But the tigers come at night, with voices soft like thunder. As they tear your hope apart, and turn your dream to shame.
Yesterday I jumped on my bike after another hard fitness session with my rubgy team, Uppsala RFC, and was contemplating with myself whether I should stop by the store on the way home to buy some food (read: chocolate). It has been like a thursday routine: kill yourself at the training (with spinning as hard as you can, run faster than never before and lift heavier than ever) and then stop by ICA and reward myself with, if I am going to be completely honest, way too much chocolate.
One time I was sticking to my routine, in the beginning of March, and I was completely destroyed after that days session. After buying my normal amount of chocolate I went out and started to unlock my bike when nothing happened. The key did not move. I started to struggle, using my finger strength (hardly exsisting) and arms (that were still shaking of exhaustion) but nothing happened. It was impossible to turn the key around. I stood there, right by the entrance of the store, struggling, for about 20 minutes without getting anywhere. People were passing by, looking at me, but once I lifted my head to ask for help their stares went straight down into the concrete of the street, pretending not to notice. I was so tired that I was close to crying, not far away from just giving it all up and walk home, when my savior came.
It was the beggar, who always sat with a blanket around himself outside the entrance of the store. He came up to me, without knowing hardly one word of english, and started to struggle with the lock himself. After a few minutes, and curses in a, to me, unknown language he finally got the lock up. I was free. Not having any cash on me, nor a cigarette which he asked for, we went inside and he could choose whatever food he preferred while I paid. Now, on my thursday routines, after training and buying massive amounts of chocolate (yes, the amount is growing everytime I mention it) I always make sure I have some change, more than just a few crowns, to spare this man. I dont even think he recongizes me, but I truly am forever grateful. Even if it was just for a lock on a bicycle.
I do love to live in Sweden, and feel priviliged that I were so lucky to be born in a nation with free education, health care and all, but sometimes I am just ashamed of the swedish mentaliy. I have been travelling some as you might know, and everywhere I have gone people have been friendly, not hesitating to help you. Last week I was in New York with my wonderful old friends and Frida, one of them and whom I have known since we were six, was amazed of how friendly the new yorkers/americans were. Cause in Sweden, if you accidentaly bump into a person a sorry is not obligated (while it still is polite) and you avoid in everyway talking to strangers. I know we live in the northern hemisphere with a pretty cold climate but does that mean that we have to be cold people too?
I know where the change begins. It begins in me.