About Sapphire Svanström

Sapphire Svanström

Sapphire is an Indian American living in Stockholm, Sweden. When not
ranting about Swedish bedsheets or System Bolaget, she loves
kanelbulle and swedish waffles. She discusses the highs and
lows of living abroad in the arctic north on her blog Lost in Stockholm and beyond.

She has shot in countries from Iceland to the Phillipines and her photos have been featured in museums in Los Angeles and on the front page of Sweden's largest national newspapers.


Latest Posts by Sapphire Svanström

Happy Thanksgiving from Sweden!

November 25, 2010 by  

Share:

Wishing all of you a very happy turkey day. If you are not celebrating overeating, overindulging holiday where we supposedly thanked the Native Americans for helping Americans by more or less killing them, then well you have point.
Thanksgiving turkey

Being a Foreign Housewife

November 18, 2010 by  

Share:

Everyone hits that point in their lives: when being a housewife/husband is depressing. I have been working or studying for the past 10 years since I started college and left my parents’ home. Besides cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry, I always had something to do. For sometime now though I had nothing to do. And it’s not nothing nothing, just stuff that isn’t seen by anyone as thing being done. Being in a foreign country makes the abysmal feel evening stronger; you never know when you will get out. The support system isn’t the same, the connections are not the same as home. The glamor of being a housewife with a bebe jumper and Louis Vuitton bag is both mundane and disturbing. For the first since I arrived in Sweden I understand what it feels like to be doing nothing and just be someone’s sambo/husband/wife. Someone who is waiting for something to happen. Numerous girlfriends have told me how they moved to Sweden for their love and now they cannot find a job or anything to do. You apply everywhere and hear back from three to zero companies. McDonalds won’t even hire you, let alone look at your CV, because you don’t speak Swedish. You don’t have a large network of friends and family to rely on, so you waste away at home. And worst yet, your bank account is sucked by a dementor, hell bent on ensuring your frikort’s demise. It is a mind numbing experience. I am lucky. I realized I am blessed with a great network of wonderful friends and colleagues. When I moved to Sweden, I found a job within weeks and avoided enduring soulless months of job applications. When I lost my job, I could reach out to my network to find a new position (fingers crossed!). And I speak decent Swedish to get myself around town. Although a low point came when a company after several weeks of interview and case studies denied me because I was not fluent in Swedish (they stressed this at the first meeting but evidently didn’t bother to follow up on their thoughts right after). I knew I was a true foreigner, not the foreign professional I had believed I was. I knew I would be stuck at home for some time doing the dishes, cooking food, cleaning up, doing laundry, cleaning the bun’s tent, I just did not realize how mentally difficult it was. Even though I kept myself busy working on this blog and other sites, taking and editing photos, teaching cooking, I still felt empty. So this post goes out to all the foreigners in Sweden who are unwillingly stuck at home, realizing their dream to be with a sweetheart but unable to find a place in the workforce. Housewife (househusband) work is difficult and it is rarely appreciated. If you are a housewife/husband/sambo reading this, take a night off and go enjoy yourself. Know that you will get back into that groove and find a job and social network that you love. Have a cup of tea and watch the snowfall, it’s enchanting and glorious. Enjoy the little things. And if you are the other half, help your partner out. Help them with their swedish CV, their personal letter, and especially their Swedish language skills. And appreciate the work they do at home. Being a housewife/husband is hard. Being a housewife in a foreign country is harder. And for that, I bow down to all foreign housewives in Sweden and elsewhere; making their way, home and endless dreams.

It’s Snowing Yet Again

November 12, 2010 by  

Share:

We all need to take a moment of silence because winter is really here.

November Snow Stockholm

Back to depressing November in Sweden, where we lose nearly six minutes of daylight every day. Not to mention, it’s snowing again.

So… How Did You End Up in Sweden?

November 12, 2010 by  

Share:

I’ve done my fair share of interviews in Stockholm. It is especially fun because as a foreigner, you are usually the “interesting” one. And being the interesting one means being asked lots of questions.

