Earlier today at work we were discussing Australia Day, and the fact there are currently 1-million Australian expats. “How do they celebrate Australia Day?”, asked one of the producers I work with. It’s then that I mentioned there’s quite an active Australian expat community in Sweden, and how interesting to think of Australians celebrating Australia Day in Sweden in the midst of a cold and dark winter.
I knew there was an active expat community because I met a bloke called Rob Manuell a couple of years ago in Stockholm. He’s married to a Swede, and lives there, but maintains his Australia connections through involvement in a wine import company, the Swedish Aussie Rules competition, and through an annual Anzac Day race competition held in Stockholm.
Even though I had Rob’s contact details, I thought it would be faster and easier just to Google him, and that’s when I discovered the Australian expat, James O’Brien who is living and working in Stockholm.
“I swear this is not me with a business on the side”, I told my colleagues when I found this entry…
Did you know that you can receive today’s edition of almost every major Australian newspaper delivered to your door each morning in Stockholm? NewspaperDirect Sweden, managed by Aussie expat James O’Brien has been helping Aussies in Stockholm stay in touch with home since the start of 2009. Check out their website www.newspaperdirect.se for more information and to trial a free copy delivered to your door. Also feel free to contact James directly on 08 5511 3131 and he’ll be happy to chat with you.”
“Oh my goodness, this man is living my dream life and he has my name”, I thought to myself. At the risk of appearing like an internet stalker, I decide to Google him for a while and discovered a photograph and that he’s launching a new business, a coffee shop in Stockholm where you can read newspapers from around the world.
“When he’s ready to return home”, I joked with colleagues, “we can just do a life-swap. No one will notice.” “Ah yeah, he’s a bit younger than you”, noted one of my colleagues who also just happens to be half-Swedish.
In all honesty, James O’Brien is an extraordinarily common name, and so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to discover one living in Stockholm. Still, it was an interesting and fun distraction in an otherwise busy day.