Category Archives: Culture

Characteristics of Swedish business culture

I’ve lived in Sweden for almost 8 years now and fortunately, I’ve been gainfully employed this entire time (crossing fingers). These years have given me a lot of insight into how different it is to work at a Swedish company when compared to an American company.

Here’s a few of my observations over the years…  Treat this as a cheat sheet to understanding Swedish business culture just a bit better! Continue reading

Getting a driver’s license in Sweden (B-körkort)

It’s time for a fun update!  Today I’m going to talk about getting a driver’s license in Sweden (or rather, what I had to go through to get my Swedish driver’s license).  Listen up, Americans… this ain’t no joke.  The test is way harder than you think.

Raise your hand if you moved here and found out that your driver’s license was only good for the first year that you were here?  I’ve always thought that was weird – as if we would suddenly forget how to drive once the 366th day comes rolling around.

Keep your hand raised if you thought that it was no big deal for you to get a new license because you drove back in your home country, or you chose to postpone the process because you didn’t think you would need a car.

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Americans love Stockholm!

Greetings, readers!  What a beautiful summer it’s been in Stockholm.  After a long and harsh winter, we have finally gotten our due.  Thank you, weather gods…

First up – I’ve updated my most popular blog post – the one about buying an apartment in Stockholm!  If you’re interested, take a look – the updates are at the bottom of the page: http://trulyswedish.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/buying-an-apartment-in-stockholm/

My college buddies Scott and Ty visisted me in Stockholm at the beginning of July.  They’ve never been to Stockholm before and I thought it was fitting that after six years of being here, it was time for them to visit.  Ty lives in Pasadena and works in Hollywood and Scott works at an accounting firm in Sacramento. Continue reading

Making new friends and Swedish Midsummer

What a spring so far!  I’ve been working hard in Stockholm but also did a decent bit of traveling around the world both for work and pleasure.  And of course, I’ve been enjoying every (warm) moment of the spring. I hope all of you have been enjoying the weather equally much I have been!

I thought this time around I’d post about two things: 1) a recent trip I took to the US, and 2) the Swedish midsummer festivities this year.  These two things, located on two different continents, really highlighted how Swedish I feel when I’m in the US and how American I feel when I’m in Sweden.

I recently traveled to California and Oregon for 3 wonderful weeks of vacation.  I went to the wedding of one of my oldest friends in San Diego, my sister’s medical school graduation in San Francisco, and visited my friends Josh and Kellee and their adorable son Judah in Portland, Oregon. Continue reading

Did someone turn on the lights?

Wow, what a difference one hour can make. What is one hour, anyway?

It’s 60 minutes.
It’s 3600 seconds.
It’s the normal length of a meeting at work.
It’s the normal commuting time for me (to and from, including walking).
It’s the length of a flight from SFO to LAX.
It’s at the upper end of how long I’m willing to wait out a delayed flight.

Continue reading

Confessions of an American-born Chinese living in Sweden

Happy 2013 to all of my readers!

I took some time off during the holidays to vacation around a bit, so I’m posting this new entry from the 20th floor of my hotel in Beijing.  This is the last evening of my trip; I’ll be heading back to Stockholm tomorrow afternoon.

This is also my first time in China.  I decided to visit Beijing because I had a stopover here anyway, so what better way to visit a city that I’ve wanted to see for a while now?

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Glögg season and new friends

It’s glögg season again, and it’s time for another post!

Stockholm got its first “real” snow this past week!  Real snow is when it actually sticks to the ground and stays around, and boy was it needed.  It had been raining a lot and was dark and miserable, as it tends to be during this time of year.  But as soon as the snow came, everything brightened up.  Yes, it was still cold but I prefer cold and dry to cold and wet.  Even WordPress.com has snow on its front page!

(Side note: Californians, you have no idea how good you have it!) Continue reading

Picking mushrooms

The start of the fall is always a promising time for picking mushrooms in the forests of Sweden.  Chanterelle mushrooms are plentiful, if you can find a good spot to find them.  Every Swedish family has its own secret patch of the forest that they go to every year to find mushrooms.  Apparently, 2012 has been an extremely good year. Since it’s been such a wet summer, the mushrooms grew quickly and were available quite early in the year.

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The Swedish solution to a Sober Grad Night

Glad Midsommar!  I just got back from a beautiful wedding out in Ljusterö in the Stockholm archipelago.  My friends Tobias Björkgren and Caroline Åslund (now Björkgren also!) was married on June 22, 2012 under a may pole in front of all of their family and friends.

I hadn’t blogged in a while, so I figured it was high time for an update.  Today I will talk about an interesting thing that high school graduates do in Sweden to celebrate their successes.

For those of you who are American or are familiar with the high school graduation process in the US, you might recognize the term “Sober Grad Night.”  Continue reading

Openness of information – is it time to close it up?

Glad Valborg!

I read an article in the April 30th edition of Metro about a new SMS loan scam combined with a purchase on Blocket.se (Sweden’s version of Craigslist, without the promiscuous “No Strings Attached” casual sex sections).

Let’s say you’re selling an iPad 3 on Blocket.  The fraudster would contact you and say that they’re interested in your iPad, but since they live in other side of Sweden, they would like you to ship the iPad to them.  No problem, you say, as long as they deposit money into your account first.  The fraudster puts money into your account, you see that it’s there, so you take your iPad 3 to Posten and ship it to them.

Sounds like a pretty normal transaction, right?  It probably is, until you get called into the police station for identity theft and financial crime. Continue reading