Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Back to London and being a Faux Swede

So, I’m back in London now and I’m kinda struggling to get back on the work schedule but in fact, a very strange thing has happened: I don’t have that much to do at work. There are some reason behind this which I will get to at a later date, but this is a very weird experience for me. I’m used to being really really busy. I don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t have 15 hours of work that I’m trying to cram into a 10 hour day! Oh dear... what is wrong with me? Why am I even complaining about this. I’m thinking that I should shut up now and just try to enjoy it.

I’m also thinking that now that I have some free time again, maybe I should pursue the London dating scene again! I’m simultaneously trying to pursue the work out/eat healthy/get in shape scene again - but that’s really not as interesting for me to write about and there are enough blogs out there about that!

I decided to jump back into the London scene Swedish London scene by attending a Swedish Chamber of Commerce event with my sexy single friend A. Ok for real. Why did I not do this before? It’s the perfect place to look for my future Swedish husband pick up cute 25 year old Swedish boys. But more on that in a minute - first I’m going to sidetrack a bit and talk about being a faux Swede - one of my favorite subjects.

The thing about Swedes is that you can spot a Swede a mile away. They stand out! But for good reasons. They look good, they dress good, they carry themselves well... overall they just have a good style.

As I have mentioned before, I look very Swedish - or at least that’s what I’m told over and over again by Swedes and Non-Swedes. However, it never fails to amuse me when people mistake me for being Swedish. I do take this as a really great compliment. I love being a Faux Swede!

So, after that introduction, let me get back to the weekend.

Friday night we hit the bar for After Work (as the Swedes would say) or Happy Hour as the Americans would say. Since I’ve moved to London I’ve been waiting anxiously for The Phene, a pub very near to my house to open. It’s been under renovation since I moved here but it looked like a great place with a huge outdoor terrace. It opened while I was on vacation and is seemingly a big success (especially with the Swedes who seem to have a good sense of nice pubs).

So, we headed there after work for a few drinks and let me tell you - it is my new favorite place! Fact. I plan to live there this summer. It has a great outdoor terrace and the inside is really nice as well. In fact, the whole place is really “Swedish” meaning I feel like I could be in Sweden and considering that the clientele was mostly Swedes (mostly my colleagues and their friends) I guess that is not exactly surprising.

The only downside is that I heard the food was not so great and you have to exit the terrace around 10 pm due to noise regulations. Oh well. Despite that, it’s still pretty good. And on this night there were even cute (Non-Swedish actually) boys to flirt with like Tom the investment banker... who gave me his business card but was too arrogant for my liking... Why is everyone in this city an investment banker? And even worse, it just seems like investment bankers are not my type. I wish I could meet a nice and interesting one and then I would literally eat my words. But I’m thinking that’s not going to happen.

So, a funny thing did happen at the Pub. I was speaking to a colleague who works in a different product that I met for the first time that night. So, we are in this long conversation which did involve me explaining some of my life including the fact that I lived in Sweden for 5 years but I started working for my company in Boston etc. I did feel that at different points of the conversation we were having trouble connecting, although I couldn’t quite understand what the problem was. So, about 20 minutes into the conversation I mentioned something about my Swedish being “not very good,” and she was like “Why not? Did you live abroad a lot as a kid?” And I was suddenly like “ You do realize that I’m American, right?” At that point we both realized that this whole time she’d been sitting there thinking I was Swedish and that had led to our small miscommunication! We had a good long laugh about this! But once again, unknowingly, I was posing as a faux Swede! I swear, I’m not even trying to trick people. It just happens!

Saturday night was the Chamber of Commerce event: a BBQ boat ride down the Thames. This time, I unfortunately did not get to drive the boat, but it was still a fun night for other reasons.

So, I’m waiting for my sexy single friend A to make an appearance - I am oddly early and she is oddly late. And I’m standing at Westminster Pier watching all the Swedes and reflecting on how amusing it is that you can easily spot the Swedes as they really stand out from the other tourists and Londoners. One of the organizers of the event (enter the aforementioned 25 year old Swede) comes up and asks me (in Swedish of course) if I’m Swedish and if I’m there for the party. I tell him in English that technically no, I’m not Swedish (just a Faux Swede - but I don't say that out loud thank God) but I am here for the event. And he is nice enough to make small talk with me until my friend arrives. Once again, I’m amused that he thinks I’m Swedish until I tell him that I’m not. There were obviously other foreigners at the event but I could easily pick out who they were. What makes me more Swede-like? Swedish followers? What do you think? Comments appreciated.

I was also amused by the 25 year old’s “oh-so-Swedish” outfit. The party was actually a theme party. The theme was ironically “The Hamptons” which I think he actually came up with. Ironic because here I was an American looking like a Swede pretending to be an American! Did I loose you yet? I think I lost myself... Anyway, back to his outfit. He was going for a Chuck Bass (you know from Gossip Girl) Hampton’s look and had actually Googled this picture below and managed to succeed in rocking this style:

The “oh-so-Swedish” part however was the socks. He was of course wearing pink socks (which were highly visible with all that white and because the pant legs were cut perfectly to show off the pink socks - So Swedish)! Seriously, why do Swedish men all wear pink socks. The Beautiful Ex Swede has like 5 pairs. It is hard for me to imagine an American man wearing pink socks*...

Anyway, the night progressed. The boat went up and down the river as the rose wine flowed and people started to get to know each other. And most importantly there were lots of cute boys to entertain my sexy single friend A and I. The night continued at a Mayfair club called Whiskey Mist which is a pretty fun club. It was actually a pretty good night! Fun to go to a club with 120 people you have just met. Makes you feel like you know everyone and sets a good party mood. The club was good. The music was good. The people were good. I was drinking champagne and dancing with the cute 25 year old Swedish boy dressed like Chuck Bass. And you know I can’t resist me some Chuck Bass...

And so I will end the night there... No need for more details... ;)

Hope your week is off to a great start!

*Shh... don't tell anyone, but I secretly like pink socks on men. This might be even more proof that I'm a faux Swede! Help!


Brandy L Jones said...

omg...i love chuck bass's outfit!! if thats what it takes to get dudes to wear that stuff then i am having a hamptons party next weekend!

Sara Louise said...

You pulled a Swede rocking a Chuck Bass ensemble?! That is impressive!!
And my husband is part Swedish but looks 100% Swedish so I get it :-)
And you're right, why is every man in London an investment banker???

International Woman of Mystery said...

@ Brandy: I know who would look good at a Hampton's party in a Chuck Bass outfit (and so totally needs to break up with his girlfriend) and I need to tell you the funny story which I restrained from bloggging about

@ Sara: I totally did pull a Swedish version of Chuck Bass. It's amazing the variety of men that London produces... I thought "the husband" looked suspiciously Swedish! Does he wear pink socks? That is the true test.

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