While the Cold Winter Waiting

The leaves are beginning to fall in Stockholm. And first signs of autumn are coming into force as the equinox approaches. I love this time of year. The air turns crisp, the leaves descend to the earth, and the clouds begin to hover lower in the sky. I miss the pumpkin patches and the apple orchards of the northern states; it is a part of me that makes me nostalgic every year. The smell of the air reminds me of a romantic, innocent yet changing time of the year.

As I continue my journey in Sweden, I am reminded of what I gave up to be here and what I see as part of my new home now. I miss my friends and my home environment daily and go through the ‘am i still here’ phase when walking around the city. I still feel I am neither here nor there and the autumn weather is increasing that feeling in me.

So here it is now, waiting for the winter, enjoying the air.

Trentemøller – While the cold winter waiting from Pablo Bruna on Vimeo.

2 days of film (1 hour first day at snow, 3 hrs at lake), first day i just could do 20 minutes of tape due bad weather conditions, and the second day i did 25 more minutes of tape at the lake.
was fun, but not quite done what i would wanted, anyway it is ok.

Made with sony V1U and music by the lovely Trentemøller.

Places: Embalse del yeso, Laguna Aculeo, Santiago, Chile.

The Dying Questions for the Swedish Men

UPDATE, June 26th, 2010: Thank you readers for all your comments and heartfelt discussions.  The thread is closed now.  Please move over here: http://lostinstockholm.com/2010/06/26/the-new-questions-on-swedish-dating/ to continue posting!

I’ve been on a long hiatus from the blog and I apologize to everyone who does follow me on a regular basis. I have been traveling around Scandinavia and the US and finally am recomposing my thoughts for some new, interesting posts.

I noticed there are some Swedish men who follow this blog and as women (Swedish or otherwise), we are curious as to how your side of the species flirts. Some are general questions…some very specific.

Do Swedish men give compliments randomly to women? If not, are they trying to hit on the girls?

Do you think women should hit on men or vice versa?

Do you celebrate Valentine’s day? Why or why not?

Do people flirt in public? On the train, at the store, etc…

What are signs of flirtatious behavior?

Why do men need to be on the verge of blacking out to hit on women?

Does the ‘player’ culture exist? Like the wingman and pilots?

What do you expect to happen on a first date? (not a first encounter, if that was the case)

Are Swedish women really that boring? Or are the Swedish men really that boring?

A good day

Monday was a good day; a proper good day. I found a famous music shop that sells sheet music. Because I have all my music at home I only picked a couple basics: scales book, Fur Elise, and Chopin’s Opus 69, no 1 and no 2. It was wonderful. Looking through the sheet music and feeling the music run through my fingers again. It has been six years since I last touched the piano and eight years since I last realistically played. Back at home on the piano, I learned that not all dies when you leave them. Some things will always run through your blood. You may need practice but it is always there.

I also completed my first photo shoot as a model. It was informal because the photographer, another expat American, was on his third shoot of the day and was exhausted. It was still great. I learned a lot and that I have some talent in modeling. I seem to make a good subject: beautiful and happy but evidently with expressive eyes (that evoke sorrow and deepness). Don’t know, but I would love to model again; I love dressing up and wearing costumes. Hopefully I can get another gig with a photographer here in Stockholm. [anyone looking? send me a post =D ]

And if there are any women reading this blog who looking to become expats or travel long term, I salute you. It is hard especially as a woman to leave your life behind and start anew. But it is possible. Traveling long term means not know where you’ll be when and what happens next. Hang in there and good things will come. Know there are others out there who are doing the same. And know whatever you are looking for in life will find you; let the leaves blow toward you.

Online Dating…Part 2

I thought I would update everyone on the online dating via match.se
Well, it’s not really going anywhere for a few reasons:
1) I have no photo posted – I will have to post one. Hopefully the world doesn’t find out my SN. :-P

2) All I get are matches that are in…Spanish!!! Yes, Spanish. All the very desperate men must be posting on every match.whatever and they all speak spanish. Sorry, I really don’t care and frankly it seems quite creepy.

3) I am still listed in a city network in California. I think I will have to change this to Stockholm, if I am to get any hits.

Oh, and the experiment doesn’t influence the people I am currently (or in the future) dating/seeing/mating with.

I’ll fix that and we will see what happens…

Dating in Sweden…Need Your Help

I was checking out my blog stats today and noticed the original Dating in Sweden post was the most popular. Now I am guessing that post does not enlighten those of us who are currently confused because I am confused too.

I propose that if there are any Swedes (male or female) willing to take a survey about dating/love/sex, I will post the results in one month. Of course if you volunteer, I will not disclose your name or email. Help us, lovely Swedish folks, to better understand your culture.

Email me at fleurdeparis at gmail dot com. (okay that other email I put up earlier…doesn’t exist…yes, I am stupid at times)

Dating in Sweden…We Americans need a guide

NOTICE MARCH 20th, 2010: This post is now CLOSED for comments. But don’t fret, there is a NEW POST to make comments. This post is being closed because of its age, 200+ comments (causing reading issues), and load problems. Please continue writing and sharing stories on the new dating Swedish men post.

