How has Sweden changed me???

On Wednesday school will end, On Thursday I will fly home and on Saturday afternoon I will arrive in Manchester and then further home to celebrate the festive period.

Although I’m coming back and I am very excited to be doing so, it does bring a whirlwind half of a year to a finish.  Flying back in January won’t fill me with the excitement and the wonder it did previously, and I am sure I will still have to work hard, but I wouldn’t have it any other way as I have unfinished business (and hopefully a certain songwriting competition to win)…

The true test of what I write here will be when I experience English culture again, but there are definite traits I’ve picked up, some I like and some I dislike, and I want the world to know about them.

Firstly for example, you may remember me moaning through when I first moved her about how individualistic public transport culture is, how interactions are avoided whenever possible and people are looking after themselves as number 1.   My instinct in August was to fight against this, and actually rub off a friendlier culture on what should be a collectivist time for all.  Now, I find myself as one of the crowd fitting it, keeping myself to myself, and not making the attempts to communicate with the strangers sitting around me like I did before.  This is partly because I’m used to working/reading/blogging on public transport so I can put my head down and be quiet, but it does annoy me that it happened looking back on how that frustrated me so much in the summer.

Also, what else I notice is that I have changed from being a planner to becoming spontaneous, at least in comparison to people around me.  I was always frustrated in the past (housemates last year will testify to this) to those occasions when we made spur-of-the-moment decisions.  Now though, I’m not able to look more than a few days in the future with anything I do.  This is in complete contrast to the Swedes who have diaries booked up often way out in advance, meaning you do need to plan properly to get anything done.

I always used to be, and I enjoy, being the planner.  I think part of the reason for my change is that a lot of less of the activities I do require planning.  I can pop along to swim any time, hop on and off public transport within the county boundaries without any cost, and can generally be self-sufficient in my little bubble of activity.  However, it does amuse me that I now able to change plans and go on nights out now after a couple of hours notice, and the only people I know who can do that kind of thing here would be fellow non-Swedes.

I would love to plan more here, and will work on that for the future.  It’s great to have flexibility but I feel at the mercy of others rather than making the most of me having my time here.  It’s a capital city and things happen but I think definitely when I grow up I want to be big fish in a small town kind of person.

I can also link into this therefore my desire for a simple life where I don’t actually need much else or support – I keep saying that I should arrange to meet my friends here more, but it isn’t a problem if I don’t speak to anybody for a weekend for example.

I’m still a very tidy person…when I need to be.

I find myself perhaps with these traits above perhaps a slightly more rude individual than I need to be.  I am very happy that I am an adventurer, I’m very happy with my work-life balance and I’m very happy that I can survive here.  For the break I have plans up until the 25th but nothing after that.  How unlike me!

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