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.
I have some big and exciting news! As of October 3, 2013, your dear blogger is an official Swede! That’s right – I am a naturalized citizen of this country! Don’t worry, I didn’t give up my American citizenship – nope, all I did was add to it. I even managed to get my Swedish passport – it only took 3 days.
Most people congratulated me this week and asked how it felt. My friend Victoria gave me a little “Welcome to Sweden” goodie bag filled with nostalgia-triggering items that apparently all Swedes of my generation owned at some point. It’s been a week, so I figured I would try to put into words the emotions that have been coursing through my veins these last few days.
The autumn weather has hit Stockholm with all of its fury. The temperature is hovering between 6c and 10c right now. I have been out of town a lot the last few weeks, but when I came back to Stockholm last night I noticed that everyone had busted out their fall/winter jackets, and the girls were back in their boots. I like the look, so I’m glad it’s still in fashion!
I’ve been working in the UK the last few weeks on a project. My team is comprised of my colleagues from the Stockholm office. We don’t know each other that well so we had an opportunity to bond around meals. One evening, we started discussing about how Swedes behave when they get into a situation where they don’t want to do something but don’t really know how to tell you. It makes for an interesting situation since Swedes really dislike confrontation, so how do they resolve this conundrum?
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 →
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 →
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.
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?
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!
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.
Kebabtallrik from Hakepi, my favorite kebab place!
Okay, it’s not really a Swedish delicacy, but it’s as popular as IKEA’s meatballs so I think it should be.
Kebabtallrik (literally, “kebab plate”) is a plate of kebab meat (thinly sliced beef from a vertical spit), some lettuce, onions, cucumber, tomato, and a fefferoni pepper. I actually didn’t know what those peppers were called until I started eating kebab in Sweden. You then get a side of carbs, the most common options being french fries or rice. They usually sprinkle some paprika powder on top of the fries. In most places, the meat is doused with a red tomato sauce and then a white garlic sauce. No skewers are involved, so you can eat it easily with fork and knife. Continue reading →