Mina favorit minnen i sverige

As we pack up our lives in Sweden and head to South Africa, I look back on mina favorit minnen i sverige (my favourite memories in Sweden):

  1. Meeting Arvid’s very many warm family and friends
  2. Learning how to ice-skate
  3. Streaking through the snow at Örenäs Slott
  4. Going to watch Miss Saigon at Malmö City Theatre
  5. Vomiting outside the hospital in Helsingborg from a kidney infection
  6. Watching Bonde söker Fru (Farmer looks for a wife) on Swedish television
  7. Horse-riding again for the first time in years
  8. Getting bounced from the casino
  9. When Arvid dressed up as Father Christmas (Tomten) and surprised all the little ‘uns on the farm (I had goosebumps)
  10. Driving on the wrong side of the road. A few times.
  11. The ice-cream I got from Arvid’s pappa when I was sick
  12. Living with Polish carpenters (and the guy we nicknamed “Popcorn”)
  13. Meeting up with a friend I met in Colombia — in Stockholm. And friends I met in France — in Helsingborg.
  14. Watching Arvid’s old ice hockey team and seeing an ambulance drive onto the ice for a guy who had been knocked out
  15. Seeing two monks in a sport’s shop
  16. Swedish gherkins
  17. Arvid’s handbrake turn on ice in the hired car. And us nearly going over the edge of the road.
  18. Catching the ferry to Denmark and buying cheap(er) alcohol
  19. Putting the eel head from the Christmas dinner (julbord) in Andrew’s shoes. And Hilda the dog eating it.
  20. Seeing my first elk. Ever.
  21. The birth of little Lilly
  22. Marabou chocolate and Arvid Nordqvist coffee
  23. Storm Sven the day after Mandela died
  24. Lighting a candle in Billeberga church
  25. When Arvid put a fake snake in the toilet
  26. Trying to freeze holes into the ice with our noses at the Ice Bar in Stockholm
  27. Getting post cards from Carryn in Cape Town and Lois in London
  28. Singing silly songs before drinking Snapps
  29. The wind turbines
  30. A first-floor fire alarm and evacuation of our hotel in Stockholm
  31. Two-year-old Annie calling me “Olanka” and not “Bianca”
  32. Drinking warmed glögg with raisins and almonds
  33. Meeting Arvid’s grandparents
  34. Learning new words
  35. Starting my blog The Swedish African
  36. Recycling
  37. The Photographic Museum
  38. William acting as Father Christmas (Tomten) in their nursery school Lucia play
  39. Viggo’s unbelievable drawing (and he’s only four-years-old)
  40. Playing squash
  41. Putting six 2L ketchup bottles in Arvid’s shopping trolley and seeing his reaction
  42. Finding the only almond in the porridge at Christmas (wedding bells they say)
  43. The whole family measuring the length of our noses at Annie’s birthday party
  44. Drinking good South African red wine in Sweden
  45. Eating deer biltong
  46. Telling Arvid’s mom in Swedish I was “aroused” to see her (and not “excited” to see her)
  47. Taking loads and loads of Go Pro footage
  48. The old, fat gym instructor ladies at Friskies och Svetties in Landskrona. And their camel-toes.
  49. When they played Johnny Clegg Scattering’s of Africa in a spinning class
  50. Selling bread at the Billeberga Christmas market with Arvid
  51. The dreaded night out at Etage in Malmö
  52. Speaking Swedish with Arvid when we ate breakfast and dinner together
  53. Drinking in public
  54. Playing a game to see how flexible we all were — only hands or feet on the floor and trying to pick up a bag with our teeth
  55. I said I wanted to understand Swedish by Christmas 2013. And I could.. Sort of.
  56. Arvid comes from a pretty global family: My one brother-in-law is American (Mike) and the other is Kiwi (Andrew). One of my best memories was Skyping Mike’s family in America and introducing grandma’s Swedish poodle, Elvira to Mike’s family poodle, Buddy.
  57. Baking Pepprakokar biscuits at Mia & Andrew’s bakery
  58. Guhn
  59. The guy who wrote in the “Suggestions” book at the gym: Host a swinger’s club
  60. Being told my bag was “7cm too big for the train” on the way home from Copenhagen
  61. Hosting our own whiskey tasting at a Scottish Pub in Stockholm

Skål Sweden! I’ve loved every minute.