Håkan Svensson starts kindergarten when he is a year and a half – two years old. Mom and dad are working, while grandmothers and grandfathers get to meet Håkan for Christmas and birthdays. Håkan is having a good time in the kindergarten; he is playing all the time with the other children and teachers. Håkan’s mom complains that Håkan gets bored during the weekends. He can not wait for Monday to come; when he can play and do all the fun stuff that mom and dad never really managed to learn how to do with him. Håkan loves his mom and dad. They never raise their voice too much or discipline him, not even when he is literally climbing on their or other people’s heads. Håkan is allowed everything.
In the elementary school Håkan shows an average talent for music, but an extraordinary one for mathematics. Håkan becomes aware that he is far better in math than his teacher by the time he reaches the 5:th grade. That same teacher has displayed a moderate appreciation and zero enthusiasm faced with Håkan’s extraordinary talent. On the other hand, the teacher has pointed out that it is Håkan’s friendly duty to help less successful pupils to become better in the subject of mathematics. Håkan is displeased and disappointed with that very weak and not so encouraging feedback he got for something he is so passionate about. Still, as time goes by, those unacceptable feelings disappear and Håkan starts to understand that he stood out a tad too much. Ever since that enlightenment Håkan performs as told, which is, at its best – just good enough.
After finishing high school, Håkan still has not decided what he wants to do in the future, but he is aware that it is about time to leave his parent’s home. He moves to a city that has a university, about 300km from the small town he lived in so far. University seems attractive, but Håkan is still young and uncertain what he should study. Also, it seems that this new life style involves some costs, such as monthly rent and the pasta he eats every day. Håkan starts working as a sales person in a tech equipment store.
Håkan listens to glamour rock and uses 400g of hair gel per month. He plays floorball twice a week and attends a course in salsa dancing. Håkan likes to live alone, but he does not mind that his overly caring mother comes and visits him twice a year. Håkan does not have any homosexual friends, but he sports an attitude that he does not mind other people’s preferences. He really does not think about them that much. Håkan gets upset when he hears the news about accidents, wars, epidemics and earthquakes in the world. He gets really sad when those things happen. Still, he is glad that those terrible things do not occur in his country. Also, nothing really, really bad has happened in the rest of the world yet, at least – nothing so serious that the Pop Stars show is aired later than scheduled.
During the winter, Håkan follows all the competitions in Nordic skiing. He knows that the Swedish team is the only one whose members are not using drugs, and that it is only a matter of time when those other teams will be exposed for doping. In the summer, Håkan follows all the football matches of the Swedish national team. He knows that the future success lies in team play, which is a much more important quality than an extraordinary talent of some brilliant individual.
Håkan would like to get married one day. He does not have any preferences related to looks, race or nationality of his future wife. He will love and respect her and he expects to be treated equally well in their relationship.
A note: I wrote this text about a year after I moved to Sweden, based on my first impressions about the Swedish society and people. Now, when I have been living here for some time, I can no longer see Sweden through the eyes of a foreigner. Some things and behaviors, specific to Sweden, I’ve considered being extremely weird years ago, and now I think that they are exactly how they should be. Håkan is pronounced as Ho:kan (o: sounds approximately like “a” in “all”).