As Americans, we’re prepared for zillions of interview questions and situations. Swedish interviews are much more relaxed and more about personality than Mensa brain game questions. Here is small cheat sheet on job interview tips in Sweden if you are new to the game.

There is also that list of questions that are illegal (or highly inappropriate) to ask in an American job interview. Never fear, being Sweden, no one cares, interviewers ask them anyway. As of yet, I have not figured if these interview questions are illegal in Sweden as well, but since most interviewers asked me, they must be at least appropriate.

  • Are you married, divorced, separated, engaged, widowed, etc?
  • What is your nationality?
  • Where were you born?
  • What is your mother tongue?
  • How did you acquire the ability to speak, read or write a foreign language? Hahaha, I think everyone here asks “how did you learn Swedish?”
  • How did you acquire familiarity with a foreign country?
  • What language is spoken in your home?
  • How old are you?
  • Do you own or rent your home?
  • Do you live in town?
  • With whom do you live?
  • Are you a citizen of Sweden?

In Sweden, as a foreigner in an interview, these questions seem innocuous. In the United States they would be illegal to ask. Even on the Swedish CV, you provide information that you normally would not in the United States (e.g. photo, gender, citizenship status, birthday).

If you are asked any of these questions in Sweden, smile, you are in Sweden!

‘The Endless Dream of a Winter Night,’ a Film about Expats in Sweden

November 9, 2010 by  

Share:

I can be sometimes slow about catching up with all the blogs in my reader. Luckily though, a fellow expat, Giorgio Paoletti, from Italy, sent me an email about a movie on foreigners in Sweden.

You might be wondering, oh dear, some boring moving about sad refugees. Far from it. Giorgio and his friend made a movie based on their lives (melded with others’ too) about work, academics, bar visits, parties, and Swedish girls. Oh, and how to make Swedish friends.

For us “immigrants” and Swedes, this is a must see. The movie is raw and emotionally satisfying. We can all relate. To how to talk to someone at a party to dealing with the winter misery, there is a little of bit of everyone of us in the main character, Alex.

Here is the video. Be sure to click on the button twice because it will turn from red to green.

Giorgio has also been kind enough to give a one-on-one interview (and the first official interview) with me by email. I asked a lot of tough questions of course.

Sapphire: Where are you from?
Giorgio: I am Italian, from Rome

Why Sweden?
I won a scholarship to be an Erasmus student in Stockholm; besides, my dad had lived in Stockholm in the early 60s so I was curious to go there because he had told me a lot about this place.

How long were you here?
More or less 5 years, 1 year as an exchange student in Stockholm, 1 year in Göteborg, and then other 3 years in Stockholm.

A long time in Sweden. What did you do?
During my first year I was an exchange student in Political Science; the year I spent in Göteborg I studied Swedish full time. In Stockholm over the last years I worked in different companies and fields, many jobs, none particularly pleasant aside from teaching Italian in schools.

Why did you leave?
I got a bit bored of Sweden, especially my last 2 years seemed to be the replay of the previous years, nothing particularly new and cool. Moreover, I needed chaos, to feel alive; peace and cleanliness around
started to create some anxiety in me.

What do you like to do?
I like writing, no matter if it’s a short story, a novel, a screenplay or even an article for my blog. It helps me point out concepts which are in my head but not completely clear yet.

At the university, was it easy to learn Swedish? Was it necessary and did it help make more friends?
Swedish is a language that is easy and hard to learn at the same time: easy because there are very few rules and after 6 months you can speak it. Swedish is hard because after 4 years it’s rare to speak much better than 3 and half years earlier; the risk is to reach a low–medium level and then stick to it, without improving.

I don’t think speaking Swedish helps make more friends but it allows foreigners to understand the society a bit better.

So, what inspired you to come up with this documentary? Why make one?
After a couple of year I was living in Sweden there were things about that society which were clear and others unclear. I decided to investigate, analyze and understand Sweden from my perspective. I started attending seminaries about subjects related to the Swedish culture and when I thought I had the answers I was looking for, I wrote an article about Sweden in my blog, which analyzed the main cultural aspects of this country.

