Make it or break it

In class today, everyone said where they came from. There are a couple of women from Afghanistan, one from Syria, another from Iran then, of course, there’s me. When I said I was from Australia, one of the Afghan women looked surprised and confused. She said something in Arabic. The teacher said something to me in Swedish which she then repeated in English.

She asked if there is a war in Australia,” She said.

I quickly realised that she didn’t understand why anyone would move away from a country that wasn’t at war. And that made me very sad. I suppose it’s my western privilege that lets me take advantage of extensive travel in order to just go and see things.

This woman, a refugee from conflict, religious persecution or famine, had probably never had a holiday, let alone travelled to another country for pleasure. Not only had she not travelled, she didn’t know why someone would. I found it very difficult to explain, though that could be because of my lack of Swedish vocabulary. I basically smiled sympathetically and shrugged.

As Mirinda says, it’s a world I was completely removed from and now fascinated by. And for that, I’m grateful. It also gives me something to blog about.

Class today was a bit of an effort for the teacher. She was frustrated by the newest member of the class who, not only can’t read very well but also speaks really quietly. I know it’s just a lack of confidence but it becomes a bit time-consuming. Not that it particularly bothers me. I just sit and go over things to myself until it’s my turn to speak.

Time is something quite fluid in class. Not for me and the teacher, I hasten to add. No, time is fluid for the other students. They arrive at different times and leave early. They wander in and out of the classroom and their phones ping a lot (and sometimes ring). It must be awful for the teachers.

Today, for instance, we started kapitel fem (chapter 5). I was the only one present and, though she was expecting the others, the teacher started with a listening exercise. Just as the text was finished being read, a couple of the other students arrived. The teacher reset the file and it read through the text again.

As we reached the end for the second time, the rest of the class wandered in. The teacher looked at me and smiled ruefully. “Third time,” She said and we listened to it all again.

As for the end of class, that appears to be dictated by the other students as they start to leave up to half an hour before the actual end. Naturally, I hang around and chat to the teacher, trying to absorb more Swedish. Today, for instance, we were discussing shopping. The teacher is buying a new fridge/freezer tomorrow while I’m going to the ica.

During my half-time walk, I popped up to the church. Apparently, someone from the church paid for our up-coming excursion to the Vasa Museum. What a very generous thing to do.

The rest of the day wasn’t particularly interesting unless you class smashing to bits an old bulky cupboard with a hammer, screwdriver and sheer willpower. We’ve been using it in the glass room as a storage bin for things like the axe, winter wood, dog coats, walking sticks, dust, etc but, basically, it had to go.

It was the inside of the big cupboard in what became my study. It almost crushed my foot when I removed it from inside. It also scratched me quite viciously when it slipped out of my fingers. This is why I enjoyed smashing it so much.

Also, I reckon if you were to ask most men what two of their favourite things are, they’d say “Making things and breaking things.

This entry was posted in Gary's Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.