On the 30th of April, at about 10 p.m., I stood with my mormor and morfar staring at a large bonfire. There were people all around me evil kids on bikes trying to run people over if they crossed the road, older people who had done this before, and the people responsible for the bonfire.

Now, to make sure you don’t start thinking weird things about my friends, the Swedes, I have to make it clear that this is not something they do all the time just annually. It’s called (get ready for this word) Valborgsmassoaftonsfirandet a celebration of spring. (So you think it’s hard to read it? Try pronouncing it!) It’s tradition to start a large bonfire to “burn out the winter” and begin the spring weather. After the fire, we watch fireworks, and it feels like a slightly smaller (and colder) version of the 4th of July.

This holiday (besides being a very long word, though not the longest; the longest word in this language that I have found is 42 letters long) is one where the older people and young families have a great time watching a bonfire while the teenagers have their own little party. This holiday made me think of all the Swedish holidays I’ve experienced; I began to realize that I’ve been through quite a lot.

Easter witches, for example, are not my happiest memory. My aunt and uncle were here for Easter (No, that’s not why it was un-enjoyable!), and on their way back to the house from the grocery store, they saw a large group of kids heading our way, dressed as witches and about to demand candy. The problem was that we had not bought enough candy and would run out as soon as they came. So, I grabbed my bike, headed for the store, ran around the aisles, loaded my arms with candy and, with a red face, told the cashier to keep the receipt. Running back to my bike, I threw all the candy in the front basket and tried to ignore the looks I was getting. It’s not for me, I kept thinking, come on this is your country, you ought to know this is for the kids and not myself! When I got home I placed the candy in the basket in the entrance hall and began to relax, ignoring my “you should exercise more” thoughts as I breathed deeply.

Guess how happy I was when the kids never came?

I guess not all of the holidays can be a good as the Christmas, which I spent with my family. They flew to Oslo’s airport and Paul, Anette (my uncle and aunt) and I waited patiently for them. They flew over Iceland, though, and at that time Iceland was having a bad storm, so their plane was delayed. Those few hours we had to wait were pretty unbearable we had been waiting so long to see them and those last hours were just annoying. Actually, it was pretty good that the flight was delayed because we were a little late getting there. They came, though, and I found myself attached to my little brother because I didn’t want to let him go. There’s only just about a month left until I get to see him again, so I’m enjoying my time here while I can.

It’s unbelievable that this is my last month. I’m amazed not only that I made it but also that it went so quickly. Everyone said it would, but I shrugged it off, thinking that was such a cliché (You know, time flies when you’re having fun.), but it’s true; I have to admit that it’s true. I should consider doing something wild and crazy before I leave like oh, I don’t know. I do know, however, that I’m going to eat as much Swedish food as I can before I leave; it’s too good to be left on the table.

Much like the lunch I smell being prepared.

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