This came up on my ads today.
1. I don’t want this blanket, but I really want a pizza now.
2. Isn’t it odd that these girls in a white bedroom are just reading a book like normal people under their blanket. I think if someone had a pizza blanket, they’d probably just be rolling around all over the floor laughing hysterically.
Saw this guy in line at the liquor store last weekend. Trying to figure out the story here. Is it:
1. Realized store was closing soon and didn’t want to waste time changing.
2. Thought to himself, “You know what my spa day could use? More champagne!
3. Has decided to live his life in ultimate comfort everywhere he goes.
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!
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:
(Side note: Unfortunately, by the time we got a cat, the company became aware and changed its name.)
Now luckily, I no longer have small children, but I saw this at the grocery store today. Win a free poop pillow from the diaper company.
Does someone actually want this? This isn’t aimed at teenagers or 5 year olds. This is aimed at parents who have to change diapers for small babies every day. WHY?! I think they’ve seen enough of the real stuff, and I’m pretty sure it isn’t smiling.
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:
iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y4oo8zz9
Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/y4kxw4qj
Podtoppen – https://tinyurl.com/y6xntddl
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?
All these years, all these grocery ads and I still have no idea what “picnic bog” is, I just think it sounds really gross.
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?
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.
On the neighborhood forum today:
Shoe Rack. 50 kr or will trade for two packages of oatmeal drinks.
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.
We took a short trip to Tallinn, Estonia this week on what some people call a “Booze cruise.” In Stockholm, there are several short trips you can take by ship to Helsinki, Tallinn and Riga. It’s 2 nights on the ship and one day in the city. The best part is that it’s insanely cheap! How is it so cheap?
They make all their money off the Duty Free shop!
While my family and I take advantage of these great deals to visit another city, there are many people in Sweden who simply go on these cruises to stock up on cheap alcohol.
For those who don’t know, the only place to buy alcohol in Sweden is at the government run Systembolaget stores. I think this is a great system, but that’s for another post. The reason why this is significant for this post is because the prices are a bit expensive. So people go on these cruises and stock up on alcohol once they get far enough out to sea, bringing it back in little trolley carts.
I snapped a few photos when we were disembarking this morning in Stockholm:
Our family, on the other hand, does everything we can to avoid buying anything on the ship. We brought our own food to eat in the cabin both ways, because the other way this ship makes money is from the overpriced restaurants. And when you are a family of 4, that can get very expensive. We were quite happy with our meats and cheeses (with a glass of wine in a plastic bathroom cup for the adults).
It was a successful and cheap vacation. The only things that cost for us were lunch in Tallinn and the furry Russian hat my son wanted to buy. Not bad!
Today is Swedish mother’s day and I got one present from my youngest son a day early when I picked him up yesterday afternoon.
Mamma, I got you a present.
(digs in pocket)
Here! It’s mascara! I found it just sitting on a wall by the street. It’s still got some in it! I thought you could use it to color in your eyebrows! You’d look cool with black eyebrows!
Let me share a few:
- 1906 – The great national temperance beverage.
I don’t know. It doesn’t really flow. Maybe if they sang it?
- 1910 – Whenever you see an Arrow, think of Coca-Cola.
Um… ok… I will
- 1927 – Pure as Sunlight
It’s not though.
My kid does this once a month to his face and all he needs is an old Sharpie marker. I’m not paying for a special “freckle marker.” This is going too far.
For the person who has everything… Well, I bet they don’t have THIS!
I like to wear jewelry, but I also like to be practical. Fortunately, I found the perfect necklace!
It’s the giving season! I’ve picked out this special gift for a number of people on my
enemies Christmas list!
- Bus driver who didn’t stop for my son and I in the rain
- Old lady telling me how to raise my kids after meeting me for 5 seconds
- Every person who takes up several seats at my kids’ school performances with their coats and bags and says, “These seats are saved!”
This is my special Christmas gift to them. Luckily, you can order several packages so there are enough for everyone!
For several years now, here in Sweden, I’ve been seeing stores advertise for “Black Friday.” It’s not the chaos of the U.S., but more regular type sales. As far as I know, nothing opens early.
The reason that I and other Americans find Swedish “Black Friday” sales ridiculous is that there is no point behind them. In the U.S., the entire country has the day off on Thursday, which leads many to also have Friday off as well.
In Sweden, we obviously don’t have Thanksgiving, so this is a normal Monday – Friday work week. They might put up lights in the city this weekend, since it’s so dark, and most things naturally kick off around the first of Advent, which makes sense.
On Thanksgiving Thursday in the U.S., almost every business is closed. There are basically no stores open either, so everyone is crowded in a house with no options but to visit with their family. When Friday comes, people are thrilled to have an excuse to leave the house.
No one here in Sweden has a day off to shop this Friday. Not to mention that Swedish “sales” aren’t all that great. Currently at the grocery store, you can get two bags of shredded cheese for 30 SEK. What’s the price for one bag? 14.50 SEK.
Can we adopt other cultural traditions from the U.S. instead? Barbecues and snow-cone stands maybe? Real nachos with actual melted cheese?
Jacket for sale – $10.
Message from Woman: I’m interested. I’d like to try it on.
Me: Ok, here’s my address. (I write address).
Woman: I’ll get back to you tomorrow.
— next day —
Woman: Is the jacket still there?
Woman: Can we meet at the Central Station?
Me: No. The jacket is at my house. At the address I gave you. I’m not going into town.
Me: If you want to come to my house tomorrow, sure.
— 2 days later —
Woman: Will you be near Central Station during the week? (No mention of not showing up the day before.)
Me: Fine. I can be there today at 1pm.
— 12:30 pm —
Woman: I can’t come today. Someone at my job is sick.
Me: Ok. I have someone else who wants the jacket anyway.
— 1pm —
Woman: Are you here at the Central Station?