I knew many other foreigners had similar thoughts and questions so I thought I could try summarizing my “guide” throughout a movie, which was partly a normal film and partly a documentary.

I was also curious to see if I could involve some Swedes in the project, to see how they would react to something critical towards their society. Those who have participated showed me to be much more open minded than I had thought, I was expecting reactions like “who the fuck you think you are to come to our country, judge us and be so critical?”; on the contrary, they have been very interested and professional.

Enjoying Sweden…no Germany with friends…
Giorgio with friends in Germany

Part of the movie deals with dating Swedish girls and meeting friends. Personally, how was it for you to make friends/meet girls?
Making friends in Sweden is something appalling, frankly speaking. People are respectful and polite but when it comes to personal relationships it’s hard to find someone that let you get close. It’s easy to make acquaintances (I know loads of Swedes) but I have very few friends in the way I intend a friendship, without barriers and distances. Usually my Swedish friends have lived abroad and learned to live also (but not only) in a non-Swedish way: there’s no difference between boys and girls in that.

Swedish girls are usually very attractive, not my favourite in terms of beauty but almost my favourite; they can be the best or the worst as far as meeting is concerned: I love the emancipation they’ve reached which allows them to pick you up openly if they fancy you.

I never saw in any other country this freedom for women, which is great; on the other end they are quite narrow minded when it comes to knowing a person in a non standard way (parties or common friendships): I like to meet people in the streets, to talk to complete unknowns; this way I met the main Swedish female character of the movie we made. It means there are exceptions to the usual “Swedish rules”.

Who is Alex?
Alex is the typical foreigner who moves to Sweden without knowing what Sweden is.

Why do we never see Alex’s face?
Because it doesn’t matter what he looks like or what country he is from; what does matter is his thoughts and his feeling which are the thoughts and feelings of many foreigners who live in Sweden.

You moved now to Ireland, what do you miss about Sweden?
The beauty and efficiency of many things.

What do you not miss?
That in Stockholm I could talk to loads of people in a week but I was often feeling lonely; in Ireland I can been on my own most of the time but I never feel alone.

Alone in Sweden in the winter
all alone in Sweden

If there was one piece of advice you could offer a new foreigner, what would you say?
Don’t feel like a freak or a Martian; if you feel strange it’s not your fault. Furthermore, whenever you have a chance to enjoy Sweden, do it: it won’t happen again, at least for a long time.

Most importantly, what’s your thought on fika as an Italian?
I really like the fika concept, it something that we paradoxically don’t have in Italy.

And really how is the coffee in Sweden?
Usually the coffee you can drink in Sweden is not good, but it is not worse than the one you can find anywhere else in Northern Europe!

For more information about the movie and who is Alex check out: Who is Alex.

Fellow Americans and Brits and all my lovely readers. What did you think of the movie? Love it, hate it, laughed my ass hilarious, winter does sucks too.

November Events in Stockholm

November 8, 2010 by  

Share:

It’s November. Time for the depressing month of the year when we lose more than 5 minutes of daylight each day. Despite the sun running away from, color (and culture) is coming to us for next couple months.

October began the India/Indien exhibition at Kulturhuset. Throughout Stockholm, clubs, theaters, movie theaters, stores are playing, displaying, discussing all things India. This is a great opportunity to get out and experience the chaos and liveliness of the Indian culture.

Even though Stockholm is small, it is difficult to figure out all the great events and cultural attractions in the city. It is also disappointing when great events happen and you don’t know (and sometimes, no one shows). With Indien, I didn’t even know it existed until I passed Kulturhuset and had to go inside to get a schedule.

Point being, if you are sulking at home trying to figure out what to do Friday, Saturday, or Sunday or the rest of the week in Stockholm, Indian activities can keep you busy.

Last night I saw Indian Ocean, an amazing indo-fusion-rock band. We even got to meet all the band members after the concert, take pictures, and get autographs. They are awesome musicians that play music of modern India while still looking cool with kurta tops. Visit their homepage to download, free, yes free, songs (they’re so awesome they dislike the big music companies).

