Yet it is not long before she starts to miss Belgium and all her Belgian friends. ‘When I am in Sweden, it strikes me how similar most of the people there are, how they live and look at life. There is a tremendous amount of consensus about so many things. People tend to frown upon those who stand out of line. What a contrast with the rebellious, individualistic Belgian mindset! Here it is totally acceptable to be different. That is precisely what I like so much about Belgium. Here I can really be myself.’
Pia Sjogren arrived in Belgium 25 years ago. She returns to Sweden about four times a year. Then she is able to experience the intense pleasure of being by the sea, which is never far away, and the friendly chats in her mother tongue.