How To Be Considered Awesome By The Locals

An alternative title would have been ‘how to be considered crazy by the locals’. And the answer to both would be: be yourself.

When you are an immigrant, or an expat, or a foreigner, or whatever you like to call it, you’re usually the weird one. Unless you only hang out with other expats, of course.

But when you hang out with the locals (I should start calling my Swedish friends ‘the locals’, it sounds fun) you will always be a bit weird.
You pronounce things in a funny way. My in laws constantly tease me with my pronunciation of ‘coffee’, which sounds more like the Dutch ‘koffie’. (But, my dear family, why don’t we talk about how you pronounce China (shina) and chips (ships)?)
You dress differently. Somehow it’s always obvious there has been some other influence in your style. Something that’s not Swedish.
There is innumerable things that instantly give away you’re not like them.

And that’s fine. Cause you aren’t. But you are still awesome.

I find it really funny to notice how things that are so very normal to me, are seen as odd to the Swedes. When I had planned to visit a friend who lives 10 km away, I first thought I’d take a bus, but then changed my mind when I realized there was no snow on the ground, and the weather was nice. I would bike.
Now here’s the part where I get honest. Cause I’m always acting all cool about us Dutchies who bike everywhere, and I biked 12 km to school (and back!) for 5 years when I was in high school, and my mom transported three kids on her bike at times, and we can bike even when we’re blindfolded and without pedals and this and that and so on.

Then I got on my bike, and after about 2 km I was ready to give up. I seriously considered turning around to get on the bus instead. The thing is, here in Sweden, or at least in Småland, or well at least here around this town they pretend it’s flat.

But people, it’s not. They’re lying.

The Netherlands, THAT’S flat.

Here, it’s like a tiny tiny uphill, so little that you don’t even notice but when you bike it’s like biking through dry sand. So I dragged myself over the muddy path, regretting this decision, dreaming of paved Dutch bike paths as flat as a pancake (?).

When I got to my friends house she asked if maybe I got lost – I think I looked a little bit disheveled after that ride. But when I told her I had biked there, I could see the look in her eyes. I’m pretty sure it meant ‘you are so awesome’ but another interpretation could have been ‘you are crazy’.

Either way, she would be right.

Hejdå from the crazy Dutchie :)


Happy Nepal News

These days, the Nepali newspaper is filled with sad and frustrating news (a ‘witch’ killed by villagers; several outbreaks of the chicken flu and the governments inefficient response to it; politicians opposing the elections that still haven’t happened; …and so much more) but sometimes I read an article that makes me happy.

106 year old Bote Rai’s only wish was to fly in an airplane. And Yeti Airlines made that happen. He flew from Biratnagar to Kathmandu, a 35 minute flight. In Kathmandu he visited Pashupatinath, had some dal bhat and then returned home.

He said he liked the candy he got on the plane. But when asked if he would fly again, he said it had been enough.

Today we saw this picture in the newspaper, of his return home. He’s the guy in the basket, the guy carrying him is his nephew.

old man

Sometimes the Nepali news does make me happy.



Conversations With A Nepali Policeman

At night time, often the police will stop all vehicles to check their registration and license. As a foreigner, it seems like you get quite a different treatment than the regular Nepali…
Last night our ‘check’ consisted of the following conversation.

Policeman 1 (seeing white people on a motorbike): Ohooo!!
Jacob: Hello.
Policeman 2: Where you going?
J: I’m going home.
P2: Where you live?
J: In Deep.
P2: Which country from you?
J: Sweden.
P2: Ah, Switzerland!
J: No, Sweden.
P2: From Sweden but in Nepal living
J: Yes.
P2: That your friend?
J: Yes, that’s my wife.
P2: Ah, your wife? Babies?
J: No, no babies.
P2: No son, no daughter? No sister?
J: No.
P2: Ok, go.
J: Thank you.


My Blog Is My Blog

No, no one has contacted me to claim this blog is actually theirs. Plus, I think the url kinda gives away whose blog this really is. However, I did feel the need to make that statement. Not so much for you, my readers, but for myself. Why?

I very much enjoy reading other people’s blogs. WordPress has this thing called Freshly Pressed, where they pick well written posts on all sorts of topics and showcase them. You don’t wanna know how much crap there is to read in blogland, and I find Freshly Pressed a very good way to just get to the good stuff.

Then there’s a variety blogs I regularly follow. There is Teunie the supermom of 10 kids (who is renamed the Measles Mom in our house) whose blogs about baking bread, making jam, keeping her veggie garden and knitting socks are so old school and inspiring at the same time.

