More Things to Hate about Sweden

25 Jan
2011

I know I ruffled feathers with my 10 things I hate about Sweden. People thought I was/am a real a’hole. To prove them wrong, I made a list about why I love Sweden.

But let’s get real. The I love Sweden post received 15 comments. The I hate Sweden post received 255 comments. The people who told me to “get the F out of Sweden” were no where to be found when I made positive comments about their country. Do they love Sweden then if all they can do is hate me for pointing out the poorer aspects of the nation?

This compiled list is not just me. I asked several expats what they hate about Sweden and these are the top answers.

Let the games begins:

Sweden is…

  • Dark six months of the year
  • Cold
  • snowy; goddamn you snow!
  • Seriously f’ing cold
  • full of feminists
  • IKEAland
  • Grey
  • Black
  • full of hot swedish men and swedish women (okay big plus)

I hate how…

  • Tvattstuga bookings ranges from psycho 8AM-5PM and 5PM-midnight or from 7AM-9AM. And if you really want to start a fight in Sweden, steal someone’s clothes and hold it ransom.
  • You have to pay 10kr for a bathroom that has sticky toilet paper on the floor. Ummm…I like non pissy bathrooms.
  • People hit you in the head with bags on the metro and don’t apologize
  • Some people block the entrance walking on/off the train.
  • Without immigrants cleaning the streets, the city would be a dump.
  • No one holds doors open.
  • Those damn heaters in doorways of malls (think Gallerian) are completely uncool for the “enviromental capital of europe.”
  • XL is more like M in clothing.
  • People snus and throw the used packet on the streets; same with cigarette butt litter.
  • With gym etiquette, no one has sweat towels!
  • People wear flip flops or walk barefoot in the gym – I’d love to drop a 10kg dumbbell on an exposed toe
  • Drivers think you’re a pylon when crossing the street.
  • Bus drivers think they are in the indy or rally!
  • The black market rental sucks.
  • The housing market sucks.
  • Buying gorgeous shoes in Stockholm is impossible
  • Cyclists are training for the Tour de France in the summer, ergo you get run down like obstacle flags.
  • Fitted bedsheets don’t exist.
  • Bedsheets other than white don’t exist.
  • Foreigners are suffering from Stockholm syndrome.
  • Designer crap Swedish fashion falls apart after 3 months of use.
  • Shopping is limited. I want soy candles and toe socks, where the hell can I find them!
  • No one smiles.
  • Banks close at 15hr on most days.
  • People whine about the weather. I already know the weather sucks, thanks for pointing out the obvious.
  • People don’t make small talk.
  • Stores close at 18hr (19hr if you’re lucky).
  • Swedish banks change rules as often as people screaming skål at the company julbord dinner party
  • Swedish banks don’t let you see details of transactions…my last paycheck came from a company/person/object called “0”
  • Housewives are condescended upon by Swedes.
  • The queue system only works when there is a queue number. Otherwise people fail to understand forming a line.
  • Queues during Christmastime fail miserably.
  • If Disneyworld is the best place on earth, then System Bolaget must be the antichrist.
  • Lagom everything is at work. Why can’t people work to do their best?
  • Everything is so expensive.
  • Customer service doesn’t exist.
  • Wedding gift registries do not exist.
  • Shopping online is still in the stone age.

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217 Responses to More Things to Hate about Sweden

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Abby

January 25th, 2011 at 10:35

You forgot at least one: If you don’t live in Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö you have no options in regards to anything. Because *everything* is the same. everything. 5th largest city, my ass.

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Hana - Marmota

January 25th, 2011 at 11:58

A random Czech visitor via Abby’s blog retaliates with a thing to hate about the USA:
M is more like XL in clothing.
… Just could resist, sorry. As someone who has been to the USA and couldn’t get a T-shirt that wouldn’t be too big, and hasn’t been to Sweden.

Otherwise, I guess most of those are spot-on, and you’re completely right about people who “love” their country. Controversial blog posts, you know…

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Andrew

January 25th, 2011 at 12:47

With gym etiquette, no one has sweat towels!
People wear flip flops or walk barefoot in the gym – I’d love to drop a 10kg dumbbell on an exposed toe

This drives me absolutely crazy!! I see you sweating, WIPE OFF THE DAMN EQUIPMENT!
And yes, flip flops/bare-feet are an invitation to drop weights on them. I’ve come close (on purpose and accident) to a few people.

Foreigners are suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

True. I could never go back to North America w/o 5-6 weeks vacation and the kickass parental leave if I have a family. Really, you can’t stop Sweden for raising a family in.

Bus drivers think they are in the indy or rally!

Hahaha, so true! I think they forget that the motion passes further down the bus, so the end is like a roller coaster! Hold on for deal life

Fitted bedsheets don’t exist.

Untrue! I found some at Ikea for my single! :) *happy dance*

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Formica Virus

January 25th, 2011 at 14:09

With gym etiquette, no one has sweat towels!
People wear flip flops or walk barefoot in the gym – I’d love to drop a 10kg dumbbell on an exposed toe

-Errr… ever heard of paper rolls and cleaning spray practically everywhere in the gym?

Fitted bedsheets don’t exist
-Don’t even know what these are but I’m quite all right with my sheets.

Flip-flops in the gym or barefoot
– I have no idea why anyone would do this? I must say i’m guilty of training in socks, although I always train in gym shoes, and I felt quite ashamed :P

Those damn heaters in doorways of malls (think Gallerian) are completely uncool for the “enviromental capital of europe.”
– Have to say I love those ^^

No one holds doors open
-F***ing untrue!

People throw used snus on the street
-True, it’s kinda disgusting. Though it litters less than cigs.

Lagom everything is at work. Why can’t people work to do their best?
– Cause sometimes you got to slow down to work properly. And no, lagom isn’t everything at work. Like anywhere else it’s about breaking out of the common mass to make an impression. It’s an even greater contrast here in fact.

People don’t make small talk
-Yes they do.

People don’t smile
-People do smile. Just takes some charm.

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Andrew

January 25th, 2011 at 14:57

@Formica Virus
Errr… ever heard of paper rolls and cleaning spray practically everywhere in the gym?

That’s CRAP! I see it maybe 25% of the time! The trick is you spray the paper, not the machine. Nothing worse when running and you get an accidental spray of disinfectant. I had someone do that to me while I was running and went crazy on them, and of course, no they didn’t apologize for doing it.

Plus, go into the free weight room and the benches/machines are covered in sweat. I’ve seen this at several SATS (Hötorget, Globen, Medis) and the Nautilus gyms.

F***ing untrue!

No one does! There have been many times I’ve walked through Tunnelgatan and people don’t hold the doors, though I’m 2 seconds behind them. I always check behind me to see if someone is and hold it for them, it’s common courtesy where I grew up. I’ve walked around with cases of wine in my hands, got to a doorway where people were actively going in and out, and no one held them for me.

People do smile. Just takes some charm.

No they don’t. Go for a walk in Vancouver around Stanley Park. People walking will make eye contact with you and say “good morning” or whatever. Not everyone, but enough that if you’re not used to it, it can feel awkward. I miss that a lot here! Here, if you make eye contact with a Swede, they’ll probably think you are gonna steal their wallet/purse!

Cause sometimes you got to slow down to work properly. And no, lagom isn’t everything at work. Like anywhere else it’s about breaking out of the common mass to make an impression. It’s an even greater contrast here in fact.

You don’t need to “slow down” to work properly. Work efficiently! My productivity is easily 1.5-2x my coworkers. Why? Because I work hard, get my shit done on or before competition time and don’t delay/hesitate with choices or criticism. I don’t waste time with fikas or long lunches. I focus, get my work done, and do a damn good job at it! Hence why I’m still here (and am being constantly head-hunted). I work a strict 9:00-5:00, and often leaving around 4:30.

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Formica Virus

January 25th, 2011 at 15:53

@Andrew

I always see it, and no it’s not crap! It’s way better getting a clean sheet of paper and disinfectant than a blotched sweaty towel; especially if you’ve used it on multiple machines!

I constantly hold up doors, I see it as a grand gesture and am very pleased to do it.

It both requires charm and confidence, ok, not many have it to that degree but if I want someone to smile I can do it. If I want someone to talk to I can do that. The difficulty is: not to creep them out before you start.

If you don’t “slow down” you easily make errors, I’ll just put that out. To give you a mental image of what i’m imagning right now is the tale about the rabbit and the turtle, you being the rabbit and I being the turtle. It’s an extreme image(and i’d like you to argue against it if you could). Personally I haven’t found a workplace where I have to work “lagom”. I worked haaard, I valued my lunch because it gave me energy to work even harder in the afternoon

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Andrew

January 25th, 2011 at 16:43

@Formica Virus

I’d rather have the benches wiped down with a wet/dirty towel (or that towel placed between the person and the bench) than pools of sweat on it. I’ve never seen anyone here wipe down a bench other than myself and gym partner. I always put down a towel to ensure I don’t leave sweat pools.

Plus, add in the unnecessary grunting while benching a whole 80kg bench press or curling in the squat racks! Instance gym rage there! *DELT SMASH*

Swede’s are timid to talk to! The best analogy would be a squirrel. They gain trust if you approach them slowly, no jerky motions and have a nut (or a beer) waiting for them! The exception to this is alcohol. Watch out, they turn into dogs and will hump anything that moves! BAZINGA!!

Ah, the classic tale about the tortoise and the hare. So, going with that example, how well does that tortoise do when it’s crunch time, your project has changed scope for reasons beyond your teams control (hey it’s life) and your career and reputation is on the line come 5pm, and it’s noon?

Personally, I want, and put my career on the hare.

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Patrik

January 25th, 2011 at 19:06

“Dark six months of the year
Cold
snowy; goddamn you snow!
Seriously f’ing cold”

Haha, funny, since in your last post you *hated* people who complained about the weather ;)

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Daivule

January 25th, 2011 at 19:12

Has anybody tried to live with samordningsnummer? The only “privilege” you have is to pay same high taxes. Everything else is not for you. Your ID is not in their databases even of healthcare system…

Lagom at work is surprising me – how this country can do so well having no ambitions? When project starts everybody knows that deadline will be moved forward

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Sapphire

January 25th, 2011 at 19:37

Patrik if you read first two paragraphs it says the statements are not just from me but rather people I interviewed.

Daivule – I had a samordningsnummer for sometime and it was a pain in the ass. However the tax rate for foreign employees whether on samordningsnummer or personnummer was the same (but lower than a citizen/resident).

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Andrew

January 25th, 2011 at 21:29

@Sapphire – I’ve heard of lower tax rates for foreigners, but that seems to be a myth! I pay just as much tax as my coworkers do. :( Sucks because I don’t get access to the education system and won’t be using the parental leave for a LLLOOONNNGGG time!

Wonder if I get it back at tax time?

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Formica Virus

January 25th, 2011 at 22:36

Ok, not going to go bashing Andrew, as it looks like it’s heading there. I’ve rarely seen a swede talk like a squirrel, on the contrary many swedes love company and would do their best to keep their voice level to the discussion.

I think there’d be more sweatpools with a towel than if everyone collected wiped their sweat up with a dry papertowel and some desinfectant!

Tortoises plan ahead and make their work more efficient. This gives them the advantage cause he can work at normal speed and still reach his goals.

Daivule – Again, long-term ambitions.

Sapphire – That’s really strange in relation with Andrew’s comment

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OhioGirl

January 25th, 2011 at 23:36

Man I just moved here and SO hear you on people bashing you with their bags and not saying sorry! It’s not just on the Metro either, but on the street, in coffee shops… I swear I expect them to one day to barge right in to my apartment and just bash me then leave!

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Ann

January 26th, 2011 at 06:10

Hi! I started reading your blog recently. Im planning to go to Sweden next winter. The cold and the snow won’t bother me, since it’s much more mild than the winter conditions in Canada lol. What does concern me though, from what I’ve read, is that the people seem to be very reserved and not so talkative. I’m a shy person myself so I don’t know how hard it’ll be to make friends :(

On a side note, Im glad that “XL is more like a M”. I find that I can’t shop in some stores here simply because they don’t offer it in my size! It especially sucks when I see something really cute…

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Patrik

January 26th, 2011 at 09:46

Sapphire – Fair enough, seems the natives are not the only ones disliking the weather then ;)

Anyhow, a good & funny read! The banks piss me off on a regular basis. Not only because of the points you mentioned but also because of the “three bankdays” that transaction between different banks take. I mean seriously, it’s not like they physically have to physically move the kronors using horses&carriage ;-)

Having worked as a management consultant I have to say I’ve yet come to a country which does not have the “lagom mentality” – actually on average the Swedish industry has better productivity than most countries I’ve worked in, mostly due to more efficient structures and less hierarchy and bureaucracy– belive it or not :)

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Emery

January 26th, 2011 at 10:39

I’m from Florida, we hibernate when it drops below 40F and I live in Luleå….I haaaate snow, and cold, and constant darkness D: I’m mostly a night owl but when it’s always dark I feel very unproductive and tired all the time. It’s like living in a snowglobe. I’m convinced Sweden is actually located on a parallel dimension cut off from the rest of the world. That’s why most everything they have is 10-20yrs outdated; fashion trends, hair styles, electronics, etc.

I mean they don’t even have proper TiVo yet…or hot pockets ;___; How do you people liiiiiive D: lol :p

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swedishyogi

January 26th, 2011 at 12:23

“Fitted bedsheets don’t exist.”
“Bedsheets other than white don’t exist.”

