Monday, December 11th, 2006:
Tagged in Helsingborg -
This may sound weird, but...
As my regular readers may have realised, I usually write about idiosyncrasies about Sweden I've found as an expat living here. But I got tagged a couple of days ago, by a Canadian blogger called Lost In Life, to list six weird things about myself. I've then got to tag six other people.
At first, I thought this would be quite a difficult thing to do, as there is very little that's weird about me - as far as I'm concerned anyway. So I decided to try to think whether there's anything that other people might consider weird about me.
Here's what I came up with:
1. I always wear black. I started doing this in the mid-90's. There's no really good reason for this; I'm not a goth, and I'm not into making any big fashion statements or anything. But I have to say that it does make doing the laundry just that much simpler - no sorting of colours, etc. So perhaps I wear black because I'm lazy. I don't know.
2. I was married for fourteen years but only lived with my wife for five days. Let me explain: I had lived with this nice French-Canadian girl (in Montreal) for a few years, and I wanted to move to London (I have dual citizenship, and an opportunity came up). But she wanted to study. So we thought if we got married, she could move with me, and study in England.
But it turned out that she would have to live in England for five years before she could apply for citizenship there, so she'd have to pay rather prohibitive overseas student rates if she wanted to start studying straight away.
But we got married anyway, on April 22nd, 1990.
I left for London on April 27th, 1990.
We visited each other a few times and kept in touch over the next three years, but eventually drfited apart. They say that "absence makes the heart grow fonder". They also say "out of sight, out of mind".
I rang her up one day and asked if she still wanted to move to London. She had started to pay off her student loans, and happened to land a really good job, so decided against it.
Years passed, and we just never got around to getting a divorce. I was quite happily married anyway.
But when I moved to Sweden, my girlfriend at the time didn't really fancy living with a bloke who was married. Go figure. Also, the Swedish government's immigration people weren't too keen on the idea of me moving to Sweden on the basis of living with a citizen if I was married to a Canadian. What the big deal was I'll never know. I think they're weird.
So eventually, in late-April, 2004, I got divorced.
3. I've got a tattoo in Chinese characters that reads "beef in oyster sauce". Read more about that here. No, that's not weird, shut up.
4. I've got this sort of fetish for long nails. I had a girlfriend, many years ago, who used to scratch my back so hard during, errrm, Scrabble, that she used to draw blood. And this was just about when I'd achieve, uhmm, a triple-word score.
Ever since then, whenever I see an attractive girl with long nails, my back gets all tingly, and I get - how shall I put it? - an incredible urge to pick out letters from the Scrabble bag. Yeah, that's it.
5. I have a sick bag collection (US/CAN: barf bag collection). I've been collecting them for quite a few years now. On Saturday night, I got my girlfriend to help me put some of them on my kitchen wall. I sure know how to show a girl a good time, eh ladies?
6. I attract weird people or weird situations whenever I go out on the town. I sometimes think I'm a weirdness magnet.
Just one example: I was out with my girlfriend one night, and I saw a guy I know from work who was very drunk. When my girlfriend went to the toilet, this guy started telling me about how he and his wife are into swapping, and that they sometimes look for lonely guys to have fun with. He asked me if I'm a lonely guy. Nope, sorry.
He kept going on about it, saying how much his wife thinks I'm attractive, and that he could get into watching us going at it. I tried to make it clear that I'm not into mixed-doubles Scrabble. He got a bit confused at that. When my girlfriend got back, I suggested that we finish our drinks and leave.
So that's all I could come up with. As I think I've illustrated above, I'm a pretty average, mundane kind of guy, without any really weird quirks. It's the rest of the people in this town who are weird. I think it's time that the Swedish government did something about it. That's what I think.