Tag Archives: Sweden

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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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: 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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This is why we can’t have nice things

So last week I discovered a restaurant that makes fried chicken in Stockholm (a rarity), but 3 small pieces cost 145 SEK ($15).

And this week, I found a place that has an option for fried chicken that is only slightly cheaper, but they serve it with PICKLES.

WHY?!

Normally, I’m a huge pickle fan – but it belongs on burgers – not fried chicken!

Why Sweden? Why?

Take note: Fried chicken may be served with a buttermilk biscuit, fries or mashed potatoes. And for special occasions – waffles. That’s it!

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This is wrong.

Mouse crime is way up!

How have I not heard about this?

Now, I heard about the small mouse restaurant in Malmö a year or more ago and thought that was brilliant. But apprently, the mouse community in Malmö has grown, and of course more mice means more problems…. or hiliarous news stories that are part of a really ingenious scavenger hunt.

Quote from the article, which you can read here

With their new immersive detective mystery Mustisk (Mousterious), the Malmö collective AnonyMouse have taken their mouse-themed street art in an ambitious and gently satirical direction.

If you’re in Malmö, I strongly encourage you to help solve this mystery!

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From Italy to Sweden

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:

Too friendly?

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?

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Podcast #19 Russia, New Zealand and Easter witches

On today’s podcast about expats in Sweden, we discuss Easter witches, the Påskmust conspiracy and Russian dumplings.
 
Just type in ”Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” wherever you get your podcasts or simply click on one of these links!
 Hit subscribe not to miss an episode! (Normally released on Wednesdays)
 
 
 
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Podcast #17 – Tapas are the Greatest Invention

I ask Rosa, from Spain, to fill me in on how people in southern Europe can eat dinner so late and still get up for work in the morning. We also talk about having to wear uniforms in school and about how tapas are the ultimate way to eat a meal.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/se/podcast/17-tapas-are-the-greatest-invention/id1440431070?i=1000432461934&l=en&mt=2

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6zUBJEMI6MltS0essRyXe4…

Main Site: https://iceandsnow.se/…/17-tapas-are-the-greatest-invention/

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Springtime – Spain vs. Sweden

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#16 – When Stairs Become Slides

On the podcast this week I talk to Ola, from Poland, about dubbing shows in other languages, the difference in Polish names and how to avoid ending up on crutches during the winter. Also, when practicing Swedish, a good tip is to talk to 2 year olds. They don’t judge.

https://iceandsnow.se/podcast/16-when-stairs-become-slides/

Also available on Spotify, iTunes, Podbean, Google podcasts….or anywhere you get your podcasts! Just type in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow”

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#11 Why not spend the winter building synthesizers?

On this week’s podcast…

Leo, from Los Angeles, makes his own synthesizers and shares his knowledge on his YouTube station LeoMakes. He also thinks Swedish coffee is the best and is full of tips on how to keep yourself busy during the winter with cafes, walks, rock climbing and maybe even building your own synthesizer! Why not? It beats falling twice a day on the ice.

iTunes

Spotify

iceandsnow.se

or anywhere else you get your podcasts. Just enter “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow.”

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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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I need some air, take out an organ

Always take a shower in the morning! You never know what the day will bring.

Example, a lazy day last week turned into an overnight stay at the hospital and one son without an appendix!

I have to say that everything went smoothly and everyone was very nice. My only complaint was that there was hardly any air-conditioning! I think they possibly have a very weak system running, but it’s awful. They put a small desk fan in my son’s room, which helped a lot.

The only cold room I experienced was the operating room. I was allowed to go in until they put my son under. I almost wanted to grab a scalpel, cut myself and yell, “I have to stay here!” just to get some air conditioning.

At the same time, my son had a friend traveling in the U.S. with major appendix problems who ended up in an American hospital. I was impressed that my son’s room actually had a t.v. (I’ve never had that experience yet in a Swedish hospital room) and that we had 6, yes 6 channels! His friend in America not only had a t.v. (and air conditioning, I assume), but also a Nintendo Wii, a therapy dog and a visit from the Boston Red Sox.

But when you consider how much that American hospital stay is going to cost compared to the Swedish hospital stay, I’d still rather be here. Guess what our total bill was?

0

There’s never any cost at all for anyone under 18 in Sweden. Not having to worry about getting sick or being able to afford long hospital stays is totally worth not having a Nintendo Wii in your room. My son may not agree, but when he complains, I just shove some ice cream in his mouth.

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It’s like riding a bicycle

I was talking to another parent in my son’s class about the weather being so snowy and icy outside that it was hard to walk anywhere without falling. The other parent told me that she has been riding her bike in the ice and snow lately, but is a little nervous about crashing.

I said, “I can’t even ride my bike in the summer without crashing. That’s how I got this scar on my chin.”

She laughed and said, “I remember that happened to me too! I have a scar on my chin from falling off my bike when I was five years old!”

I said, “This happened in September. This year.”

She smiled and moved on to talk to someone more coordinated.

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Bless this blow torch

My husband was singing in a beautiful Advent concert that I attended this past weekend.  Everything was very tasteful, old-fashioned, Christmassy, etc., until the beautiful chandeliers were lowered and the altar boys lit the candles with….. a blow torch attached to a stick.

Hey, this may be a reverent celebration, but this concert is only an hour long and we’ve got to get these candles lit quick! Get the blow torch!

Side note: This church was originally built in the 1600s but has burned down twice. Um… maybe less blow torches duct-taped to sticks in the main chapel? Just an idea.

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Svart fredag?

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?

 

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Just because I SOUND like a caveman…

This past weekend, I took a shortcut past a brand new tram stop that had not yet opened. A very confused looking woman asked me in Swedish when the next tram was coming. I explained to her, also in Swedish, that the stop would not open until the next day, as it was a new stop for the new line. 

From her confused look, I deduced that I had once again messed up my Swedish grammar in some way. However, I’m fairly certain I got all the key words correct. “New station” “Opens tomorrow” I’m not THAT terrible at Swedish. 

It seems the problem may have been that this woman was not familiar with Stockholm and it’s transportation system. She kept insisting that she arrived at this stop a few hours ago and was trying to go back. Figuring she most likely was not a time traveler from the future, I tried to tell her that there was a different train (not tram) stop about 400 meters up the road just behind a large building. Perhaps that was where she arrived?

But because of what I can only assume must have been bad grammar ( “Different train, you go other side of building, different station.”), she did not trust my local knowledge. In a move I’ve experienced a few times before, she stared at me for a beat, then proceeded to approach another person to ask the exact same question. 

It’s so frustrating to take time to help people when they totally ignore everything you say, even if it is in a caveman-like accent. Just because I’m missing a few adjectives doesn’t mean I can’t answer your question! 

I need to find out the Swedish equivalent of “But that’s what I said!” and “I told you so!”  Otherwise, I might just practice a standard phrase in perfect Swedish and use that for any question from now on. Example: “You only need to wait here 5 minutes. Have a lovely day.”

This will be my response for all future questions, whether they are “How long until the next train?” or “Where can I find something to eat?”. People will trust my confident, perfectly-spoken answer and wait for something that will never come unless they dare to trust information from someone with an accent. 

Cavemen have feelings too!

Swedish ant bed

I know they say everything is bigger in Texas, but when it comes to ant beds, I think Sweden is in the lead.

These are what ant beds look like in Sweden. They are all over the forest. Mainly made with pine needles. If you go up close, you can hear all the ants moving around (as well as adjusting your eyes to realize that the entire pile is covered and moving with ants). It’s fascinating and replusive at the same time.

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