I saw fitted, non-white bedsheets at Hemtex last week. They said “fitted sheets” on the package.

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Nkosazana

January 26th, 2011 at 14:51

“cold”

I agree its waaaay to cold here. Global warming is working on it though.

“small talks, smiling and lagom”

I made a blog post about that and how weired out I got when I first came to Sweden. Sweden needs a bit more ubuntu :)

“Swedish fashion design”

When I shop for clothes I tend to take the train to Copenhagen, I just like the cloth better there.

“Bus drivers think they are in the indy or rally!”

Well I’m used too overcrowded minibus taxis with mad drivers that have a dangerous disregard for stop signs, so that would be an improvement for me lol.

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Erik

January 27th, 2011 at 19:09

I think it’s interesting that all people can do is complain. It’s like “This aint US so it sucks!”. No it aint the US, and that’s the charm. Every country is different, I’m pretty sure if you only focus on the negative it will surely suck.

“That’s why most everything they have is 10-20yrs outdated; fashion trends, hair styles, electronics, etc.” You can buy a house by textmsg and we got higher broadband penetration than the US. When the Swedish government want everyone to have atleast 100mbit Internet by 2020, the US government want everyone to HAVE Internet in the US by 2020. High-tech? And I wont even comment on the clothes, but hey, atleast you wont find people like this in Sweden: http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/?page_id=9798&paged=3

And I must say, as a Swede, I get somewhat irritated by posts like these. Not that I don’t agree with what they say, I sure do. I mean, who invented Systembolaget? They were fools I tell you! But when you read about how everything in your country sucks, and read that you as a Swede is boring, don’t know how to dress or behave and in general just suck is pretty insulting from time to time. It’s like, I can call myself an idiot, but I don’t want everyone else calling me an idiot. (Even though it’s needed sometimes to discover that you’ve done something wrong.)

And sometimes it feels like people go looking for things to complain about. Like “Without immigrants cleaning the streets, the city would be a dump.” Okey, so, we’re cleaning the streets, but apparently we do it the wrong way? I’m pretty sure that the average cleaner in the US isn’t a white male from the middle/upper class?

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Emery

January 27th, 2011 at 19:55

@Erik: I’ve noticed this a lot lately but most Swedes I encounter are VERY defensive. If I say one negative thing about Sweden (doesn’t matter if it’s followed by a string of positive things) they get all pissy and their only response is to attack where I’m from in a sad attempt to prove that Sweden is superior in every way imaginable but its not, no place is. Both have their pros and cons, acknowledged. Accepted.

I’ve noticed that Americans can take the criticism against America a lot easier than Swedes, unlike Swedes we can have a sense of humor about it and don’t take it as a personal attack against us but rather America as a whole. In fact of all the people bashing America, we do it the most! We get it!

When I first came here I was constantly berated by Swedes about our politics, our president (at the time it was Bush) and honestly, I couldn’t give a shit. I voted against Bush, hated his guts, one of the main reasons I wanted to move to Sweden yet all Swedes treated me like some inbred gun touting sheep. But I just let it roll off my shoulders, there’s a lot wrong with America and I acknowledge that and agree with most Swedes about the issues back stateside, we’re not perfect. But neither are you.

We have the right to complain, to vent. Just because I can easily list 100 things I loathe about Sweden doesn’t mean I’m not just as willing to do the same about the states. It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t good things about it.

And in regards to the Walmart thing, yeah you caught us. Not all Americans are vain shallow bubble heads walking down Rodeo Dr. with daddy’s unlimited platinum card. Not saying they’re pretty to look at either. I’ve seen some scary things at Walmart, but you can’t deny its entertainment value. Hell I would intentionally go to Walmart at 4am just to spot these elusive creatures.

I admit I’ve even gone to Walmart in my pajamas, also walked around in just my bikini. There is no dress code in Walmart, you know, as long as you have some article of clothing on you, it’s all gravy. (Also, if you have yet to see Swedes dress similar to those traipsing around Walmart, try visiting Luleå or any other small neighboring village. They’re swarming with them!)

So Erik, my advice to you is… Let loose, don’t take this so personally, some Swedes can be trendy and have a good sense of style, others fail, most are color blind. But same can be said for Americans. We can hate on the annoying little things that bother us, just as you can hate on them too, whether it’s things about Sweden, America, or elsewhere. I’m not going to take whatever you say about my country to heart, I won’t interpret it as a personal attack, or an excuse to desperately try to defend myself and my homeland. And neither should you!

Have fun and chill, no need to wage war over it! Appreciate the humor in it all :)

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Erik

January 27th, 2011 at 20:01

No I’m not the same as previous wrighter, that being said let’s move on.

There are a few things I get hung up about. Systembolaget is one. It’s not the best solution but given the background it might be necessary. In the late 19th century the workers were paid partly with spirits (40% vodka being one typ) and the average person drunk 70 litres a year. Thats why Systembolaget was founded, to save the peoples health.

About being shy, not able to talk to people and what not. When I’m on a bus I don’t like to others most of the time. I want to relax from work and regain some energy before I get home.
And have any of you thought about the problem you have to get swedes to you could be that you are forcefull in are eye, noisy and intrusive. So I think a shy person, let’s say from another part of Europe, shuold find it easier than others to get to know swedes
Swedes have a acute sense of being private even in a crowd, and that’s why it’s wierd when strangers look us in the eyes and smile.
I can’t remeber having a problem to get a swede to talk to me, but I know I have a problem whit poeple who are a bit in my face.

It’s not better than other places, but that’s how we are.

And about the darknes. The dark part of the year means a equally light summertime. I mean, think of midsummer.

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Erik

January 27th, 2011 at 23:13

@ Emery: No, Americans cannot really take criticism that good either. Last time i did write criticism about the US on this blog I got the “but we’re special since we blablabla”. And when I visited Amsterdam a couple of years ago I almost got hit in the face by some American dude at a bar who started screaming stuff about your amendments and that “I don’t understand since I’m not a US citizen!” (don’t really know what I said, probably something about your weapon laws or something, then the amendments usually comes flying!) So I think that attitude goes for a lot of countries, including the US. Oh, and don’t attack our welfare system, then you will probably get a punch on the nose, it’s like our second amendment, haha!

And plus, I’m sorry to say it but, you’re Americans. And I think a lot of people, not just here in Sweden, have A LOT of prejudices towards you. And when you come in contact with like 5 Americans and 1 of them kinda meets on the prejudice (you know the “oh, I thought this was Switzerland” and “oh, you don’t have polar bears running wild in the streets” or “isn’t Sweden the capital of Russia?” and so on) you generalize. So, when the generalized American that just asked us if we are the capital of Russia tells us that we don’t clean our streets right, well, that might set some people off. I’m not saying that you do all these things but you know, you kinda represent the generalized American since, well, you’re American!

Oh and don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Americans, I have American friends and I like to visit the US. Trust me, I get this fired up when people starts ranting about the US being the big devil as well, so it goes both ways. Guess I just like a good fight!

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Nkosazana

January 27th, 2011 at 23:51

Ah I have to disagree with you there Emery, a lot of Americans tend to have the ‘Merica #1 mentality. At least the white people.

But then again Swedes can be oversensitive as well I don’t disagree with that. People don’t like trash being talked about their countries by foreigners regardless if it’s true or not.

But in politics Sweden has the upper hand on America in a big way to me and my fellow South Africans, thanks to history :)

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bns100

January 28th, 2011 at 07:36

Welcome to Sweden!

:-)

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Emery

January 28th, 2011 at 10:50

@Nkosazana: Yeah I agree with you about the politics that’s one of the main reasons I moved here.

@Erik: It’s sad that your experience with Americans has been such a bad one. But like said, we make fun of ourselves and we get it. (Late Night, Daily Show, Colbert Report, Bill Maher Show) We are not perfect. But it seems that the only Americans you acknowledge to be Americans are the inbred Texans or rude and shallow New Yorkers. Racism will get you no where. Hating on a stereotype that exists mainly in Texas is like if I were to say Swedes are nazis because Germany is part of Europe. That’s just total ignorance. Accusing both Sweden and Germany of being infested by nazis is like you assuming that I’m a total idiot.

I hate our politics, I hate our healthcare system, I hate how we fail at taking care of our people. Main reason I moved here, but if I’m going to be subjected to arrogant Swedes who have a “I’m better than you” complex, then you’re no worse than the Americans you rag on. It’s like you are to Sweden as rednecks are to America. But I don’t want to believe that, I was hoping you’d be a cool understanding and intelligent guy. Instead you insist on starting a fight. Trolling will get you nowhere. And flashing your token American friends doesn’t help your case, just makes me feel sorry for them. I would never befriend someone who secretly looks down on me and thinks I’m inferior to them.

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Erik

January 28th, 2011 at 18:40

@ Emery: First of all, I’ve heard those statements from a lot of Americans that visit Sweden, and I’m pretty sure not all of them are from Texas. We have Americans in abundance during the summers here in Stockholm.

Secondly, I never meant any of this as a personal attack. It’s kinda hard to express myself in a long blog post in a language that is not my own, so if I have been unclear I apologize. I just meant that you get to represent the American people, as do I represent the Swedish people when I go to the US, and with that comes all the bad stuff and all the good stuff of course. I have never said you do or say any of these things, I even wrote “I’m not saying that you do all these things”.

What I meant to say was, if you have a prejudice about person from a country, or the color of their skin or their religion and get those prejudice confirmed once or twice, it’s easy to fall back on that and say “I told you so”. And I think that is what a lot of people here do about the Americans. Unfortunately people generalize, that’s how we work. I know I do it all the time about millions of things. Generalize and categorize.

I just tried to explain what prejudice people might have towards the Americans here in Sweden and in other countries and I never said you were an idiot or inferior. And I “flashed” my American friend just to say that I don’t like prejudices and don’t think all Americans are stupid, I mean, I even said that I get this worked up when Swedes talk condescending about the US.

Anyhow, I’m really apologize if my explanation came of as fuzzy and unclear, my English skills aren’t the best. Sorry!

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Emery

January 28th, 2011 at 22:30

@Erik: Ah no biggy :p in the beginning I was really ashamed of being an American because the majority of them are–stereotypically–conceited and retarded and that’s exactly how the rest of the world sees us as, I get that. Can’t blame you, and personally; I can’t do much to fix that image. In fact after awhile I started telling people I was Canadian just to get them to stop talking about American politics XD ahaha.

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Erik

January 28th, 2011 at 22:52

@ Emery: Oh but you should never be ashamed of who you are! You know, after reading posts like this it really gets you thinking. Now I usually think about holding doors for other or just saying “sorry” if I do something wrong. Before, I never thought of it since no one ever pointed it out! It’s good to have people from other cultures telling us what is wrong and what is good, otherwise a culture cannot grow! But don’t think I wont go down without a fight, haha!

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Emery

January 29th, 2011 at 10:08

Fair enough, I challenge you to a duel! Paint balls or water balloons? :o

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Patrik

January 29th, 2011 at 20:10

One of the most tiresome critiques I hear about Sweden is that people not smiling to every face they see on the street, or striking up convo with strangers or on the subway/buses. Those comments allways come from people who lived in cities who are either 1) small or 2) dominated by cars.

Newsflash. People don’t smile at every face they see in NY. They don’t generally talk to strangers on the subway or the streets. Neither do they in London. Neither in Paris. Neither in Berlin.

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lili

January 29th, 2011 at 21:21

Sweden sucks, fortunately I am leaving it in a month …cannot wait….

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Erik

January 30th, 2011 at 01:34

@ Emery: I don’t really do paint ball so I’d have to go with water balloons!

@ lilli: Bye, hope you had a pleasant stay! *Opening the door and waving you off with a smile* See, Swedes can be friendly!

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clotilde

January 31st, 2011 at 07:18

@Emery – about this statement “I’ve noticed that Americans can take the criticism against America a lot easier than Swedes, unlike Swedes we can have a sense of humor about it and don’t take it as a personal attack against us but rather America as a whole. In fact of all the people bashing America, we do it the most! We get it!”

I have to disagree with that. I have alot of American friends, and I love them to bits, they are cool and lovely people but I’ve noticed most of them don’t seem to have a sense of humour when America is being scrutinised or criticised (not attacked). They get really defensive they seem to turn into this weird nationalistic Americans (which seems so off from their personality!). They criticise where they are from sure, but when it’s our turn the claws come out., haha meanwhile the European (including Swedes) friends I have, are more open to criticisms. I’m not from Sweden though, I’m in Asia, maybe they are different here. In my country it’s the opposite, we criticise ourselves too much.

Now on something a bit different, sometimes I come on here and wish that a list of things I hate about my country is as trivial as people not smiling or opening doors, here I don’t think there is enough time to list down what we hate and most of them are things we don’t have much control over (crime corruption poverty). Not that the complaints about your countries are not valid, it’s just different I suppose. I think I’d truly appreciate the day that my main complaint would be someone not opening the door for me. Haha here I think if someone opened the door for me I’d be dubious and check my bags immediate or my mobile.

That being said I really think the charms of each and every country lies in what we hate or love. How else would we yearn to explore or travel or meet people if we all have same customs/culture.

