Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Swedes Can Feel Cold Too

'But how will you get here?' the musician in Hanover asked on the phone. I had no idea what she was talking about, then realising she was referring to the snow that had fallen over the weekend. Down in Hove where I live there the ground was bare.
'I can handle it,' I said. 'I'm used to it, from Sweden.'
'Oh, I'd forgotten you were Swedish.' the musician said, which made me happy. That she thought of me as a poet and writer instead of a Swede. After all we were meeting up to collaborate on a poetry/music piece, not to eat meatballs and drink vodka.

I frequently forget that one of my best friends is South African, and it took me a year to realise another friend was half Filipino ... I'm aware that people have a need for labelling each other and I frequently get referred to as "The Swedish Girl". Most of the time I don't mind, but I don't like it when people assume certain things because you're of a certain nationality. It feels like I don't have the right to be cold because I'm Swedish which doesn't make any sense to me. Yes, I'm used to snow and a winter that last for up to six months, but I still get cold, and I've suffered more from the cold in England because the houses here aren't as well built as in Sweden with insulation and triple glazing.

I made it to Hanover without any problem and laughed at people scraping the last bit of snow off their cars to make snowballs. But I almost got as excited as an Englishman seeing the snow on the hills in the distance ...

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