One of the interesting thing about having guests from all over the world in your home is having the opportunity to see your own culture from the outside. Of course, having chosen Sweden as a destination, many of my guests already have a positive idea of the country. It might be that they like the nature, or Swedish policies on gender issues and environmentalism. But they also seem to discover things. At the moment I have a Dutch couple here and when I talked to them over breakfast this morning they were trying to find a way to describe how Swedes are so quiet.
- They seem so respectful.
- Yes, it's so... peaceful.
- Peaceful! Yes, that's the word!
Which sounds nice. I never really thought of it that way. I know Swedes are often considered cold or reserved, but respectful sounds better. But I guess it depends on your perspective. And like many other guests they were also surprised that it seems so safe here. We have a couple of deck chairs in the garden shared by my neighbours and they were impressed we could leave them there.
- Where we live someone would steal them.
- Or put fire to them!
I told them that students here often throw bikes in the river - or just steal them - to balance the idyllic picture a little...
Then we talked some about how Swedes love nature.
Speaking of that I did some typically Swedish things today. Picking lingon berries and skinny-dipping (we have an amazing indian summer here, but it was a bit cold). Apparently, even Swedish cyborgs love nature. (A friend sent me a scientific paper yesterday which brought up the question of cyborgs acting against humanity. I told him: "Don't worry, my intentions are good...")
And I found some mushrooms. So here's my dinner, papardelle with a sauce made of ceps, sage, butter and some cream cheese a previous guests left.
It was a lot tastier than it looks!