Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkins and time changes

Today has been one of those twilight zone type days. Every time there is a clock change I feel like I've been through a time warp - it's almost like when I travel between the US and Sweden. That's definitely a time warp feeling. But the time change today has felt like there is something extra to it. I think it's because it has suddenly gotten so much darker in the afternoon. Instead of it being dark around 6 or 7, today it was clearly dark at 5pm. It's nearly November, and the time of the dreaded darkness is upon us.

To cheer up a bit about the darkness, yesterday I bought a pumpkin from the local ICA and today I decide to introduce J to pumpkin carving. It seems he'd never encountered it before, and he wasn't too interested in getting all pumpkin-y either. So he just watched while I happily did all the gutting and carving. Here are the results!

I rather like my pumpkin. I also roasted the seeds and ate them while we watched a movie together today. It's been a nice, relaxing Sunday. J and I were planning to go to his parents' house to change the tires on the car to snow tires, but we just couldn't bring ourselves to it. The time change has zapped us of energy, which ultimately makes no sense since we gained an hour.

I've decided to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for J's family a couple of weeks from now. It will actually take place the weekend before actual Thanksgiving, but that's when J's sister's family will be in town. We decided we wanted everyone possible in his family to be able to be there, so I shall be cooking on the 19th or 20th of November. It's exciting to be able to share some of my culture with the Swedes since so much of the time it is me who is the one drinking in their culture. I also felt as if, as an American, I didn't have much culture to share. To my surprise, I do. Just for example, today I felt I was sharing culture with J showing him how to carve a pumpkin and telling him why we do it. I asked him if he'd ever even carved a pumpkin before, and if I recall correctly he said (in reference to Swedes in general), "We just aren't pumpkin people." It also made me think of how Swedes know almost nothing of how to prepare/eat sweet potatoes either. It's enjoyable when I get to share a bit of my background and culture. Again, the excitement of preparing Thanksgiving for J's family. :)

One last thing, J and I will be returning home to the States for Christmas! I've realized it'll have been a year and half since my family and J were face to face, and obviously since he's been to the US. We'll be there for about 2.5 weeks, it'll be nice to be able to have Christmas again at home, as last year I spent it here in Sweden. I think it would be nice to be able to alternate where we spend Christmas every other year. I didn't think I'd be able to visit again so soon after my summer visit, I'm very happy about it. It's also less than 2 months away!

Speaking of being happy about things, I'm still ecstatic about finally having a Swedish driver's license, as well as the fact that it doubles as a Swedish I.D.! (I picked it up on Friday). I learn daily that it's the little things in life that matter. Living in another country, I believe, makes one appreciate things that they never even thought about in their homeland. I never thought about the fact that my driver's license was my easy I.D. in the U.S. I got my license at age 16 and that was that. Sure, I was excited at getting my license, but that excitement went away quickly. Maybe it was being the age of 16 that made me not appreciate it for all its worth. But oh how I appreciate my license here in Sweden.


Caitlin said...

Love the pumpkin! I tried looking for one but I couldn't find any! I am so disappointed. My boyfriend has also never carved a pumpkin before.

Let me know if you find a turkey for Thanksgiving... I haven't seen any turkeys here!

Jessica said...

Hey Caitlin!

Thanks about the pumpkin! I couldn't turn up the opportunity to carve one. They're not cheap though - this one weighed about 6kg and I paid 104kr for it. I got it at ICA Kvantum, they had a few in the produce section.

I actually made Thanksgiving last year as well. I happened upon frozen turkeys at our local Netto store, do you have those where you live? This year my sambo's dad actually knows a turkey farmer, so we'll have one fresh this time around!

amerisvensk said...

That's funny you should mention sweet potatoes! When I was in Sweden last year I wanted to make sweet potato burritos. At the supermarket there was a sign posted that explained how to prepare them and what you can eat them with. I figured that since it was a small town they didn't get sweet potatoes in very often, hence the sign, but maybe it's all of Sweden?

meggie4987 said...

Jess, my hubby commented to me too about how many Costa Ricans have started celebrating Halloween, and how he thought it was silly (since it isn't a Costa Rican holiday at all!). Guess Ticos aren't pumpkin people either...
I love that you have a driver's licence now! I want to get mine, as pulling out my Ohio ID can be sort of embarrassing (but is my only ID!) kudos...keep sharing your culture : )