We have been to the North Pole the last week. Or maybe it was just Sweden but due to our lack of socks and winter clothes in general, it felt like we had been taken to the deepest part of Siberia. I also noticed that it’s when you put jeans on that you realize how fat you actually are. Can I still blame pregnancy kilos a year after the child was born?
It’s always great to go home when you are living abroad. You get to meet everyone that you miss so dearly and after a few days you also remember why you don’t live there anymore (just joking, mum). But when you come from a part of the world that is as dark as under a shoe during the winter and you can’t feel your thoughts after ten minutes of being outside, it’s not so strange that you decide to reside slightly more south. I still think snow is cozy. Too look at. In pictures. On my phone from a beach in Dubai.
This picture sums up my week. Not only did it take an hour to get dressed to go outside but once coming inside again, I couldn’t get out of my jacket either. Luckily I had mama friends that are used to zippers being stuck and saving three year olds from these scenarios. I would say mums are just as handy to have with you anywhere you go as doctors are. Clearly God was shining his light on me as well. Something like “Go towards the light” came in to mind but I resisted the urge. I have so much to live for. It was just a jacket, God! Yes, I did feel like I was going to suffocate but I thought “today is not the day”.
And then we had sushi and drank wine.
Well hello, my little readers. Are you all set for Christmas or are you stressing around just wishing it was over? I’m definitely ready. I been ready all year. I love Christmas.
This year we are celebrating Christmas in Dubai. Love how this country is a total mess of all religions and celebrations. One day we celebrate Diwali and the other one Ramadan. Now it’s Christmas turn.
Last week we had a neighborhood gathering where we collected money to make sure everyone in the community will get a Christmas dinner. I ended up chatting with two ladies from the Philippines and they asked why pale people are full of brown spots. I said because our grandparents were Dalmatians. Obviously.
Then one lady nicely said that she wish she was fat like me. This already happened to me a few times so I’m not as shocked anymore by this comment. First of all I’m not really overweight so I don’t really care. Secondly they always have an explanation which is not what you would expect so it make the whole situation hilarious. This lady continued with “I wish I was fat like you because when grab your skin I get a chunk of it in my hand. I don’t get that because I don’t have fat”.
All countries to their own I guess… When I went to Uganda I found out that everyone called me “long nose”. I think that’s pretty common to be called as a westerner or maybe I just have to accept the fact that I have a long nose, am fat and have dots like a dog.
Well at least it’s good we don’t all look the same in the world… I’m telling myself while I dress my dog as Santa’s little helper and trying to get her to look like a dog that is cold. She wouldn’t look more miserable even if I tried..
Today is apparently Thanksgiving in America so enjoy, dear americano amigos. I added a latino touch to that to emphasize. Not sure what exactly. Thanksgiving is nothing we celebrate in Sweden. We actually aren’t that big on turkey either, which means the holiday would be impossible, I assume. Here in Dubai I’m working with a lot of Americans and they made sure nobody misses the event. At work yesterday we discussed what we are grateful about. Since I’m not back home in Sweden and taking important things for granted, I’m obvious grateful for the full jar of lingonberries that I have in the fridge (the red stuff we eat with meatballs), that nobody got in to the elevator after that extremely, horrible fart that might have killed someone (am I allergic to tomatoes?) and that my husband still believes that “Pappa är bajs” means “daddy is your best friend” in Swedish (until he reads this). It means that he is poop but it makes for a fun conversation once my daughter starts talking.
I was also taught how to draw a turkey with my hand. Yes, it sounds like I work in a kindergarten.. this is actually my colleagues drawing. I can’t show you mine as it will be worth a lot of money in a few years.
Or maybe it’s in the trash.
So this cool guy Mohamad Karbi asked me to write a little bit about Sweden on his blog. Home sweet home that I miss dearly (no, Dubai isn’t too shabby).
What I wrote? Don’t be lazy, click on the link. I kind of explained how Sweden represents peace, stability and rotten fish. Oh and snow. And I didn’t swear once.
I’m pretty much a diplomat now.
Read it here: Hej Hej Sverige
I was having an interesting conversation with one of my Filipino colleagues. We were discussing the differences in how we grew up, challenges in the daily life and missing family back home. A lot of the female Asian community here in Dubai leave their children back home with grandparents to go abroad to work and send money home. The dads are all mysteriously uninvolved. It hurted my mummy heart to listen to this but I have learnt to understand to be grateful for what I have and sometimes people just got to do what you have to in order for their families to be safe. Even if it means seeing your child once every two year. I know, we can’t even start to imagine. We take so much for granted in our lives.
While having this discussion she looked at me and said that so much is different here in the Middle East. How we live, how we talk, expressions….like “you have something in your nose”. I was like oh, ok what does that mean? I was wondering what that expression meant while she walked away to do grab on another desk. I told her that we have some funny expressions in Swedish. For example “there is no cow on the ice” means “don’t worry”. Makes sense right.
She came back and sat down and said “your nose” again. I nodded slowly and tried to look interested while thinking this is a weird expression. Is she going to tell me what it means. I looked at her and waited for her to explain.
She handed me a napkin and said “your nose…” and pointed. And that’s when I understood that I’m a stupid blond and actually had the biggest booger in my nose and the sentence didn’t have a culture meaning. It was just a straightforward wish from her side to remove the disgusting booger in my nose while I was sitting there doing nothing and just looking at her talk.
I nodded and walked slowly and embarrassed away from the situation and to remove what was hanging out of my nose.
My husband is English and I’m Swedish. I guess that makes our six months old daughter Swenglish. So far she is doing a great job being in between. We have weekly fights if she is more of a viking or a crazy Manchester United hooligan.
A few weeks ago my husband started taking Swedish lessons to be able to understand what me and our daughter are and will secretly be talking about. He has obviously already showed off in class that he knows important phrases like “mamma är din bästa kompis” (mum is your best friend) and “pappa är bajs” (dad is poo). Things that his incredibly talented wife thought him and made him believe it meant something else. I’m sure they were very impressed in class.
The other day he had a meeting at work with a Swedish supplier. My husband who is obviously proud of his new learning wanted to show off with shaking the suppliers hand and asking her “vad heter du?” (What’s your name?). He took her hand and his memory failed him slightly and he said “Hej, jag älskar dig” which means “Hi, I love you!”
The supplier was obviously flattered considering my husband is a handsome guy but she laughed and asked him if he was really sure about that considering it was the first time they’ve met.
Well, people that speaks more than one language knows how hard it is. I’ve done quiet some interesting mistakes like ordering a naked steak in France, asking for a blow job in Lebanon and asked my Arabic boss in Doha if he wanted to eat a road sweeper.