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Immigrant or Expatriate?

№240 ~4 minutes

In which I realise that we’ve already been abroad for three years.

Three years.

Today, on the the day, it’s been three years since we packed a bag each and moved to UK.

So I thought, what better way to reflect on this time we’ve spent then by looking through all the old pictures I’ve taken but decided against publishing the first time around. Not because they were bad, but rather they simply didn’t fit the narrative at the time.

A month before we left I had flown to the UK by myself to attend a couple of job interviews.

A small room with a single bed and no toilet in a the Belmont and Astoria Hotel in Paddington, London.
With efficient haggling and £50 I got this for 3 nights. The smallest room you’ve ever seen with just a bed and no toilet.

Some days it feels like only yesterday that we were sitting nervously at Arlanda, waiting for our connecting flight as I managed to schedule an interview with a company called Sitewizard.

The Eriksson family waiting at Arlanda airport in Stockholm.
I wish I could tell you that I’m writing down something important, but I can’t remember.

A week after our arrival I had a job offer from the very same company which I happily accepted. But let’s be honest, I would have scrubbed toilets had it meant being able to provide for my family.

The first few weeks were rough, we didn’t have a permanent place of residency yet and living in rented accommodations was growing increasingly unaffordable.

Finally, after looking at a few mouldy places we managed to find one that we both liked and could afford.

The view from our new flat.
Home is where I walk naked.

Sure, the place was a bit empty at first but at least it was ours. Ours to furnish and live in.

Interior of our new flat, with a sparse about of furniture.
The Master Bedroom in all its barely furnished glory.

It didn’t take long before we had ourselves some furniture. Second hand furniture from British Heart Foundation that just needed a bit of TLC.

Close up of a chair being painted.
We bought non matching chairs; Sanded, repainted and reupholstered them.

Doing our best to adopt to our new life we tried exploring the British way of life; Getting used to continuously being asked, “You all right mate?”, the weather shifting between raining and not to back again within the span of 30 minutes and eating things like Blancmange.

Lucien making a face of displeasure as he tries Blancmange.
Needless to say, he didn’t appreciate Blancmange.

Sure, sometimes it was hard. Sometimes we missed some of the things we had left behind. But it wasn’t all in vain as every now and then, those things would come by and visit us, whether it was friends and family or weather we held dear.

My brother Christian and his distorted face.
My younger brother Christian is very photogenic.
The Eriksson family and their first winter in the United Kingdom.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Other times, we were “forced” to make our own fun.

Lucien pretending to be a fancy pirate.
“Arrgh matey,” he said in his coarsest voice.

All in all, not a bad three years. Another two years and we’re eligible to become naturalised as British citizens.

And finally. What about me?

Well, I suppose I’ve changed a little in the past three years as well.

The difference
But a boy when he left, he would soon become a man.

Becoming a British Bastard

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