM) Played multiple instruments in a week, playing songs i hadn’t played for years. I worked alongside an incredible Australian man, and learned more about out culture from watching from the outside. and… honestly, we are a bunch of cheeky racist buttheads. and I LOVE us. we are a good people. But, living in a multicultural community outside of your own nation lets you see how good people, ALL the people are.
Swedes are amazing. They have amazingly sweet traditions, and deeply held high standards, and a patience that allows for culture-less noobs to interact with theirs. Sweden I love you. smooches!