It wasn’t so long ago, that if you saw someone walking along the street talking to themselves you instantly knew they had some kind of mental illness. Nowadays, thanks to the mobile phone and the mp3 player and the proliferation of headsets, you just can’t tell anymore. I’ve actually become one of those people who walks around talking to themselves. In Swedish no less, as I listen to lessons and give the responses out loud. “Vad heter du?”, the mp3 player says. “Jag heter James”, I repeat out load. So far it’s only managed to get me one strange look, and that was from a couple of Swedish backpackers on George Street.
Although they probably thought I sounded totally stupid, like a two year old speaking Swedish, I’m making some progress, though I still feel a long way short of having a half-decent conversation. I’m hopeful that, like when I went to Germany having learned German in High School, a lot of it will suddenly become more apparent. It’s not much fun just talking to yourself everyday. I wish I had a Swedish partner, for example, to chat with. But I don’t, so I’m left talking to myself on the streets of Sydney.