With Rahul Ram, the bass guitarist and vocalist of Indian Ocean
With Rahul Ram
Here is the list of events and happenings for Indien in Stockholm:

Sunday Film – Filmsöndag – Sooni Taraporevala
RSVP on Facebook or show up
Sunday, November 21 · 13.00 – 21.00
Theme: Movies
Södra Teatern, Stora Scen
A free film festival with both classic and an exclusive tour of the new film, Little Zizou. Film showings and Christmas shopping Bombay style means that you and your friends come, buy an Indian picnic bag (who knows, maybe it contains curry popcorn), mingle, watch a movie, eat, and buy Indian presents. All you need this Sunday is Indian food, chai, movies, friends, gifts and Old Monk rum.

We also will be showing for the first time a viewing of the acclaimed movie by Sooni Taraporevalas, Little Zizou (2010). As a warm-up before the show, we will also play her (and Mira Nair’s) three previous classics: Salaam Bombay, Mississippi Masala and Namesake (Jhumpa Lahiri’s book after).

Rupee Me – Samtal om en ny världsmakt
RSVP on Facebook or show up!
Wednesday, November 24 · 19.00 – 21.00
Theme: Talk & Discussion
Södra Teatern, Kägelbanan
Foreign investment, power, and labor influence Indian’s economy today. Is Europe doing right by investing in India or are the less fortunate being taken advantage of? Will India be the next superpower?

The experts on the panel are Fred Fexe the Trade Council, Gautam Bhattacharyya for Springtime, Parul Sharma, Senior CSR Advisor Global Coordinator CSR auditing of suppliers, Sandvik AB, Malin Mendel Westberg, SVT, Charlotte Bohman at Hand-in-hand and Gudrun Sjödén. Moderator: Emma Ihre.

Bollywood Bio IV
Monday, December 6 · 7:30pm – 10:30pm
Bio Rio, for more info

BOLLYWOODBIO is the Indian film club that takes the world’s largest film industry to Hornstull, Södermalm.
Theme: Movie – Peepli live
A comic satire about suicide wave among Indian farmers and the accompanying media and political reaction. The film competed in the 2010 Sundance festival.
Time: 19:30, film Start 20:00, mingling before the movie and Indian food and drink. 80 kr.

Manish Arora
One of the greatest Indian fashion designers visits Kulturhuset.
Tuesday, November 23rd 17.30-18.30
Kulturehuset, Sergels torg 3.
Theme: Fashion (mode)
Ticket Prices: 90 kr.

Sarira – Indian Dance – From Classical to Bollywood
December 29th, 2010 18.00-19.00
Theme: Dance Performance
Kulturhuset, Högsalen, Sergels Torgs 3
Price: 120kr

The show begins in the south Indian classical dance, Bharatnatyam, and then transfers to modern dance forms up to today’s Bollywood Dance.

The colorful costumes, the rapid rhythms and movements and beautiful tones of the sitar and tabla enables your soul to visit India without ever leaving your chair.

Choreographer and dancer Usha Balasanduram organizing the show together with his dancers.
Sitar player Harvindar Singh.

Dangerous Body Butters at a Store Near You

November 8, 2010 by  

Share:

I love TheLocal.se. LOVE that newspaper. Basically they take Swedish news, translate it (through google translator), add opinions (because real news deserves opinions), check if the translated article and opinions make sense, and post. Voilà! You have a news worthy piece for the English audience in Sweden.

And then, The Local writes intense, heavy news articles about chocolate, STDs, speeding tickets, gay parties, and drunk people. But this latest article is the icing on the cake.

The Örebro municipality’s crime prevention unit visited The Body Shop to inform the lotion company that its posters gratuitously displaying the leaf of the Cannabis sativa plant (industrial hemp), was not acceptable.

Body butters + photo of a industrial hemp leaf = Drug promotion for teenagers

What on earth??

