Tag Archives: free


We seem to be having an early season for apples and other fruits here in the Stockholm area, and I’m lucky enough to live in a place that used to be a fruit orchard at some far point back in time. Or maybe it was a dump where lazy people threw out rotten apple cores and plum seeds. Whichever it is, it’s paying off now! Earlier this season the cherry trees were full of fruit, and now we’ve moved on to apples and plums. I’m also lucky to have young, eager climbers to get up and reach the good apples. The freezer is full of pies, breads and muffins.

And if I’m not in the mood to search around, people in my neighborhood who have an abundance of apples and plums from their trees often put out baskets for anyone to take extra. Just walking for ten minutes, I passed seven baskets of fruit (and came home with two bags full, while still leaving plenty for other people).

I was thinking how this wouldn’t work in the area of Texas where I grew up. People would probably just steal the basket.

However, people do have the neighborly, sharing spirit there, just in other ways. Instead of fruit, people put their old couches and televisions out on the curb. It’s understood that anything on the curb is free to take. Once or twice when one of my parents would put something like that out on our curb, I would hide near the window to see how long it would take until someone took it. I never had to wait more than five minutes.

Meanwhile in Sweden, I have this bike I bought for about five dollars that I hate and I can’t get anyone to steal it! There’s no lock on it and it’s out in front of the building. I know I need to take it to the dump, but that requires loading it into the car, which requires muscles and time. I have a limited amount of both.

Maybe if I put the bike in a giant basket and hang some apples from it, someone will get the idea. It’s worth a try.



More free soup!

Lately, I’ve been working a job where I don’t start until around 10am.  While this always gives me a seat on the subway, I realize I’ve been missing out on all the free stuff you get in Stockholm in the early morning rush.  I think I’ve talked about this before.  They often hand out free items with the paper as you enter the subway in the morning – travel toothpaste, candy bar, whatever company is having a promotion.

Well today and tomorrow my husband needs me to drop off my son as he is at a work event so I get to experience the morning freebies!  Today I got tomato soup!  (Not in my hand, but in a nice, sealed container.) I have an awful cold so this is actually perfect.

I am also dropping my son off tomorrow.  If I could get one of those travel packs of tissues, that would be great too (just in case anyone at the transportation department is reading).

Free Button - red



In Stockholm, there are always people in the morning handing out the Metro, which is a free newspaper.  It’s nice to have it handed to you, as everyone is usually running to a train.

But now I have become spoiled.

Lately, about once a week, these same people also hand out a free product from a company.  I assume the company has made some deal with advertising in Metro.  Sometimes it’s a breakfast cereal, sometimes a snack bar.  The other day it was travel toothpaste.  Excellent!  I needed more of that.

Some days it gets strange.  In the spring I was handed an ice cream bar – at 6:30 in the morning.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m always up for a free ice cream, but this was really the wrong time.

Because I get so many free things, I have started to get angry when there are no handouts.  I know this is not right, but they have spoiled me too much.  I also get angry if the handout is something I cannot use.  So Metro advertisers, here is  a list of acceptable handouts:

1. chocolate
2. pastry treats
3. more chocolate

As you see, there is a theme to the free items that I want.  Get with the program, Metro.  Happy readers have happy stomachs filled with chocolate.  But please not in ice cream form before 10am.


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