Friday, September 24, 2010

Boys, Beer, Bombay

I told myself that I wasn't going to go out on school nights anymore, so where do you think I found myself on Wednesday night?

Amongst table dancing Europeans at the student bar, duh.

I haven't really experienced true culture shock yet, but what I've found to be most different from the United States is the Swedish people's sense of gender equality. There is a genuine respect for women that just isn't found in America, and there are certain situations in which I would uncomfortable at home, to the point of avoiding them altogether, in which I feel perfectly safe here. Examples: the other day, I walked past a group of construction workers, and I braced for the typical barrage of catcalling and general harassment. To my delight, they were silent. They didn't even give me a passing glance. It was glorious. Also, unlike in the States, I don't have to worry about being harassed, grabbed, etc. when going out simply because of my outfit or demeanor. Even dancing at clubs is just for fun, and done at a harmless distance; as you can see from the above picture, dancing on a table is lighthearted and gender-neutral, not an objectifying display by women for men. The real culture shock is going to be when I go back to the States and have to start flipping off construction workers and general sleazeballs again. I can never leave Sweden, because I'm pretty sure I'm going to punch the first American dude who thinks he doesn't have to ask before dancing with grinding on me, and I'm not looking to get arrested for assault any time soon. On a less serious note, I am now the proud owner of a glorious Leffe chalice, as modeled by Dusjan. Quality Belgian beer was a welcome break from the typical Carlsberg. I'm still convinced that stuff is just brown water in a can.

In other news, I taught myself how to make curry spinach.

I also learned how to make sushi from Natsuko and Yuri the other night, but I have yet to have a traditional Swedish meal. Three cheers for globalization!

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