When I came here nearly 10 years ago, there were two things which really struck me. One of them was that all Swedes seemed to wander around talking to themselves. It was the weirdest thing. Until I realised that they all had handsfree earpieces for their mobiles. There's a phrase we use in Scotland to describe a country bumpkin. Translated into proper English it goes like this..."Down from the hills with heather in their ears" Well, that was me! Yes, we had mobiles in Culloden, but handsfree? That would just be for people in the Big Smoke.
The OTHER thing which struck me was Swedes and the sun. I arrived in November, getting towards the darkest time of the year. Every single time the sun was shining, a remarkable phenomenon occured. All Swedes were to be found either sitting on a park bench, or simply standing, with their eyes closed and lifting their faces up to the sun. Like a mass of bundled up sunflowers. Surrounded by snow.
Fast forward to today. I was waiting for the MacOlsson kidlets to finish bundling up to go out for a walk in the fresh snow. (Yes, we have more snow). So, I sat on the chair on the front step, closed my eyes and lifted my face up to the sun. And burst out laughing. Yes, its official. I have become a true Swede, appreciating every ray of sunshine which shines during the long Nordic winter. I too am a sunflower.