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clotilde

January 31st, 2011 at 07:22

oops sorry emery, didn’t mean to make the entire message for you. actually it’s more general comment. :P

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Emery

January 31st, 2011 at 12:36

I’ve noticed Americans back stateside are a bit more defensive as opposed to those living abroad but it all depends on how you approach them with criticism. If you do it intelligently or comedicly they usually go along with it. Colbert, Daily Show, etc. like mentioned before do it all the time and we love it. Just depends on your approach really :p

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Dano

January 31st, 2011 at 13:41

You want “American defensive”?…Tell them America would be a much better place without guns.
That always brings them out of their shells! :D

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clotilde

January 31st, 2011 at 20:48

I love the Daily Show, it is ace!

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Andreas

February 1st, 2011 at 20:45

I think quite the opposite of swedes/sweden as you do (I found this site by googling!). I am Swedish myself and I utterly despise this country, not because of the country itself but because of the inhabitants.

Lemme make a list (this is mainly addressed to swedish kids)
1. Immature
2. Retarded
3. Cocky
4. Lacks courage to stand up for one’s beliefs
5. Cowards
6. Lacks any sense of moral, this is probably due to Sweden lacking culture and us being atheists (hence lacking some sort of fundamental belief)

etc…

I’m only 19 y.o but I wish I could move away and work in some other country in the future, preferably the U.S or Canada or something. Besides my list, Sweden is under extreme influx of immigrants from countries like Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan who are shipped into poor suburbs which leads to poverty and basically making the areas themselves a no go for people who differentiates from them (west Europeans).

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Dano

February 2nd, 2011 at 12:23

Well Andreas, you seem intelligent enough and young enough to do whatever you want to do. “The world is your oyster” as the expression goes. Make your hopes and dreams happen! :)

(Although i think you’ll find many countries still have the same kids around, but many are a lot less cowardly and a hell of a lot more dangerous!)

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trace81

February 14th, 2011 at 21:46

I think that swedes are very polite and friendly..i mean this in a) the sense of their mentality and their attitude to behaviour and b) what i’m used to
my experience of living in big cities has always been the same-rude people..dont hold doors, dont make eye contact ..thats the reality of life in a big city! i fell down on the ice yesterday..people stared, walked away as my own child cried for me..but ive had similar experiences in London and New York.. so to say that just about swedes in general is unfair…I dont like the cold or dark,,,but im a Brit and our weather is terrible!…and for the political remarks u.s v sweden well ignorance is also the same no matter where your from..i also hate when people complain and yet do nothing..you can leave/change your situation…

p.s. love your blog! xx

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Lars

February 17th, 2011 at 14:51

With regards to the clothing issue, XL is like M.. It helps if you dont hail from a “culture” that worship fast food I guess.. I have been to the US numerous times but I would never in my life think of the absurd idea to complain about the things that I dislike about the US. Some might consider THAT to be rude.

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countess

February 17th, 2011 at 21:46

This bashing stuff are made to attract attntion towards the basher (as bully pll do ), make him look more interesting and inteligent, since he/ she is able to critices. Some pll think critcising is showing off how smart u r. Well is not. And isnt a one post bashing…loooool…. it’s a practice. As she said…. gets more replays …more fun… more interactiv… more smarter she looks. Im sure Sweden sucks, cos im lost in Stockholm too, but on my list advantages are clearly higer and more quality like. Sweden is technologized all over, while USA…. if u live in midcontinent or south like…..

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Zargham

February 22nd, 2011 at 03:31

Just for fun of it ;)
http://9gag.com/gag/81985/ (stockholm syndrome and beauty and the beast)

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TheSwede

February 22nd, 2011 at 09:00

I’m from Sweden. I’d like to comment on everything you have written n´but that’s too much. I’l just say that most things aren’t true.
And: Where do you live, a small village in Texas? I’ve been to NY and LA. No one fucking Smiles all the time or holds up the door or small talks with strangers. It’s not like that in any city in the world! (Except the really small ones)

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TheSwede

February 22nd, 2011 at 09:02

I would just like to add that most of the things you said that are true aren’t negative.

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Isabella

March 11th, 2011 at 02:53

Before I moved to England from Sweden I would probablly have been quite upset about some of the comments made but I think I get it. When I first came to England I thought it was very historical and beautiful but after living here for a couple of months I started noticing the differences from what I am used to, and I did not like it, LOL .

Then I started thinking deeper into things, and I realized that all the things I find to be “bad” here arent “bad” at all its just that im not used to it being that way.

No matter where you are from you are grown into that particular society ,the norms,culture and mentallity of things, it becomes your natural element so when you are taken out of the place you are used to all the walls come crashing down and it confuses you, upsets you and so on, you miss how it used to be so to say because you are used to it and havent experienced anything else, you notice peoples norms alot more when you come to a new place.

The whinning about the weather, people do that everywhere I think but its alot more noticeable when you are scanning for differences in people. About that swedish people dont smile, yes we do I think you just have experienced the hectic life of stockholm and such, its the same in London, I dont live in London but ive visited a couple of times and English people that dont live there even say that Londoners are rude. Its a big city thing.

compared to the english, people do seem more rude in sweden, but its not rude at all for a swede who is used to it being like that. People always use polite words over here but it got me thinking how many do actually mean it when they say please or thank you? it has kind of become a linking word between phrases rather than when you actually mean it

And that americans can make fun of themselves, I think that is true aswell, just as swedish people make fun of themselves too, But when a non-native to the country in question makes a comment about the swedish norms for example, people dont think of it as a joke ,and take offence, just like the americans would. Its like two siblings fighting with eachother and its okay for the older brother to bash on the little brother, but if someone else did it there would be war.
This wasnt directed towards anyone in particular, just my own

thoughts and feelings about it, I hope I wasnt being too confusing

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Dano

March 11th, 2011 at 14:24

Well thought out and said. :)

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John

March 12th, 2011 at 23:34

sweden is a horrible place, not because of the weather or anything but because of the denizens, swedish kids are cocky behind their computer screens and are cowards in real life, most of the youth here are racist or retarded, sitting with their iphones like cowards and hands over the phone when they get robbed by an immigrant then takes it out behind their screens.

furthermore, swedes are horrible at being social and noone here has any civil courage, you can seriously get beaten on the middle of the streets in a city on the daytime and everyone will walk past you, fortunately it hasen’t happened to me.

i like my country but i hate the inhabitants, i wish all swedes would be purged from this place and make this place filled up with other nationalities, im glad we take in a lot of immigrants to replace most of the pathetic swedes who are frustrated because they fail in real life and takes it out by being cocky on the internet

that was some incoherent rambling but thats my 5 cents on “my” shitty people.

//tall swede

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Isabella

March 16th, 2011 at 02:06

Why then, if this is everyone of the swedish people you are talking about, was it that when I crashed my car into a pile of snow,did 3 cars stop immidietly to ask if i was okay and help me get the car back up on the road?

It wasnt even going that fast so it was obvious that I wasnt hurt. you must have experienced the hectic big city life. And about the kids, well yeah most kids in most countries today seem to be more cocky than any older person can take, its a generation shift, you cant get away from that no matter where you are, its not a “swedish kids” thing,its a world thing.

And I wonder weather or not what you were doing when you wrote that isnt in fact the exact same thing as you accused swedish people of anyways ?

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Dano

March 16th, 2011 at 12:27

It seems to be one of those “unwritten rules” over here Isabella that if you crash/break down, any passing motorist is obliged to stop and offer help. It’s the closest to “good manners” many Swedes get! lol.
Bit of a double edged sword in my opinion, as it’s a great way to mug,rape or murder people in dark lonely places!

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Isabella

March 16th, 2011 at 15:30

Haha good point, ah but maybe its just the fact that I come from a small town where people arent as stressed out over things as in big cities.

I dont think that people in sweden think about the possibility of being murdered as much as they should people can be very naive, either they are too naive about things or to hostile because they are scared

But I would not say that its true for every swedish person, my dad likes to refer to those people as “the people who has never left the 50km/h signs”(50km/h is the standard limit within towns,except for certain places where its 30km/h due to nearby schools ect.)

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sofie

March 17th, 2011 at 01:23

@Isabella

“I think you just have experienced the hectic life of stockholm and such, its the same in London, I dont live in London but ive visited a couple of times and English people that dont live there even say that Londoners are rude. Its a big city thing.”

London and Stockholm are nothing alike.

London is the population of Sweden. Depending on where you live depends on why they say Londoners are rude. See if you live in a “small” town up north then the reason for that opinion is because people wouldn’t want to see London as the Capital of England. Some always like to see Manchester or Liverpool as number 1.

“Londoners” many live outside of London as well. So I have no idea where you get this comparison to Stockholm.

Buckinghamshire, Birkshire, Kent are a lot of places where Londoners live, and travel into work.

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Isabella

March 19th, 2011 at 22:27

@Sofie

The absolutely only comparison with London that I made was that it is a big city.

Granted I said “it’s the same in London”, but by that I meant that in big citites you live a hectic life, like they do in stockholm aswell. Obviously stockholm is about the size of a toilet compared, I just figured that was so obvious we didnt even have to mention it.

Yes I know that not all people that are in London live there, I said that english people that dont live in london say that they are rude(hence im also guessing that they dont work there either), now I could have gone on about why I dont think its true,but my post would have been 2 pages long then,plus it wasnt the topic either

I could compare stockholm with delhi in India but i’ve never been there, hence why I dont, they are both big cities with stressed out people in general, but they are nothing alike.,.I thought it was too obvious to mention?

I dont live in a small town up north but thanks for assuming/guessing, plus if you knew what you were talking about before you spoke you would know that not all people in stockholm live in stockholm either:) but again if you wanna go on about obvious details we can.

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JS

March 20th, 2011 at 14:37

Time for me to vent!

Sweden sucks due to its people, because every Swede is a self-loathing Swede who can’t stand other Swedes (including himself/herself), is scared shitless of immigrants (but would never admit it, not even with a gun pushed into the temple) and can only defrost and relax and act like real people when:
a) Being drunk
b) Being outside of Sweden (preferably drunk)

Swedes also suck because they think they’re modest, open-minded, polite, generous and non-nationalist, but after spending some time with this strange breed of people, you realize that it’s the other way around, at least these days! Sweden and the Swedes have been hyped for way too long – too many positive myths, too much PR and such, that they’ve become big-headed jokers who honestly believe that Sweden is the pinnacle of modern civilization. Swedes brag about what they do and are great at, how much they make, Swedes are pushy, rude and barge into one another, they’re money grubbing and cheap. Then Swedes get all fired up if you dare to even utter anything that might even be remotely considered as criticism of their great nation, and then, of course, after you spilled your beans about the splendor of Sweden, it’ll be followed by some good ol’ standardized USA bashing about how shallow and fake Americans are, how materialistic and greedy Uncle Sam and his citizens are and how incredibly low the standard of living is there compared to the one in Sweden.

Sweden sucks because it traded away all the benefits and welfare for some wannabe “modern and progressive international (read: capitalist) society”, when in reality people here are getting scammed naked!

Everything here is mad expensive! Health-care is expensive and a big joke! Taxes are still high but seem to favor the rich rather than people in need. Have you noticed the boom of homeless people lately? I have! But people here are too jaded, cold and selfish to care, which is being heavily exploited; Swedes think that the government takes care of them and the rest of their ‘amazing’ society, when in reality basically everything is being tossed around and privatized. You never know what awaits you when dealing with the Swedish system and society. I’ve been living here for 30 years and I still don’t get it since things are changed around behind your back 24/7. The modern Swede is a ruthless neo-conservative pro-capitalist individualist with the mindset of a domesticated obedient Socialist drone pumped up on populist juice and Schlagerfestival as downers.

Say what you want about how it was here 10 to 20 years ago, but at least you knew what applied, and the 30% in taxes you chipped in with was in the end a bang for the buck, at least for us common folk. But most of all people protested, showed emotion and even though you’d hear the Swedish version of the N-word daily and people staring at you, you still managed to befriend people – people were curious who you were. I might suffer from nostalgia, but that’s how I feel about the whole thing. Makes me sad.

Ok, I’ll stop here (I could go on and on and on!) I used to love Sweden, I really did, but lately I’ve found myself disgusted by the people (including some of my so called friends) and system. It’s really weird here, and not in an exotic and intriguing way – it’s just weird and Twilight Zone-like, but cold and without the charm. Sometimes I find myself in a Kafkaesque novel, and I’m asking myself- “what the hell am I still doing here?”… The Stockholm Syndrome I guess.

PS. Oh, and did I mention that the weather here sucks?

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Malva

April 13th, 2011 at 08:37

Well, hi!
I’m from Sweden and I can agree about some things said. I really think Sweeds are slow and hard to talk to. People doesn’t say sorry if they accidently punch you with their bags. But that mostly occure in bigger cities, like Stockholm. We are a little a bit stiff and rude but you shouldn’t care about such things. If you are exposed by such people, just stare them out. Such things certainly makes us embarrassed.
Wintertime certainly sucks. Yes it does.
Why is our fashion retarded? Doesn’t all countries have different styles?

BIG hugs from Sweden!!! =D

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Joel

April 18th, 2011 at 18:39

The “people don’t apologize when they hit you with their bags” part was so relatable.
I was born in Stockholm, and lived there till I was eight. I am now seventeen years old.
My mother worked at Bergianska Trädgården and Kungliga Vetenskaps Akademien, but we lived in Södermalm, as a result, she used to use the tubes every day to get to and from work.
At that time, I did everything with my mother, during weekends etc. I’d help her out with her classes, she used to tutor people in flower arrangements.
Anyway, in short, I too used the tubes a lot, and people ALWAYS hit me in the head with their bags/handbags. I hated that so much.

As I got older I ended up stomping people on their feet or punching them in the crotch, it wasn’t appreciated but as I was so young they couldn’t really do anything.

