So, it turned out that my first full day here was in fact Sweden’s national day, kind of like their 4th of July although instead of cook outs and fireworks, as far as I can tell, they pretty much just don’t go to work. Other than getting a kick out of starting a new life here on the same day Sweden started her new life (after kicking the Danes out, according to Anders) albeit some few hundred years later, the main plus was that Anders didn’t have to work.
Not to go into too much detail in the interests of protecting anonymity a bit (not that I imagine anybody cares too much who we are, it’s just I feel I can be more honest if I’m a least a little bit vague about personal details and I really want to record this experience truthfully), he works in the emergency services. Often he will be on call during holidays and whatnot, but he managed to swing it so that he wasn’t, which meant we could spend my first full day here together as a cozy threesome: him, me, and my jet lag. I feel like his schedule will be a good thing ultimately, because it’s already going to be pretty intense the two of us living in this shoebox together, so the fact that he actually isn’t necessarily around all the time will give us the space to let the relationship grow.
I can’t believe I am talking about space when I have spent pretty much every single second of the last three and a half months missing him so much I was practically climbing the walls. I don’t even know what made me type that. I kind of want to delete it, but I promised myself I would make this a real, unedited account of what it is really like to start a new life in a country you never even visited before, so, there you go. It’s all amazing and I am so happy; I think it’s the jet lag that’s making me feel a little out of sorts and creeped out today, and I’m pissed with myself. I guess it’s that feeling of looking forward to something so much that the reality can’t possibly compete, except that the reality did compete, we had an amazing, beautiful day together and I’m still… I don’t know.
I slept late, and when I woke up Anders had made me breakfast and the strongest coffee I’ve ever tasted, and we sat at his kitchen table and I looked around his apartment and kept thinking “I live here. This is my home.” Except I didn’t recognize anything and I would get this little wave of freaking out and then the rational (ha!) part of me would remind me that duh, I just arrived and to take a moment, and I’d be okay and I would chill, but then the whole cycle would start again. And Anders, being Anders, just let me be. That’s the thing with him, he’s this solid, sweet, calm presence that makes me feel like I can be crazy and he’ll just be there, like an… anchor, I guess. A viking sex god anchor, which is a bonus. He chomped away on his breakfast and read a newspaper and stretched out his long legs under the table so he trapped my feet between his ankles, and suddenly my insanity died down a little and I was really really happy to be there.
It helped that I noticed a pinboard on his kitchen wall, the one scraggly, messy island in the ocean of organization and clean lines, that was filled with photos of me, and us, from Thailand. Printed out from his phone, not the greatest quality, but a tangible, touchable proof of what happened and why I’m here.
Because I slept so late, most of the day was gone by then, so we just mooched around his – our! – neighbourhood. Stockholm is beautiful. It is quaint and historical and clean and filled with so many – it’s a stereotype because it’s true – stylish, impossibly beautiful people. I mean seriously. I felt like I walked into a music video. I didn’t see one overweight person the entire day, nobody slobbed around in sweats, everybody was… chic, I guess. Kind of how I would imagine Parisians, but taller and blonder. And a bit more hipstery, but somehow… genuine? It’s it possible to be a genuine hipster or is that a contradiction in terms? We got ice creams and sat in this little grassy square with a fountain, where a rock band played (buskers?) and I coveted outfits worn by toddlers (minus the diapers) and felt pretty thrilled that I was here.