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!
Sometimes I think I might have a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder, but then I remind myself that there’s nothing wrong with me except the fact that I keep certain commercials in my head. Let me explain:
There was a commercial running for a while here in Sweden for a coffee company reminding everyone that you should always have coffee on hand because you never know when someone might be dropping by. Example:
So now every time we’re out of hand soap, or there’s some food in the sink, or some crumbs left on the coffee table, all I can think of is, “What if the King stops by to visit?” “What if my favorite band happens to be staying in my apartment building and comes in to use the bathroom?” And then I have to make sure everything is clean. (Having coffee is actually never a problem in any Swedish home. EVERYONE has coffee always. It’s the law.)
So it’s not my fault I’ve become obsessive about cleaning. It’s T.V.
My husband loves the logo of Hausbrandt coffee, an Italian coffee that we can’t get in Sweden. So when I saw that we were staying close to their headquarters, I wrote to ask if we could visit and perhaps purchase some espresso cups with the logo. Apparently, they don’t give tours, but decided to give one to us!
When we got there, we were informed that the owner of Hausbrandt wanted us to join him at his house in the hills and treat us to lunch. This was in addition to gifts of coffee, the cups my husband wanted, beer and many prints of the owner’s artwork. So we unexpectedly found ourselves at a beautiful villa in the hills for the afternoon. We were invited to stay at the owner’s house, but we politely declined. Then he took us to a beautiful restaurant overlooking the hills and treated us to lunch with some other business clients. I think we were in shock the entire day.
And all because I asked if we could get some cups.
A few summers ago as we were relaxing at a Swedish “beach,” a man came around wearing a white backpack with black spots and a hose attached. He was “THE COFFEE COW.” His special backpack was full of coffee and he would fill you up right there on the beach for a low price. My husband thought this was the most genius idea he had ever seen.
However, you have to understand that:
1. Swedes are crazy about coffee.
2. For some reason, coffee at the “beach” just works here.
The reason this is on my mind is because I saw a girl yesterday morning doing the same thing at the subway station. Now THAT’s a genius idea! In my opinion, it fits better than at the beach.
Coffee Cow wouldn’t go over well on Gulf Coast beaches where I come from.
But a Margarita Cow? Now you’re talking.
Starbucks is finally coming to Stockholm. For the past 2 years, (or more?) we in Stockholm have had to book a flight at the airport to get into the only Starbucks in Stockholm, which lies behind the x-ray machines at Arlanda airport.
There have been rumors for years, but it finally looks like it’s going to happen. Many of us are very excited. My husband and I always seek out Starbucks when we are on vacation in another country. It’s one of our traveling treats. However, I bet that once Starbucks is available here, we won’t even bother much with after a couple of months. It was the same when Ben & Jerry’s came. We went crazy with all the flavors the first few months, but now we pick it up just a few times a year.
So now could we please get a Papa John’s, Luby’s and about 10 great Mexican restaurants so I can get tired of those as well?
… Just a short entry for Friday.
I had to put out coffee and sugar at work for for visiting guests today. Never put a sugar bowl in the reach of small children. I caught them three times today licking their fingers and dipping them in the sugar. My apologies to those adults who take sugar in their coffee. Maybe this will encourage everyone to cut sugar from their diets.
I was reading an article in the paper earlier this week about activities on the subway. Five people were polled regarding what they like to do while riding the subway. All five answered “Sleep.”
Is that really what they like to do, or what happens? I started a job last month which is 30 minutes by subway to my house. Not one day has passed that I have made it home awake. I simply can’t do it. I’m fairly sure they are pumping something into the air supply of these trains. Am I the only one blacking out every day? What if it’s a conspiracy and everyone on the train falls asleep at the same time?! What are they doing to us in there?! Someone must find out what is happening!
Or, maybe I should grab a cup of coffee each day before I leave.
Major panic in the office yesterday. The man who orders the coffee went on vacation. NOOOOO!!!! Our department was completely out of coffee.
There was a mild panic and traffic jam of people just staring at the coffee machine. Luckily the resourceful and sneaky American (me) came up with the brilliant idea of just taking the coffee from the department next door.
The day was saved. Flags were flying everywhere. A bald eagle flew in with a tear of joy.
Until next time, good office people! That’s what I came to this country for – to save the day and avert major disasters. You may pay me in chocolate.
I came across a box of Russian tea the other day. I thought, “Hmm…. what makes this tea Russian?” So I looked at the description which said, “tea with citrus flavors.” Well that makes sense, because when I think of citrus fruits, I think Russia.