“4 Legs Good, 2 Legs Better”

CNN had this “fun feature” story on its webpage this week:

Well, I think we all know how this story goes:



Lazy burritos for Cinco de Mayo

This has to be one of the most lazy and useless ideas ever. People can’t be bothered to fold their own soft taco?

We gotta get out of this place!

Sweden is reminding it’s residents to make sure their passports are up-to-date. As we FINALLY start to get vaccinated around here, people are ready to go on vacation! Apparently, many people didn’t bother to check or renew their passports last year with the travel restrictions, so now there’s a bit of a build-up in appointments for renewal.

A couple of years ago, I had a Canadian friend who realised a week before her trip back home that her daughter’s passport wasn’t up to date and she told me about the hassle she had to go through to get a passport quickly. I laughed and said, “Oh, I always keep an eye on our passport expirations.”

But this was not true.

ONE DAY before we were heading to the U.S., I took out our passports to discover that MINE had expired 3 months before. And it was a weekend, so the embassy was closed.

It all worked out in the end, but it was quite a nerve-wracking experience.

So don’t be an idiot like me. Wherever you live, make sure your passport is updated!

Burn the winter away!

Today is Valborg in Sweden. (It’s also the King’s birthday, which is why if you live here, you may see flags flying from the buses around your city.)

Valborg is when we burn away all the dead branches and attempt to forget the past 6 months of cold and darkness. Or that’s maybe just how I see it.

Back in the old days, it used to be to scare off witches and evil spirits. I’m starting to notice that a lot of these Swedish holidays revolve around witches. Must check into that more.

We can’t have the big celebrations this year because of “the virus”, but I’m hoping that’s included in those “evil spirits” that will be scared away as we all do smaller fire celebrations.

Glad Valborg!

Typical traffic problems

Got an email from my mom in Texas today. She said there wasn’t much happening…. oh except an alligator on the highway bridge (and a loose cow on the highway on the other side of town). So I went to check the Houston news and luckily they had this useful video about what to do if YOU spot an alligtor on the freeway.

Latest episodes

I sometimes forget to post about my podcast here as I post about it in other places, so a little spring promotion:

So far in 2021, we’ve had guests from Taiwan, Dubai, Canada, England and more. Every one of them has moved to Sweden sometime in the past 5 years (if I remember correctly…. but listen to the episodes and correct me if I’m wrong. 😉 ).

We’ve discussed everything from Reindeer to Costco rumours. And plenty of tips for things to do and great places to eat in Sweden along the way!

You can listen anywhere you get your podcasts by entering “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow”. Or if you’d like a click link, it’s available on Spotify and iTunes:

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/y6phnugg
iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7

Give it a listen! And subscribe if you enjoy!



Close enough, Starbucks.

Heder

The new subway cars are here! The new subway cars are here!

I may be a little late to this news, because as I mentioned a couple of posts back, there’s been NOWHERE to go and NOTHING to do, so I haven’t been on public transportation as much as usual.

But the big excitement this week is that I got to ride on one of the new subway cars! It’s a mix of side seats and normal quad seats. All in all, I don’t see that it’s really giving that much more room. I just hope they have air conditioning for the summer.

Also, I realise how pathetic it is that this is the big excitement in my life right now.

Hello. My name is Hedvig. You typed my name wrong. Prepare to bowl.

This is what happens when the Swedish bowling alley attendant insists on typing in the players names themselves before you get your lane.

For those who don’t know, my name is Heather.

Waking up from hibernation

Took a bit of a break from the blog because in these times…. THERE’S NOTHING HAPPENING!

By the way, I am so sick of the phrase “in these times.” It’s on every business door and webpage. Look, we KNOW why you’re only letting 9 people in at a time, you don’t have to keep throwing it in our faces. It’s not like we forgot why everything sucks. The sign can just say “9 people maximum.”

That being said, some of the new signs this week (Easter break) in Stockholm finally have some new words on them – We’re Open!

I’m mainly referring to museums, which have mostly been closed for the past 6 months. Now there’s something to do when the weather is awful outside.

This week we went to the Nordic museum’s exhibit, “The Arctic – While the Ice is Melting,” which should probably have been called, “The Arctic is Melting and it’s all YOUR FAULT!” A lot of guilt-tripping, but also some cool light installations and tools and outfits of people who live up north. Polar bear pants that make you look like Pan were my favourite.

