MY FIRST YEARS IN SWEDEN

It was the 4th of November 1978, when I entered Sweden. I had quit my job at 31st of October that year. I took a couple of days to pack and leave. It was not so easy to decide, what I should have with me. I only had a small Renault R4 (the one with the “umbrella”gears). I chose my clothes, of course. Furthermore I took my disks with me, there were around 20 single and 5 lp. That was not much, but I have not had a lot of money to buy disks and the one I was collecting were of the singer Freddy Quinn – he was singing a lot about wanderlust, which I shared with him. In addition to that, he had such a wonderful voice. I also took my pillow, my cover and linen with me, because I knew, my new boyfriend will not have the kind I like. I did not get much more in the trunk of the car.

When I left my home in Wiesbaden, my first stop was in Kassel for visiting my parents and say good bye. My father has had a heart attack and I had to see him at the hospital. I apologized, that I was not staying in Germany. I promised my mother to visit her from time to time and I also bought a pair of boots, before I knew it will be cold there in Sweden. I did not have a lot of money and did buy cheap boots. Unfortunately they were not as warm as I hoped. More about that you can read later.

I met my boyfriend in the North of Germany. I actually do not remember if it was in Hamburg, Kiel or Lübeck. I was late, because I had a problem with my car and he was angry. In addition to that, I run out of money by the cost for the reparation and had to ask him for paying for the gasoline. He was short on money as well and called a girlfriend, but she could not help us. I think it was that way, because I did not understand, what he was talking about. He was talking Swedish, even the girl was German. But she had been working in Sweden. We took the ferry this afternoon. When and arrived in Trelleborg by daylight. In Trelleborg (Scania) I tried to explain for the officer, that I wanted to immigrate in Sweden, but he did not answer me. I tried it first in German and then in English. If he did not understand me or if it was the wrong authority I do not know. Göran was not close to me, even we had been together all the time on the ferry. We have had “pytt i panna” (hash), another traditional Swedish meal and he taught me to say “I love you” in Swedish, which is “Jag älskar dig”. I was so disappointed, that he did not help me! That evening we came as far as close to Helsingborg, Scania, before dark, where we asked for a room at a motel.

We continued the next day to Stockholm, where we stayed at his sisters home. Göran, my Swedish boyfriend has two sisters. One living in the outskirts of Stockholm and one living in Ockelbo, County of Gävleborg. The sisters were like enemies to each other, but that I did not know those days. The sister in Stockholm asked me, why I was on such an adventure with her brother, because I do not really know him. I told her, that one never really knows people, before living together. In the evening Göran took me to the old brewery, where dance of jitterbug and Lindy hop were ongoing. We were only watching. I liked it really much, but could not imagine, that I could dance that way. Jitterbug remembered me on the “Rock’n Roll” we were dancing as 10-years-old. I wished, I would have to opportunity to dance it again.

On the last lap, which was on a Thursday, Göran invited me to a restaurant. In Swedish restaurants with the dish of the day calls “BAR”. We had the traditional Thursday dish: Pea soup with pork meat and mustard. The soup is made by yellow peas and I had never seen those peas before. The dessert, which is a part of the tradition, was pancakes. I really like that kind of pea soup and still cook it, when I am at home.

When we came closer to his home, there was snow. I was freezing in my car as well, because it was not made for the Swedish winter.

Actually I called this page: MY FIRST YEARS IN SWEDEN, but you have to continue to Sweden and Gävleborgs County for reading about my time with Göran and what happened afterwards until I am moving on. One thing I already can tell you. When I was moving to Sweden I did it 50% for Göran and 50% for I loved this country and I still do love Sweden!

I had read a lot about Sweden, about the equal rights for male and female, about the nature, about the free love, but also about the high taxes. I liked the songs of ABBA as well.

For reading about my life during the years 1978 (end of) until 1982 (summer) please follow the link for Gävleborgs county.