I now live in Nyköping, I never liked it out here, but one thing is certain, people here are a lot nicer. It may be due to the fact that there’s a lot of immigrants here, but people are really nice here, they shake your hands and they’re generally very polite.

When was the last time you just missed a bus, and you saw the bus driving away, and the bus driver stopped in Stockholm? Never happened me, but it happens all the time in Nyköping.
In general, I hate it here, but the people are nice.

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Nils

April 26th, 2011 at 12:44

* People hit you in the head with bags on the metro and don’t apologize
– Really? Never experienced that myself.

* Some people block the entrance walking on/off the train.
Yeah, I suppose in Stockholm they might. Most of these opinions are about Stockholm btw, not Sweden.

* Without immigrants cleaning the streets, the city would be a dump.
– I guess. They get the lower wage jobs, sure.

* No one holds doors open.
Not in my experience.

* Those damn heaters in doorways of malls (think Gallerian) are completely uncool for the “enviromental capital of europe.”
– I never got the point of those heaters myself.

* XL is more like M in clothing.
– True. I think american clothes in general are bigger and more baggy. I always go down at least one size whenever I buy american brands. I’m a guy btw.

* People snus and throw the used packet on the streets; same with cigarette butt litter.
– Yeah, but don’t they do that everywhere?

* With gym etiquette, no one has sweat towels!
– I guess not. I wipe my foreheard on my t-shirt, don’t see the point of wasting a towel just for sweating on it.

* People wear flip flops or walk barefoot in the gym – I’d love to drop a 10kg dumbbell on an exposed toe
– That’s against the rules in my gym. I hate people who do that.

* Drivers think you’re a pylon when crossing the street.
– No experience.

* Bus drivers think they are in the indy or rally!
– No experience.

* The black market rental sucks.
– Indeed.

* The housing market sucks.
– Indeed. In Stockholm.

* Buying gorgeous shoes in Stockholm is impossible
– I’m a guy.

* Cyclists are training for the Tour de France in the summer, ergo you get run down like obstacle flags.
– No experience.

* Fitted bedsheets don’t exist.
– Never heard of those.

* Bedsheets other than white don’t exist.
– I have a few but I guess white is the standard.

* Foreigners are suffering from Stockholm syndrome.
– No experience.

* Designer crap Swedish fashion falls apart after 3 months of use.
– The H&M stuff does, yeah. That’s why I never buy it.

* Shopping is limited. I want soy candles and toe socks, where the hell can I find them!
– I’m a guy.

* No one smiles.
– Not in my experience. But I guess I don’t walk around smiling unless I have a reason to do so.

* Banks close at 15hr on most days.
– Yes.

* People whine about the weather. I already know the weather sucks, thanks for pointing out the obvious.
– I never talk about weather, it’s retarded.

* People don’t make small talk.
– Sure they do, they walk about the weather. I don’t like small talk though. I talk when I’ve got something to say.

* Stores close at 18hr (19hr if you’re lucky).
– Maybe. But again, I’m a guy. I don’t care.

* Swedish banks change rules as often as people screaming skål at the company julbord dinner party
– No experience. I’m never there.

* Swedish banks don’t let you see details of transactions…my last paycheck came from a company/person/object called “0?
– I never check my transactions, long as my balance is positive I don’t care.

* Housewives are condescended upon by Swedes.
– Yes, I suppose so. I wouldn’t want a housewife, I don’t want to be the sole provider.

* The queue system only works when there is a queue number. Otherwise people fail to understand forming a line.
– I don’t think that’s right. I think we’re good at it. Except the arabs.

* Queues during Christmastime fail miserably.
– No experience.

* If Disneyworld is the best place on earth, then System Bolaget must be the antichrist.
– I hate the liquor monopoly and I think it needs to go.

* Lagom everything is at work. Why can’t people work to do their best?
– Don’t they?

* Everything is so expensive.
– Never thought about it. Some things are, I guess. Electronic gadgets and computers are a lot more expensive here than in the states, for example.

* Customer service doesn’t exist.
– Maybe not to an american, our service sector is not nearly as big as yours. I don’t really care about service, I have very limited experience from eating out etc that I can’t tell if it’s good or bad. Frankly, I don’t care.

* Wedding gift registries do not exist.
– Never heard of those.

* Shopping online is still in the stone age.
– How can this be any different than online shopping in other countries?

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Bröl

April 26th, 2011 at 12:47

In general, I try to minimize the amount of redundant information I give out. Walking around saying “sorry” all the time like the brits, what is the point of that? They don’t mean it, it’s an empty phrase. Same thing with small talk. It’s redundant, useless. Just be quiet instead. Doesn’t mean you’re being rude, you’ve just evolved beyond all the redundant crap.

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Anders

April 27th, 2011 at 13:50

What is wrong with you !! the BIGGEST problem with Sweden is that there is no ICE with soft drinks ANYWHERE and ICE TEA is an unheard of concept. Lady, you just have to get a sense of proportion (yes I’m kidding … sort of).

After living 10 years in North Texas (read DFW metroplex) I could level the some of the same criticisms at that place as you have listed here just change the cold to hot and omit the snus remarks. Plus there is drive-thru banking with extended hours and drive-thru liquor stores (except if the township is dry) and 24/7 open stores, and a lot more traffic.

Swedes behaving badly that is where the problem lies. We’re just an unfriendly bunch of freeloaders, yes sir!

Seriously though. You being an American have failed in you Scandinavian class miserably. If you had spent some time listening to the prairie home companion on NPR or on the web at prairiehome.org you would be so much better prepared for the mentality of Swedes. I’m just going to throw it out there and say you probably never went to Minneapolis so that you could get a general feel for what you where going to encounter. Maybe you actually did if so bring it on.

It can be difficult to wrap ones head around that Swedish people are in fact brought up to believe in other things than for instance Texans, Californians or New Yorker’s believe in. The value system that exist here is slightly different than in the U.S. BTW the value system and behavior that people have is different between the different states in the good’ol U.S.A. too.

What I’m about to say is an extremely important point about Sweden and Swedish people. I’m sure you have noticed this behavior but I feel compelled to try to describe it. To tout ones own horn is not acceptable behavior. I mean that in a loose kind of way. It’s almost like being passive aggressive, such that oneupmanship is almost a national sport, accompanied by self limiting remarks and social and intellectual territorial defensiveness. So there is a really creepy mix between shyness, self limitation and extreme defensiveness that can come across as hostility and unfriendliness. This by the way happens in the U.S. too when people feel that someone from the outside (furriners like me) are trying to assert themselves. The cure for this … I think I take Wold Peace for $500:- instead. Again listen to the prairiehome companinon especially the news from Lake Wobegone.

You are right about Swedish drivers, since there is virtually no traffic anywhere, except in Stockholm. In which a pitiful little trickle of rush hour congestion is mustered primarily by refusing to upgrade the roadway infrastructure to any meaningful degree. In spite of the lack of reasons for Swedish drivers to experience any amount of stress on the roadways they tend to lack the most basic road manner’s one could expect in a civilized nation. (I’m not going to compare the Swedes to other horrible European drivers because they are just not that bad). However considering how little traffic there is. the aggressive competitive style some drivers employ is just disturbing.

The lack of customer service. This is partially true and has several causes, both cultural and cost structure ones.
My advice, vote with your feet an your money. Something you deserve to know is that eating out hasn’t been a habit of Swedish people for long, except for lunch at establishments that specialize in streamlined almost school cafeteria like fair and environment. Also good vegetarian alternatives in Sweden are few and far between. Consult local experts. Doing your homework before you hit the street will improve your chances of getting a decent meal.

And to round things up. Swedes and their Swinglish. This is a true story.

In the 1970-ies in Kramfors (small city up North look it up on a map) a British male teacher had employment at a school (unsure of what grade he taught). One late afternoon an upbeat Swedish female colleague wanted to encourage him to sit in on a union meeting. Swedish unions are much different than the ones in the U.S. (this you also must study). To let him know she said.

“Hello there we are having a Fack meeting come and enjoy us”. So there, Swedish people can also be fuuunhy.

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CanadianChick

May 13th, 2011 at 07:43

haha Anders. “What is wrong with you !! the BIGGEST problem with Sweden is that there is no ICE with soft drinks ANYWHERE and ICE TEA ”

Not having ice in drinks sounds pretty good to me. I hate that in Canada we only get 3-4 months of warm/nice weather but the second the snow is melted we get blasted by air conditioning everywhere. For instance – the last bit of snow on the north facing (shaded) part of my yard just melted last week – I went for a nice supper and the restaurant already had their air conditioning on. WTF? It’s not even hot yet – it still freezes at nighttime!!! I nearly froze to death in the restaurant. They had it at least 15 degrees Celsius in the restaurant – on purpose – maybe colder. The waitress were complaining how ‘hot’ they were.
I ordered a Pepsi and it came full of ice – I drank it waiting for food – and then I was shivering so bad I considered leaving. I like air conditioning in the late summer when it gets truly hot here and stays hot all night. But I don’t understand why my fellow Canadians insist on making it 15 degrees or colder inside with the air conditioning in summer. Room temperature is not 23C in Canada – it’s closer to 14C (in summer). In winter houses/ restaurants/stores/ are usually heated to about 20C – then in summer for some reason the same 20C is not ok – they must make it even colder (apparently just because they enjoy air conditioning). I don’t get it. I keep my house 25C in the winter and about 23C in the summer (because the humidity makes it feel a tad warmer in summer). I’m probably the only Canadian who does this. Most worship air conditioning. I quiz up people who have cold houses in the winter on why they keep their houses at say 19C – they’ll say to ‘save energy’ – yet when the snow has just melted they instantly start pumping their air conditioner until it’s 15C!!! Makes me irritated. It costs more energy to run the air conditioner from spring-fall at 15C than it does to turn your winter furnace up from a cool 19C to a nice 23C.

How are the Swedes for air conditioning? Do they like to turn their houses/shops/restaurants into cold storage via artificial means in summer?

As for Ice tea – that’s interesting. I see you are from USA – – Little cultural tid bit – Canadians dislike American iced tea. The first time I ordered iced tea in the USA – I nearly spit it out (not to be rude – but out of shock that it was so bitter) there’s no sugar in it!?? That’s strange because most things in the USA are much sweeter than they are in Canada – but Iced Tea is the exception.

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John

May 16th, 2011 at 14:20

Dude you are so right on.

I’ve lived here TWENTY-ONE years. Came here from the US. In other words, you cannot say I have not had enough time to be able to understand these people – if it was POSSIBLE to understand these people. I learned the language – I did everything possible to blend in..at least as much as I felt was healthy…

I F%&&%ng hate it here! AND yes, IM leaving. Finally after 21 years I’m getting the hell out of this place. For reasons I wont go into, I didn’t feel I had the opportunity until now (hint-hint -kids)

WHY DOES SWEDEN SUCK? There are so many reasons, many of which have already been touched on here – but as another American said to me not long ago – its NOT even the weather – its the “ATTITUDES”. In other words, Sweden is ok but Swedes Suck HARD!

OK, maybe swedes just DONT KNOW ANY BETTER. Maybe common courtesy is not common afterall…but do you really have to act like assholes all the time? I’ve had people actually try to HELP me in some situations (for example when my car was stuck in the snow) and I swear to god, the guy’s attitude would have gotten him KILLED in the US. And thats a person trying to help! Imagine when a Swede wishes you harm.

What a bunch of rude, ignorant humans.

I could go on ALL day why Swedes suck so much. Been here 21 years and it NEVER got any better. MY advice to any American nowadays is leave if you can – don’t make the same mistake I did and give this place your youth. Go somewhere where people are actually HAPPY.

I kid you not when I say that, growing up in California, I had the opportunity to meet many illegal aliens from Mexico who came to pick fruit in California. They lived in shacks for months at a time – ten to room, no running water. I am NOT joking or exagerating when I say that I am 100% confident that those poor guys were about 10 times HAPPIER than the average Swede I have met here with his two volvos, his summer cabin, apartment and yearly trip to Greece. What a bunch of spoiled assholes.

And yes one of the worst parts is that Swedes are on their high-horse for no reason. I mean come on, how many times have we heard a Swede say that there is a “double standard” in the US. Maybe there is – but what about this pathetic dump-of-a-place?

You want double standard? Try this on for size:

Swedes think they are saving the world donating crappy old Stadium sweats and clothes to Africa -and granted giving away a lot of money to charities. Granted Swedes are generous about helping SOME other countries – they show some empathy there. BUT SWEDES TREAT EACH OTHER LIKE CRAP!!!!!! Talk about double standard. Save third world countries but spit on (even literally) on they neighbor. Makes me wanna puke.

And as someone pointed out NOBODY wants to take any responsibilty for anything. “Oh, look there are group of 12 year olds smoking ciggarettes in public. Oh well, none of my business”. My god. Adults should be shot here for negligence. All I know is if that happened when I was growing up every darn adult that walked by would warn those 12 year olds about the dangers of smoking – and point out that – even if they cant “force” them to stop – they would really like to warn them.

My only fear at this point is that, before I leave, which is very soon, only weeks, I’ll end up blowing a fuse after 20 years of suppresed feelings and end up in prison in Sweden instead of getting out.

Did anyone see Sweden get their asses kicked in Icehockey last night? Man Sweden has not rolled over so easily since WWII.

If you are American, and have the opportunity to get out, and if you value happiness, get out now, while you can.

Jesus Christ – I hate this place!

