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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.
10 comments

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.

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Swedes elect new ruling party 2006 September 19

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Home vs. Sweden, Politics, Swedish News.
5 comments

After being bombarded with election information since the second I stepped off the plane, I’ve witnessed a Swedish election firsthand and managed to learn quite a lot about the political system here. The election was held Sunday and the “Alliance” challengers have narrowly won the vote of the Swedish people in a race that has ended the 12-year reign of the Social Democratic Party.

As a non-Swede, it’s not that passionate of an issue to me, to be completely honest. On the contrary, it was almost much more interesting than it was frustrating to watch a national election; I’m used to wringing my hands at the American election results and either being incredibly disappointed or completely joyous. Due to my status as a non-citizen, it seemed to me that I spent a lot more time listening to the candidates’ views and analyzing how those views were constructed, instead of rooting for my side.

Since I’m taking a Swedish politics course right now, we’ve been discussing the parties and how elections are conducted. It was certainly a great time to take the course. Our professor, an instructor that was stepping in for the person originally intended to teach the course, was actually on the local ballot for the Moderate Party (Moderata Samlingspartiet, or Moderaterna). The Moderates were the leaders of the “Alliance” that defeated the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterna) and are considered a right-leaning/conservative party. Of course, this definition is all relative, but newspapers were declaring Sweden to now be “blue” (the color that represents the conservatives, contrary to the United States color associations).

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