Sugar coma

Sometimes going to a Swedish cafe can be very dangerous.

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Learning the important things

I’ve been practicing Italian on an online language service for our upcoming trip to Italy. I’m glad this service teaches me the important phrases I’m definitely going to be using when talking to people on our trip.Screenshot 2019-05-13 at 07.51.35.png

From Italy to Sweden

On the podcast about expats in Sweden today, we talk to a couple of Italians, mainly about food of course, but also about language and some great summer tips in Stockholm!

Available anywhere you get your podcast by just typing “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow”

or at these links:

Günters

I finally got to visit a Stockholm institution last week – Günters hot dog stand. I’ve heard rumors over the years about the amazing hot dogs and the owner who is very strict with how you order.  Though I was frightened of making a mistake (very similar to the Seinfeld ‘Soup Nazi’ episode), everything went fine and I have to admit, it was an amazing hot dog.

There’s always a long line, so you can’t be in a hurry, but it’s worth it! Remember, it’s only one guy running the stand and he makes them fresh. He’s not all that into chit-chat or customer service, but he will make you an amazing hot dog with toasted baguette bun (you don’t get a choice on that). Know what you want to order when you get up there and then step aside!

I looked up reviews from a few other people about the place. Here are a few excerpts:

I cry a little every time I eat any hotdog that isn’t from Günters

If left stranded on a desert island and I had to choose between 100 big macs or just one Gunters krauker wurst + sauerkraut korv I would pick the sausage.

It felt just like your were standing in line at the Soup-nazi-stand in Seinfeld:-)
Me and my wife stood in line and the guy in the stand just screamed – NEXT!
He handled like four five orders at the time and didn’t care if there were two or twenty people in line. He just had his own pace.

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Thanks, Fake Roomba!

There are a few purchases that have really made our lives easier (lazier) and better, and one of those is our generic-brand Roomba (can’t afford the real one)!

We recently got a cat, which made it necessary to vacuum every day – but now that’s Fake Roomba’s job! It’s really nice to come home to a freshly vacuumed house… that is, when Fake Roomba actually gets to finish his work.

It seems that the cat does not appreciate the hard work that Fake Roomba does to help him keep his place in the house while shedding. Our cat has a favorite toy, a stick with feathers, and he has learned that if he places it in the path of Fake Roomba, it will get caught and turn it off. So if I don’t hide that particular toy, I come home each day to a small, round vacuum that has been choked with feathers.

Of course, Fake Roomba, has also my increased amount of laziness. Instead of cleaning the breadcrumbs off the table in the morning, I’ve started pushing them to the floor thinking, “Fake Roomba can take care of that.”

Ah, technology. Ain’t it great?

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Missing food – the common denominator

I’ve been so busy with work and the podcast that I just realized I haven’t written in a while. Time to remedy that!

The podcast I’m doing about people from other countries that have moved to Sweden (Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow) has been so much fun. Being one of these people from another country, I’ve always found a lot of humor in the mistakes and strange things about trying to fit into another culture and it’s fun to see how people all over feel the same way.

I also enjoy learning about cultural issues that may not have even crossed my mind, like when Hana from Singapore told me that when she moved to Sweden, it was the first time she ever had to buy socks (it was so hot in Singapore that she always wore sandals).

Everyone is full of stories about misunderstanding the language. And almost every person, no matter what country they are from, misses food the most. (That’s right, food and not people – because food can’t email or Skype).

If you like podcasts and enjoy ‘fish out of water’ type stories, check out some of my episodes. Each one is only 20-30 minutes and the main point is to learn something, but keep it funny.

It’s available anywhere you get your podcasts – iTunes, Spotify, Google, etc. Just type in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow”. I hope you enjoy the stories and people as much as I do!

https://iceandsnow.se/

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Meet Magneto! Or… not.

I saw this ad today for an event coming up in Stockholm. I thought “oh! I can meet Ian McKellen!”

But no. I read it wrong.

I feel like this company is going to have a bunch of disappointed X-Men fans showing up at their business event.

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Go ahead, have a good cry!

Next time someone seems very sad or is crying, be sure to check that they don’t have bees living in their eyes!

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Terrible parent thoughts

While looking through party snack themes, I stumbled upon a few sites with tips for throwing a Peppa Pig party. My kids are too old for Peppa Pig, but I was thinking if I had to provide snacks for that party I’d bring pork rinds and bacon strips.

