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I meant to write "Fear of Flying" as the subject line but I automatically wrote "Flyinge" and I wonder if if was a Freudian typo. haha!

Anders leaves on Wednesday for a 2-week business trip to the U.S. and since this is the 3rd time he's been gone in 3 months, I'm having to face the fact that my fear of flying extends to my loved ones as well. Even while I know that the statistics are against anyone I know actually being killed in a plane crash, I still get jittery every time either I or anyone I care about has to get on a plane. Maybe it's the motion sickness I've suffered from my whole life that's really behind the fear.

I've never liked flying and while I act fairly nonchalant while in the midst of it, and have traveled A LOT by air, to the point where you'd think I'd be blasé about it, I am still white-knuckled during takeoffs and landings.

We've had pheasants in our yard lately, at least 2-3 a week. Anders found out from our neighbor, Clas Lingon, the former Christmas Tree King of Flyinge, that a few years ago, some bigwig hotshot at Volvo brought a bunch of people to Flyinge to hunt. They released 1000 pheasants in the area but apparently missed quite a few during their little spree. The one I saw yesterday that dashed across the back was huge, golden, blue and green. Pheasants are so bloody stupid though, that they deserve what they get. I've never had pheasant under glass, but I'd try it in a second if it was offered. They hang out on the edges of roads, seemingly in wait of the oncoming car and rush out as soon as it gets close enough to be impossible to avoid mashing them into a feathery mess. Pheasants with a death wish. /end abrupt tangent

So, back to fear of Flyinge.

Why isn't there a welcome wagon tradition in Sweden? We lived in an apartment in Malmö for a whole year and never met any of the neighbors except one and only because I finally asked him what his giant rottweiler's name was. (Odin, of course)

When we first moved to Flyinge, I was at the bakery one day and the baker knew who I was and where I lived. I was famous! The American in Flyinge! I found out from one of the mothers in Martin's baby group that people were scared of me because they were afraid they'd have to speak English, and she had been quite relieved to find out I knew Swedish.

We lived in that first house in Flyinge for five years, and knew the names of the neighbors on either side of us, and were on "nodding head, saying hej" acquaintance with several more, but were never invited over to anyone's house for fika or anything. The couple that lived to the left of us were really nice and we actually got to see the inside of their house once, and they kept on eye on ours for us and emptied the mailbox while we were on vacation a couple of times, but you couldn't say we were anything more than neighbors. Anders talks to more neighbors than I do because he's out in the yard more than I am. 'course I haven't done any inviting myself.

Then we moved to a newly built house within Flyinge. And now, after a year in our new house, it's only marginally better as far as the neighbor thing goes. We've got that "nodding head, saying hej" thing going. And Anders talks "construction and yard and house" talk with various people occasionally when he's working outside. I wonder if part of it is the age difference. 3 of the neighbors have a brand new baby or kid under 2 and the parents are all really young. One couple has a 4-year old, but they are really young, too. Clas is elderly and so is the lady on the farm behind us (she's also separated from us by a ditch and a fence).

I had thought about throwing a crayfish party or a block party or a glögg party for the neighbors, but time keeps slipping by and I haven't gotten around to it. I suppose that if I build it, they will come but I'm not so sure that will work in Sweden.

Wow, this got long before I knew it. I have more to say on the subject but it can wait until another day. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
mood: pensive
music: Indigo Girls—Least Complicated


L-G has a fear of flying as well. It never bothered me, but then I'm good at blocking unpleasant things out of my mind as well if I have to. Just call me the High Priestess of Denial!

As for the neighbour thing, it's much the same here. Nynäshamn is a small place too and I find that people know of me (mostly because I wear a bright orange cap!) and even know I'm Australian. I'm not quite sure how the grapevine works here, but it is very effective. However knowing who you are and actuallyknowing you is not the same thing. People nod, say "hej" but that's it.

Perhaps I talk to more people because of Lambi. I am on nodding terms with dozens of dog owners (though many don't recognise me without my white furry prop) and people who may have tended to walk past me, stop and talk first to the dog, then to me. So perhaps I could loan her out!

Having the boat has also helped as this is very much a town built around its harbour. So people talk more at the boat club and invite us aboard. I found at first the people were shocked when I asked them aboard for fika (probably terrified I'd expect them to return the favour) but I'm forgiven as I'm foreign and anyway they see I have no expectations from them. And because L-G drives the crane, he's become well-known around town.

Closer friendships are harder. We went to dinner at a neighbour's home on Halloween. But then, L-G helped Ulf a lot with his boat and we have gotten to know them well. We have had people to dinner on our boat in the summer (and winter) but have not really socialised at all with anyone in our apartment block.

I accept that this is not Australia, where we have welcome drinks for new people etc. It's just not the same here. What I miss more than a circle of friends, is a close girlfriend that I can go out and have coffee with, or phone up for a bitch session :)

I think getting a dog will make a BIG difference in talking to people. 1) it will get me out of the house more and 2) EVERYONE stops to talk to dogs :) I've got some of the close (emotionally) girlfriends, but they're still a little far away physically. A half hour away here is like being on the other side of the moon for some people. Although, I do have friends I can call and just vent/bitch/talk with :) You're welcome to call me anytime, Marie! :)

So what am I, chopped liver??? Okay, I know I don't live THAT close, but we did have coffee and I even bought, what more can you ask for?

Plus her dog scored muffins off you!! :) down, girl :) LOL!

I didn't know you did Jewish jokes! Okay, so I DO have friends, but what I was trying to say was I miss my friends Marie and Marie (we never had trouble remembering each other's names!).

I could ring them and chat for ages, or meet them at a moment's notice for cappuchino therapy. We'd even have a regular needlework session we called "Stitch and Bitch" which was great fun. Such a bunch of gossips we were! That's the kind of connection I miss.

I used to do "stitch and bitch" sessions with my friends as well. See, it translates even into American.

October 2019
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