I enjoy the creations of this girl, who became a self taught sewist and is now a self taught pattern designer. What?? Some people are just really talented. I hope to start sewing once I get my sewing machine (and myself) to Sweden and knowing that once upon a time she didn’t know how to sew either gives me hope.

There’s also this recently discovered blog of 2 girls that seem to have a little bit too perfect life, but they are artsy and creative and take beautiful pictures, and all of that is inspiring to me, so I just enjoy it.

Anywho, there is a lot more, but this was not meant to promote other blogs.

The thing is, generally the rule seems to be: if you wanna be a successful blogger, you need to have a thing. A theme. A focus. And then you get tons of followers who are interested in that thing.
You write about food, for example. Or you write about your life. Or about sewing. Or you take great pictures.

I kinda do all of that. Except for the great pictures, that is.

Sometimes I write about what I cooked. But if that would be all that this blog was about, it would be a sad blog full of 2 ingredient smoothies and how to make coffee ice cubes.

Sometimes I write about the craziness of life in Nepal. Fact is, after 3,5 years of living here I have sort of lost the way you look at a new culture. Things are not so strange to me anymore. And if they are, I don’t know if you will find them strange. I have learned a new kind of normal.

Sometimes I write personal things, or about Jacob. But there’s a very fine line between the things of my life I think is ok for the world to read, and what I should keep to myself or share with people I choose to share with. And because I’m not sure where the line is, I try to stay on the safe side.

So, my blog has had a little identity crisis lately.
But we are out of that now.
Because. My blog is my blog. So I write about food, hospitals, God or nothing whenever it pleases me. Because I write just because I love to write. Not to keep a bunch of readers happy, and not to gain more followers.




And because this is my blog, I also get to move on to a totally unrelated topic, namely Timothy J. Keller, whose book on marriage I HIGHLY recommend. But you can also download several of his sermons for free. I have listened to just one (Adoration: ‘Hallowed be thy name’) but I liked it very much, and I have started downloading more. Go to http://sermons2.redeemer.com to download them!


How To Fit The Shelf Under The Stove

Now that sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Yeah. The excited life of a married woman. Woohoo.

But this shelf fitting episode was quite funny, and I managed to document it, and with Jacobs approval I am now sharing it with the rest of the world. Ok, with the tiny part of the world that will read this.

No way! One leg was missing. That never happens in Nepal (...)

No way! One leg was missing. That never happens in Nepal (…)


Well, this doesn't seem to fit, does it?

Well, this doesn’t seem to fit, does it?


Nope, it really doesn't.

Nope, it really doesn’t.


Let's start by taking of these legs. Who needs legs anyway.

Let’s start by taking of these legs. Who needs legs anyway.


Still not perfect...

Still not perfect…


I have a genius idea...

I have a genius idea…


...we'll just put it in sideways!! (Ruth: but how will we get the pots and pans in? Jacob: ahh...good point.)

…we’ll just put it in sideways!!
(Ruth: but how will we get the pots and pans in?
Jacob: ahh…good point.)


Don't worry! I have another idea, says Jacob.

Don’t worry! I have another idea, says Jacob.


This is starting to look like something.

This is starting to look like something.


If only I could get this part in...

If only I could get this part in…


but I'm not giving up

but I won’t give up…










New Year, New Theme (and some new food)

Aan de vooravond van mijn 28e levensjaar, vond ik het tijd om mijn blog een nieuwe look te geven. Ik was gevallen voor het simplistische van de vorige layout, maar het was eigenlijk toch iets te simplitisch. Toen ik de nieuwe vond, was ik meteen om. Nog steeds vrij minimaal, maar qua vrolijkheid meer ‘Ruth’ :)

Aan de rechterkant kun je zien welke posts het meest zijn bekeken. Dit is gebaseerd op de laatste 24-48 uur, dus geen all time favorites.
Je kunt je natuurlijk ook nog aanmelden om emails te krijgen als ik een nieuwe blog plaats, en daaronder vind je het archief, om al mijn oude verhalen nog eens terug te lezen.

En nu ik erachter ben gekomen dat WordPress op ons mobiele internet wel werkt, in tegenstelling tot het draadloze netwerk, kunnen jullie weer een hogere postfrequentie verwachten in de komende tijd!

En omdat een post zonder een foto geen post is, hier een foto van ons Koreaanse feestmaal op mijn oudejaarsavond.