Trust is a pretty interesting thing. It’s a kind of realization that builds up over time, and then it’s just there, often without a conscious choice or decision to go for trusting the one or the other. It’s backbone. Something probably made up of personal experience over longer time in combination with trusted references filling in to your own story. And then some chemistry I guess, like any feeling has to contain parts of, you like something or you don’t.
In any case, trust brings a sort of emotional comfort, soothing your most basic needs. And when foreign entities are introduced into your life (or you yourself are introduced as a foreigner), you are affected to a lesser or larger degree.
So in my case after now having spent more than one and a half years in my new country and culture there are a few things that I realize about my areas of trust for the country where I was born and have spent the majority of my adult life. I realize that when it comes to Sweden, I possess an inner, unquestionable trust when it comes to style conformity, building standards, and to health care.
As to style, there is simply no questioning. Swedes in general aren’t super daring people who wildly and carelessly try new things, but we are curious and open to the surrounding world, we like to be in line with what’s happening. For style and fashion, this means a constant scan of fashion influencers around the globe, magazines and other role models in the area, and then we copy and lift into our own lives. Style is in fashion so to speak and it’s important to conform to style rules and dressing guide lines. There are no super sharp edges, but you can trust the Swedish style to always be right. There, I don’t have to be in clothing anxiety about being over or under dressed before going to a meeting or a party. I know what to expect.
When it comes to building standards, I realize that I just simply believe in the Swedish way. I trust it to be built not only good-looking, but to really be trustworthy from the inside. I expect Swedish houses and buildings to be built with craftsmanship and engineering skill meaning long lasting quality and no half measures. I expect houses and buildings not only to work but to actually work in a smart way. I don’t expect them to be built without drainage in the walls so that humidity doesn’t have anywhere else to go in winter but into the house, the wardrobes, and ultimately into my clothes.
Health care provides the third area where I find myself thinking of the equivalent Swedish experience with sentiment. I find that in Sweden I trust what the pharmacists say, I trust the phone information and I trust the doctors themselves to be experts in what they do. And I expect and trust them to not make hasty decisions, but to know their stuff well, to better be safe than sorry. I don’t expect them to make only a visual exam, no tests, and then to ordinate an antibiotics treatment just in case.
So, in reality I guess this means that these things are the practicalities that I actually miss the most about Sweden? Or, equivalently, they are the areas in which I myself still have the most shortcomings in Portugal?
Because, what am I really talking about? Like for housing, I am comparing with a newly built building in a modern new neighborhood in inner Stockholm. And for health care it may well be it is a matter of culture and language barriers, so I simply get it the wrong way here? Maybe. Or even likely. My comparison on these matters is simply not relevant.
As for style though, I have no good explanation. Maybe I should just relax? And appreciate the fact that the style is without conformity? Maybe that is how to build new trust? By embracing the not known?