Sister where art thou? Posted by Tibor on Oct 25, 2012 in Current Events
As many of you might remember one of our fellow bloggers Jennie quit a few months ago because of her maternity leave. We miss her all and especially her up-to-date and witty posts. So I was thinking the other day that it would be nice to hear from her and know how it´s been.
What happend after you stopped working for the blog?
I had a baby! The lovely Milton was born in July and I’m now on maternity leave, spending my days eating loads of cake and talk about nappies/feeding/sleeping patterns etc with other new mums. In other words, I got rather boring but I quite like it.
How did you end up in Bristol?
I met the love of my life in a crappy bar in Copenhagen five years ago. He was from Bristol and I was instantly blown away – not only by him but by the lovely city too. The decision to move here was easy, Bristol is a great place and I have lived here over four years now.
What do you miss most from Sweden?
Apart from the obvious family and friends… Bread, proper dark rye bread. Falukorv. Kexchoklad. Cinnamon rolls – things you can get a hold of in IKEA if the cravings get too bad. To be honest, most part of the year I’m not particularly homesick. But come May, I miss Sweden so much it hurts. The light, the sea, the traditions, the parties, the TV programs, the barbeques, the five week holiday… You can’t compare summers in Sweden with anything, they are the best.
How is it being an immigrant in England?
Very easy. Brits are very welcoming, chatty and everyone calls you darling, I love it but it’s unimaginable in Sweden. If the shop assistants at Ica Maxi all of a sudden would call me “älskling”, I would probably get a bit suspicions. Although Brits – I’m generalising a lot here! – are very easy to get on with – just talk about weather, football or go to the pub! – I sometimes find them a bit reserved and difficult to get close to. My outspoken and very open Swedish side can be a bit too much sometimes and I have learned to hold back a bit every now and then… Another good thing is that England is only a 1,5 hour flight to Sweden!
What would you take home to Sweden from England?
The pub culture. The price of pretty much everything. The word “Please” and the general politeness. The BBC. Proper fish and chips. Christmas crackers…
And what would you import to England from Sweden?
The Swedish social welfare system, like maternity/paternity leave and the childcare (is it obvious that I just had a baby?). Because childcare is sooo expensive here, many women end up never going back to work because they simply can’t afford it. And because your employer is paying most of your maternity leave, you can just imagine how attractive it is to employ a woman in her late twenties… Oh, and proper snow! Not the slushy nonsense we get here that seems to put the whole country on hold.
What are the misconception about Swedes in England?
That it’s cold and dark pretty much all the time and that everyone looks like supermodels.
How does your husband see Sweden from the outside?
He thinks all of Sweden smells of dill, that we are dill crazy and put it in everything. He loves the wildness of the countryside and the calm seas – no tide in sight what so ever! – and he is picking berries and mushrooms like a mad man when we are back home in the summer. He sometimes laughs at the uniformity within the Swedish culture, like our breakfast habits, the fashion, the interiors of our houses, our Christmas/Easter/Midsummer buffet style foods – same things every time…
And you? What can you see differently from the outside? Any positive/negative observations?
I do find Swedes quite uniformed, we do like doing what everyone else is doing and we do like to dress how everyone else is dressing. But everyone does look like supermodels…
Where are you 5 years from now?
Living in Sweden, running a pub and looking like a supermodel!