While there, I also confirmed my theory on why people buy sticks with feathers for Easter. To beat people with!

Surprise sleeping friends
with a twig-whipping
on their bare skin!
This was to be done on Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras.
The inherent power of the bunch of twigs was thought to be beneficial.

The laziest family

My son has a friend over. The cat’s robot feeder activates and my son explains that the robot feeds the cat so we don’t have to. Immediately after this, the roomba vacuum starts up for its daily cleaning of the house.

This kid must think we are the laziest family ever. Wait until I yell at Alexa to turn on the lights later.

Ingen reklam, tack

Today on our podcast on Sweden, we talk about postal delays, movie theaters re-opening and aqueducts. We also shine a spotlight on Håverud and learn that the Norwegians have been walking among us! Available wherever you get your podcasts, or at:

Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/yytplhnk

iTunes: https://tinyurl.com/y4lap5mh

Main site: https://iceandsnow.se/podcast/68-ingen-reklam-tack/

A common problem

I don’t even remember what I was originally looking up anymore. Apparently, other Google searches were way more popular.

Coat Strategy

This week on the podcast, Mark, from Minneapolis, puts a spotlight on Vreta kloster, denying his involvement with thousand year old skeletons found there. We also ask, “Really, what’s up with Swedish pizza?”Available wherever you get your podcasts, or at:

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/y4bnv8rw

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2jlu5ha

Main site – https://iceandsnow.se/podcast/67-coat-strategy/

FM Player – https://player.fm/series/life-in-the-land-of-the-ice-and-snow/ep-67-coat-strategy

Podbean – https://www.podbean.com/ew/dir-q9hhh-ab6a850

Being short in Sweden

This is me trying to use the peephole on the door in my Swedish hotel room.

At least they wore a “mask”!

“Transportation officials in the UK have warned commuters not to use live snakes as face coverings, after a bus passenger was spotted with a large reptile wrapped around his head.

“While there is a small degree of interpretation that can be applied to this, we do not believe it extends to the use of snakeskin — especially when still attached to the snake.”


I’m just surprised this wasn’t Texas.

Let’s go to the movies!

Apparently, some theaters are open again in Stockholm! Not very many, but a few. There are maybe about 10 movies playing in the whole city, but one of them is “Tenet”, so we had to check it out.

In Sweden, you make reservations online and choose your seat before you go the movies. At this theater, you could only choose every other row. The ones in-between were blocked off. Once you made your reservation, the seats beside you were blocked – 2 to the left and 2 to the right (you can sit together on the same reservation, it just blocks STRANGERS!).

I thought this was a good solution, not to mention I didn’t have to deal with annoying people whispering, eating and checking their phones since they were all pretty far away from me.

As for “Tenet”…. I’ll have to see it at least 2 more times before I get the whole thing, much like every Christopher Nolan movie. 🙂

Season 3 of the podcast

We are back! We catch up on our summer experiences, like broken toilets, meze for Midsommar and traveling in the outside world! Also, a spotlight on Fårö.

Available wherever you get your podcasts, or at:

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/y6phnugg

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7

Main site – https://iceandsnow.se/

FM Player – https://tinyurl.com/yy84yqcl

More news from the future

This headline was on CNN today. Now THIS is the type of news I expect to see in the 21st century!

#21stCenturyProblems

Trials of being a parent

As I’ve said before, being a parent is often like fighting for a seat on a RyanAir flight. Sometimes it’s a school concert and parents arrive an hour early to dump their coats over an entire row to claim their seats. Sometimes parents are baking brownies and delivering them to the people in charge of the acceptance queue for the best school in town.

I am currently waiting in a line to sign my kid up for piano. For one day in August, at 8am, the Stockholm Culture Schools open their internet line to sign up for a spot in one of their classes. These are after-school activities like sports, drama, arts and music. Sure, there are other places you can find these after-school activities, but only the Culture School offers them for just $30 for the entire semester.

For parents, this is like trying to buy concert tickets to the most popular band in town for the same amount of money.

So many parents are waiting to sign up that there is a countdown on the website until 8am. Once 8am arrives, you receive a random place in line and wait. My place in line after it being open for 31 seconds?  Number 1449.

Looks like my kid is going to spend his year playing the kazoo.

Screenshot 2020-08-27 at 08.00.52.png

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