Starting Over, Again.

Moving to a new country – how do you do it? Well, the moving part is easy. The difficult part is what follows.

This is my second time (or third, if you count the 3 + 6 months I lived in Switzerland), and though I may have gotten an idea now of how it works, I usually still feel like it’s all new to me.

In 2010 I moved to Nepal, where I didn’t know a soul, or the language. And I managed. I even enjoyed it. I enjoyed it very much, actually. But here I am, 4 years later, just moved into our apartment in Sweden. Another country, another language, and it feels like I’m starting all over again.

And even though I’ve done it before, it can still suck sometimes. Trying to find peanutbutter in the supermarket. Or powdered sugar. Neighbors that try to make small talk and me stammering ‘eh…jag pratar inte så mycket svenska…pratar du engelska?‘ and the blank face that follows.
Sitting in the apartment with no friends calling or stopping by, cause, quite frankly, I don’t have friends here. Needing Jacob to translate letters for me, and the manual for the laundry machine, and what the neighbor was talking about.
Trying to figure out where in the heck I’m supposed to bike. (sometimes on the sidewalk/bike path. Sometimes on the road. And sometimes no one knows.)

So yes, it sucks sometimes. And yes, I feel lonely sometimes. And yes, I feel handicapped sometimes for not speaking Swedish. But I’ve done this before, and I know it will get better. It will.

And when I feel like nothing is working, or I can’t find what I need, I hear my mom’s voice in my head ‘je bent toch niet voor een gat te vangen?‘ and then I remember that indeed, I’m not one who gives up that easily.

(I did find the peanutbutter, while looking for powdered sugar, which I didn’t find btw – but the peanutbutter was right in between flour and sugar. Nice one, Sweden.)


14 thoughts on “Starting Over, Again.

  1. voor nu zegt je mam: als het waar is dat je niet voor één gat te vangen bent, (en het is waar) ga dan maar even zitten en rusten bij dat gat.
    hou van je.

  2. I know. It sure can be tough at times – you just feel a total sense of disorientation. This is my second stint in Sweden (this is the last move – we’ve had over 10 as a couple, and I had many before that), but it does take time to adjust to wherever you move to, especially a foreign country. And yes, there is nothing worse than admitting “jag pratar inte svenska”. I always did that last time, and I used to feel a bit idiotic – because of course I could speak Swedish, or else I wouldn’t be saying that! Now, I say “Forlåt, jag pratar inte så bra svenska”, and that seems to help!

      • Exactly! Sometimes, I am even brave enough to not even mention my Swedish is not very good – like, as if they wouldn’t already notice! People are always telling me that it IS good, but it is a confidence thing with me – I don’t ever imagine getting over a time when I don’t feel faintly ridiculous speaking Swedish! Are you planning to be here long term?

      • I’ve learned that making a lot of mistakes is really the way to become more confident. To just talk and not care too much about whether or not it’s correct, only about if the other persons is following you.
        But it’s hard, especially when the perfectionism comes out :)

        And yes, we are planning to live here long term. I just read your blog and realized that not only you have to learn Swedish, but it’s Skånska Swedish. Good luck!
        (all I have to deal with is the ‘Småland R’…not too hard)

      • haha yes! It is tricky! Their dialect is so strong, that it is often hard to follow. I always moan to my partner about how easy it is to understand the Stockholm accent! Yes, I am a perfectionist – and therein lies the problem!

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