Pensamientos del nómada #7 – Colinas en Estocolmo

En esta publicación de mi SteemBlog vienen las versiones en español de mis artículos en inglés titulados “Thoughts from a Swedish Couch” y “Thoughts from a Parks playground”.

En estos artículos hablo sobre lo que pasa por mi cabeza al escribirlos, abordo temas de la generales, de mi vida y de la Steem blockchain.


La inmutable frialdad de los Escandinavos – Pensamientos desde un mirador rocoso

Soy Latino, así que esta publicación está sesgada y quizás un poco imparcial. Por favor, no te lo tomes de manera personal mi querido Europeo del Norte, porque no lo es. Simplemente somos diferentes, yo río a carcajadas, bailo de manera extraña y sin verguenza, usualmente grito y pataleo en toda ocasión y a veces mi energía podría considerarse como “demasiado” para el estándar Europeo, ya no pensemos siquiera en el estándar Escandinavo.

Ya había conocido personas Escandinavas en el pasado, pero nunca en su propio país. En 2012 tuve una “cosa” con una chica de Dinamarca, alrededor del 2015 mantuve una buena relación de amistad con un tipo Noruego y en 2017 pasé unas cuantas semanas con una chica Sueca. La cosa es que todas esas interacciones ocurrieron en Mexico, Centroamérica o los Estados Unidos y, a pesar de todas nuestras diferencias culturales y choques de personalidad, siempre nos llevamos muy bien. Pude notar que en ocasiones, les cuesta demasiado adaptarse al ambiente latino y a la convivencia con personas-no-vikingas pero al final del día, lo lograron, principalmente porque – o al menos eso creo – se encontraban en tierra desconocida y ya conoces el refrán: A donde fueres, haz lo que vieres.

Also, I met them and interacted with them while they were on vacation, relaxing and trying to enjoy life, not living their normal lives and their daily problems, struggles and immersed in their routine.

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I knew beforehand that coming to Sweden would be a challenge, not just because of the outrageously high prices but also because I heard Swedish – and Scandinavian people in general, with normal exceptions – are not very open to making new acquaintances, friendly to people outside their inner circle and are not very chit-chatty with random people. This is not a good or a bad thing and I´m only describing what I was expecting from Stockholm and its inhabitants, wether it was because of comments I got from friends, my own experience with Scandinavians or maybe following stereotypes.

Now, I wasn´t expecting to arrive in Stockholm and meet the love of my life on the bus stop, or make a BFF (if you are not a posh girl from the 90´s and you don´t know what this means, it stands for Best Friend Forever) while having a beer in a bar.

Of course I knew I couldn´t just start a conversation with a girl walking her dog and end up traveling with her for three weeks like I did in Guatemala; I was sure as hell there was no possible scenario where I would meet a group of dudes on the Street and end up on a private party with the Blue Jays crew in Toronto, Canada; there was no way I could just ask for instructions on how to get to X place and the girl offered to take me and we end up dating like it happened in Moscow.

But hell, I was for sure not expecting that people wouldn´t even look at me on the street or acknowledge my presence – or anybody else´s presence. I´ve been here for a few weeks now and I´m used to it now but damn, it was hard at the beginning. I´ve met Swedish local folk, not many but some, and so far I´ve learned that not even they like how Swedish people behave, but it is what it is. It´s a mix of cultural behaviour, education and values (it´s considered rude to look at people for more than a second or more than one time), personality (stereotypical personality) and in my opinion, lack of Sun and good weather which depresses them to the point of being unfriendly at all times 😛

I mean they are not unfriendly, I was joking there but you get my point. If I go to the corner store, most of the times I´ll get a smile from the cashier and maybe even exchange some words, but that´s just because they are on the clock; after that, they don´t really socialize with people outside of their inner circle.

I have tried to socialize or interact with strangers the way I´ve done it in many other countries and tried to make friends this way to no avail. I just can´t go past the initial polite greeting smile I get from them and then the shy smile and perhaps a small laugh but that´s it. I can´t get to the real conversation or the establishing acquaintance status.

