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What I miss (part one) 2006 September 26

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Food & Drink, Home vs. Sweden, I miss..., Miscellaneous.

Although I’m having a blast here and it’s a great time, I’d thought I’d write about a few things I miss quite a bit:

  • Peanut butter. Sure, you can find it here in Sweden, but it’s kind of expensive for the rate at which I’d be using it. My mum says she’ll ship some to me.
  • The mountains. Even the hills here are sorta weak. Though, I have to admit, there are some advantages to being at this lower altitude!
  • Good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. I mean real rock ‘n’ roll. There’s really no such thing here. There are some great musicians, yeah, but it seems like there is no familiarity with “anything with a guitar.” Bergin and I were talking to a French student about music and he didn’t seem to get the fine lines between rock, folk, bluegrass, country, etc., and it’s pretty much because you can’t find too much of it on this particular side of the pond. It’s like it gets lost once it hits the UK. Of course the bigger acts are known here but it’s not necessarily the bigger acts who have the best rock. Anyways, there’s a good amount of hip hop and house at the clubs, plus some of the good 80’s stuff and decent pop, but it seems it’s either that side of the spectrum or really angsty metal music.
  • Baseball and American football. Practically nobody around here would know what the heck I was talking about if I talked about blocked punt returns, infield singles, the seventh-inning stretch or rushing yards.
  • Driving. It’s not so much being able to get somewhere by car, it’s driving itself. I’ve always loved driving and I am a pretty good driver at that. I think I would love highway driving here.

  • The news… in English. Although I can understand the jist of a lot of things on the news depending on the topic, it’s really hard to grasp the entire point of a news article when it’s in another language. I think the only news I fully understand is probably the sports news, because I am a lot more familiar with the vocabulary.
  • My own bed. I think that’s a given when you travel anywhere, though.
  • Mom’s cooking. My mother makes the best pansit, chicken cordon bleu, and chicken fingers ever. Oh yeah, and I really miss her baked beans. Good stuff!
  • American holidays. Labor Day without the BBQ was kind of weird. I think it’ll get even stranger when Thanksgiving rolls around and it’s me and the other Americans trying to cook a turkey. Bergin has it all down, though; according to him, all we need to do to cook a turkey is “stick its ass in the oven and let it rip.” As long as we can get a turkey, some mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and a football game – ANY football game! – on TV or computer over here, we’ll be set!
  • Colorado in general. Home is home, regardless. I’ve never been all that fond of Greeley, but I realize that I took for granted the comfort of being an hour away from home and having so many great things at my disposal. Colorado truly does have some of the best nature in the U.S.-of-A., and on top of that, I miss its awesome music scene and the comfort of a place that’s not too big and not too small.

This all goes without saying that I do miss the most important things:

  • My family. Dad, mom, grandpa, my brother Ryan, and my Aunt Jean. I miss them the most because I see them the most. I miss my family in Chicago, D.C., Cali, Toronto, Philly and Nebraska (I know, they’re everywhere!) of course, but I usually see them only a few times a year and I am planning on visiting them as soon as I get back to the States. Plus, my grandfather is getting old, and I don’t know whether or not I have already seen him for the last time.
  • My friends. Most everyone has been pretty awesome at keeping in touch, but I miss some of the little things about my friends, like random calls in the middle of the day to have some coffee or running into each other on campus.
  • My dog. I’m actually quite afraid that Magoo might forget me, though I know that dogs are smarter than that and have quite a great memory for people, smells, and habits. Since I’m not going home for Christmas and will instead be spending time with my parents and brother somewhere in Europe, I’m not going to see Magoo and it’s going to be a long year without him.

I’m grateful to be on this trip for more reasons every day, and that includes the fact that this list makes me realize what I’ve taken for granted at home. This list grows every day, and I intend on keeping it, but not because I’m homesick; I’ll keep this list so that I remember what’s important to me when I get back home so I can be grateful for it while I have it.



1. Matthew - 2006 September 26

Peanut Butter’s at the top of your list! How sad! :-p

2. Dad - 2006 September 26

Your MUM???!!

3. Dad - 2006 September 26

ps: your dog stinks!!

4. Matttt - 2006 September 26

Good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll … pretty much because you can’t find too much of it on this side of the pond – generalisation much? :-P

5. Matttt - 2006 September 26

NB For news in English, can you get the BBC World Service on the radio in Stockholm?

6. swedishfish - 2006 September 26

It’s not necessarily in that order, Matthew!

Dad, I know my dog stinks. But I can’t smell him from over here ;)

Matt(tt) – we are getting a radio in my hall soon so perhaps I will be able to find it then. And I changed a little bit in my post… it’s like (rock) gets lost once it hits the UK. True, no? I mean, honestly. Has Sweden ever produced a Jimi Hendrix?? :)

7. auguste - 2006 September 26

you wont find rock on most radiostations….radio is all about britney, christina and that catchy trashpop in sweden.

some great rockbands in sweden (the hives, mando diao, moneybrother just to name a few)

8. Matttt - 2006 September 26

Sweden had an Yngwie J. Malmsteen! :-D

9. Hanzan - 2006 September 29

Funny… for me it’s nearly impossible to find what I consider good old real rock’n’roll in most american rockbands.

True, on radio and mainstream clubs there isn’t much rock, but I’d say that the Swedish rockscene probably is one of the stronger.

10. Hanzan - 2006 September 29

Oh, as for folk. Over here that means something completly different than what it does in US. Folk here is mostly medivial music and old traditional “ballads”..

But yes, people aren’t very much into bluegrass & country in general.

11. swedishfish - 2006 September 30

Well, you see, American rock ‘n’ roll is real rock ‘n’ roll. It’s ours. I think Sweden has good rock, but take a listen to guys like John Common (link is on the right) and that’s what I mean. I have never heard a Swedish artist play a guitar like that. It’s something popular in the US, that’s for sure.

12. Nathan - 2006 September 30

Makes me homesick and wanting to leave NYC. At least there is some great driving to be had in upstate New York.

We all love you on the home front and I’ll be out there to see you soon. Who knows, we might even meet with some family in Sweden, Poland, and UK. :)

– Nathan

13. Nathan - 2006 September 30

So much of your list has me longing for home myself, yet I am not so far away. At least we have some great driving in upstate New York. :)

We all strive for that which we love and the occasional loss only makes those loves stronger. We all love you on the home front and wish you the best.

14. Emily - 2006 October 12

I’m not even a fraction as far as you are from home, but being a 6 hour drive from home while I’m at school, I can relate to a lot of the things you miss about home. I miss the home cooked meals, my own bed, my friends and family… I’ve learned that I take my hometown for granted a lot as well. I definately relate to you missing your dog!! I have two dogs at home, and when I first when to college, I thought for sure they would forget who I am. But, sure thing, they remember me everytime I come home, and they get so excited.

I think once you get back home from Sweden, that’s one of the stories you should share… how your dog reacts when you get home, because I’m sure he is going to be so happy to see you again!

15. donray - 2006 October 23

First congratulations on spending a year in Sweden. I know it will be an experience you will never forget. While browsing some WordPress Blogs, I came upon yours.

Having moved to a foreign country for retirement, I can relate to some of the things you miss about the states. One thing I don’t you will have to worry about is your dog forgetting you. Your dog is probably suffering as much as you are from your being away.

Have a good day and enjoy every day in Sweden.

Don Ray

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