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RS

May 25th, 2011 at 18:25

Your article should be called “Things To Hate About STOCKHOLM” – not Sweden! Not all, but alot of the phenomenons you’re describing are unique for Stockholm, or at least significently worse in Stockholm than the rest of Sweden. I used to live in Sthlm and I agree with alot of the complaints you’re stating. But don’t condemn the whole country just based on your experiences in one city.
Every metropolitans you go to around the world is going to have its share of problems, including the big cities in the U.S. (I’ve lived there for approx. 3 years in the past and visited NYC, Chicago, and several others).
My advice is, visit other places in Sweden. You will notice in smaller towns that people are indeed friendly and smile towards you, says hi etc. On the other hand, what you said about strangers not being into small talk, it’s true, and that is just a cultural difference. When I first came to the U.S. and strangers would come up and start talking to me I thought that was very annoying. I felt they were very nosy asking a bunch of personal questions without even knowing you.
Sweden not being the best place on earth – I don’t know. I haven’t visited every place on earth so it would be impossible to compare. However, I do know I am happy that I don’t have to worry about the tornados in the states, the earthquakes in Japan, the terrorists in the middle east, the starvation in Ethiopia, and so on. Neither would I want to live anywhere in the Eastern Bloc.
Somedays I feel I hate Sweden too, but to be realistic, there is no paradise on earth. Every country is going to have its pros and cons. So go ahead and pick your poison.

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mivec

June 15th, 2011 at 07:52

In regards to the last post by Anders, I don’t see how Minneapolis/NPR/Prairie Home Companion = “Swedish” mentality… I live/work in Minneapolis, listen to NPR as well as APHC.

Great blog btw! Keep it up!

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O'Green

June 19th, 2011 at 12:55

I gotta admit, it’s kind of cute how you’re essentially admitting to trolling – spewing hate in pursuit of pageviews? Score! Of course your post on loving Sweden didn’t get as much attention. This is the Internet, after all. People love to hate and hate to love.

Trust me, I can recognize a bid for attention when I see one, and although the original list of reasons to hate Swedish strikes me as a smidgen silly, perhaps, or just the other side of mature (full of feminists? How lovely life in America would be if that country, too, could be filled with people fighting for equality across the binaries!) it’s obviously just that – silly, a little bit immature. Nothing to get overly het up about.

Many of the posters in the comments on the other hand, be they Swedish, American or whatever else, make me wonder whether they were dropped on the head before or after reaching adolescence. The ignorance is so wide-spread that I can only stare in wonder and quote that virtuosic, eponymous Anchorman: “I’m not even mad … that’s amazing.” (Joking, but honestly, sometimes you just gotta sit back and marvel. Are these people for real? As in, can we be absolutely certain that they are actually human beings?)

Oh, haters, stay pressed. I’m a Swede who spent half my time in the States growing up and now reside in the UK. Trust, there are good and bad things about every country out there. The existence or lack thereof of fitted bedsheets is maybe not one of the more important ones.

(Also? I don’t want to present myself as fatphobic, but I just can’t resist this delicious slice of irony: “XL is more like M in clothing.” Vanity sizing is real, folks! I don’t buy into the myth that Americans are in any way predisposed to being fatter than their non-American brethren, but if the size XL fits, wear it. Or, rather, if the size XL doesn’t fit your bulk, man up and size up and don’t whine about a country’s lack of vanity sizing as though that is in any way a bad thing. Cheers, mates.)

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Vanessa B

July 4th, 2011 at 22:21

I loved both the hate post and did not read the love post because I am sooooooo not in the mood for that right now. This country drives me mad and you hit most of right on the head. And man if you ARE NOT Swedish and live in the “urban ghettos” aka outside of the main big cities…poopoo on you! My biggest thing is the manners in this crazy country…all I can say is Swedish people GET SOME!!!!!!!

And I feel that to make a house a home you do NEED fitted bedsheets, I have to recruit my husband to help me lift the bed so I can TRY to stretch the sheet as far as it possibly can go to get over the flipping corner of the bed. By the time we are done we both want a nap but are afraid to lay in the bed in case the sheet comes off! LOL

Goodie goodie that O’Green spent half her time of growing up in the States and in the UK…that does not make her anymore an expert than the rest of us. Maybe she is just privileged and has not experienced the crap I/we have been submitted too or she is just sharing her opinion. Honestly, I don’t really care. The experiences I have had here are my own…rather good or bad.

I am not saying the States is any better than any other country and I get mad when people assume that of me just because I am American. To me every single country in the world big or small has their problems big or small…unfortunately America is just really big and a bit of a loud mouth and their faults are more obvious.

Keep posting I enjoy your time spent here! Thanks for making it real. Wish I had of read this before my husband dragged me 6,394 miles away from home! he he

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O'Green

July 6th, 2011 at 05:03

Hey, Vanessa B. I saw you directed some of your post toward me. As such, I thought you deserved a response.

Starting here. Indeed, right!? Goodie goodie for me that I’ve spent most my time in Sweden, a sizable portion of my life in various of the United States of America, made sure to travel around Europe and Asia as much as I could possibly afford, and am now living in Scotland and adoring it there. Believe you me when I say that I’m perfectly aware how blessed I am in those respects. I am not privileged in all aspects – for instance, I could go further into my thoughts on intersectionalism and feminism but somehow I have a feeling you would not be too interested in that. That’s not even to mention a variety of other lacks of privileges pertaining to me as an individual rather than me as a part of a group, but I’m sure you are even less interested in my explicating those, and fair enough – this is not, after all, my personal blog. As far as getting to experience different cultures, I’ve been nothing short of lucky. Hard-working, too, as you have to be in order to raise the money to travel so much as well as teach yourself a cornucopia of different languages fluently enough to get by as you travel and move, but certainly lucky as well. I don’t know how I managed to give you the impression that I don’t consider myself privileged in that respect?

What amuses me in this context is the fact that I love so much of America. Obviously not everything about it – even more obviously, I’ve not experienced even close to every American state, much as I’d like to one day when my resources might hopefully reach as far as all that – but I adore so many thing about the continent as a whole that I’ve a difficult time listing them all. (My largest gripe is with the politics, as even the left wings are much too right-oriented for my taste – but I’m sure you’d just rejoinder that by saying that all Scandinavians are dirty socialists.) I think you make a good point that America as a nation gets a lot of grief because a larger amount of citizens has the opportunity to be vocal as the country itself is so large – the proportion of crazy or annoying or just plain stupid people is no larger than the proportion of crazy, annoying and just plain stupid people in any country on earth.

If you want other people to be more open-minded about America, though, it appears to me to be somewhat of an oxymoron that you’re so close-minded about Sweden. Perhaps I should convince every Swedish person I know to travel to America and throw a fit because so many sheets are fitted? Glib though that may sound, I’m honestly confused as to why you hate and despise Sweden so much if the only proper reason you seem to be able to muster is the lack of bed clothing to your liking.

You say that you don’t consider America any better than any other country and that it enrages you when people assume that your opinion would be such. (To be absolutely truthful, having spent Fourth of July in America as well as other days of apparently patriotic significance, the generalization does not seem entirely baseless in as far as generalizations go – but of course generalizations do not necessarily indicate wider truth; something you might like to keep in mind as you read the original poster’s generalizations regarding why Sweden is supposedly so detestable. Or are generalizations only reliable sources of fact when you, yourself, agree with them?) Parentheses aside – I must apologize for my excessive love of parentheses; I just can’t quit them when writing or typing any Germanic language! – you are naturally perfectly entitled to your apparent hatred of Sweden and your subsequent extrapolations in regards to its people’s, custom’s and perceived faults.

However, that does make it seem hypocritical of you to appear to allow no similar reasoning regarding Americans. The very reason I originally brought up my own experiences of a variety of different nations, continents, and cultures was that they have all allowed me to see in action the good as well as the bad, and thus not dismiss any one culture because of a misguided sense of nationalism or patriotism directed toward my country of birth. If you’ll allow me saying so, perhaps (if you are lucky enough to have the means to do so) you should attempt some traveling of your own, or at least try to put your apparent hatred of Sweden aside. Perhaps it is not so bad, after all (especially seeing as how I’m certain fitted sheets can be imported, if that’s your main point of contention); perhaps it could be a sort of home away from home, even if you, from reading your message, seem to think that anything American could beat up anything Swedish with its hands tied behind its back, if you’ll forgive the direct translation of a Swedish idiomatic expression.

(I’m not going to bother responding your jibe regarding the amount of ‘crap’ I have or have not experienced. I’m considering apologizing for sounding somewhat glib – certainly I did come off that way in my last message – but you know what? I could perhaps have been politer, but I wouldn’t claim you’ve acted like a paragon of courtesy yourself, and I assume I’m not going to be able to convince you that we natives of this “crazy country” have any “manners” at all. You’ll perhaps advise me again to “GET SOME!!!!!!!” [sic for excessive exclamation points] but, on the whole, I tend to extend my full courtesy only to those who have made very clear that they both deserve it and intend to be similarly refined in return. If that sounds terribly snarky, I can only half-heartedly offer my condolences.)

Tove O.

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vetteswede

August 15th, 2011 at 13:51

You Americans don´t even have car shows for classic american cars that come close to those in Sweden. Look at our Power Big Meet with 20000 US classics or our Stockholm cruise night. If you try to have a cruising like we do in Sweden, your fascist police would call out the National Guard and arrest everybody. Here we can atleast sit and drink beer in a big american convertable as long as the driver is sober. Your american car shows are like sunday school or boy scout get togethers, with at most 50 cars at local shows. A swede who starts to work at 20, gets a good salery and doesn´t have to work for minimum wages as in the States, hence they can affort a decent american classic (raggarbil). 99 % of young americans drive Toyota Corollas. We have numerically more beautifully restored american classics then the entire U.S.

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Seth of Skåne

August 29th, 2011 at 00:10

The whole not smiling or talking to strangers on the streets/bus/train thing…yeah, have you ever commuted in NYC/Boston/DC? We don’t do that in the US either. I once asked someone in DC if I could sit in a vacant seat next to him (I was new in the area). He gave me a look of pure and utter disgust and went back to reading his paper. Some people, internationally, just have no concept of a personal bubble. The guy on the DC metro’s was smaller than I’m used to, but still, I do not like to have conversations with random ass people on public transportation. I just want to read, listen to music, meditate, whatever. It’s my “me” time.

One thing you have to think about is that you’re in Stockholm. People are probably going to be just as personable as they are in NYC. Down here in Skåne, Lund specifically, people are very friendly, do hold doors, smile and nod, what have you. It’s smaller, hence there is more of a feeling of community. I try to move through the day with my limited Swedish, but I have never once received a dirty look for asking for “engelska, tack.” Just a smile and “of course!”

Customer service is admittedly lacking, but I personally do not like a tip-hungry waitress hovering over my table while I’m trying to have a conversation. Nor do I want a retailer constantly asking me If I need anything or if I’m finding everything OK. Odds are, if I didn’t walk in wearing sunglasses, tapping a cane around in front of me, I can find what I’m looking for.

The fashion is hit or miss. The way people normally dress in Europe is the style that all the hipsters in the US are trying to imitate. Therefore I prefer Swedish fashion because I hate the unoriginal, apathetic scenesters in the US and H&M is just a simpler, more original version of Urban Outfitters. It is lagom. Then again, I will probably not get my hair cut here for the duration of my stay. Cool it with the gel, guys…some of that stuff is flammable you know. I feel like I’m the only guy that simply ran a comb through his hair before going out.

Sweden is so much more cleaner than the US, almost to the point of ridiculousness. I saw one guy whose job it was to kill moss growing between cobblestones with a mini-flamethrower. WTF? But I do like the cleanliness. The architecture is infinitely superior. We have so many random shitty buildings in the US with ugly vinyl paneling.

So there are pluses and negatives, as there are with pretty much anything on the planet. I will miss buying a six-pack of decent beer for 42 :- but I won’t miss showing up at party where PBR is on tap. I miss my car but I won’t miss idiotic, overweight SUV/truck drivers yelling/blowing the horn at me when I try to cycle.

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Jonas

September 9th, 2011 at 09:08

XL is more like M in clothing.

America is the most obease country in the world?

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Heidar

October 17th, 2011 at 14:34

I realize it’s a bit late in the game, so to speak, but I thought I’d chime in on things anyway, being an actual Swede :)

People hit you in the head with bags on the metro and don’t apologize
– This pretty much only occurs in Stockholm; Stockholmers are rather infamous in Sweden for being exceptionally rude, snobbish and egotistical. A stereotype, of course, but my visits to Stockholm have only reinforced the stereotype in my eyes. That’s not to say there aren’t Stockholmers who aren’t douchebags, just that douchebags are WAY more common there than in the rest of Sweden.

Some people block the entrance walking on/off the train.
– Sadly, this behaviour is not relegated merely to Stockholm; the closer you get to any city in Sweden, the more common it becomes. Likewise, the further away you get from the cities, the less this behaviour occurs.

Without immigrants cleaning the streets, the city would be a dump.
– Quite possibly true; as said earlier, Stockholmers have a reputation for being stuck-up and snobbish, and many of them consider “menial labour” to be beneath them. Ordinary “Swedish” people having cleaning jobs and the like is far more common outside Stockholm.

No one holds doors open.
– Stockholm, again.

Those damn heaters in doorways of malls (think Gallerian) are completely uncool for the “enviromental capital of europe.”
– Agreed.

