Category Archives: Holidays

Cafe Culture and Neighbors

On this week’s episode of the podcast, Olga, from Ukraine, talks about Ukrainian vs. Swedish cafe culture, getting to know your neighbors through fake traditions, and the beauty of rules, among other things.

Just type in ”Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” anywhere you get your podcasts, or choose one of the links below. Don’t forget to subscribe to get new episodes each week!

Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/y24ufzn9

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Season 2 of the podcast!

We are back with season 2 of the “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” podcast!

We’re back for Season 2 with a recap of our Swedish and not-so Swedish summers! We discuss scuba diving with the metric system, the advantages of bathing caps and co-ed summer camps.

Join us anywhere you get your podcasts or just click a link below!

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/yybg228t

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2tpd3xt

Main site – https://iceandsnow.se/

Player FM – https://player.fm/series/2484919/240787105

 

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Italian cat food

It’s always fun to go to the local grocery stores when you’re on vacation in another country. I make sure to bring my camera each time. On the most recent Italian trip, I noticed the names of food in the pet aisle. It’s always interesting to see what other countries use as names for cat food. Here were 2 of my favorites:

 

Of course, I have yet to find a country to beat the greatest Swedish cat food name of all:

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(Side note: Unfortunately, by the time we got a cat, the company became aware and changed its name.)

Gotland – a different kind of island

On this “Summer Edition – Swedes Explain” episode of the podcast, the Swede of the week, Jorun, tells us about the popular tourist destination of Gotland, an island in the Baltic Sea.

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/yyxc4lzp

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7

Main site – https://iceandsnow.se/

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

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West Coast!

Looking for the right place in Sweden to relax on your summer vacation? Why not try the west coast? On this week’s summer edition of the podcast – “Swedes Explain,” Isadora describes the idyllic scenery of spending a summer in this part of the country.

Available anywhere you get your podcasts by typing “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” or at any of these links:

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/yyxc4lzp

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7

Main site – https://iceandsnow.se/

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

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Is not opinion. Is fact.

Just back from a 3-week long trip to Italy. Wonderful time, beautiful scenery and excellent food! Why do we keep going to Italy? Well, as you see from this sign:

Italy is the most beautiful country in the world.
This is not an opinion, there are incontrovertible numbers that prove it.

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Charter trips – Ja eller nej?

This week on our summer podcast edition “Swedes Explain,” former guest, half Swede/half Brit Sandy, explains why Swedes love to go on charter trips, as well as her experience working for one and the odd things that Swedes request.

You can find the podcast by typing in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” anywhere you get your podcast or at any of these links:

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/yyxc4lzp

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7

Main site – https://iceandsnow.se/

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

 

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Swedes Explain: Midsommar

Today on the podcast, we ask Erik to discuss the flavors of Midsommar – new potatoes, strawberries and pickled herring. And then we discuss how to get rid of those flavors with a bit of schnapps!

Available anywhere you get your podcasts by typing in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” as well as these links:

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/yyxc4lzp

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7

 

Midsommar

Swedes Explain: The National Day

For the summer, we will be interviewing Swedes on the podcast to have them explain summer traditions. We start with Måns and how to celebrate, or completely ignore, Sweden’s National Day!

Available anywhere you get your podcasts by typing “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” or at any of these links:

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/yyxc4lzp

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7

 

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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

Card packs

I had to explain to my Swedish family this morning how when I was in elementary school, we decorated boxes and everyone in class had to give everyone else a Valentine’s card. We would either make the cards or buy them in packs of 30 at the store. I explained that these cards often had popular characters that kids liked.

They had never heard of this.

So, for everyone who never heard of this or just for some nostalgia, here’s some examples of the packs sold in the 1980s when I was in elementary school, along with my comments:

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My husband didn’t believe there were actually Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cards

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Hamburgers equal love. Very American.

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“Hulkamania’s runnin’ wild on Valentine’s Day”? What does that even mean?

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Now who wouldn’t feel special to get a card from a raisin?

 

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My personal favorite

A week in Athens, Greece

My family and I spent the first week of the new year in Athens. Being around ruins that still exist after thousands and thousands of years makes one feel not so old.

A few interesting things to know if you are planning on visiting Athens for the first time:

  1. In most places, you cannot flush your toilet paper. It must go in the trash can. (Tip, stay in a modern-ish hotel or wait to go to the bathroom at a huge, modern museum – like we did!)
  2. Almost every street is lined with orange trees! They are full of seeds, but you can still eat them. Free breakfast or juice!
  3. These people really like sesame seeds.
  4. Don’t bother rushing for your camera to get a photo of the small 11th century Byzantine church. There will be another one in two blocks…. and then another one after two more blocks… and so on.
  5. You can get a special Greek wine made from pine resin called Retsina. It’s allright.
  6. Stray cats EVERYWHERE! On the flip side… no rats!

