Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jag orkar inte

If you had told me a year ago that I would be blogging poolside at an oceanfront hotel in Stockholm today, I would immediately have gotten distracted by the fact that IKEA is Swedish and stopped listening. Also I wouldn't have believed you. 
But here I am, watching other big white people splash around in the heated indoor pool, regretting the swimwear that I packed. How much more room could my full-body-armor-mom-suit have taken up?  But no, I had to listen to ol' khaki britches and pack my "good suit." "Good" in that it doesn't make me look like a manatee (no offense, sea cows, I love you for your bodies) but it removes all but 2 steps to total strangers knowing what I look like naked. 
While packing my one carry on bag, I convinced myself that topless women ride the subway, no need to go conservative. But it turns out that my domestic instinct not to spill out In public remains true even past the international dateline.  
In Mexico they have bebidas de alcohol by the pools to shed bikini inhibitions (not to mention the on-demand nachos!) But this is Lutheran country and it could be assumed that one of the 99 Theses spoke ill of mixing strong drink and slight garb.  
--Key change--
Here is what I've learned about Sweden (... well, urban Sweden, I'm too delicate to venture into the wilderness*).  
--They love malls.  The fact that the Mall of America is in Minnesota makes perfect sense now. But this level of retail overload rivals Dallas standards. It feels a lot like home actually, only like "home" after taking prescription painkillers that make it hard to read or understand people. 
---They believe one slice is enough.  Picture a sandwich in your mind. Does it have two slices of bread? If you answered yes, you're not from around here. They have Burger King, they've seen how golden the ratio is of a cheeseburger in two buns. It's a thing, a thing that this carb addict  doesnt understand. 
---Summer is a huge deal. People live their whole year woefully going through the motions of life, just to make it to May. At that point, all happiness sunshine and joy is crammed in until it snows again in autumn and soul hibernation resumes. 
I'm going to walk down into the hotel's bar to have lunch and get on a plane tomorrow headed for Brssels where I plan to have strange beers and fries with mayo. But not before going upstairs and stuffing this swimsuit way way way back down into my bag.  
*Note about Wilderness: upon exiting IKEA today (!!!! Flagship IKEA!) alongside the forestry protesters (glorified group of bored teens) I saw an ambulance with what looked like spider signs around it.  
As I got closer, I saw the signs depicted ticks, not spiders. And our friend informed us that it was a public vaccination station, inoculating people against diseases that ticks carry. I will never look at a reindeer the same way again. Nor will I be venturing into the woods to meet the army of disease ridden ticks.

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