March 12th, 2012



I used to stay up late, crafting the perfect post, meticulously searching for the right words, the best phrasing and the funniest anecdotes. Now it's barely 10 p.m. and I'm so tired I can't keep my eyes open.

Something keeps waking me up around 4 a.m. on work nights. I can't really get back to sleep and only doze on and off until the alarm blares to life 2+ hours later. I don't know what it is that is waking me up. Could it be the birds starting their early-morning chirp-fest since the light is brightening early again? Could it be some little mechanical ticker deep in the clock innards that makes a quiet noise loud enough for my subconscious to recognize as a signal and react? Some mornings when it happens I lie awake alternately obsessing and fuming about work-related issues. Some mornings I lie half-awake, thinking about things that I need to get done but not feeling any motivation for. Some mornings I doze off and clench my jaw so hard I re-awake with a migraine.

Someone who is moving to Sweden this year sent a bunch of questions to me, asking for help in finding out the information she needed about moving to a foreign country. There were about 20 questions this time around (it was her THIRD email). Among the typical questions about what to bring and what to leave behind, she asked me if the leaves change color here in the fall. I did a double-take and continued reading down her list. This was her last question, and I quote:

Metamucil: Aside from the obvious colon benefits, it is a healthy way to lower cholesterol. Can I get it there?

I boggled at the screen for a moment and then read both of them out loud to Anders who was sitting across the table from me*. And then I put my head down on the table and laughed for 10 minutes straight.

I sent the questions to my cousin Cate for help and both of us answered them all in replies to her. My response to the leaves question was: The deciduous ones do. Cate's response was: The laws of nature still apply, even here! Hee!

When WE moved to Sweden, I remember Anders being exasperated because I asked him if I could get Coca-Cola here. Someone else once told me they were asked if polar bears really roamed the streets. If you have moved to Sweden, what's the funniest/weirdest thing you wondered about before you arrived? If you are Swedish, what have you been asked that made you wonder about the intelligence of foreigners? And if you were suddenly to find out YOU were moving here, what bit of information about Sweden would you like confirmed or denied?