Thursday, July 19, 2012

You can take the girl out of Sweden...

...But you can't take Sweden out of the girl, as my grandma says. My sister and I have never been away from our homeland for this long, so it was a surprisingly moving experience to be back. The flight, which I earlier said I looked forward to so much, actually passed by quickly and insipidly compared to my expectations. I found time to watch three movies, which I all really enjoyed.

1. Salmon fishing in the Yemen, by Lasse Hallström, was a beautiful, funny, and sad film which very originally demonstrated political attitudes, and realities, regarding the Middle East. I never read the book but found the cinematography beautiful. I also paid special attention to what the women were wearing in the scenes filmed in the Middle East as inspiration for outfits to wear in Jordan.

2. Friends with Kids by Jennifer Westfeldt, was funny and made me think of all the things to come (all in good time of course).

3. War Horse by Steven Spielberg, is a brilliant war epic with gorgeous cinematography. I've been fascinated with historical fiction ever since I could read, so these historical epics are always exciting to me.

The trip was not without its misadventures, though. On of them was that I forgot my passport, but fortunately I'm a dual citizen, so I had an extra. :)

The first thing we did when we arrived at our residence for the coming week, in the area of Danderyd, was take a walk and go swimming in one of those cool, clear, beautiful Swedish lakes. Jumping off the smooth cliff into the refreshing Nordic water of my childhood was the definition of simple happiness. But that happiness was short-lived as our second misadventure occurred and I was shaken to the core by the horrible site of my dear grandmother falling over the jagged rocks above. My mouth started screaming as if it was separate from my body. Fortunately she only got cuts and scrapes, and it reminds me how fine the line can be between an accident and a tragedy. It's no wonder many people believe that that line is threaded by guardian angels.

Onto happier things, I experienced another simple happiness as I had my favorite meal of the day (breakfast) as I can only have it in Sweden. Hallon/blåbär filmjölk (like milkier, more sour yogurt) with musli, walnuts, and fresh strawberries, toast with hjortronsylt (cloudberry jam) and herrgårdsost (Swedish hard cheese), orange juice, and a cup of strong Swedish coffee.

Being back in Sweden and seeing my beautiful cousins and aunts and uncles after a year of separation (which is unusual for the close-knit Velander clan) brought me close to tears. Tomorrow I'm taking the boat out to the archipelago to spend more time with my cousins, so expect to see pictures, because I know my sister and I will be snapping away. There are few things more beautiful to me than the Stockholm archipelago on a sunny Swedish summer day.

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