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On my return to Greeley 2007 July 4

Posted by @jennyjenjen in American Holidays, Family, Food & Drink, Home vs. Sweden, Language, Politics, Social Life, Travel.
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Well, I’m back. Back to Greeley and trying to get back into the swing of things after leaving Sweden.

I got into Denver on Friday after catching the daily 8:00 am Frontier flight out of Chicago Midway. I weaseled my way out of excess baggage charges by switching things around in my luggage and carrying a few things instead. My parents weren’t at DIA when I arrived (somewhat disappointing, but I’m over it); my brother called me not long after I picked up my baggage to report the existence of a speed trap right outside of DIA. How they knew that, you can only guess…

Anyhow, we had lunch at one of Denver’s best Vietnamese spots, New Saigon, and picked up some Asian foods from the market nearby. It was nice to return and do something like that. We finished up the day with a little shopping and a visit to grandpa in the nursing home.

Greeley has changed only a little since I left. A few more buildings have gone up and minimum wage in Colorado was raised (hooray!). So if I end up not being able to find a decent summer job (which is so far furnishing little result), it might not be that bad if I get stuck somewhere like Blockbuster (again) or something in that line.

I’ve spent the days since seeing some people around town and learning how to adjust in the American world again. It’s kind of neat to have American money in my wallet again. I do find myself having to pause and think a little more when I’m interacting with people; I realize that after a year of living in Sweden has given me different social habits, like pushing through busy streets without saying “sorry” or answering my phone by stating my first name. I’m sure that will fade after a while, though.

Of my first observations, I do find that American society encourages much more apologetic behavior and guilt-tripping for the smallest behaviors; yet actions that could be considered a little more worthy of an apology beg for none. I’m not sure if my time in Sweden has changed my definition of a minor, apology-worthy opinion or if I just didn’t notice it in the first place.

Honestly, the biggest change for me is that my dog is no longer here and my grandfather no longer occupies his home. He is at the nursing home, unable to care for himself and unable to be cared for by anyone in the family. It’s the best thing for him, but it’s a hard adjustment for me. The unbearably quiet house does not help.

Today being Independence Day, it’s as if I’ve had the proper re-introduction into American society. I walked the parade route with the Weld County Democrats and Mark Udall this morning and had a pretty good time. It was certainly worth getting up early for, as it didn’t get too warm until about 10:00 am. I met some great people and got a little bit of sun and exercise.

As much as I miss Sweden, it’s nice to be back. It’s nice to see some familiar faces and more flexibility. But I’ll certainly be working on returning to Uppsala as soon as possible, whether it takes me only a few years or more than a handful.

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Comments»

1. thebigswede - 2007 July 6

Glad to hear you made it home and are enjoying yourself. Thanks for your comment on my blog as well. Those differences you mentioned, yes I totally notice them too now. Not to mention how much diversity we have in the states, oh, and big people! Sort of culture shock for me right now, but it will pass. It is good to be home. Stay in touch.

2. Chao Liu - 2007 July 12

Hi, I am a student from P.R.China. I am going to Uppsala Univ. to have a further study in Aug. 2007. The same with you, I will live at flogsta. Now I am very eager to have a new life there.

3. Erik - 2007 August 11

I’ve been reading your blog since last autumn, and it has been really interisting for me since i live in Uppsala. Cause’ it’s always interesting to see yourself and your country/city from fresh eyes. This blog has ment a lot for me and i hope you come back to sweden and continue it.

4. auguste - 2007 August 24

update pls :P

5. James - 2007 September 2

Hey Jennifer! This is exactly the thing I’ve been doing. Blogs are great. Hope we can catch up sometime. As suggested by the guy above me…maybe it’s a great time to update.

6. SLB - 2007 September 27

Hi Jennifer!
My interest for your blog, is from many different perspecitves..first..I have a very, very close friend from college that I had met my Junior year-from Sweden..many years ago and we have kept in touch since a reuion this past year(25 years since he’s been in the USA~I told you.. many years ago) and he has struct a “very strong” interest in Sweden within me, again! So I have been looking into all the cultural differences with Americans & the Swedes. If one was to go to the other’s Country to live..seems very different to adapt to.. So I was wondering, what is some of the “main differences” you see between the countries…

7. HairySwede - 2008 January 14

Oh Greeley. I missed the Stampede for the first time in a long time last summer.

8. Annie - 2009 July 20

Hey, I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. I’m going to Uppsala for 2009/10 and have been getting very worried about it. How easy do you think it is to get by in Uppsala without having Swedish (I’ve not been in the best of health and this has gotten in the way of learning Swedish this summer). Once again thanks for all the info on Sweden and Flogsta (and the Flogsta scream!!).

9. Andry - 2009 November 12

Hello! I liked your blog. I’m currently writing a blog about Uppsala too :-) Maybe you would like to read it and see how are things in here!

See you!


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