Serious in Sweden
I guess you’re all wondering why I called you here today.
“Why did you move to Sweden?”
My daughter’s growing reluctance to speak Swedish with my wife concerned us. We knew the benefits of a bilingual upbringing and were concerned my daughter would stop speaking Swedish. Knowing her temperament now I’m sure that would have been the case.
After three weeks in daycare in Sweden she flipped over to Swedish completely. This created the reverse dilemma -how to get her to speak to me in English.
We hung on to our one bedroom apartment as long as we could. I referred to it as the U-boat, and my mantra was
“ If it doesn’t fit in the U-boat don’t bring it in or chuck it out.”
However after Anja turned 2 years old we needed a larger place.
So faced with the reality of finding an affordable two bedroom or moving to Sweden , we took the latter.
“What do you for work?”
“How easy is it for an American to find a job without knowing Swedish?”
So I dropped my name in the local international school’s sub pool list and was working full time within three weeks.
It is the trap of the English-speaking immigrants, taking the short-term solution. It led to four years estranged from writing and performing.
Yet it helped establish us here and gave me tons about which to write.
“Do you think you’ll stay in Sweden permanently?
If so, why don’t you learn Swedish? I mean seriously, not your comedy answer.”
Working full time in an English speaking job and raising a daughter in English leaves little time to learn Swedish.
Also simple necessity, most Swedes speak English well and enjoy practicing on you. Image if you spoke Maltese and someone from Malta wandered into your shop. Wouldn’t you want to speak Maltese to them?
“What is the ultimate aim of your blog?
Are you trying to build up a great comedy act about Sweden so that you can perform in next year’s humor festival?”
I got turned down for entry into the Lund Humour Festival this year. So I don’t know maybe next year.
“Best thing about living in Sweden?”
“What is the worse thing about living in Sweden?”