All I read about is what people want to do i their life, their goals and dreams. That’s great. Positive and fun. But what I really want to know is what you DONT want to do (again).
I don’t really regret things. It’s what we do in life that takes us forward. Or backwards. For good or bad. Below is my anti-bucket list. This is what I won’t do again:
- Tequila race
- Eat a big kebab before going on a spinning roller coaster
- Rescue two cats with diarrhea
- Lick an electric fence (yeah, I KNOW! But it was a bet. I won)
- Ride a motorcycle in shorts
- Yawn while being on that damn motorcycle (and with a burnt leg). Damn those flies.
Tell me yours!
During this weekend I have been very productive. One day I went to a Bachelorette party and then spent one day recovering from it. Luckily the bride to be is one heck of a planner and she left every one a little package by the table. She called it an “Oh shit” – kit for the day after. An absolutely fantastic idea!
It made me realize that I want us to invent an Oh shit kit for life. Just after being born I want babies to get this package as a gift together with a little note. It will say something like:
“Oh, hello little one! Welcome to life. Sorry about the claustrophobic experience you just went through. However you feel right now I can assure you that your mum feels worse. I hope you will enjoy it out here on Earth. We have put a few things together to make you feel welcome. Please enjoy the fresh milk first and when you feel up for it we can go through the list.”
The package would contain the following:
- First of all a filter. This will just filter all the bullshit you will hear. Don’t take notice of assholes.
- Mints. Because you will enjoy good food in life and with good food comes garlic. And you still want friends so..
- SPF. The sun is nice but harsh. Your skin is soft and smooth. So far. Wait a few years and you will mistake your own feet for sandpaper. Or whoever you are sharing bed with will.
- A dog. Because you need a pet. Everyone that can should have something furry at home to hug. Your unshaved whatever doesn’t count. You can get a hairy partner if you are allergic.
- Books. Read and learn because whatever happens to you in life nobody can ever take away knowledge or experience. My husband laughs at the fact that I moved huge boxes of books from country to country when I moved around.
- A pair of running shoes. Get your ass moving weekly. Run to the hills, walk through the forest or just get the hell away from places really quick. Your heart will thank you.
- A happy place. Feel free to choose location yourself. To start with we have chosen two pair of boobs for you. You will grow out of this hopefully but some boys chooses to keep this as a happy place through life. My happy place used to be the stable. I been horse riding for many years and spent most of my childhood cuddling ponies and shuffling shit. That stuff makes me happy.
What would you put in your Oh Shit kit ?
I didn’t really celebrate Halloween when I was a kid. We knew what it was but didn’t go trick or treat and we didn’t decorate. Fast forward about 100 years (that’s how old I feel) and I’m knocking my head in to freakin spider webs everywhere and falling over pumpkins all over the neighborhood.
I realize with great horror that today is the big trick or treat night and with a baby in the house I have one thing on my to do list today: Figure out how to disconnect the door bell. If someone rings on the door just when I put her to sleep, the kids will see a real monster. Trick all the way, little kids! Bring it on. Hope you don’t mind to be chased down the street by a naked mum. Now that will teach them scary.
Whats your geography skills like? Its super cool to have readers from all over the globe and some countries have better reputation on that subject than others *cough….USofA*. When I lived in the States I was constantly addressed as the Swiss girl. I tried to explain that Sweden is not Switzerland but after 5000 times or so I gave up and just agreed to know everything about watches, cheese and non understandable German. I even considered starting my morning with a little yodel towards the non existing mountains outside my window in Connecticut. Maybe yodeling is an Austrian thing actually…? Anyway, mountain as mountain right. No offense Swiss readers. I love Toblerone but your language is HARD!
A few years ago when I lived in Doha, Qatar, a girl was hired to help me with administration at work. We were shipping items from all over the world and talking a lot to international clients. We always made small talk to get to know one another and she asked me a lot about Sweden. Without really thinking further I pointed at the world map on the wall behind her and said “so you know where Sweden is right”. She looked at me and said “yes, of course. It’s kind of close to Mexico”. I could tell she wasn’t joking. She looked at me confused when I smiled and said that it wasn’t even close. She said “I’m sure it was in Europe so I just figured it was close to Mexico somewhere”. I just heard the sound in my head from the game show Jeopardy when you answer wrong, loudly ringing in my ear.
Where do you start after that ..
I discovered she knew the country she was from and Qatar. That was about it. So every day when I entered the office I started to randomly shout out a country name that she needed to find on the map and learn. Sometimes I lied and made places up like Karakastan, Miso soup (she caught me on that one), Lovepotania just to make sure she was kept on her toes. I was teaching her a whole lot about the countries in the world and I hope she has some kind of use for it today as well.
This experience was during my first months as an expat in Qatar. I just assumed that people not knowing things I took for granted as common knowledge, were just being ignorant considering the western world has such easy access to all kind of information. Suddenly I was surrounded by people from parts of Asia where they are happy if they can afford education. I had some fantastic and funny discussions and this was one of the turning points for me. I had to stop thinking everyone is the same. In the western world we take so much for granted. Education, human rights, gender equality (well..), high living standard etc. Living abroad has taught be to be so much more grateful for what I have and where I come from. I also learnt a lot about people and communication and that when a person from Sri Lanka says the food is not spicy, they are lying.
The “me too” movement online is a big eye opener to the world. Women all over the world has been putting these words in their Facebook statuses and twitter to show that them too has experienced sexual harassment and/or violence. It’s scary to see the magnitude of the problem. I hope this leads to a discussion of this HUGE problem that women experience daily. It shouldn’t be too hard to treat each other respectfully?
