The longer that I live away from the US, the more I find myself living in some gray middle ground where I am not sure what belongs where. I will think: you wouldn’t see that in the US. And then I will second-guess myself and think, or would I? There are some things that I know for sure. As I walked to my local grocery with a bag full of cans and bottles to recycle today I thought: aren’t I a good Swede for taking my recycling to the shop. Immediately I continued with this thinking: in the US I would not say shop, I would say store. Shop is a more Australian term that I use thanks to my Aussie husband. As for the recycling, I would put it in a green bin outside of my house in the US and it would be picked up by the garbage truck. (Whether it was actually recycled is another question.)
I am also pretty sure that I can’t book and pay for movie tickets on-line in the US like I can here. (I can even select my seat.) And I am also certain that I would not see the easy attitude toward nudity here in a Cincinnati park. Nor would I see all the nudity that I see on TV here in the US. On the convenience side, you can’t beat the US. I can grocery shop at midnight and have a pizza delivered to my home, neither of which I can do in Sweden.
When we first moved here, Robert loved saying: “you wouldn’t see that in the US” to point out all the wonderful things that I was gaining by being here. A few years ago, the differences were much more clear. But now there are other things that I am not so sure of anymore. Would I have invited friends over for a BBQ or a grill out? I am thinking I would have said grill out in the US. Don’t we say cell phone in the US, not mobile phone like here? Can I buy 15 different different varieties of yogurt/milk products in the US like I can here? I don’t think so, but I will have to check. And finally, if I called for an appointment with a physical therapist, unlike here where I have to wait until June, could I have gotten in within a day or two in the US? I think so. Or at least that’s how I remember things. Ultimately, none of these little details really matter. I think what is bothering me is living in the gray zone – a little bit here, a little bit there.