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.)