So I’m back in Sweden for a week and have a little while to mingle/party/get smushed on the T-bana with the Swedes. However, after living in France for a year and a half, I knew what was going on with the French dating system (quite screwed up). Now I know I have only been in Sweden a couple days (and will hopefully return permanently) but from reading various blogs and talking to Swedish girls, the dating system here is screwed up and really confusing.

First, I have to admit the American system is not good. It puts pressure on the man to pay, to do things, to have chivalry and then that puts pressure on the girl to put out. People date multiple people without really telling what’s going on and then all of a sudden things become official — “he’s my boyfriend now.” It is not acceptable for women to ask men out (believe me, it never works out even if he said yes on that first date).
Frankly, I’m not impressed with the system. I want to be able to pay my way, not feel pressured, and hell, if I like that man, I should ask him out.

Now it struck me that dating swedish men is something more utopian (for me at least) but at the same time more confusing than it could ever be.
So I figured I should at least put down all my questions and observations on this blog in the hopes that folks will respond with their own experiences and observations.

The Questions:
1. Is it acceptable for women to ask men out?
2. Do men expect women to ask them out or vice versa?
3. What is the Swedish version of a “date?”
4. Do Swedes date more than one person at a time before settling down with one person?
5. Do men prefer that women take the lead (i.e. make the moves)?
6. Does it really take forever for people to get married in Sweden?
7. How does a second date work?
8. What’s with the text messaging?
9. How/where do Swedes meet?

The Observations and Advice from fellow Swedish women:
– Women have to make the moves to make things happen
– Text, text, text message…just don’t call
– Go out on a date and really have no idea where you stand
– Meet someone and have no idea where you stand after chatting for a few hours
– Learn that they do seem to keep their feelings bottled up. They could probably make great poker players.
– Ask the man for his number because he’s not asking you
– “Swedish men are inconsiderate” i.e. they lack chivalry (not my words either!)
– People don’t flirt in public places, e.g. the train, the queue, the store
– People don’t really smile and flirt with the eyes. No no no.
– Men are thankfully not seen serenading women like they do in France (so annoying and wimpy)

I’ll add to this the more I understand (don’t understand) of this strange culture :)

What we do in Sweden during the winter

The very kind gentleman I was staying with explained what the Swedes do doing the winter. I thought, that I and everyone else on Earth already knew of Swedish winter pastimes. Dead wrong we were.

What do the Swedes “do” in the winter season to pass time? Invent things. Yes, build stuff. What do they build? Who knows… an upgraded cheese slicer? spiffier bikes?

As he explained some of the little widgets and such he and his friends built to pass time, I couldn’t help but smile. Seriously, smile. He was explaining everything in a cute, innocent manner though all I could think of, “You build things? Sure you are not hiding the truth? You sure that not after building something, you get tanked at the bar and…?”

Or maybe, “building things” is an analogy to what the rest of us believe the Swedes do during the winter.

Maybe I should stay there during the winter and see what these Swedes are really up to…

What I learned in 40 hours in Stockholm, Sweden

I went to Sweden for the first time on September 1st and stayed for a mere 40 hours (why so short? that’s another story). I feel love in though: the people, the country, the city, the progressive ideals, and the T-banan (a functioning metro system) made me feel “home.” Well, everything except feminism gone insane part.

But I did make some interesting observations while in Stockholm:

  • Clocks are everywhere
  • They are punctual…hence the clocks
  • Men push baby strollers on the streets
  • Women have umbrellas for the rain, men don’t
  • It is fashionable to tuck pants/jeans into boots (for women). I would presume with the downpours it makes sense to keep the bottom of the pants dry and therefore tuck them in.
  • Everyone on the T-bana is on the cell phone. And they like to speak loudly (compared to the French at least)
  • It is fashionable to wear tight leggings and short/half jackets
  • No one jaywalks unless they are a tourist
  • Both women and men love scarves
  • Couples do not make out in public. For that matter, I didn’t see many hold hands.
  • When the rain comes down hard, somehow magically, everyone disappears
  • They use radiator heating and it works!
  • There are no bathtubs…what a bummer for wanting a warm, romantic bubble bath
  • Tabacs are present at every street corner (as in France). Grocery stores? Impossible to find
  • The gutters on buildings function properly, for the most part
  • The weather does change every five minutes (as in Iceland). “It’s not the weather that is bad, it is the clothes you are wearing”
  • The metro is spotless
  • Trains arrive every couple minutes. And yes, the Swedes will freak out if it is late by one minute
  • In the winter, they “build things” instead of…
  • People may look reserved but are very friendly. A stranger saw me struggling to open a water bottle, he came up, opened it, and thanked me.
  • The Swedes thank you for anything they do
  • Not all Swedes have blond hair
  • For that matter, not all Swedes have blue eyes
  • Every other Swede is an engineer of some sort. Worst case, a programmer.
  • And yes, the men are beautiful, but so are the women. Damn that competition.