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Too friendly?

For the first time ever, I read about an expat to Sweden who thinks Swedes are “too friendly!”

In our local paper’s letter section, a person identifying themselves as having a foreign background states:

Staff at stores, I am not your friend! Quit saying hello to me when I come up to the cash register. I am not obliged to speak to you and I don’t appreciate it. Just scan my groceries and don’t speak to me!

For the record, that’s really all they say to you at the store in Sweden. They aren’t like Americans who try to upsale or feel a need to comment on your purchases. Here in Sweden, they just acknowledge you with a hello and then tell you the total. That’s all.

Generally, all fellow foreigners I talk to complain about how cold and unfriendly Swedes can often seem. So my question is, what country is this person from where they think that a cashier saying “hello” is crossing the friendship line?

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Picnic Bog

All these years, all these grocery ads and I still have no idea what “picnic bog” is, I just think it sounds really gross.

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Podcast #19 Russia, New Zealand and Easter witches

On today’s podcast about expats in Sweden, we discuss Easter witches, the Påskmust conspiracy and Russian dumplings.
 
Just type in ”Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” wherever you get your podcasts or simply click on one of these links!
 Hit subscribe not to miss an episode! (Normally released on Wednesdays)
 
 
 
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Podcast #17 – Tapas are the Greatest Invention

I ask Rosa, from Spain, to fill me in on how people in southern Europe can eat dinner so late and still get up for work in the morning. We also talk about having to wear uniforms in school and about how tapas are the ultimate way to eat a meal.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/se/podcast/17-tapas-are-the-greatest-invention/id1440431070?i=1000432461934&l=en&mt=2

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6zUBJEMI6MltS0essRyXe4…

Main Site: https://iceandsnow.se/…/17-tapas-are-the-greatest-invention/

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Almost charitable, but not quite

What do you want for your birthday, son?

Instead of a gift for me, I want to give it to someone else.

Wow! That’s very charitable of you! Who would you like to give a gift to?

The cat.

Oh… uh… so what do you want to give the cat?

I would like you to order this hat for the cat to wear all day on my birthday.

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Frightening sick children

My son was sick last week with a bad cough and fever. After giving him some cough medicine and tea, I told him to rest. I then put on some music for him to relax. Unfortunately, the Horrible Histories album was already cued and when I hit the power button, the radio blared, “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!”

I spent the next few minutes assuring my son that he did not have the plague.

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More Twitter recommendations

This week’s Twitter recommendations:

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Springtime – Spain vs. Sweden

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Everything is Picasso!

My husband and I visited the Picasso Museum this weekend in Málaga. There was an option to see the regular collection, or to pay extra to see the “Olga Picasso” collection. When asked which ticket we wanted to purchase, my husband said, “Just Pablo Picasso, please.” The woman at the desk got very offended and said, “Everything is Picasso! The exhibition is Picasso, the paintings he did of Olga, so which do you want? IT’S ALL PICASSO!”

For the record, we kind of assumed Olga Picasso was some younger-generation painter from the family displaying her work. Not everyone knows the subjects of Picasso’s paintings. I have other things to keep up with.

However, we have now spent several days answering every question by yelling, “It’s all Picasso! Everything is Picasso!”

“Where should we eat dinner? PICASSO! It’s all Picasso!”
“What do you want to watch? Picasso! Everything is Picasso!”
“Why did you leave your clothes on the floor? It’s all Picasso!”

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Even Pablo can’t believe how ignorant we are.

#16 – When Stairs Become Slides

On the podcast this week I talk to Ola, from Poland, about dubbing shows in other languages, the difference in Polish names and how to avoid ending up on crutches during the winter. Also, when practicing Swedish, a good tip is to talk to 2 year olds. They don’t judge.

https://iceandsnow.se/podcast/16-when-stairs-become-slides/

Also available on Spotify, iTunes, Podbean, Google podcasts….or anywhere you get your podcasts! Just type in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow”

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NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Some friends and I went to a restaurant here in Stockholm the other night and ordered a margarita. These are the margaritas we received. Fork and eyeglasses for scale.

tiny Swedish margaritas

tiny Swedish margaritas

Let me show you the average margarita in the U.S. Now THIS is how a margarita should be!

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Big ‘ol Texas margarita

And by the way, what’s up with the burnt, blackened limes they put in the Swedish margaritas? This is the second time this has happened at 2 different places. Did they just shrivel up because it’s winter?

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