Things that make me smile…

A smile: a simple body feature, very rarely on a persons face forever, but whenever seen, a smile has a simple ability to brighten up even the darkest room, it’s infectious,  it’s easy, it even uses fewer muscles than frowning! There really is no reason not to smile, at least most of the time.

Smile. Photo: Olle Nordell.
                                                           Smile. Photo: Olle Nordell.

So what makes me smile! So much! Where to start! Well I’m currently laughing as I’m trying to write this so I’m definitely in the right mood! Something is making me smile/laugh! But what? Well I just blew a kiss to a friend, who sent it back, and then I sent it back and now we don’t know how to stop this…ahhh to feel like a child again!

Whilst I’ve been here in Sweden, I’ve smiled a lot! So much so that my friends and family have remarked on how happy I look! And I have to say, maybe I’m biased but I do smile a lot or at least try to and I’ve had so many reasons to smile here!

Where would I be without them? Probably no-where! Friends to me are a lifeline, they are there when you need advice, help, a shoulder to cry on or even a smile! Last week I went out for fika (coffee) with some Global Health course friends! We had decided that it was high time some of us non-Swedes tried out Semla…a cream pastry filled with an almond paste! Lots of calories but to me it was worth it! I loved the almondness! And loved even more so chatting to my friends about so many weird and wonderful things! Friends to me are people who you can talk to about virtually any subject and they’ll still be looking you in the eye, nodding, listening, smiling! I definitely have friends here in Stockholm who are just that!

Semla + friends + good conversation = smiles. Photo: Nachi Kaunda.
                   Semla + friends + good conversation = smiles. Photo: Nachi Kaunda.

Spontaneous smiles
Last weekend I travelled back from Eskilstuna to Stockholm central. The plan was to catch an early train and make it back home in time to start some work! The plan kind of collapsed at the first hurdle when, the train was cancelled, I wasn’t smiling at this point, though I wasn’t unhappy either, sometimes things are just out of your hand, but at least there was a replacement bus service. So I get onto the bus and was as happy as could be, admiring the Swedish scenery with the remains of the Winter snow. On arriving into Stockholm, I was starting to smile a bit more, though things took a turn…the bus driver, was lost, he even hesitated at the exit of a road, unsure, whether to turn left or right. Was I slightly worried? Yes. Was I smiling? Just a little bit! And it didn’t stop there! Oh no! A front-seat passenger decided to direct the driver herself…so she phoned a friend…and with some “höger och vänster” (right and left) we  slowly made our way to Stockholm central station. The entertaining passenger remarked “Det blir bra, vi kan åker på sightseeing, jag är glad” which with my little understanding of Swedish I can tell you means “This is good, we can sight see and I am happy”. It turns out the wiilling helper was in fact a Finnish tourist.

Before this little hiccup in my trip I was thinking of sunrises! Having been in the countryside all weekend you’re treated to a few nice wake ups in the morning! Ironically, the sun forms an upside down smile and yet, the most beautiful sunrise can turn even the most unhappiest of faces the right way around. I love sunrises and Sweden has given me a few! The countryside is the best place to catch sunrises, and with Sweden’s abundant green spaces and large lakes, you’re never too far from a perfect spot to catch a sunrise! And with this I bid you a lovely sunny end to the week!

A Swedish sunrise. Photo: Oscar Eriksson.
                                           A Swedish sunrise. Photo: Oscar Eriksson.

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