Vice: Do many Mexicans move to Scandinavia?
Paola: No, it isn’t exactly the first place people apply for in exchange programs. One friend told me that Stockholm was the number one city that she least wanted to go to.
Umm, so how come you moved here?
About five years ago, I met a Swedish guy over the internet. We got married and it was easier for me to continue my education here.
Is it hard to learn Swedish?
In the beginning, yeah, because it’s so very different from Spanish. But once you get the rules, it’s easy.
What do you miss about Mexico?
The weather. And the way people are. It’s easy to make friends there. People are very open, even to strangers or to someone they’ve just met. And I miss the traditions, the way people celebrate things. Like for Independence Day, we make a very big deal out of it. Here you party, sure, but it’s not the same. In Mexico, the music makes you dance more and the partying goes on until the next day.
What’s the longest party you’ve been to?
I think it lasted until 3 PM the next day. But usually, most of them are over at about 12 PM the next day. The day after a party is kind of like an after-party. You eat a lot of hangover food—mostly spicy stuff—and continue drinking. We have this hangover drink called Clamato. You mix tomato juice, clam extract, and spices together, and then you mix some of that with beer and lemon juice.
Is there a lot of tequila at these parties?
Yeah, almost everyone has at least one bottle of tequila at home. But I think people here, and maybe in America too, have the wrong impression of tequila. In Mexico, we don’t really do tequila shots, because we like to enjoy it when we drink it. Like the way people drink a glass of fine whiskey slowly, over a long period of time. There are some really cheap tequilas for about the equivalent of a dollar, but the most expensive ones can cost like 400 pesos, which is about $38. Then you’re getting a really good tequila.
How would you describe Sweden to someone from Mexico?
I’d say that Sweden is very baby-friendly! You’d want to come here to have your baby. I mean, I live in an apartment and I can see rabbits outside the window! And the welfare system is really good.
It’s different from Mexico’s?
Oh yeah! Here, as a mother, you get a whole year’s leave, I think, while in Mexico you only get two weeks. In Mexico, there is no such thing as father’s leave.
Are we hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet?
Ha, no, not yet. I want to be able to travel, and my husband and I like to go out a lot.