All Aboard! "It's Very Swedish..." a train on a cultural journey through Sweden, exploring the differences big and small between American and Swedish culture.
If you're not into the whole cultural experience, feel free to skip to the embarrassing childhood pictures.
I've been sharing about Sweden's great lakes and the fun we had there, but they are not the only water attractions in Sweden. Water plays a huge part of life there. Why do you think so many Swedes gravitated to Minnesota with it's, what is it, 10,000 lakes? Swedes felt at home there.
The lakes I grew up with were of all sizes and conditions. There were lakes we could swim in, lakes we only boated on, lakes where we fished, and of course lakes where we did all of the above. One thing they all had in common: the water was quite cold. You do get used to it though. Really used to it.
It's kinda of like when my Amazing Aunt Risky asked me today, at a restaurant, if the dish was spicy. I said no, it's just pesto, it's not spicy. Then I got her portion, because to her, it was too spicy. Moral: don't ask me if the water is cold. My answer will be NO, it's fine, come on in ;-)
One of my favorite lakes was the one where The Swede's best friend had a house. There were two docks. One where there was foot-high sea weed and you wouldn't dream of swimming there, but that's where the boat was. The other dock was on the other side of the house, around the corner if you will, and the water was crystal clear and you could see all the way to the bottom even where it was REALLY deep.
This is our backyard in Sweden. That's DataBoy on the left in the pool with friend I can't remember, and I'm on the left on the "beach blanket" with friend I also can't remember. This picture was only marked "Spring time back yard water play" by Momarazzi.
This is one of our favorite vacation destinations. We stayed at the campground, but had full use of the wonderful facilities enjoyed by those who stayed at the actual, pricey resort. It was called Billingehus, for those Swedes reading :-) That's Farfar with Swissie in his lap. Me styling in the bikini...thought I was styling. Year not marked, but I'm thinking this was right before we moved to America, so about 8.
Water sports continued after the move. This is in the backyard of our first house in America, 1974. Me, Swissie, and DataBoy. Yes, we dragged DataBoy in, fully clothed. Good thing, or he would have been nude, and then I couldn't have put up the picture...
That's me in the flowered bikini, still thinking I'm all that, at age 12. There's Swissie, and Farmor, in the background, headless.
Ever the gymnast, I also enjoyed diving.
What are your water experiences? Did you grow up with access to lakes? Are you afraid of what you can't see when you're swimming? Come back to "Y" and you'll hear my learning to swim story. Not that you'd want to miss "X"...seriously. X is hard enough in English...
~Tina, who happily swims anywhere she can see the bottom, and will sometimes, with enough peer pressure, swim in uncharted waters (it's hard to resist Aunt Risky...)
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All photos most likely by Momarazzi, or another family member. For example, Momarazzi would not have cut off Farmor's head...