Last Thursday was Kristi himmelsfärds dag, aka Happy Jesus Christ’s Ascension to Heaven Day. Sometimes I feel like when it comes to religion, Sweden’s motto is this:
“Christianity—we’re not that into it, but we won’t say no to a day off from work.”
Or, even better, two days off from work, since a lot of people get the Friday in between Thursday’s holiday and the weekend off as wel. Long holiday, yeah!
Instead of loving having a random day off, however, I was mostly just grumpy.
There was a storm outside, a pile of unfinished work inside, and a bizarre assortment of half-eaten food in the refrigerator. The best Kristi himmelsfärds dag-related thing that happened all day was when I learned that its German name is “Christi Himmelfahrt.”
Nyuk. Nyuk. Nyuk. Himmelfahrt.
Here’s the thing: I didn’t have a real reason for being grumpy. I was tired and headachey and stuck inside because of the weather, but those are pretty mundane complaints. Nothing was wrong, really, and I know because I searched pretty hard for a concrete reason to justify being a total pain in the butt. But no, nothing. No excuse for being totally miserable except for the fact of being totally miserable.
Photo: Kate Reuterswärd
Usually when I write here, I make it sound like expat life is nothing but sunshine and moonbeams and perfectly coiffed Nordic men with a finely-tuned appreciation of women’s rights who are riding around Sweden on unicorns that excrete delicious candy and universal healthcare instead of regular old unicorn poop.
And it is, most of the time. But there’s a flip side, too. Read more » >>