Fail. Isn't it funny how you always get stupid questions until you decide to write about them and then poof, no more very stupid questions? Lame. Anyways, I just figured I would take this moment to write some of the classic ones and just vent a little. So here's a 'classic', that I get, often. This question always comes after I tell people, "I live here."
"Oh, so when will you move home?"
...what part of, "I live here." is unclear? I don't know how to explain, no, I live here. Like you do. Living. Residing. You know, living.
Not that I didn't get the same thing at home. "I'm moving to Sweden."
"Oh cool! When will you come home?" No. See, I'm moving. That means packing up my life into categorical boxes and shipping it to go across the ocean to a new country. Not visiting, not touristing, not studying. Words like living and moving are permanent words. I'm not studying abroad, and there are no current plans to come home, or, move home. (see?)
It might sound bitchy, but I get that basically every single time I meet someone new. Every time. (Maybe that's why I haven't gotten any good 'Dumb' questions...) It gets old. That's something about this whole thing, is you get a lot of the same questions over and over again. And normally it's fine, and I don't care to talk about it. But when you try to use words that are very defined, and it is still not registered, how else can you explain it? Sometimes, I just want to bang my head against the wall...or give really bizarre answers like, "When will you come home?" August 24th, 2030 at 1:32:02 pm on the back of a red llama.
The other thing that I'm just absolutely exhausted with are a selection of questions. I am always very polite when I answer these questions, because I know that the questioner doesn't know that these have been asked 100x already. (You know, this makes me feel so bad for the foreign exchange students in highschool who had to deal with these questions and other doozies like, "Do you have running water?" I blame it on the excited, innocent, ignorance of the small town I grew up in.) I definitely asked some of these questions below to them and many others from foreign countries. You can't help it. It's always something people want to know. Luckily, I didn't ask/or have been asked about running water. ha...
Now these questions can be interchanged to any country for Sweden/America. So these are the "Don't Ask the Foreigner (Specifically Americans)" questions. With included bitchy internal thoughts.
"Do you like Sweden?" Do you really have to ask? Why would I move here if I hated it? I hate your weather, but that's about it.
"What do you think about the war?" I hate it. I want everyone to come home. I'm mad at my government for sending my friends overseas for a selfish reason, because I don't buy the 'terroist' fear-mongering crap anymore. I just don't. It's like the boogey-man. Please stop asking me about it. You're not going to find anyone to debate with here. I just want my friends home, safe, and happy. And I want my government to take care of it's citizens at home. There's far too much suffering.
"Which do you like better? America or Sweden?" Please. Please. Stop asking people this question. It is so difficult to answer. America and Sweden are just not that comparable as countries. Do you realize that Sweden is the size of a small to medium state (population wise)? You cannot compare. Yes there are differences, duh. Yes there are similarities, duh. But they are not comparable. My home country is a massive beast of a place with different sub-cultures within a larger culture, all varying by region. We are not comparable. Every country has its perks and its downfalls. I can't say I like Sweden better than America because America is the home to my family and my friends. That is my America. Sweden is the home to my partner and politics that I am more agreed with. But I miss home. I love home. Just like when I'm in America I miss Sweden, Fredrik, and Godis. Make sense? Stop asking this question.
"Are all Americans fat?" Am I fat? No? You sure? Well, ok, there you go. But if you must know, where I'm from there are a lot of overweight to obese people. I'm from the Mid-Western medium sized city (Hi Louisville!) Where we have really really crappy public transport (almost non-existent unless you live in the middle of the city), and plenty of inexpensive restaurants. It's a bad mix, and so yes, a lot of people are overweight, where I am from. I never really noticed until I came home from Glasgow/Sweden last year. Then I realized that there is a problem. It's national and regional. I doubt that people in New York City are as overweight as people in Louisville. Why? Well didn't you know that it's a fact that Public Transport helps keep you skinny? Duh. And I just want to add, Thank you Sweden for making me cycle everywhere, my legs are looking fabulous.
"Are there really people that crazy like the ones you see on TV?" This is usually referencing Republicans. (Which I find fairly hilarious). Yes. There are. Just like there are crazy Swedes. Our politics are different. There are reasons why there are Republicans, and you being from a welfare state, have a difficult time understanding why anyone would be republican in your eyes, but please remember, one of our greatest presidents was a Republican. Abraham Lincoln. Yeah..kind of hard to see the connection between Republicans then and now? Yep.
"Does everyone really drive cars?" Where I am from. Yes. Remember big country. This is a different answer depending on region (NYC for example). I live at minimum a 10 minute drive from anything of importance (food, gas, clothing, etc). You cannot walk this. You cannot bike this. No. There are no buses. I live in the country. No buses. We drive. Yes. I started driving when I was 15. Yes I drive mostly an automatic. But don't you dare think that you're a better driver than me cause you have always driven a manual. I can drive a manual too, I just don't, and I'll out drive your ass any day of the week. I have years of experience on you. And Yes, I have my own car, and YES my family owns more than 1 vehicle. No, we are not the normal for families, we have horses, and they require certain trucks that normal families don't. However, once children are of driving age, more than likely there will be a car per person in that family, especially if everyone is working/at school. Different culture, yes it's hard on our environment. Please tell our government and population that. I'm sure they'll love to listen.
These are the major ones I usually answer. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy discussing America and our culture, etc with friends, where the environment is safe and open. Where I am comfortable. When I am at a party though, where I don't really know anyone, I would really prefer not to talk about these subjects, though they are 'easy' questions. They're uncomfortable to answer 95% of the time, and somehow I always get stuck in a position of defending myself/my country once these questions are asked. So, just...let's just leave them alone for now on ok? Ok. Thanks.