I know. Sweden has a lot of problems. Children see Pripps Blå commercials and immediately become beer drinking alcoholics on boats. Oh wait, they do that!

For a country that has one of the largest drug crime prevention units per capita, Swedes must be terrified of The Body Shop’s lotions. And for some idiots, industrial hemp, indica, must be the same as the marijuana plant leaf. That’s why it is legal to cultivate thousands of hectors of industrial hemp in more than 30 countries.

Karin Wickberg Taylar, press spokesperson for The Body Shop Sweden, said, “They (the Örebro municipal) argued that the use of the hemp leaf in the posters was offensive and provocative and that it undermined their work to tackle youth drug abuse.”

But yes, I understand. In a country dealing with political upheaval across the spectrum and racially inclined shootings in Malmö, the most important thing for a crime department to concentrate on is: photos of a plant leaf promoting moisturized skin.

Maybe that IS the enemy. Moisturized skin. Soft, supple, beautiful skin. The Swedish government doesn’t want us to know about body butters and other illicit lotions, lest the Swedes become even more sexy.

Some of the comments from the article were off the charts hilarious. I had to post them.

“Swedish customs agents are nabbing more body butter smugglers than in past years, and people traveling across the Öresund Bridge with small amounts of body butter figure prominently in the statistics.

Remember kids body butter kills! Just say NO!” — Soft Boiled

“”sweedy82: Because don’t you know, all drugs are bad. If you want to relax the only drug anyone should take is the one that’s Swede-accepted and Government approved; by buying overpriced and overtaxed booze from the monopolized stores that carry little selection – so big daddy gets his chunk of your cash.

Anything else is evil and unsafe.” — ISayWhatPeopleThink

“Yet alcohol is shown on Swedish TV programs all the time. Alcohol kills way more people in one day than have died of marijuana use since the days of Adam.

This is not conservatism or liberalism — it is just an insignificant municipality without any sense of perspective.” — Rebel

Next time you put lotion on, just think, are you taking a gateway drug?

You Know You’ve Been in Sweden Too Long When…

October 24, 2010 by  

Share:

I am coming up on my third winter in Sweden. Third winter!  For the past month, I have been more serious and thoughtful with my posts; especially controversial. Hell, who doesn’t love controversy and bashing? If I write about Swedish men singing, no one would comment. If it was a group of naked Swedish men with flatbreads dancing on TV, I might get more comments. Oh yea, and here’s the video of The Dance of the Crispbread:

(WARNING – YOU MAY LAUGH YOUR BUTT OFF, PLUS SEE MEN’S BUTTS)

To try not to fall into November depression and psych myself out for Christmas in Sweden, I found a list of “You know you’ve been in Sweden too long.” The current list is more than 400 items! And they are funny. Bat shit funny.

I extracted 100 points and added a few of my own. Grab your stor stark because you know you have been in Sweden too long if…

  1. Pagan and religious holidays are just a cover to get trashed.
  2. The first thing you do upon entering a bank/post office/chemist etc. is to look for the queue number machine.
  3. You accept that you will have to queue to take a queue number.
  4. You wonder how people afford beer.
  5. You are disturbed when no one gives you a bed sheet and bedding set when you crash on their couch.
  6. When a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume:
  7. a: he is drunk
    b: he is insane
    c: he’s an American

  8. You don’t think twice about putting the wet dishes away in the cupboard to dry.
  9. A friend asks about your holiday plans and you answer “Oh, I’m going to Europe!” meaning any other Western European country outside of Sweden.
  10. Wearing black leggings with floral dresses is fashionable.
  11. You buy red pants for your sambo because it is fashionable.
  12. A sambo is not the same as a samba, särbo, or mambo.
  13. You can spot a stekare, a Swedo, because of his hair gel trail across Stureplan.
  14. You see a student taking a front row seat on the bus and wonder “Who does he think he is?”
  15. Silence is fun.
  16. The reason you take the ferry to Finland is:
  17. a: duty free vodka
    b: duty free beer
    c: to party hard. .. no need to get off the boat in Helsinki, just turn around and do it again on the way back to Sweden.

