In exactly 21 days (and three hours and 37 minutes) I will walk onto a flight in Toronto, bidding farewell once again to the Great White North, and jet off for a new life, new adventures, and new experiences in a foreign land. After a brief stop-over in one of my favourite European playgrounds, I’ll arrive in Sweden, for what is to be my second – but most eagerly anticipated – stint in the land of blondes, snaps, ABBA, surströmming, the midnight sun, centuries-old architecture, staggering cultural fare, diacritics and diaeresis and badly mangled rikssvenska (on my part, at least); but most importantly, I will finally, after a year in frustrating exile in my homeland, be rejoining my phenomenally awesome wife, and our equally awesome hedgehog (igelkott), for all the trappings and opportunities that Swedish life has to offer.
21 days… 21 days to sort out what I’ll bring, figure out how to jam everything into the impossibly inadequate luggage allowance range, bid farewell to my city, my country, my friends and family; 21 days, as many sleepless nights, until I’m there, we’re there, together at last. What opportunities lie ahead? What challenges, what experiences, what blunders and missteps and fumbling attempts to ‘grasp the concept’ and integrate into the Stockholm scene do I face? No idea. But that, in my mind, is part of the fascinating adventure.
So why is this blog, soon to be filled with ramblings and bombast and moderately incoherent attempts to understand this new life, entitled “Stockholm Syndrome?” For one, it was the most obvious choice - I’m surprised no one else had snagged the name. The term was also coined the same year I was born – seemed like an interesting coincidence. But really, it is not meant to denote any nefarious intent or undue burden. I am held captive – or more accurately, am captivated - by new experiences, new culture, new places and buildings and societal oddities and history and gastronomical fare and art and language and surprisingly similar modes of etiquette. I spent 6 months in Stockholm last year, and only scratched the surface. In 21 days, and for how long thereafter I as yet don’t know, I want to see it all, experience it all, understand it all – and, over time, identify with it all.
So no, there really isn’t a succinct focus to this blog. It will be the product of my functionally insane, pseudo-ADD riddled brain, of a wide-eyed, people-watching, lanky, camera-toting Canuck having the time of his life. (And, it should be noted, there will be many – many – posts about Baxter, the African Pygmy hedgehog, a recent expat from Canada as well, and soon to be the most popular, most photographed, hedgehog in Sweden. Maybe Europe. Hell, maybe the world.)
Stay tuned (actually I really wouldn’t recommend it) as there will be more to come.
21 days… 21 days…