I have been away from home for over half a month now and in Sweden for about two weeks, so I've had a chance to think about what I miss most.
First of all, friends and family. That's simple. That (probably) means that I miss you. (I miss the community at Wesley a lot, since they were the last people I hung out with in the states.)
American candy. I didn't think I would, since the candy here is sooo delicious, but when I get a Twix bar from the candy machine at break, I want it to taste like a Twix bar. It's not sweet enough. Hershey's chocolate and M&M's don't exist here.
Driving and my car. I was thinking today how I missed driving in general when I was walking across a parking lot and saw my car. It was an early 2000's green Volkswagen Cabrio convertible and it was gorgeous. My car is sitting at home (not being driven by my sister) and I miss driving stick terribly. Having said that, I have been thinking a lot about biking lately, as so many people cycle everywhere, and I think that I'll try to save money by doing that, when I'm in at my parents' house.
Television. This one is kind of sad. I don't miss having a television, I miss being able to get online and go straight to ABC or NBC's websites and watch the shows that I skipped because I was in class. This is especially the case with Lost, since I've waited sooo long to see it. Oh, and I could (probably) see it on tv here, if I had one, but I don't. Also, I don't know what I'm going to do about the Superbowl, since my team is playing and nobody here cares for American football.
The general idea of hygiene. This one is tricky- the Swedes are great with washing up, as are most of the people I have been hanging out with. However, I'm under the impression there are a few people who have no concept of halitosis or body odor.
Jokes. If English isn't your first language, can you be blamed for "getting" the "When is a door no longer a door? ... when it's ajar" joke? No. But if you're from an English speaking country, I would assume, thanks to sites such as youtube, you would have at least heard of That's What She Said. Thankfully, I told Marine about it and she's made quite a bit of progress; as in, this afternoon I said "I've got something for you in my pants" (thinking about the 10 kr I borrowed from her last night at the student pub) and she retorted with "you have a dirty mind... oh and that's what he said." Never been prouder.
Going places before 11 pm. No one here wants to do anything before 11... it's sooo late when you have a class at 9 the next morning. Also sucks when the buses stop running at 1 and it takes an hour to walk home in below freezing temperatures.
"Free" public transportation. Thanks, Chapel Hill, for getting me used to walking on a bus without handing the driver money.
Curtains. I need to get to IKEA...
Unlimited texting. I will still text someone, if I can't get in touch with them by calling, but that's not the cheapest option, since the students with Swedish plans get to call each other for free. And the phone is prepaid, so it limits what I could do.
Music. This ranges from streaming online to playing my guitar. I'm afraid that I'll forget how, even though I know I won't.
Recipes/instructions in English. However, this is improving my Swedish language comprehension.
Affordable fruit. The fruit is expensive here, because it is all imported. Having said that, I'll move on to the next list.
Things that I don't miss so much...
Not knowing exactly where my food is coming from. Since they import a lot of food, the country of origin is displayed. I can chose from fruit that comes from Spain or Brazil. (I want Brazil, but would go with Spain, since it's closer and therefore less expensive.)
Certain American laws. Enough said.
Having class every day (or pretty much every day). As in, I have the first of many 3 day weekends this weekend. And I have two classes this semester. I'm in one for 10 weeks and then the other afterward. Right now I'm reading children's stories. Baller.
Seeing people in terrible states of poverty. Thanks to the Swedish welfare system, I have only encountered one person who seemed to be in "dire straights" (this means warm coat, decent shoes, hat, etc). This person was picking up cigarettes off the ground, lighting and smoking them, and then grabbing more. To be fair, this was at two in the morning and they had an orange juice.
The American accents. Here, everyone else has a cooler accent than me.
Speaking in English all the time. Since I've been hanging out with a lot of native Spanish speakers, my comprehension has risen. Marine and I are constantly communicating in Spanglish with them. I'm also getting better at going shopping without uttering a word of English.
Not having an excuse. I now have a semi-legitimate excuse to be the way I am. In the past, I've used being a Gahagen, etc. Now, I get to be an American. I don't dance the same way, because I'm an American. (actually a legitimate excuse- let me remind you that they are scary "dancers" here) I get competitive with games we play in language class, because I'm an American (it also helps that I've won the games that I've been most competitive with). I make a joke out of everything, because I'm American. I like Burger King, because I'm American.
In spite of me missing a few "luxury items" (and having to take a dog sled to class everyday, haha Meg), I am really enjoying this time here. And even though I don't leave for several months, I keep thinking about how I don't want to leave (yet).
Now I think I may have found an episode of Lost that will play on my computer and I'm trying to get in touch with my mamma och syster (mom and sister).