XL is more like M in clothing.
– …Actually, it’s the other way around; the U.S. is the exception when it comes to clothing sizes, not Sweden. It’s not exactly uncommon knowledge that the U.S. is the most overweight country in the world.

People snus and throw the used packet on the streets; same with cigarette butt litter.
– Yup. Swedes who “snus” and smoke generally lack both manners and common sense, so it’s not surprising, but still sad.

With gym etiquette, no one has sweat towels!
– Varies. Also, not everyone sweats profusely when working out.

People wear flip flops or walk barefoot in the gym – I’d love to drop a 10kg dumbbell on an exposed toe
– I spend several hours a day at the gym in my capacity as a personal trainer, and I have NEVER come across either flip-flops or bare feet outside the locker rooms. I don’t have the evidence to back it up, but I’m just going to assume it’s a Stockholm thing.

Drivers think you’re a pylon when crossing the street.
– Sadly true in the cities, Stockholm in particular. The further away you get from the cities the less true it becomes.

Bus drivers think they are in the indy or rally!
– Same as the previous one, but slightly more common.

The black market rental sucks.
– I wouldn’t know.

The housing market sucks.
– Very true. It gets much better when you get away from the cities, though, both in terms of pricing, availability and housing quality.

Buying gorgeous shoes in Stockholm is impossible
– I wouldn’t know.

Cyclists are training for the Tour de France in the summer, ergo you get run down like obstacle flags.
– Must either be a Stockholm thing, or just you being unused to bicycles. I have no idea which is true.

Fitted bedsheets don’t exist.
-Yes they do. In fact, they are quite easy to find; the last time I went shopping for bed sheets, I found far more fitted ones than not.

Bedsheets other than white don’t exist.
– Untrue. White bed sheets are more common, true, but coloured ones are common too. Where are you shopping, anyway?

Foreigners are suffering from Stockholm syndrome.
– I wouldn’t know.

Designer crap Swedish fashion falls apart after 3 months of use.
– One of many reasons I don’t follow fashion.

Shopping is limited. I want soy candles and toe socks, where the hell can I find them!
– Again, where are you shopping? Stuff like that can usually be found…

No one smiles.
– City folk don’t smile. Everyone else does.

Banks close at 15hr on most days.
– What? What? Where the heck is your bank located?

People whine about the weather. I already know the weather sucks, thanks for pointing out the obvious.
– Sad, but true. I never understood why people do this myself, but then, I grew up in the country, not the city. Us country folk tend to complain less.

People don’t make small talk.
– Fairly true, but varies by region. In the southern parts of Sweden it’s often more of a problem getting people to shut up!

Stores close at 18hr (19hr if you’re lucky).
– True. I never understood why…

Swedish banks change rules as often as people screaming skål at the company julbord dinner party
– True.

Swedish banks don’t let you see details of transactions…my last paycheck came from a company/person/object called “0?
– Varies, but mostly true.

Housewives are condescended upon by Swedes.
– True. One of many things about this country I personally find utterly perplexing and stupid.

The queue system only works when there is a queue number. Otherwise people fail to understand forming a line.
– VERY true. Ties well into how most Swedes are unaccustomed to taking personal responsibility for things, due to the overprotective state. There are exceptions, of course.

Queues during Christmastime fail miserably.
– See previous.

If Disneyworld is the best place on earth, then System Bolaget must be the antichrist.
– I don’t personally drink, and thus have no reason to go there, so I wouldn’t know.

Lagom everything is at work. Why can’t people work to do their best?
– Very true, particularly in state-/community-employed workplaces. I don’t know how many times I’ve come across something that could be finished in a fraction of the time if the people involved actually sat down and simply did it instead of having endless meetings about it. Far less common in small, private companies.

Everything is so expensive.
– True for the most part, though there are exceptions.

Customer service doesn’t exist.
– Mostly true. In Sweden there seems to be the widespread idea that customer service should be staffed by electronic-/computer-operated automatic functions rather than people; at the same time, there’s a widespread opinion that it sucks, yet no one in a position to do anything about it actually tries to do so. At the same time, the unempolyment rate is through the roof. It’s maddening.

Wedding gift registries do not exist.
– So?

Shopping online is still in the stone age.
– Mostly true, at least as it regards international purchases through anything other than Amazon.com

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Sapphire

October 19th, 2011 at 22:15

Hi Heidar! Thanks for you thoughtful and thorough reply to my post! Always makes me happy.

I do have to rescind that after reading your comment and many other people’s, that 90% of the shit I complain about is because it is Stockholm. And Stockholm has a complex.

I really found your remark about the lack of queue system and the Swedish response fascinating. I wondered how/why the lack of a queue could make everything fall apart but lack of personal responsibility could be an answer. Do you see other evidence when government “fails” along with responsibility?

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Heidar

October 20th, 2011 at 06:34

You’re welcome :)

As for “other evidence”, this can be seen pretty much any time there’s some sort of disaster or problem.

Say, for example, that there’s too much snow in the winter, clogging the streets and byways. In the cities and suburbs, people don’t do squat about it, because everyone’s thinking “the state/community will get to it eventually”, and if it takes awhile, instead of going outside to get rid of the snow themselves, they start complaining and making angry phone calls to TV stations and the like. This is in stark contrast to the country, where people don’t (usually) rely on the state/community at all, but will instead go out and start getting rid of the snow as soon as they see there’s too much of it.

The same can be seen when there’s been, say, an automobile accident; the closer you are to the cities, the less likely you are to get any help from passersby, because they are all ingrained with the “the state/community will/has to do it” mentality. Likewise, the further away you are from cities, the more likely you are to receive help from passersby.

Basically, the closer people are to the cities, the less practical and self-reliant (and some would say, friendly) they are.

Now, I realize it may seem like I’m just a country boy dissing the cities, but it’s unfortunately all true; the further out in the country people live, the more self-reliant they are accustomed to be, if only because the state/community cannot respond as quickly due to the distances and terrain involved. If one were to compare country folk in Sweden compared to, say, the UK, one would still find the Swedish country folk to be (on average, that is) less self-reliant than the UK country folk, so it’s not like it’s only the city folk that are lacking in personal responsibility, just that it’s far more pronounced.

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Harry

October 23rd, 2011 at 07:25

I hate Scandinavia, including Sweden, so much that I believe that all of the Scandinavian countries should be cut off of mainland Europe and sent to Greenland, so that the Polar Ice can grow back on them so that Global Warming and sea-level decreases….and we will live happily ever after.

Scandinavia is a place where humans shouldn’t live. Its too fucking cold and there daylight is completely messed up which fucks with their Hormone levels, for this reason Swedish women act like men and Swedish men act like women….I believe in a few hundred years the first species of Human shemale prototypes will come from Sweden.

Scandinavia is also the only place on Earth where I wake up in the Morning and never hear Birds Sing….because there are no fucking birds!!! all go south!!
When I drive on the highway Sweden looks like Mars….no grass with strange looking Forests…its looks like a BigFoot movie with many fucking lakes. So its made for Bears and Big foots not Humans.

Its so cold and depressing people will drink anything with Alcohol…..Sweden should create special treatment of Urine recycling so they can drink there own Piss with Alcohol.

By the way not all refugees want to go to sweden….its too fucking cold.. But because all the nice and warm refugee places are full, thats why they probably go to Sweden.

Conclusion: All Scandanavians should drink themselfs to death or shoot themselves….You are part of the Human species that were so stupid enough to Migrate this far north of the planet, but good you went that far so that we can spread the world population far enough :-)

Ok dont take this too seriously….but some things are really funny….Enjoy lol

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Sapphire

October 24th, 2011 at 08:51

Harry… were you having one of those days?? ;)

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nika

October 31st, 2011 at 13:26

I am foreigner living in sweden…
I Disagree with some og your points
AND i do agree with some other points

you wrote
”Sweden is full of feminists”
WHAT’S wrong with that?? Its one i like in Sweden ! I am feminist and not see anything wrong with that

2.BUT you are right about swedish ppl that they are Not Frendly and never speak to strangers,,this is why most of invandrare and foreigners dislike swedes..

Specially i hate Sthlm tunnelbana (subway- underground) – ppl siiting mitt emot eachother,,just watching each other but never talk to each other..when you start small-talk to tham – they either pretend they didnt hear you or they get paranoid thinking you are sick/crazy etc.. and quickly change place..

And yes, swedish ppl remind me russians – they almost never smile..

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nika

October 31st, 2011 at 13:30

i even dislike anti-americanism and prejudice toward americans in sweden ,,despite i’m Not american..

Anti_americanism sucks !

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nika

October 31st, 2011 at 13:40

”Everything is so expensive.”

You should go to Norway to realise what is real expensive.

oh sorry my bad english

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Confused

November 14th, 2011 at 18:29

I’m shocked! I see so many comments here that are… so immature.
I’ve never thought of myself as the most mature person but seeing this I feel better suddenly. I’m very aware of my faults and I’m very aware of the fault’s of Sweden as a country.
I love other cultures. I study international relationships in school and I try my hardest to escape prejudice and try to think “outside the box”. Not that I always succeed.

In my opinion most of the arguments here can just be turned around and another country would be found quilty. This is CULTURE.
How can you bash someone’s culture because you don’t understand it? Because you haven’t grown up in it? I find this immature and pathetic.

Please, I welcome you to have different opinions but I would like to hear them expressed nicely. I’m apparently very impolite, immature, shy, “superior” and so many other bad qualities I don’t have the time to write.

Now, I’ve never been to America. I would love to visit America. I’ve got friends who travelled to America and confirmed every bad prejudice about the country and it’s people. To be honest, no ones’s ever denied them (and that includes immigrants, and people from other countries too).

But that does not mean that I go around and think that every person in America is fat and wears XXXXXL. Or that they’re all sooo stupid (which is all I ever hear). I don’t BELIEVE that. Because I have more sense than to judge an entire nation on occurrences made by, hopfully, a very small % of the population.

Yes, I feel insulted. And sad that people don’t realize what’s coming out of their mouths.

There is so much to LOVE about America. About Sweden. ABout ever country in the world. Every culture has something so, so precious.
And then that precious thing gets bashed because it is “different”.

Ever heard of how a teacher once described bullying in America? She told the children to stomp on a piece of paper and then try to flatten out the wrinkles in the paper.
“It doesn’t matter if you say sorry. Those marks will never disappear”.

Ever thought about that? I’m gonna sound like a flower girl now but why can’t we just appreciate every culture as it is? Just like we should appreciate every persone as he/she is? To me, there is no difference. Everyone/everything is just as precious and inportant.

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Sapphire

November 14th, 2011 at 21:58

Hi Nika – I admit, I was a bit over the top with the feminist statement, but I do find feminism here to be a turnoff. Feels like “everything must be equal or else…” I do enjoy and support equal wages and ability for mammaledigt/pappaledigt but demanding that women can be topless at the swimming house is excessive to me.

Hi Confused – You are right about many things and I don’t think you’re being a flower girl by saying “appreciate every culture as is.”

This post, along with several have three purposes: 1. point out Swedish flaws in society (slamming a door is someone’s face is rude, it’s not culture); 2. serve as a sounding board for people to vent their bad days and similar feelings; 3. have something that’s not about bashing America.

First, I’ve written these posts to point out that Sweden is imperfect like any other place. When I lived in the US, I would constantly hear from Swedes that they “have a system and it works much better.” That, their country is superior to America in every way. And while some of those statements have veracity (high standards of living, low poverty, more technologically advanced) there were holes.

As a result, I began observing Stockholm everywhere I went. And what I saw didn’t make me happy. Ice covered the sidewalks for weeks before any removers bothered to clean. Talk about dangerous. Was there anyone to complain to? No, City Hall is pretty much useless to those things.

And when I saw that people would let the door slam in your face and not bother to hold for two seconds extra, it was inconsiderate and rude. Even the employees at my local SATS had to up a sign in swedish that says, “Please don’t slam the door on other people’s faces.”

When I bring up something like the above instance (the door) with Swedes, many would say it’s our culture and that’s who we were. Fine, that maybe your culture, but it is certainly rude. You can draw a similarity to when the Indian minister who headed the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi stated the toilets and bathrooms were in fine condition (they were broken, filled with dog poop, or unfinished) for the athletes because the West was imposing it’s culture and ideology on India. Indian culture is/was using the streets and sidewalks as a poop-ground but it’s neither sanitary nor safe. Culture was the excuse.

And I believe Sweden is better than being full of rude people slamming doors on others.

Second, I agree with you that believing every American is XXXL is not only naive but rude and that believing every Swede is an ass is also rude. What I have come to learn is that people in Stockholm are very different from people anyone else in the country, who seem to be much nicer and more normal.

For many readers and drive-by commenters, this blog as served as a place to vent and feel better, and move on. And doing a little Swedish bashing, everything bashing can be cathartic.

Last, while I don’t take part in America bashing on this blog, I am critical of my country. I believe being critical of your country and expecting it to do better is being patriotic. But there are many sites/pundits who do make fun of America (Daily Show/Colbert Report is an intellectual form of teasing), there’s no one to make fun of Sweden.

Do take this with a pinch of salt with a touch of veracity. Just please smile at people on the tunnelbanan and hold the door open. ;)

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Richard

November 21st, 2011 at 06:06

Well, that is interesting, because i totally disagree.

I’m currently living in NYC, but I have lived in Sweden for over 15.

– Sweden/+ Sweden
———————————————————————————————————————————————- Sweden:
– Well of course Sweden is cold and dark? Do you know where Sweden in located? Or do you just lack any what so ever knowledge in geography?

