I wouldn’t say I’m one of those who are afraid to speak their minds, I may say the opposite to be really true to myself: whatever I have have dancing around in my mind, has to come out!
Being a foreigner in a country means that you get to hear a lot of the legends and sayings of that country you live in. But as you stay there and start digging, the legends and sayings give way to reality and truths. Or maybe your reality and your truths.
My life is full of these encounters. And conversations around them. Since I know a lot of foreigners and a lot of natives too.
One of the more common ones are: “The Norwegians are cold”. You know, that they don’t come to a stranger in a bar or on the street or on the bus and talk to that “new person”. After almost 10 years.. I still don’t know what I should answer when they ask me: “Isn’t it true, Vicky?” Buuuuff… Is it actually true that if you go out alone , like you would do for instance in Spain, you spend the night/afternoon alone and get home alone, no phone numbers in the pocket. While at home someone would approach you while waiting to order something to drink and start chatting and eventually present you to their group of friends. (And please, understand me right: I’m not talking as a girl now, in general, boy or girl). Or better, let’s take the bar out of the equation, so we avoid the though of flirting. Let’s say on the bus: whenever I take the bus back at home, I get off and I know the full history of some random woman who sat beside me. And I love it! It’s not that I’m curious, is that I get the feeling that I exist, people see me, we interact, we all share this world so it’s nice to shorten differences between people and get to be close to strangers somehow.
Ok, this has NEVER happened to me in 10 years here. So they are more close than back at home, that is true. But then… I know all my neighbours and we have dinner together out in the backyard and inside too. Maybe I am lucky? Maybe.. Anyone I know here, foreigners or strangers, have the same relation with their neighbours.. For me.. it’ just normal it’s exactly as I would have it back home so I’m happy with it! And that is why I don’t know what to say about the coldness, it’s definitely not like this at home. At home we all wait with the door open for the others to get it, speak and spend time together. In both places I lived in, with and without kid.. As my friends say, I am lucky. And that puts a smile on my face, because they don’t understand until what extend I am lucky. You haven’t met how wonderful my neighbours are!
My friend would call me to remind me that we should never compare.. but to be honest, although I completely agree that comparisons are not good, I start to believe is almost unavoidable. But just so we are all on the same boat, I do not compare -if this is what this post feels like- to find out which is better or worse.. just because I have different experiences and the thoughts gather in my mind..