I have been working in a man dominated field my whole life and I could write a book about this subject. I have way too many examples of sexual harassment. I will share my first experience of harassment in the work field. This was absolutely not the first harassment in my life as in school girls in my class were constantly called “hore” or worse. It was a daily thing and nobody reacted. We were sad but no teachers ever took it serious. “Boy will be boys right”. NO, they fucking wouldn’t, if parents, teachers would start reacting and not making this a boy-thing. If I as a little girl would call my girlfriend in school the same word I can bet my right leg it would be a different reaction as “girls shouldnt talk like that”.
I was 18 years old and had started working at a big international company straight after school while I would somehow figure out what I wanted in life. I ended up in a department right next to the warehouse. All guys. Most were awesome guys that I’m still friends with. But some idiots. One day I was sitting by my desk working with administration. A colleague walks in. He was much older than me, probably in his 40s at the time. I was wetting my finger with every page I turned not to have the paper stuck to each other. He leaned over and said “why don’t you just stick that finger up your pussy and that I can assure you would get it wet”. All the guys in the room started laughing. I was shocked and so angry and yelled back “excuse me what did you say?”. Even if I was 18 years old I never took any shit. It didn’t mean I never got any. I got loads but I didn’t let it go. He just laughed and said got to go, meeting x (one of our biggest clients) to show them around our warehouse”. I saw red just like the color of my face. My whole body was shaking. Should he just leave now and get away with this? The adrenaline was pumping. I was so angry I wanted to cry. How could he humiliate me like that? What have I ever done to him? Answer was nothing. The only thing I “had done” was being a human with a vagina.
I left my desk and walked fast out to the warehouse. I had to walk around the whole mega building to get to his little office but I walked like I was freakin Forrest Gump and nothing would stop me. I walked up to his office and opened the door where he and three people from our client sat down and had a meeting. He was surprised to see me but said “Hello, we are little bit busy can you leave us please”. In a tone like nothing ever happened. Like a mature director voice from a dad of three pretending that he just didn’t comment on my private parts. The client recognized me and said hello as well. I didn’t leave. I stood in the door and said three times “what did you say to me before?”. Every time I asked he said “Not now please, we are busy”. I said , knowing I might get fired for this, you just told me to reach down to my pussy to wet my fingers, is that correct? He looked at me like he wanted to kill me. The people from the client was shocked and didn’t know where to look. The room was dead quiet. I said “don’t you ever….ever talk to me again that way. I hope we are clear.”
Boom closed the door and walked off.
And got shit scared. My heart was pounding like a drum. I was angry and sad at the same time. Still asking myself why he would say something like that to me. I was disappointed.
But nothing happened. He never mentioned it again and apparently not to any of our managers either as I didn’t hear about it. We continued working together and I know he talked about me behind my back but I think he knew that I would make a bigger deal out of it if I heard him mentioning the subject once again. So he stayed quiet. I think he was shocked that the new, young girl in the office had the courage to speak up. I think it scared the shit out of him. And I continued scaring the shit out of guys that thought I would let comments go and hasn’t stopped since. The above is just one example. Unfortunately I have many more. Sometimes I get tired. But I will never be quiet and I will always question. I will never just accept. I’m raising a girl and God knows I will teach her to be ruthless just like her mum. It’s so hard to speak up and you will always be questioned or labeled as “difficult”. I always wonder if guys like in my example ever think of how they would react if their daughter, girlfriend, mother or friend would be treated the same way.
Remember the people that appreciate you speaking up, women and men, are always the majority. They might not make the most noice but they are there. Let’s hope the #metoo movement has made them braver and the noisy ones can stay in their caves and scratch each other’s balls.
This week the 30 days fitness challenge in Dubai has started. This is to encourage people to get off their butts and exercise at least 30 minutes per day for 30 days. I signed up together with my dog. My dog had absolutely nothing to say about the decision and is currently wondering why I hate her. I told her during our run this morning that she is a Saluki and that she is suppose to run. Her lean little body has the look of something that is suppose to be fast. She laid down in the grass ten minutes in to the run and said she is part bulldog and don’t agree with this challenge. That’s a lie. She is just a lazy dog who wants to lay in the sun, order a cold drink and soak it up.
But the fact is she is a desert dog. My colleague found her under a car about a year ago when I was heavily pregnant and motherly and thought getting a dog just a few weeks before the baby would arrive was a great idea. Who could resist those puppy eyes. A small thought back in my head said “don’t get a saluki, she will tear down the house if she doesn’t get to run 10 km per day”. And me being the size of a few watermelons knew there would be no freakin running if it wasn’t to the bathroom.
As usual I didn’t listen. Not even to myself. She sure likes to take walks but I think the fact that we have been busy with a little baby has gotten her slightly lazy. Now after eight months I’m suddenly asking her to run and she is not having any of it. I told her there are no freakin excuses. We continued running and suddenly she jumped to the side like a kangaroo. I had my earplugs in with some lame running music to make sure I kept going and I didn’t notice that a woman on a bike tried to pass us from behind. So woman on bike passes us and my dog gets scared and jumps right in to her. Woman on bike falls. I’m in my own world with background music very loud in my ears. I’m just pretending I’m finishing the last 200 meters of a Maraton. People are cheering in the arena. I’m the star runner. “Run to the hills…”. I’m running for my life. In shock (I think…?) I looked at her quickly, said Ooops and kept running. For the hills again. After a few steps I realize I’m and idiot and there is a woman behind me on the grass probably swearing at me and I stop and turn around. She is still there on the grass. Fuck. I go back to apologize, ready to get yelled at. But she just waves off and says whatever. I guess she realized that biking on a running trail is not a good idea. I keep on telling myself this the whole way around the track. That it was her own fault. Not mine or my kangaroo dog. Thank God she was rude so I didn’t need to feel bad. She was rude for falling of the bike. Not me. I’m just finishing my imaginary marathon of three kilometers.