– Well yes I have to agree that people can be very impolite sometimes. . . Not holding up the door for you, rushing through the train doors, etc.
—————————————————————————————————————————————–
+ We have warm bright summers. We have one of, if not the most amazing archipelago in the world.

+ Don’t get me started on chose of clothing?! Have you seen how people dress in other countries. For example in the U.S, i’m really confused, I visited one of the TOP high schools in America, and everyone yes EVERYONE was wearing clothing depending on their sport opinions.

+ YOU MUST ME KIDDING ME ABOUT THE DRIVING IN STOCKHOLM? Sweden has one of the lowest percentage of car accidents in the World.

+ I also must say that I don’t find the people here in NYC very polite.

/Regards

Richard..

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Kalle Anka

November 21st, 2011 at 22:22

Wow, can’t believe I have only come across this page now! What a read!

I am not from the US of A and am not saying one country is better than another. I don’t believe this to be relevant under the title of this page nor the previous one.

I have lived in Sweden and think it absolutely sucks.

Reasons why?

1. Systemet. I don’t need to get into it as it’s been heavily discussed but the amount of red tape to fight through to get the product you want to drink is retarded beyond belief. When is the revolt going to happen?

2. Young Swedish guys asking the question, ‘Do you know why there are so many beautiful girls in Sweden?’ and then proceeding to tell the story about how the vikings brought back girls from blahblahblah. What ALL of these guys fail to realise is that after generations and generations of breeding in this fashion, a large percentage of them look very feminine. In my opinion like a real bunch of pansies to say the least. Some even embrace it with an extremely bright pink shirt. I am really not sure what is going on there but to my eyes it’s quite ridiculous to look at.

3. The binge drinking that has been created from the limitations which are in place in terms of acquiring alcohol. I don’t mind the actual binge drinking so much but it is seriously out of control in terms of how many people have such a lack of respect for one another whilst drunk. LEARN HOW TO DRINK!!! Blaming bad behaviour due to being drunk is not a valid excuse. Claim responsibility! Or how about this, just behave and be nice ffs!

4. Swedes traveling in groups as if they were sheep. Not just the subconscious flocking that occurs whilst moving around the city for instance, but find one Swede in a hostel somewhere, chances are extremely high there are another few in close proximity that are part of the same group. You will find the influx of young Swedes into Thailand and the alps staggering if you are prejudiced against them.

5. (Sapphire, you already mentioned this one I know)
On the whole Swedes are racist and a lot of them refute this with passion. I have seen it first hand WITH MY OWN EYES ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS and foreigners are often treated like absolute shit. A lot of Swedes simply cannot handle that some people hold this opinion. A lot of Swedes straight up hate Denmark for some reason too and have never heard a reasonable argument as to why.

6. Fast food. It’s everywhere. WTF? Why does such a large percentage of people eat so much of it when they proclaim to be so very politically aware on other topics? It’s dumbfounding to see such hoards of drunk people vying to ‘get in line’ at McDonalds on the weekend. (As a lot of us agree, line forming is not a strong point for a Swede). I am not saying Swedes are dumb, I have found plenty of very intelligent individuals there that have strong opinions on political agendas but fast food chains seem to slip under the radar and are generally very accepted. Seems quite strange but makes sense if you apply the sheep concept.

7. The amount of ketchup they put on pasta. Unfathomably gob-smacking, it’s like a 60:40 weight ratio! Maybe only shocking to me? I don’t put any on pasta.

8. Godis, godis, godis och mer godis. Followed a friend into Blockbuster once. I found it hard to find the DVD’s underneath the mountain of candy that is on offer. When did this phenomenon of eating candy in place of a meal begin? Is the percentage of people diagnosed with adult diabetes increasing at an alarming rate at all? Wouldn’t be surprised if it was.

9. (This will sound a little strange at first but please read through)
Swedes half claiming things as Swedish.
If there is a cool song or kind of underground band brought up in discussion, or perhaps even a good invention of some sort, throwing the question, ‘They’re/that’s Swedish, no?¨, is often returned with the reply, ¨Yeah, I think they are/it is!¨. I FIND THIS ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. It’s TOO funny. Try it out, it’s surprising how often it works rather than not. It’s such bull crap to take one’s nationalistic pride that far as to tell a fib.

10. The large number of fashionable vegetarians. Doing a little digging for information about their reasons is fascinating and these fashionable types can easily be weeded out. No, you are not a vegetarian if you have a bite of a cheeseburger when you are drunk. Repeat, not a vegetarian. It’s quite humourous to a certain extent.

I should stop at 10. Premature arthritis in my fingers will set in if I rant any more.

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Michael

November 24th, 2011 at 17:31

Really nice discussion. I really enjoy the Swedish personality myself. I moved here from the USA about 2 years ago and I am enjoying myself. Coming from New York, NY…having people who do not bother you or try to sell you something everywhere (including religion) has been very peaceful for me.

That said I could totally do away with Ficka! If I do not want to participate then I am “anti-social” in the swedish sense. I would rather just be productive and leave early…you know…enjoy “LIFE” not the job(s).

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Attila

November 26th, 2011 at 11:01

Enjoyed your list with points a lot,nice to find a place like this as Swedes are not open for any criticism of there superior culture.I know because i am married to one. There attitude to foreigners puzzled me for a long time, coming from Holland i suppose i look “Nordic”and people will easily start a talk with me..that is until i answer. When they hear my foreign accent The confusion/panic on there faces is tale telling. After more then ten years in this country it still happens that people will answer my question to them ,to my Swedish wife instead ,ignoring me for the rest of the conversation.
I found out that Swedish attitude to foreigners is in fact a deep rooted mistrust of anybody outside the family . And that is something we foreigners can realise sometimes. To start they mistrust there direct neighbours , then the rest of the neighbourhood the dislike the next landskap/province. All hate Stockholms inhabitants, finally everybody mistrusts and hates anything foreign. Even when they travel a lot abroad ,everything they see ore do is measured by there own golden Swedish standard

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Beth

December 11th, 2011 at 14:18

I agree with Kalle Anka and Attila.

As someone who’s lived in Sweden for years with a swedish sambo (I’m not American and I don’t see why Swedes who post here make such a big deal out of USA here, it’s simply off topic to do so), I’m glad I returned to my own, European, country. I didn’t live in Stockholm.

1) Eating out or buying take-away either costs too much or it’s fast food. I got tired of “swedish burgers” (?) and “swedish pizza” (?!), swedish candy, swedish coffee and so on. Please, there’s no such things as “swedish cuisine”! And there’s nothing wrong with that, but please, accept it!

On top of that, they like to make fun of other countries that claim the same, saying that those who claim their food/anything is theirs are ignorant people brainwashed by their country. The hypocrisy of such Swedes is hilarious (note: I’m obviously not talking about ALL Swedes).

2) They don’t drink responsibly, but they feel they can do whatever they want and act however they want if they’re drunk, only to tell you tomorrow “I’m sorry, I was drunk, won’t drink again/won’t happen again” (if they even remember what they did) only to repeat it. I’m glad Systembolaget exists, because without it more Swedes would be in danger by other drunk Swedes. They don’t drink to enjoy a drink or to be social, they drink to get drunk. That was something that personally disgusted me and made me feel unsafe walking out among drunk Swedes or attending their parties.

3) How they complain about the weather, as if it was ever any different or of it will ever change. Yes, it’s dark 6 months a year, get used to it. Immigrants from warmer countries don’t complain, so stop acting like that.

4) Everything going bad is blamed on either “immigrants” or “kids”. As if those “kids” don’t have adult swedish parents who are responsible for their actions, so they can do whatever they want.

5) The amount of wives “imported” from Thailand that’s rapidly growing. Swedish men and women get along so poorly that they need to live with immigrants, because they consider every immigrant inferior and hence they can feel like ‘kings’ at home. Both men and women feel so superior that it just doesn’t work in couples. Just look at the divorce rates.

6) Racism directed to everyone non-Swedish. Even people from other Scandinavian countries who were raised in Sweden are called “Danish” or “Norwegian” when they disagree with them, but when they excel they’re called “Swedes”. Plus, how they make fun of Norwegian accent, claiming “they talk like babies” or how they dislike the Danish because “we beat them so many years ago”. Relax, people, nobody wants to harm your country so let the other countries be.

7) What Attila describes. I’ve experienced it too. At first, when I didn’t speak the language, people in my sambo’s family wouldn’t even dare talk to me in English because they were embarrassed to use a language they didn’t speak perfectly. Later on, when I could speak to them in swedish, they still didn’t dare talk with me unless I’d ask them or talk to them myself. They never even made an effort to learn about my country or ask me questions about it, they just “knew”.

8) How they don’t get involved or help others. Once, my car was stuck in snow and two Swedish ladies were standing there talking to each other, not even bothering to ask me if I needed help (which I did, to the point where I had to make a call for someone to come over and help me).

9) All this “sex-culture” they promote, when they’re anything but sexual themselves. Sex in the newspapers, advertisements, on TV, magazines, everywhere. What a myth. The women behave like men and they hate anyone who’d try to talk to them and the men are too shy to flirt and immediately change subject (unless they both get drunk). Masculine women and feminine men, and that’s supposed to mean “equality”. That’s not what equality is about, people.

10) The suicide, depression, physical abuse by spouses and rape rates.

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Eli

December 14th, 2011 at 22:11

Never been to sweden. I came across this forum cause I was googling for some information about swedish culture. In the last week or two I saw a couple of swedish movies – “The girl with a dragon tattoo” and “let the right one in”, just made me curious.

This thread is an interesting read as I came across some interesting and dissapointing revelations.

Anyway, I think there’ something weird about them Swedes, I wouldn’t mind checking out another Swedish film, simply cause they tend to stand out of the rest, but by the sound of it I don’t think I would ever really want to have any Swedish friends. I wouldn’t be interested in being friends with people who always keep a thick snob under their sleeve.

I wouldn’t say the same about Norwegians of whom I had a few friends, they actually despite their apparent similarity are nothing like the Swedes, and are usually just normal people that you can easily make friends with.

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Jesse

January 23rd, 2012 at 10:45

Sweden has a horrible political system. I have never been there is I shouldn’t judge, but the fact that the only way to run a succesful business there is to exploit the welfare state rather than do it independently is so stupid. I hear the government has a monopoly on ciggerettes. The fact that two major Party’s are the Left party (which is ironically anti semitic and wants to creat a law that means that 50% men and 50% women in all public and private sector institute regardless of individual circumstance) and the Pirate Party (which wants to abolish copyright laws that protect personal property) I find to be a sign of irresponsible politics and an irresponsible culture handout culture. I have seen these ‘political rally’s’ and they are honestly a joke. They are well and truly TOO WHITE (I am white), and by that I mean they portray all the decadent self important ‘white folk’ traits that other cultures assosiate with the modern urbanite. Some high ranking government officials in Sweden have peirced eyebrows for goodness sake.

I know, I haven’t been, but the more I see the less I like. I’m sure going there will enlighten me to seeing things in a way I never thought before, that is just my impression from looking at swedish politics, which would never work in a country outside Sweden.

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Sapphire

February 2nd, 2012 at 11:23

@Jesse – I have no idea where the hell you get your information, but you’re on the wrong planet.

I’m gonna let someone here handle these statements…Troll away readers!

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Karin

February 21st, 2012 at 09:48

This is a continuation of the other post, “10 things I hate about Sweden”
Hope your sarcasm and humor is going to stretch to also this read… ;)

Things I hate about America and Americans:

1. Their way of greeting you. There is a cheeriness that you’d think would invite to conversation, they all like show that they like to speak and that they are good at it as soon as you have said your first one-liner phrases they just turn away without even a buy. For a Swede that has lived in France for many years this is unexceptional! This is how you know they have no real interest in you, just in making them selves herd for a second or two.

2. American humor! Americans seem to think that it is awesome to bash people, calling names and bulling in-between friends are not only accepted but well looked at! Unless you are on top of your food chain you are being eaten… For many Swedes this is just not accepted as we are a population very worried about hurting other peoples emotions. Worst thing is that Americans actually seem to find it funny with banal things like when people slip or fall. I’ll give this thumbs down and vote for the British instead!

3. Coffee! Seriously, WTF – coffee tastes like shit in the us and on top of that you put COFFEE WHITENING in it… What is that about seriously… Let’s make crap products out of millions of chemicals and then market it heavily and make everyone drink bloody nuclear drinks all day instead of staying a bit natural and just making a cup of coffee and poor in some milk…? De-passes my understanding how this can exist.

4. Same goes with food… Every cute cafe in the US will sell their own pancake mix… with about 100 extra e24 or sim. products. Again the laziness of the people has no limits. Instead of taking 10 min to whip together a normal and (in some what) healthy pancake dough they prefer to eat god knows what shit that are in those packages… Any American being out of that county should feel an instant change in health not eating the full super treated meat or bread (Yes it is true what they say – some bread can last in the bag for months… – scary hey???)

