Dhammalogue no.15

Preparing to go to Sweden 
Dhammalogue no.15
Igor: In a couple of days we're going to Sweden. For you that is always going to be like returning home to some extent and I know that it is always a welcome break from the whirlwind down here. What are you looking forward the most?

Jenny: What I deeply appreciate, of course, is seeing my parents who are always connected to the visit. Being with them, feeling safe in their little blue house in the small town idyll...
Then I love the feeling of familiarity. The feeling that I get everything, even the undertones.
Showing Iomi around this place that I know so well is definitely a highlight. Showing her my background, doing city things we otherwise never get a chance to do. Being a city girl myself, it is where I easily find ideas of how to entertain her and showher new stuff.
Since I always go with a very little time on my hands I never get to properly reaquaint myself with the country. but it's always intersting to see the changes that have taken place since I last visited, the many technological advancements and improvments that this highly efficiency society driven country moves forward so quickly in. And then there's detail that in a way makes a big difference, the sense of order, of cleanliness and convenience that makes visiting pleasantly easy.

I: Is there anything that you don't like when you visit Sweden?

J: Well I do feel a bit sad for the people who in a seemingly thriving society are not looking that happy. I can see that people are stressed and there's a great emphasis on performance and material welfare which I think is causing some anxiety in it's citizens, but all the emotional upheaval that stems from it is covered up by this sort of general rule to keep game face.
Then there are the petty details, like the fact that you have to pay to go to the toilet in almost all public restrooms, that always drives me insane and feel like an insult for a country that is otherwise quite generous to it's public. The for me as a visitor high prices. It's an expensive country, nothing is cheap. Even when shopping at the supermarket I am surprised at how costly everything is. I guess the salaries have gone up with the prices, otherwise I don't see how people are making it, or perhaps they are not...Another thing that is nowdays a bit painful to witness is the obsession with online reality, everyone has their head shoved down in a screen, nobody is just standing, sitting going on the bus anymore. everyone is so immersed in the microreality of their devices. I see that as a little disturbing espceially since even young children get completely immersed. And I can't look away from the fact that we've finally reached summer down here, and now I have to leave this sweet warmth for a much more doubtful Swedish spring week, which could even force me back in to my winter garments.

I: Well I am also looking forward to spend some time in Sweden, it's always very sweet to visit and it has in many ways been like a second home to me as well.

J: Swede by association.

I: Something like that...


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