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
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
On this week’s episode of the Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow podcast, Steve, from England, and host of the podcast “The Experience Designers”, tells us how it is to pick up and move a family with older children to a different country, how he embraces the idea of “lagom” and how it ties into the Swedish drinking culture… maybe.
You can listen on iTunes, Spotify, poddtoppen, or anywhere you get your podcast. Just type “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow”
Ice and Snow website –
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.”
Much like my books, it’s about the funny things that happen as an expat living in Sweden. I interview a different fellow expat friend each week and we talk about the mysterious ways of the Swedes and all the various ways we’ve made embarassing mistakes here. Our humiliation is your entertainment!
Each episode is between 20-30 minutes. I hope you will check it out and enjoy it! It’s currently available on Spotify and on iTunes.
The direct link to the podcast page is: https://iceandsnow.se/
There will be a new episode every 2 weeks because…. wow, editing takes a lot of time!
The first episode is called, “What’s Scarier, Halloween or Surströmming?”
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!
This past weekend, we celebrated Midsommar here in Sweden. It’s a celebration of the longest day (though that’s actually yesterday, I believe), where Swedes dance around a Maypole like frogs…. this after eating pickled herring and drinking lots of schnapps.
So I filmed a little one-minute video of our Midsommar celebration last Friday, Swedes hopping around like frogs, etc.
But while I was filming it, I started to wonder what it would be like with different filters and sound effects. I think you’ll like the result:
I’m currently sitting at work in my winter coat. Normally I sit in the next room with a portable heater all alone. The other people who work here don’t want to sit there with me and call it the “sauna room” because of the heater.
I know many Swedes are descended from Vikings, but even Vikings wore fur and proper winter gear, plus appreciated a warm fire. Why am I the only one freezing all the time? It must be some sort of Swedish pride thing that they can’t admit they’re cold. Or is there still something I haven’t figured out after 14 years of living here. I’ve learned to by down-feather coats, have a hat that goes over my ears, wear wool socks…. things I never knew about in Texas.
But I still think they’re hiding things from me about how to stay warm. Maybe I earn a new badge when I’ve made 15 years here. Then I get a new secret, “we all coat ourselves in butter under our clothes” or something like that.
I just realized that this past weekend, my kids ate meatballs for lunch, danced to Abba and watched the Swedish chef on YouTube. I never noticed just how Swedish they are. Next weekend we will have to eat apple pie, dance to Bruce Springsteen and watch Dallas to even this out.
On a side note, my kids call the Swedish chef – “the chef.”
One of the best things about Sweden is all the pastry-themed holidays. Today is Cinnamon bun day! When I asked why we have a cinnamon bun day, I was told – so they can sell more cinnamon buns. Brilliant! That’s all the reason I need.
We also have Luciadagen, with saffron buns (this lasts through Christmas).
Semlor… ahhhhh….. the Mardi Gras pastry. It’s meant to be eaten at Mardi Gras, but has now been pushed up to every Tuesday starting in January through Mardi Gras. Works for me. I don’t know what’s in it, except that it’s goodness and a king died by eating 16 of them. What a great death!
Waffle day is March 25. I am told this is a mis-translation of Var fru dagen (Our lady’s day) and that over the years it turned into the similar sounded Vafflordagen (waffle day). Whether this story is true or not, it’s a good excuse to eat waffles.
So don’t forget your cinnamon bun today! Remember, if it’s a holiday, it’s good for you!
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.