Monday, April 16, 2012

Land of Extremes- Land of Lagom

Kullaberg Lighthouse Point
The constant here is the never ending beauty!  The architecture, the countryside, the ocean, ponds, lakes, animals and birds galore, quaint villages, thatched roofs, forests and oh the gardens with all those flowers and tended hedges!

Arild Hamn
 This Scandinavian LIGHT!

At the same time it is a place with such extremes!  The old and the new, the old fashioned and the modern, the cold and the warm, the bright and the dreary.
Our own emotional journey since coming here has gone from euphoria to despair like never before!
We have met some of the most beautiful and kind people and some of the most generous and helpful people.

And, along the way, a couple of the ugliest, most hurtful, unbending and unreasonable people.......
also an experience like never before.........

Arild Village
Living in a place like Sweden with all it's incredible beauty on one hand

Working Mill near Ingelstrade
along with it's, in my estimation, "ugly" side is a conundrum.  Sorry is a word I have not heard since arriving here, other than from my husband.  You could get knocked over, pushed over or otherwise hurt yet "I am sorry" is not a term you will hear, not from the person who inflicted the pain!  Nor, it seems to me,  people here do not  take any personal responsibility for things "gone wrong".  This is a generalization of course, but it seems to be a fact in our experience.

Walking Path near Sofiero
In interpersonal relationships if  things go awry you don't try to fix it you simply ignore it and hope it goes away or  you change partners.  As if that is easier than mending it or working it out?  So how deep do the feelings go?  Is there no TRUE friendship or TRUE relationships?  Of course there must be some of those,  somewhere.

Helsingborg Hamn
On a television program last night  with the guests Jan Eliasson, a well known politician and diplomat, and Lena Endre', an actor, the oh so common Jante's Law was brought up, yet again!  These are rules to live by followed by many swedes.  The discussion brought up the cultural differences between Sweden and the US.

Aksel Sandemose is the author of "The Law of Jante" and was written and established in early 1930 and it losley reads as follows:

Don't think that you are somebody.
Don't think you are as good as us.

Denmark in the Distance
Don't think you are wiser than us.
Don't think you are better than us.

Don't think you know more than us.
Don't think you are worth something.

Near Råå
Don't think that you can laugh at us.
Don't think that anyone cares.

Råå Strand
Don't think that you can teach us something.

This "law" describes the attitude towards individual effort by placing all emphasis on the collective and discouraging those who stand out as achievers!

Discouraging "standing out" in ANY form!  Including wearing a RED shirt for example!

House in Råå
Still as we all can see not all things are equal, ..... there are very small houses and very big houses!  Here the government has restrictions and controls on everything for the good of the people and society.

Yes, there are rent controls.  For good and bad... We, for example, considered renovating our storage building as an apartment to rent out and discovered that what we could charge would by no means make the investment worth while.  We have also considered creating a shop/cafe' but with the bureaucracy turning into a nightmare and the realization that it  would be a big uphill battle including the swedish cultural differences we decided against it.  So, let me not get started on the Government Controls!

Even folks with limited means can live with an ocean view.  That is part of the UP side.

Råå Main Street
On the DOWN side since rents are purposely kept low,  so everyone can afford it,  new construction suffers and is way behind the need.

House in Råå
So much to ponder!  So many ideas to process.  So much to learn.  So many ups and so many  downs...
Oh, my husband just presented me with a glass of champagne! On a Monday evening.... Thank you!:-)


  1. That was just a very negative way to show off this country!

    1. at present I am in a bit of a negtive space :(