Athens was a really nice city, super friendly people, good food and lots to see. I’d definitely recommend it as a fun city trip. Maybe not in the summer when it’s overcrowded, but the winter was perfect (though we happened to arrive on the one week of the year it was actually cold).

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Gingerbread contest

Every year at the Architecture Museum in Stockhom, they hold a gingerbread house making contest during the month of December. There are different categories for professionals, teams, and amateurs. Each year has a theme (this year’s was “luxury”), and everyone votes on the best in each category.

I took the kids to see the entries. Here are a few:

This inspired us to go home and make our own “luxury” gingerbread house. Here is the result of our efforts:

Gingerbread house and hot tub

Bob comes home from his job at the bank to find his wife Barbara in the hot tub. Notice that the hot tub is almost the same size as the house. Also, their house is made of gingerbread. Luxury!

 

 

We may have a Christmas goat, but Austria has Krampus

On this very special Christmas podcast episode, Clara from Austria compares some Swedish and Austrian Christmas traditions, we talk about the strange quirk Swedes have about not taking the last of anything, and we learn a bit more about growing up Austrian under the shadow of Krampus.

https://iceandsnow.se/podcast/7-we-may-have-a-christmas-goat-but-austria-has-krampus/

or anywhere you get your podcast- Just type in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow.”

Weihnachtsbaum mit roten Kerzen

Wax on, wax off

Yesterday was Lucia day here in Sweden, the holiday where we celebrate St. Lucia and the light in the darkness this time of year.

Two things fascinate me about this holiday:

1. The major fire hazard

2. How does the Lucia get all that wax out of her hair?

Well, the answer to number one is that there is always somebody nearby with a bucket of water (this was my job last year). And yesterday, I found out the answer to number two when I talked to the girl who was Lucia at a concert I went to. She kindly allowed me to take a picture of the wax in her hair (most of which had already fallen out), and I was able to touch some and found that in fact, it did crumble and come out right away. I always figured the Lucia went to the hairdresser to cut everything off on December 14, but I am glad to know now that the wax does come out.

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#6 Lucia Day has Major Health and Safety Issues

Rachel, from the UK, discusses her hatred of saffron buns and Lucia, why you can’t name your kid Ikea here, and lots of talk about stabbing!

All on this week’s podcast episode of “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow.” Hope you enjoy it!

https://iceandsnow.se/podcast/6-lucia-day-has-major-health-and-safety-issues/

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#5 Julbord and Dog Sledding

The latest episode of the podcast is up! I talk to Melanie from Michigan who is competing to enter a dog sledding race! We also discuss Christmas markets and Swedish julbord (the big Swedish Christmas dinner). Take a listen. Hope you enjoy!

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/se/podcast/5-julbord-and-dog-sledding/id1440431070?i=1000425085098&l=en&mt=2

Main page – https://iceandsnow.se/podcast/5-julbord-and-dog-sledding/

Spotify –

https://open.spotify.com/episode/1DagYlCQRSqcyycK6eXir9?si=5d2ppUNvSUuejQC9CoYKaA

or

just look up “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” wherever you get your podcast!

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What to do when the Queue Machine is Broken

New episode of the podcast is up! As you can see from the title, we tackle a question that many Swedes struggle with – what to do when the queue machine is broken.

This week’s guest is Sharmala from Malaysia, so we get to see moving to Sweden from a different point of view. We also learn a bit about Malaysia in the process (did you know they elect a king every 5 years?)

Take a listen as we discuss why Sweden should not have Black Friday and why Malaysia is “truly Asia.”

Then it’s on iTunes, Spotify, etc. as usual.
 
Nummerlapp

Goat on Fire and weird pizza toppings

My latest podcast episode about living in Sweden is up – A discussion of weddings in Sweden, strange toppings on Swedish pizza and why setting a 43-foot tall straw goat on fire has become a yearly tradition.
Hope you enjoy it! http://iceandsnow.se
or Spotify- https://tinyurl.com/yc87ncn6
or iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y6tvl63r

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Climbing Clown

On our recent trip to Estonia, I left my family in a small shop filled mostly with Russian souvenirs and trinkets, which went along well with the very Russian man running the shop.

While I was off trying to find cash so my son could buy a Russian hat, the proprietor started trying to sell things to my husband. Though there were no Christmas decorations anywhere in the store, there was a small mechanical Santa Claus that would climb up and down a chain near the cash register.

The man asked in a thick Russian accent, “You want buy Climbing Clown?” referring to the climbing Santa Claus.  “This Climbing Clown. You like? You buy!”

I guess he calls it Climbing Clown until December, because it just wouldn’t make sense to sell a Christmas item in November. Pretty clever guy. Luckily, I showed up just in time to substitute the hat for the “Climbing Clown” purchase.

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