What I learned in Sweden

I started writing this list a long time ago, probably about 4 months ago… and although it is in no way entirely comprehensive and is actually largely sarcastic, I give you: What I learned in Sweden.

In Sweden I learned

1. Svenska = Swedish

2. What it feels like to get your ass handed to you by 20 old Swedish dudes and a German kid on a mountain bike. It hurts.

3. Pickled Herring is even better at 3 AM!

4. There’s nothing weird about wearing rainboots if it’s not raining.

5. CANDY IS GOOD even if it is salty candy

6. About 80% of Swedish university students know more about American pop culture than I do.

7. It is absolutely not OK to be loud in public places during the daytime hours.

8. Night is a different story.

9. Having a government-controlled alcohol dispensary appears to do little to prevent drinking.

10. Why have a high school prom when you can have several, less awkward, more fun dress-up parties every year for the rest of your college education? Yeah sittningar!

11. Why rush through college when college is free?

12. Ice skating outside is fun.

13. Snow is colder than it looks.

14. Skåne is not entirely flat, OK!

15. 1 degree is not too cold to go running outside.

16. Riding your bike with golf clubs is physically possible.

17. Hugging is not awkward! At last!

18. But everything else is awkward!

18. Cinnamon is good.

19. Ketchup may very well be a perfectly acceptable substitute for spaghetti sauce.

20. I now know the life cycles of cod and eel. These are very important, you see. You have to know when’s the best time to eat them.

21. Everything is cheaper in the USA

22. Music is joyful and should be experienced by all who want to experience it.

23. The second law of thermodynamics.

24. Language-any language- is freaking hilarious.

25. Darkness

26. Lightness

27. It is socially acceptable to play “Don’t stop believing” more than once within the same half hour.

28. Kulleberg is not like the Mediterranean sea.

29. I am the only one around here who says ‘dude’, and I mostly say it to myself.

30. You can only eat so many pepparkakor.

31. Sigh.

32. I hate the Forex bank people who speak Swedish with me until they see my American passport.

33. : )  = D  and : (  and the likes are all acceptable forms of communication.

34. Most Italian people have never roasted marshmellows! OMG!

35. The world can be GREEN!

36. How to program the Ising Model.

37. Micheal Jackson is not actually dead.

38. There’s something up with Germans and loving Vancouver, Canada. I don’t get it.

39. Swedish girls are very fashionable, but sometimes they dress like hookers.

40. Swedish guys are very fashionable, but sometimes they dress like idiots.

41. There is such thing as a ‘government company’ (statlig bolag). Hmmm.

42. I learned a lot about Iran.

43. Reindeer meet smells like roasted cat. not that I know what roasted cat smells like.

44. If you want to swim, you have to man up. The water’s freaking cold.

45. I learned how to dance the Polska

46. Don’t leave your nice bike outside, even if it is locked.

46. Farm work is not easy.

47. The cucumber is a fickle plant.

48. Stinging nettles can be extremely painful.

49. Mosquito bites on your eye suck.

50. Pankakstårta!

51. A garden is not a bad place to sleep.

52. “Sustainable Development” is really, really hard to define.

53. You have to know the temperature of the water (like with a thermometer) before you can just jump in (but you’d do it anyway, despite the temperature)

54. 1/2 a liter of milk per person per day is not that much, really.

55. It doesn’t matter what you do in your life, as long as it is good for you, the world, and it makes you happy.


6 Responses to “What I learned in Sweden”

  1. Linnea Says:

    Great list, Arielle!

    I have been totally remiss in my “Sweden is awesome!” conversational email duties, but I am so pleased that you had a great experience.

    We’ll need to find a time (when I’m visiting California in either Sept., Nov, or Dec.) to fika and catch up in person.

    Vi ses snart, kanske?

    • Arielle Says:

      Thanks, Linnea!

      Haha, that’s ok about the “sweden is awesome emails” ! It was just great to have someone to write to, if only a couple times, in the beginning. Thanks for that!

      Oj, vad roligt det hade varit att träffa nån gång! Jag är kvar i Berkeley hela termin, så det går nog bra att träffa precis när som helst! Let me know when you’re around : ) Jag har lite pärlsocker som jag har smugglat in från sverige. och så kan jag baka riktiga kanelbullar åt en jättegott fika!

  2. Anika Says:

    (29. we can change that)
    4. yeah!
    17. yeah, dude. we’ll make you that touchy-feely girl one day 😉
    21. and it’s sooo much cheaper in berlin! (come to berlin!!)
    26. not much there in swedish winter. that’s what i learned 😉
    34. luckily you can’t say that about a certain german girl
    37. yeeehaaa! (sigh)
    38. 11 beaches and 150 parks dude! (and whole foods and the best sushi restaurants and rainforest-air and and and…)

    • tornspira Says:

      34. Good thing! I never would’ve eaten so many marshmellows without you reminding me how good they are 😉
      38. Yeah, Vancouver sounds pretty cool, dude. I think I want to go there now. But careful when you say “the best sushi” (California is pretty good!) and plus we have Berkeley Bowl which is, like, a million times better than Whole Foods! Hmmm… I can forsee a Berkeley to Vancouver road trip, maybe??

  3. what I learned in sweden « knallrosa Tagebuch Says:

    […] I learned in sweden Von Anika a list inspired by my american friend arielle, who i met in sweden. (and for her i tried to write in english. now all you have to do is not to […]

  4. Sabrina Says:

    I disagree with #30. Maybe for the dough, though, but that has to be relearned every December.

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