I have to say that being home around this time of the year is a big hit. I cannot believe I haven't thought of that earlier, because Christmas in Sweden rocks! Any why you might wonder?! Well, the activities you can do over here?! Just the other day, me, mom, dad and my little brother (who is tall as a house and people take as my boyfriend. Kind of weird!) went to the forest to cut our very own Christmas tree?! Just like that! I was probably more excited than the 10-year old kids that were their with their parents. It has to have something to do with the fact that I have only been home twice during Christmas for the last 7 years, because I act as if I have never celebrated it before. Everything feels so foreign, but in a nice way. You drop by a friend's place and candles light up the whole flat. You take a seat and she offers you a steaming hot cup of 'glögg' (the Swedish glue-wine) and freshly made lucy buns/ ginger bread cookies. It is so idyllic and cute that it almost seems unreal to me. Do people actually live like this over here?! Did I used to live like this? Well, yes, apparently so. It's awesome and almost makes me question why I went away at the first place (although I guess I should point out that once Christmas is over and January sets in, with its cold winds and anti-Christmas flavour, empty wallets and gray sky... it is highly depressing to be here... No matter how many candles you light or cookies you eat -in fact, the cookies only makes you feel worse. Then there's the daylight issue: the sun comes up around 9am in the morning and goes down at 4pm. The limited amount of daylight can make the strongest creature crumble.)
Still, these days before Christmas are all nice and fluffy. Some friends and I are planning to go ice-skating in the next few days. To be honest with you, I am fonder of the thought of ice-skating (all romantic, dressed in something white and big, fat gloves) than the actual doing of it. Even though I grew up next to loads of ice-covered lakes (at winter times... almost at summer times too during the cold Scandinavian summers) I never really learned how to master the art of ice-skating completely. Today, twenty years and a whole lot stiffer later, I am as ungraceful as Bambi on ice, and there's a big chance that I will injure myself seriously if I fall while ice-skating. Oh well. All part of the fluffy winter time, I suppose?! I would never do it if I was in China.
So far, I don’t really miss our cold flat back in Suzhou. But I am looking forward to spending NY at a Bund bar in Shanghai on Dec 31!
One funny little thing is how everybody over here complains about ‘the amount of people on the street’ at the moment. (all because of the Christmas shopping frenzy). Mom and dad are great fun to listen to: they get all stressed if there are a bit of a line to a parking lot, or, if there are more than 20 people at the same time in a store. I try to remind them about their holidays in Shanghai, but as mom put it the other day:
-Yes, but you know, it is not the same. In Scandinavia you require your private space in a whole different way that you did in China!
-So why can’t you just pretend that we are in China?
-Oh no that is impossible. It is way too quiet over here.
Also, I would lie if I said I didn’t enjoy the fact that over here, I am neither ‘tall’ nor ‘fat’ but rather ‘average’ (and even small…) in terms of height and width! And all sweater sleeves fit me, instead of being too short. Awesome.