Tales from the Road: Lund to LA

Hey everyone, I am in California! I still have some posts about Sweden in the pipeline, along with a lot more photographs, so look out for those in the coming days as I stay up to ridiculous hours updating my blog (totally Jetlag’s fault, you know).

On the öresunds tåg for the last time, with my luggage and bike box (sans bike) I sat and looked out the window. It was raining, so that made it a little bit easier to leave. But still, when I saw the rolling hills and infinite farmland of western Skåne glide by out side, I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. When the train stopped in Malmö for 10 minutes and I sat looking out at the buildings, towards Gustav Adolfs torg, it got even worse. Geez, thought, this is gonna be a little awkard.


At the Copenhagen airport I soon found out that I had messed up the packing logistics big time. Admittedly, it was a dumb idea to pack my books in the bike box. So, it was away from the check-in counter and out to the hallway to re-distribute the weight. About a half an hour later, I had three acceptably-weighing bags, and one heck of a heavy piece of handluggage. Also, I had to wear my Swedish rainboots on the plane, as well as the old-fashioned Danish cap I bought for my brother, so although I looked ridiculous, I was cleared for takeoff!


The whole flight to my layover in London, I was, well, uh, sad. Yeah, it was a little awkward. Good thing the flight was only 55 minutes.


I got through security at Heathrow and found my gate for my connecting flight. I saw a whole group of people wearing Wranglers jeans, button-up shirts, Cowboy hats, and boots. They looked a lot just like a bunch of Idaho kids on their way to the next rodeo. They must be Americans, I thought and smiled to myself. I really am almost back. So I went and sat near them, somewhat smuggishly self-content at my ability to find the only group of calf-ropers in all of Heathrow. Then one of them opened his mouth and started talking. Talking German. In an instant it all became so clear. The way they sat (one ankle resting on the opposite knee, hands folded, back straight, gaze forward), the earring in one ear, the blond-ish hair … yes, they were Germans. Not back yet, apparently.


The flight out of Heathrow was delayed for a few minutes, supposedly because there was a leak in the plane. Good thing I have my rainboots on, I thought.


For the long stretch of the flight, London-LA, the in-flight-entertainment wasn’t working. But it was ok, I got my amusement from watching all the travelers complain and the British flight attendants run around trying to make things better. Also I read some Harry Potter (och dödsrelikerna) and chatted with the people in the seats next to me. I turns out they where two Physics PhDs (a couple, one from Switzerland and one from Ireland) who where headed off on a California road trip vacation. So, in short, we actually had a lot to talk about. They where desperate for a smoke and started asking me about smoking laws in the US, and asked me if they would get deported if they smoked outside. I said no. (that’s true, right?)


Picked up the luggage, hugged the family, got in the car, onto the freeway. First stop: a gas station to ask for directions. Oh, America.

Spent the rest of the drive home wondering where all the people came from, and why everything was so big and why their where buildings everywhere and where was the forest for goodness sake?

Oh, America! God bless you!


4 Responses to “Tales from the Road: Lund to LA”

  1. Sabrina Says:

    Welcome home!

  2. sannlittle Says:

    Yes! Welcome home! 🙂

  3. Linnea Says:

    “Wow, everything is so big!” was my first thought upon reentering America as well. I felt completely baffled by Americans and our culture for about two weeks, then spent the next three or four months constantly comparing the U.S. to Sweden.

    I’m sure people got really tired of it, but I couldn’t help it!

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