Maria Karlsson: Adapt to a smile

One thing that I’ve come to think about after a couple of weeks here in England is how good people adapt to new settings and faces, simply new conditions. And that’s exactly how I feel here in Doncaster. I know that it’s not usual to live at a hotel for one year. But when you know going to do it, it’s just to adapt. And I think we all do it very well! But one thing that I still think will be very hard to adapt to is the left traffic in this country. According to Google, there are only four countries in Europe that drive on the “wrong” side. Why don’t they drive like the rest of us? I am happy when I pass over a cross walk and they have written “look right” or “look left” on the street. That information (and my friends) has saved me a lot of times.

One adaptation that is more interesting to talk about, that I did not expect before arriving, is that the people here are surprisingly nice and friendly. I was out for a long walk yesterday (one thing that only foreigners do, in my teammate Katie’s opinion), and I met about six people who all smiled at me, and some of them even said hello as if we had known each other for a long time. And it’s just the same with the cleaner at the hotel, the owner of the gym, and the woman at the food market. Are people exceptionally nice here in Doncaster, or are Swedes unusually boring?

I love to travel and I always try bring positive cultural traits from the countries that I visit. It can be everything from the cuisine to the behavior. The nice responses and a friendly smiles to people I meet, known and unknown, is definitely something that I will try to bring from England. If you ever go to Doncaster you have to go to Cactus Jack, a lovely restaurant downtown that serves
Texan and Mexican food. Try some of the fajitas!

Word of the week: Brilliant.