  18. Your coffee consumption exceeds 6 cups a day and coffee is too weak if there is less than 10 scoops per pot.
  19. You pass a supermarket and think “Wow, it is open, I had better go in an buy something!”
  20. A sharp intake of breath has become part of your vocabulary, as has the sound “Jah hahh”
  21. Your native language has seriously deteriorated. Now you begin to “eat medicine”, “open the television”, “close the lights off”, “take a beer”, “look upon everything” and tell someone to “follow with me” or “you needn’t to!” You start to say “for 2 years ago” and expressions like “Don’t panic” creep into your everyday language.
  22. Having someone go home from work early because the dog sitter left is not weird.
  23. Your notion of street life is reduced to the few teenagers hanging out in front of the railway station on Friday nights.
  24. Your bad mood becomes your good mood.
  25. Sundays no longer seem dull with all the shops closed, and begin to feel restful instead.
  26. “No comment” becomes a conversation strategy.
  27. Wearing anything else than black clothing during the wintertime would be sacrilegious.
  28. You have only two facial expressions – smiling or blank. Also your arms are just hanging down when you chat with other people.
  29. The fact that all of the “v’s” and the “w’s” are together in the phone directory seems right.
  30. Your old habit of being “fashionably late” is no longer acceptable. You are always on time.
  31. Hugging is reserved for sexual foreplay.
  32. You begin to understand Johan Tornberg’s broadcast of the hockey game.
  33. You wear scarves all the time; even in the summer.
  34. You hear loud-talking passengers on the train. You immediately assume:
  35. a: they are drunk
    b: they are Finnish
    c: they are American
    d: all of the above

