Spring is like a grumpy bear that pokes its head out of its cave and then declares: “Ugh – it’s too early to get up! Let’s have another month of hibernation!” This is now our second day of snow. Yesterday, I struggled into Stockholm, to a secret inner courtyard, for our company conference.


Things I  learned yesterday:

I will probably never be able to catch up on my lost sleep. However, trying to do so during the afternoon of a day-long conference while sitting at the same table as your two bosses is not to be recommended. It’s all about timing.

If a colleague sitting next to you lets one rip (this one was ear-splitting), you should do what everyone else does: ignore it. Snorting like a horse on crack is not a suitable response.

Best quote:

“Setting yourself goals is a memory of the future.” I love this! Apparently, by visualizing yourself doing something you can trick your mind into creating a memory of something that you want to do in the future. And this means you are more likely to succeed when trying to reach that goal. So, close your eyes and imagine that you have already written that best-selling book – and you’re half way there!

Summing up:

The Swedes have a tendency to want everyone to agree. They get very worried when people have *gasp* conflicting opinions. We had to take it in turns to sum up the day. This is what I had to say:

Where everyone thinks alike – no one thinks at all.

What have you learnt recently?


It’s past that time again. Calling all ex-pats! Please send me your links to posts about life in your adopted countries if you want to be featured in the next Strange Shores edition. Thanks!

30 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. I snorted like a “horse on crack” at this expression! And that someone would let an earsplitting one go during a conference. And that you might’ve been napping while it happened, been woken up by it, and then snorted. 😀

    (i’m so happy to be back online and reading my friends’ tales!!!)


  2. I am always learning new things daily and also forgetting much of what I learn…lol. Been very forgetful lately. Glad that spring is already here for you. 🙂


  3. I look at your snow and am thankful for the 70-degree weather we will have today. 🙂

    Whenever someone farts around me, I just say “well, excuse you” even if I don’t know the person.


  4. Beautiful photo! Thank you for sharing the quote – I’ve utilized positive thinking techniques and I believe it’s truly helpful. I don’t believe in magic, but I do believe our minds are very powerful in helping us achieve the positive things in life!

    I love that you snorted (if you did!).


  5. OH! HOW did you hold it together when all that farting was going on? I am TRULY a 5th grade boy at heart and I would have been doubled over in hysterics. You have fortitude Woman! ROFL!

    And your quote “Where everyone thinks alike – no one thinks at all?” I am of the exact same opinion. 🙂


  6. I have learnt recently:

    -that a good nights sleep can be better than a good dose of doc prescribed morphine for pain.
    -that no situation is ever perfect or permanent
    -that a dash of lipstick makes all the difference to every day
    -that life is too short to worry about what other people ‘think’.


  7. “Where everyone thinks alike – no one thinks at all.”
    Spot on! And I have to agree with what you say about the Swedish tendency to strive for total unanimity around the table. (I say this despite my dislike for conflicts. :-z )


  8. I suppose holding your nose and pretending you were passing out would have been totally unacceptable.
    What have I learned lately.. Swedes fart out loud and don’t care.. is this socially acceptable? 🙂


  9. First of all, thanks for a great post…lots of great points mentioned here…
    Wouldn’t you love to be able to sleep with your eyes open?? That could be handy…
    And if a colleague let one RIP during a meeting I’d say that deserves a little chuckle or in your case a snorting horse type chuckle…hahahaha…I’d probably have taken it a step further by getting up and opening a window or a door or something…just to be mean…hahahaha..
    Loved the quote..definitely an idea I could live with…
    I’m completely with you on the snow business…ready for it to go and spring to come…did you hear me GOD????


  10. Oh Lady Fi, I laughed out loud at this. Brilliant post. I have missed your blog. I can’t believe how busy it’s been this week, I’m looking forward to reading all my favourite blogs again next week. xxx


  11. Well, you know the little man would have immediately piped up and said ‘you haven’t said excuse me yet’ – he will let no misdemeanour go unnoticed – and we let him away with commenting everytime because he said nothing until he was five years old so every comment now is precious!


  12. Love your pic! In the hallways of our nursing home letting ‘er rip is an everyday occurrence by our residents which everyone ignores. Doing the same at a company conference meeting would never go unnoticed and the unfortunate person who decompressed would never be able to live it down. Fun read!


  13. I have learnt that some times it is better to wait a day before saying what is on your mind.

    I wish I could have heard the Horse on coke impersonation. made me laugh so much.


  14. Maybe you should start your own website about expats living around the world. It’ll be very interesting.


  15. Oh, that’s the best laugh I’ve had all week. And I need it right now. Sorry you had to go through it, but there’s always good bloggy fodder after horrible experiences 🙂


  16. That is a terrific quote. When I was a little girl, my mom always told me before I did any type of performance to imagine myself going through the motions perfectly so that I already had it in my head. I think it is a similar concept. Imagining success gets you closer to it than imagining failure.
    p.s. I am living in South Korea. Is it too late to give you a link. this one is about sexism here:


  17. Someone let one rip, super-sonically, it seems, in yoga last week. It was amazing.
    Luckily, I was too exhausted to snort too loudly.


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