I have tried this to no avail with my neighbours, with the bartender of the bar in the corner, with people that frequent the outside gym I go to, with strangers on the street, with people waiting for the bus. For the Europeans reading this, perhaps their first thought is “Well yeah, that´s not the way to meet people!”… but for me, it is, it is one of the most organic and satisfactory ways of meeting strangers.

Of course I can meet people if I get enroled in a Swedish language course, or if I start going to Salsa lessons or join a book club or a sports team. Aha! You thought you could write this to me in the comment section, European friend. “Oh, anomad, you´re doing it wrong, if you want to meet people in Scandinavia you have to do X and Y in Z circumstances.”.

But no, that´s not the point. I´m not talking about how easy it is too met Scandinavian people in their preferred scenarios for making friends or have a sense of belonging in a social group.

I´m talking about The immutable coldness of Scandinavians in a day by day routine.


Thoughts from a mountain skyview

It´s not that big of a Mountain, but the view still kicks an ok amount of ass, especially if you stay until sunset and you have enough luck to go on a local-less evening. Oh yeah, this is kind of a hidden spot that only locals visit, no place for loud tourists here or at least so I´m told.
One thing I noticed in Stockholm and its surroundings – and from what I´ve heard, most of Southern Sweden – is that the terrain is very plain. This makes it easy to get almost everywhere by bicycle but on the other hand, there isn´t real hiking challenges near the capital city.

And even so, it makes a great place for thinking and reflecting.
A lot of people are used to the loud Eric, the fun nomad, the full of energy traveler but in reality, most of the time I prefer to spend my evenings alone and quiet. No music, no conversations, no interaction other than with myself. This doesn´t mean I don´t enjoy other people´s company but, to be honest, I can get a little overwhelmed when I have to spend a lot of continuous time with someone – or even worse, a group of people.

This usually tends to make people think I don´t like spending time with them just because I´m quiet; oftenly it makes some friends think I´m angry at them because I´m not constantly joking and smiling after a few hours together or several days of constant interaction; more than once people get uncharmed or feel tricked when I show my boring self, but that´s just the real me, the one that likes to watch a sunset and stay quiet, listening to himself and analyzing everything possible.

Of course I enjoy other people´s company and having conversations, it´s just that not all the time I´m in the mood for chatting or joking, or paying attention to other people for that matter.

I know a lot of people can´t go to the gym without music; the vast majority of mom´s can´t cook without watching some TV (you´d be amazed at the number of Mexican Moms my generation grew up with who have a small TV in the kitchen); you´ve experienced it yourself, how many times can you eat alone without watching DTube (God forbids you still watch YouTube)?; you´ve seen it happen to other people, almost nobody can be alone and silent with their thoughts for more than a few minutes.

It´s just the way people are, we can´t help it
It´s just that for me, it´s the other way around. I can´t concentrate with music, I get distracted by background noises and in fact, to actually think correctly and go deep into my thought castle, sometimes I can´t even be with people in the same room.

But I guess you could say that´s wrong. In fact, sociologically speaking I´m a weirdo. We are social beings and we need peer to peer interaction, a sense of belonging and daily humane experiences and that´s exactly what I don´t actively search for. I embrace it when I stumble upon it, I enjoy it when it´s something special like an event or a get together (just like I enjoyed Steem Fest), I have a good time when there´s a family reunion or a friends gathering but, you´ll never see me organize one of them, at least not anymore.

I also think that Steem plays a big role on this lone wolf kind of behaviour. Recently I realized that I prefer driving the subway or the bus by myself so I can start talking to myself and sometimes even put a post together thanks to those thoughs, rather than have a small talk kind of conversation with someone. I prefer to tourist around local places by myself and Imagine stories, scripts or even book plots instead of listening to my companion talk about how X cathedral looks soo cool and shit.

Who knows. I guess that this whole thoughts from a post derived into me, thinking about all of this stuff while being up there in the skyview, and the topic was mainly originated because my companion asked me if I was having a good time, or what was the reason behing me beeing so quiet and thoughtful.

I was having a great time, in fact, one of the best in Stockholm.

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