  36. You give up on trying to find fat-free food and pile on the butter, cream and sugar.
  37. You know how to fix herring in 105 different ways.
  38. You eat herring in 105 ways.
  39. Your front step is beginning to resemble a shoe shop.
  40. You start to differentiate between types of snow.
  41. You get offended if, at a dinner party, someone fails to look you in the eyes after raising their glass for a toast
  42. Seeing a young woman with lit candles stuck to her head no longer disturbs you.
  43. You become extremely skilled at assembling pre-packaged furniture kits.
  44. “Candles” are a permanent fixture on your weekly shopping list.
  45. You think being a rebel is crossing the street with a red walk man sign.
  46. You think it is normal EVERYTHING is regulated and you obey the rules voluntarily.
  47. When someone asks you for “sex” you assume they mean half-a-dozen.
  48. All winter you dream of what you will do in summer, and summer is the warmest day of the year
  49. Bringing dead sticks indoors at Easter and hanging coloured feathers on them seems a good way to celebrate spring.
  50. You start eating egg and bacon instead of bacon and eggs.
  51. You ringed somebody yesterday instead of you rang them.
  52. You look at the cracks and dog poop on the sidewalk instead of smiling at people.
  53. Your husband is very long instead of being very tall.
  54. You understand The Swedish Look.
  55. You think coffee is supposed to look and taste like mud, complete with a mouthful of coffee ground sediment.
  56. You pay the TV-avgift because you think you’re getting your money’s worth watching SVT.
  57. You start looking at socialbidrag (welfare) less as an absolutely desperate last resort and more as a way of life.
  58. When someone says “Cheers” you look at everyone in turn before drinking.
  59. You know that going for a coffee is a first date.
  60. You think there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
  61. You pour filmjölk (soured milk) on your Kellogg’s Frosties.
  62. You put tomato sauce (as in Heinz Big Red) on your macaroni. Just tomato sauce. And love it.
  63. Planning your day around buying alcohol is perfectly normal. Because everyone wants to spends their lunch hour in the queue at the alcohol store.
  64. You start believing that good service is overrated.
  65. You don’t even get surprised when the doctor, not only can’t help you, he/she can’t even diagnose you.
  66. You take it as a given that your wife/husband will get so wasted on Midsommar that he/she will end up in bed with someone other than yourself.
  67. You tailgate people who are driving 120 on the freeway.
  68. You hide 5 or 6 bottles of spirits in your suitcase, one or two in your backpack, and put just one in the duty free shopping bag.
  69. You think there is nothing wrong with planning Christmas around Kalle Anka (Donald Duck).
  70. You don’t even think about what you are saying when you are off to the shop to buy your favourite brand of cat food, and you say, “Be right back love, I’m just gonna go get some Pussi”
  71. You start to miss falukorv when you go on vacation
  72. You would never ever even consider using a metal knife on the butter.
  73. While visiting England someone gives you directions and says, “It’s about 5 miles down the road.” You in turn ask, “Are you talking Swedish miles or English miles?”
  74. You only leave the country to stockpile cheap alcohol.
  75. Drinking is the fundamental pillar of your social network, be it coffee or alcohol.
  76. You aimlessly chat using SMS.
  77. A “big strong one” is a beer.
  78. You find that you can’t spell in English anymore. You now replace C with K. Like panik, automatik, seasik, arithmetik…. and you try to remember does papper/paper have one or two p’s in English?
  79. You still wonder how people afford beer on the weekends. And weekdays too.
  80. You think that the 25kr ICA bonus cheque is generous after spending 2500kr in their shop.
  81. It seems normal to you that you’ve been bleeding in the emergency room at the hospital for four and a half hours when the three doctors walk by on their third coffee break since you got there.
  82. You know every Swedish brand and random fact.
  83. When someone cuts you off on the freeway and instead of giving them the finger, you simply mumble “eedeeyout” under your breath.
  84. You even lock your car to take a pee on the side of the road.
  85. You no longer think it odd that you talk to your kids in English and they answer in Swedish.
  86. You find it completely natural that otherwise sensible people dress up in silly hats on several occasions in August in order to eat crayfish and drink as much vodka as possible.
  87. You eat open faced sandwiches.
  88. Christmas has changed so much that you only associate it with rice porridge, lucia cats, and Donald Duck.
  89. You don’t think twice about calling someone in the next room using your mobile phone.
  90. People buy you a drink in November because they remember when you bought them one in March.
  91. Opening your Christmas presents on the 24th of December no longer seems like cheating.
  92. You eagerly await Eurovision and Melodiefestivaln during the wintertime.
  93. You can use bra, fart, and slut in the same sentence without giggling.
  94. You don’t understand why your friend from Mississipi took offence when you referred to him as a yankee.
  95. If you meet someone you haven’t seen in ages you just stay right where you are chatting away even if that happens to be in the doorway of a very busy department store.
  96. You stop thinking you’re being yelled at every time you hear “Hey!”
  97. You either run for the last pendeltåg at 1 am or choose to party on until 5 am when they start again rather than endure the horrific night bus home, as a taxi ride would require taking out a 2nd mortgage.
  98. ICA is not I.C.A – it’s eeka.
  99. Gift is not a present but it could be dangerous (whether it is poison or marriage)
  100. You know that “fan” is a swearword, and not an admirer or an air conditioner.
  101. You eat pizza with a knife and fork.
  102. The only thing in your quick memory is “Hej” and “Hej Hej” in swedish
  103. You think Sweden is big (because you always compare it to Finland, Norway or Iceland)
  104. You think is perfectly normal that people get in to nightclubs/restaurants with innerbandy stick and shopping bags.
  105. You think is perfectly normal that nobody talks on the bus, train or tunnelbana.
  106. You accept that people talk to you only when they are really drunk.
  107. You’ve won the lottery when you dive bomb into SystemBolaget 23 seconds after it officially closed.
  108. You accept that the best answer for a question is always “Jag vet inte” meaning “I don’t know”.
  109. You know the Swedish “Jo” sounds is like a “yo-yo” and when you pronounce Johan, it looks pretty funny – Yo-Juan!
  110. You are laughing because you know this is all painfully true.
  111. You buy an ( S ) sticker for your Volvo even if you are living outside the borders of Sweden.
  112. Reading this makes you wonder why the hell you moved to Sweden in the first place.

Next Page »