Since coming home to Australia, I’ve been, well, homesick. For Sweden. I swear, it’s not just missing Johan, but everything else that came along with his country. I found the same sort of feeling when I came back from my first visit, and I can’t remember how long it took for it to go away. Of course, it never went away entirely, but it did eventually numb.
Did I get homesick while I was away? Nope, not really. Okay, maybe a few times for the cats. And the Christmas carols on Christmas day. But apart from that… I was soaking up as much of Sweden that I had been missing for the last two years. All of the goodies I could eat! Pepperkåkor (gingerbread), kanelbullar (cinnamon buns), godis (candy… at every supermarket), and of course, all of the round bread from the Polarbröd company! And it wasn’t just all the candy, because I come home thinking that everything that I normally love tastes different. From the cereal I have for breakfast, to the milk, right down to the water… it’s been two weeks, and it still all tastes different. It all tasted better in Sweden.
Of course, there’s more to Sweden than just the food – and don’t get me started on the weather (ohhh but the crunch of snow beneath your boots)! There’s their public transport system. The buses and trains and railway stations are all so clean and graffiti-free, with graffiti being cleaned up within a matter of days. Not to mention the ease of being able to get monthly passes. Did I say that dogs are allowed on public transport? We sat on a two hour bus from Haparanda to Rovaniemi with a gorgeous fluffy white dog a few seats ahead of us who only barked once! As a public-transport regular, I can say Brisbane has a lot to catch up on.
I’m sorrrry! I can’t pass up mentioning the snow. Again. Especially after the day of 94% humidity we just had. Even just the cold, which I’m learning isn’t nearly as fun without the snow, but it actually makes it feel like winter when it’s 0°! Must be something about snuggling into a winter jacket, as opposed to just one-jumper-layer in Brisbane at 17°. We must seem like such winter-wusses. I haven’t experienced the drastic changing of the four seasons yet, but I do request the photos from Johan every season and the change amazes me and I miss it, even though I haven’t experienced it.
Then there’s the people. The people of Scandinavia who can for the most part speak multiple languages, and are all so patient with the non-Swedish-etc speaker. I miss the accent in their voices and the laughter when Mum and I would say we love all the cold and winter and snow and they look at us like, ‘yeah, you’re crazy. Trying living in it’. Naturally, I also miss Johan’s parents and siblings, so kind and welcoming, who have already become like a second family to me. And Johan, my lover. My best friend.
I guess the saying is true. Home is where the heart is… and right now, my heart’s in Sweden.