Innebandy – my new hobby

Do you remember going to gym class as a kid, all excited about what activity the teacher was going to make everyone do next?  It was always fun for me, especially if it was something that I was reasonably good at, like badminton.  The gym teacher always made sure the sport was something that everyone could participate in, no matter how tall, short, fat, skinny, or uncoordinated you were.  Equal opportunity sports.

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Battle of the Sexes

Gender Equality?A Swedish girl I dated very briefly was quite into the feminist movement.  Everything was to be perfectly equal between the sexes.  There should be no chauvinism, and men should treat women as complete equals, and should not treat them as a weaker gender.  If you took a girl out to dinner one night, then she should reciprocate by buying the movie tickets.  And if the movie tickets were worth less than the dinner, well, she should buy dessert too.

Excuse me, what?

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Hot lunches and food stamps

Today we had a visitor from our Amsterdam office.  He is planning to transfer to the Stockholm office in August 2011 so he wanted to come and check out the city, the office, his future colleagues, etc.

Kenneth in Amsterdam 2008

Kenneth in Amsterdam

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it), Mother Nature decided to unleash a snowstorm on Stockholm today.

We took him to lunch and he asked a few questions about how the work culture was like in Stockholm.  It’s always nice to get new people in the office because it reminds me how I’ve become Truly Swedish – things that foreigners find interesting or curious don’t even faze me anymore.  The topic at lunch?  Hot lunches and rikskuponger, which I fondly call “food stamps.”

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Lönhelg – Pay weekend

If you have a job in Sweden, you get paid on the 25th of every month (or the weekday closest to the 25th if it falls on a weekend/holiday).  Just once a month.  None of this weekly paycheck thing or the 15th and 30th of the month that we’re used to in the US.

This means that people are usually pretty poor by the weekend leading up to the 25th of the month.  Including this blogger.  In fact, being poor on the days leading up to the 25th of the month is truly Swedish. 🙂Read More »Lönhelg – Pay weekend

Why is it so easy to get out of prison, but so hard to get in?

Welcome back, readers!

It’s a new year and time for some new thoughts on what it means to be Truly Swedish.  I visited the US during Christmas and the differences between our two cultures stood out even more while I was there.  I love seeing these differences and analyzing them.  The trick is learning what those differences are, how to adjust to them, and when to just “let it be” so you can stay sane. 🙂

I went to lunch with a bunch of colleagues yesterday and while we were walking there, we started talking about criminals and the criminal justice system in Sweden.  I don’t remember how the topic came up, but it was certainly an inspiring walk to lunch.

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Julbord – a smörgåsbord of colors and flavors

Around this time of year, many companies like to take their employees out to a “julbord” dinner.  The phrase “julbord” literally translates to “Christmas” (jul) and “table” (bord), and it always involves some massive portions of traditional Swedish “holiday” food.  I call it “holiday” food because it’s the same kind of food you would eat during Easter and Midsummer too!

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Att fira jultid med glögg! / Celebrating Christmas with glögg!

Ahhhhh… the Christmas season.  There is fresh snow on the ground, the air is fresh and crisp, and the wonderful smell of firewood burning in the fireplace lingers outside.  (By the way, that’s one of my favorite “smells” of this season!)  How best to celebrate this cozy season than with glögg, the Swedish version of mulled wine?  I was introduced to glögg my first year in Stockholm and have since thrown a glögg party every year, just like any truly Swedish person would do.

Read More »Att fira jultid med glögg! / Celebrating Christmas with glögg!