Monthly archives: October 2011

How to Survive a Swedish Winter When Escape is Not an Option

I’ll be honest. Last winter—my first winter in Sweden—was rough. Everyone warned me that it would be hard, but I wasn’t too worried. All the way up through December 20th or so, I was fine, and then I went home to the United States for a six week vacation with my family.

Then I came back, and it all went to hell in a handbasket. I don’t know if it was the sudden shift in climate and daylight hours that was to blame or if it was other factors: the chronic underemployment, missing my family, feeling out of step in Sweden all over again…

In any case, a year later and I’m determined to make it to March without any weather-related nervous breakdowns.

In preparation for the onset of winter, I’m using my super sleuthing skills to pick up tips from the Swedes around me. At the very least, these are the strategies I’ll be putting into action… I’ll report back on their effectiveness in the spring. Read more » >>

An American Bachelorette in Sweden

I’m not one to talk about my life as though it’s the most exciting thing around but I’M GETTING MARRIED IN TWO WEEKS so, you know, it is. At least for the moment. (At least for me.)

From what I’ve seen so far, one of the biggest differences between a Swedish wedding and an American wedding has nothing to do with the wedding itself—it’s the way Swedes take on the all-important bachelor and bachelorette party. Read more » >>

25 More Swedish Words (and Phrases) That Make Me Giggle

My last post on Swedish words that make me giggle was such a hit that I thought I’d share some more. Thanks already to all the readers who shared some of their favorite Swedish words as well as to those who offered feedback and criticism of my interpretations. If you haven’t read my last post, check it out here, and make sure to read the comments as well! Lots of people chimed in with further suggestions.

My Swedish… *sigh*. It’s a work in progress.

Without further ado, 25 more Swedish words and phrases that give me the LOLZ. Read more » >>

The Expat Blog’s Swedish Citizenship Test

Between deciding to tie the knot with my Swedish gentleman friend and uproar over Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu’s suggestion that immigrants get a two-year “probationary” citizenship before they are given protection against deportation, the question of Swedish citizenship has been on my mind lately. Read more » >>

When spontaneity culture meets scheduling culture

The part of Swedish culture that I had the hardest time getting used to was definitely the Swedish love for planning ahead, especially when it comes to social events.

Among my friends in the United States, if you want to make plans for the weekend, you can start discussing it on Wednesday. Any earlier than that and you’re kind of pushing it. It’s definitely not a problem to call around on Saturday morning to see what people feel like doing later that evening.

Not so much in Sweden.

Plans for the weekend (at least among my friends) are almost always made in advance, and if you want to throw a party, you need to give all your friends at least two weeks’ notice. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this, but they are far outnumbered by the people with their day calendars and a pencil within reach and ready for action.

Don’t believe me? Check out our condominium association’s laundry schedule. Read more » >>