5. If there is one country in the world that loves themselves – its America! Its been a very long time since I’ve seen a group of swedish people just starting to shout Sweden Sweden, but contrary American can not wait for the next opportunity they get to cheer up in U.S.A, U.S.A, U.S.A, U.S.A, U.S.A, etc. And they are VERY sensitive about when people insult their country…

6. Workplace, when you have a white collar job in the US you expect to work yourself to death and the conflicts on the workplace are constant. You often see your boss or your colleges involved in totally unnecessary discussions – as the for most Americans that I know that works in Sweden keeps telling me: “Its so serene here” no one is screaming or shouting in the office”. Yeah Swedes might not be the most passionate people in the world but compared to Americans we are close to mother Theresa in being compassionate…

7. Dating and flirting. Uhhhh… This is soooo screwed up… Americans can date several people at the same time and can even go on dates with friends of their dates. Actually the full relationship between men and women is totally bananas :P The guy most of the time makes more money and will therefor have more to say for in the relationship. Its a custom that breeds men as pigs, having strip clubs in every corner of the place and YES believe it or not a lot more men than you think will actually visit these on regular basis. Nothing wrong with strip clubs per se. its just to point out the subordinate relation the man thinks he has n a relationship, he can do whatever…

8. Flirting, girls don’t ever buy drinks in the US. Don’t know how many times I’ve heard my otherwise “normal” American female friends tell me that: “yeah i’ll be right over, I just need to speak to this guy for a few minutes as he bought me a drink and I don’t want him to think that i’m a bitch”. The matter a fact, if you don’t want to talk to him, buy your own drinks. I’ll much rather buy my friend a drink or buy my own drinks than spend my night looking for guys to buy me drinks…

9. Language – Americans rarely speak any other languages than… yes exactly AMERICAN… Even when they go to the UK they’ll have a problem. They are totally missing that so much of a culture is understood by the keys in the language spoken. An American can easily live in (for example) Sweden for many years and never care or take the time to learn the language. No wonder they stay angry with the country as they’ll never understand the full concept of how things are laid out and how Swedes think.

10. Their love for guns and freedom. This one is a special one for me… The argument most Americans I’ve meet has for their guns is that its their right as they cannot trust the government. If the state one day would go evil on them (like if it hadn’t already with the extreme poverty in some parts and the growing class differences) they would have the means to defend themselves. Yeah with an attitude like that no wonder they find swedes to be un-responsible, as we personally don’t take action for the state every day while their everyday is a war… Enough said, they apparently find it cool to be the bully of the school yard and cannot apprehend any other world than a world where everyone is alone and every one is in war or completion.

That said, thank you for a great read! :)

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Karin

February 21st, 2012 at 14:50

BTW, please excuse all my crappy spelling mistakes, after learning french my english went totally out window… anyway hope you all got my (maybe not so) sublime message :)

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Sapphire

February 21st, 2012 at 14:51

Hi Karin, I moved your comments here as they make more sense. :)

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Emanuela

February 22nd, 2012 at 21:33

Why Do I hate…?

Well very simple:

Everything in sweden is white and black – or you know everything or you don’t. There is no little, medium. It is everything an extreme.
Weather and people – the people deserve the weather and vice-versa.
They live daily sad walking around with their iphones, unable to look the person in front of them and give at least some good morning!
They are NOT creative AT ALL.
They confuse have fun with being in an alcohol induced coma.
And last of all for me: SWEDISH MAN ARE COWARDS….
Why are they cowards?
Remember that author of the book The girl with dragon tatoo or something like that….
”Larsson witnessed the gang rape of a young girl when he was 15.” ( he is a coward!)

Oh yeah I was almost raped by a group of muslins men and one of them threat to put out his d*** in my mouth…
And you know what the swedish men close to me did???
Even though the guy had his pants down preparing to do something bad with me???

SWEDISH MEN JUST PUT THEIR HEADS DOWN!

AND PEOPLE TELL ME SWEDEN IS SAFER ???

I FEEL SO DISCUSTED BY THE SWEDISH MEN THAT I REALLY DONT KNOW WHEN THEY ARE JUST COWARDS, PERVERTS OR PEDOFILES…OR FRUSTRATED REPRESSED MARRIED MEN.

SORRY BUT WHEN I REMEMBER WHAT IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED WITH ME….I GET VERY UPSET.

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Karin

February 23rd, 2012 at 16:11

Thanks Sapphire! Not sure why I posted the comments on the wrong place… Ur right this makes more sense :)

Hope you did not take offense from my little american bashing… I do like lots of things about the states and Americans also, but got really tempted to point out the things that are culturally strange for me as a swede when being over there…

Great read! Keep up the discussions!!

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Sapphire

February 28th, 2012 at 11:23

Welcome Karin –
I have to disagree about coffee. While you can certainly buy really bad coffee in America, many cafes now sell high quality beans and they make great drinks.

Swedish coffee on the other hand, is overall bad. Few cafes make great coffee and they’re the ones that buy beans other than the ones sold in the supermarket.

While I find the Swedish work environment more calm and easy-going, I have never been to more useless meetings, useless discussions, and attend ‘chaos meetings’ where things feel apart because no one knew what was going on. Since no one takes responsibility in Sweden, the crisis usually repeats itself. Sometimes I’m surprised companies can even function here but then, if you think about it, most of them are serving the local market only.

Plus, the whole start-up environment in Sweden is worthless. Five VCs to help web startups and that’s it. Most companies end up in the UK or US to find funding.

Last, I would rather have a superficial greeting than no greeting at all. At least with a superficial greeting, the person still had to make the effort to say those words. How I’ve gone days in Stockholm without speaking to people outside the home or office. It’s like the walking-dead. So depressing.

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freetruth

March 9th, 2012 at 12:43

If it were up to swedes, we will never have the internet. At most winternet. I worked with some, and they complain so much about working hours, or being ‘pushed too hard’ etc. Yet, in Sweden, foreigners are basically the equivalent to illegal mexicans in the US: they do all the dirty jobs, they pay ‘taxes’ without the same rights, and then are looked on as not being a person from the ‘village’. They are Mickey Mouse cute, but you never have kids with them… Sadly, money and red pants still are a mainstay of this culture… Yet not willing to work for it. Strange no? How about hierarchy ? And never question your bosses? And Stockholm management jobs are only for tall blonds? Sad work culture.

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Sapphire

March 9th, 2012 at 12:55

@freetruth – One thing I have noticed is that I have never met an upper management person who wasn’t Swedish. And all those companies worked/did business in other countries especially anglophone markets. (If it was a Swedish company that never worked with a company outside of Sweden it would be different)

Go figure.

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Cecilia

March 11th, 2012 at 23:00

WTF IS THE MATTER WITH YOU AMERICANS?!?! How lame are you? You find some things you don’t like about a country and you have to make a website out of it? Who does that? I’ve been to America a couple of times and believe me, your country is far away from being flawless! But I don’t make a website about it! I am as proud as can be over my country, I love Sweden! I do think my country is amazing. We care about each other, we have free education, for everyone, we have a great system, and even though you don’t think so, it’s working. How long have you been in Sweden to actually have an opinion on that? You don’t know how it’s working here. I am not the biggest fan of America, but I respect your country. I don’t have to show your imperfections to the world to feel good!

You say we are whining – take a look at yourself. You are the one whining about Sweden, and constantly picking at us and our lifestile. Please stop. What good will come out of it, really?

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ri

March 12th, 2012 at 09:09

It amazes me how often I hear people defend the general state of being in Sweden by saying it is only in Stockholm. I worked for 3 years at a job (been done with it for 3 years too) that required that I travel to every podunk town with a population greater than 25 in southern Sweden. And by southern Sweden, I am drawing a line between Stockholm and say, Uddevala. I have been to every town imaginable, stayed in their hotels and eaten at their diners. Bought gas at the local gas station. These stereotypes are true all over southern Sweden, it is NOT a Stockholm thing, people in Skåne exhibit all the same traits as the Stockholmers.

Oh and by the way,it is really admirable that Sweden took in all those immigrants that it did, and still does I guess. But it would have been a hell of a lot more admirable if they made room in Swedish society for them instead of installing them in isolated areas with nothing but other immigrants and giving them a small amount of money to live on, and then denying them jobs. Swedes are I’ve noticed very xenophobic and although the official government policy is not to deny immigrants jobs, the average xenophobic Swede that is doing the actual hiring will ALWAYS hire a lot less qualified Swede over a more qualified immigrant. Always. It doesn’t matter how well the foreigner speaks Swedish either.

Of course, I’ve been told many many times by Swedish people, that as an American, I am one of the ‘good’ immigrants, and yet, it is still a lot more difficult to get a job here if I am going up against a native Swede for the same position. I often think that since I am a ‘good’ immigrant, it must be truly awful to be a regular immigrant, but I suppose living in the crappy areas and living off a small government stipend and not being able to find work or being marginalized in Swedish society is still preferable to the live they had back in their home county that they felt the need to flee from. It is too bad that Swedes are so proud of the fact that they took in so many immigrants when they treat them so shoddily after they arrive.

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ri

March 12th, 2012 at 09:17

oh yea, that too, I love how Swedes will tell me so often that the way people say hello in other countries or the politeness you expect from customer service people is false, and therefore hypocritical and a huge negative on the part of Americans. To that I say bullshit. Why does the Swede get to decide that all Americans are fake just because they have learned to be polite?

I agree with Sapphire when he says that he would rather have the false (if it is really false, we have to take the Swede’s word for that) politeness than the (assumed) honestly behind the average Swedes lack of politeness. But I suppose this is a cultural preference.

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ri

March 12th, 2012 at 09:27

I worked for a number of years at Ericsson, we used to have meetings to schedule upcoming meetings. I kid you not. We had multiple meetings everyday where absolutely nothing got done, it was an extra fika or three daily for the average Ericsson employee. But the fika’s were of course, sacrosanct. At both the prior companies I have worked at, I was thought of as bizarre for skipping fika’s, prefering to continue on with whatever job I was doing. I found the constant fika’s to be disruptive and a real hindrance to getting the job at hand finished.

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ri

March 12th, 2012 at 09:38

Oh and Jesse? (Yes, I am reading from the bottom up, sorry!) You do need to come and visit before making such bizarre comments.

The fact of the matter is that Swedish politics work in far more countries than just Sweden.

Since you clearly have such a negative view of Sweden, and have never been here, I’m curious why you are reading this blog? Did you google something that just gives you negative views to back up your clearly negative views of this country?

Sweden is just like every other country I have been to (more than 50) in one crucial way, it has things that work well and many more things that are easy to criticize. I come from southern California and I love it there and will eventually move back there after my child is grown, but belive me, I can find just as many things to criticize about the US as I can Sweden and every other country I have ever been to. The US politics for instance, since this seems to be a major gripe of yours, as as corrupt a system as I have ever seen. Eliminate lobbying and repeal Citizens United just for starters, get the two Supreme Court judges out of the back pocket of the Kock brothers, then come back and we will talk.

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Estelliane

March 12th, 2012 at 11:29

Well, every country has its advantages and disadvantages. I have come to learn the hard way. After nurishing a love/hatred relationship with the UK, I have come to terms with it.
However, my recent trips to Sweden made me realise that it was time for me to move on and I am heading off for Sweden! :-)

I blame Sapphire for it all ;-)

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Tobias

March 12th, 2012 at 16:14

ri:

“Why does the Swede get to decide that all Americans are fake just because they have learned to be polite?”
We don’t. Nor do you get to decide that Americans are more polite than Swedes.

If I had a strict Swedish way of looking at politeness, many people, including americans, would come of as impolite since they do not adher to my view of what being polite is. I sincerely doubt though that the majority of either Swedes or Americans would consider themself impolite. Or that any people anywhere would. People just follow their version of it. Calling Sapphire a he? A big overstep, right there. Me not helping a stranger is me not implying that the stranger wouldn’t be self-sufficient. That’s being polite (I might actually help strangers without being asked, on behalf of not having the strict view of politeness and all that). My point? We may look quite like anglo-saxons, but we are not, so please don’t judge us as such. A reserved Swede is not anymore rude than a Korean not looking you in the eyes. Feel free to disagree with our version of kindness (I might even agree with you), but please don’t blow it off as being impolite or rude.

Other than that, you raise valid points. I certainly won’t take issue with you getting emotional about it as such, just… be mindfull with your wording, all right? When you use a general term such as ‘Swede’ it includes us all, and that’s a good way of helping to derail a discussion – which in this case is a very important discussion.

Cecilia:

Please compose yourself. Sapphire has multiple times written of the things she loves about Sweden. She’s entitled to her opinion just like you and me and by the gods I’ve become the Compulsury Moderator in these comments. I shall now instead strip down naked, run out into the woods and sing in the spring as I merrily dance ‘tween the trees with badgers as my audience. Be happy!

Estelliane:

You’d be more then welcome. We could use your optimism :D

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fff

March 12th, 2012 at 17:05

sigh, wish we can easily decide to move to any country as we please too. third world woes.

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fff

March 12th, 2012 at 17:11

oops .. entered the words too early. anyway.. i mean third world woes are so much different, many times I wish the things we hate in my country or some other corrupt third world, are things like these. Not saying these are unimportant, it’s just a totally different world/life.
If it was easy to just pack the bags and move, I’d be in Sweden in a heartbeat.

Sorry.. haha just one of those days when one is feeling helpless and frustrated, and this blog is always nice to read when I am dreaming about Sweden. :)

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ri

March 14th, 2012 at 07:38

Tobias, be mindful of my wording? No thanks, there was nothing wrong with my wording.

Why are you moderating? I would have thought if any moderation was being done, it would have been by the Sapphire that writes the blog.

I guess if that was a borderline comment for needing moderation, I won’t be reading here a whole lot.

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Tobias

March 14th, 2012 at 12:02

ri:

Because I am a naive idealist wishing for a non-inflammatory discussion, on the internet of all places. Generalizing statements such as “All Americans ALWAYS do this and that and etc” runs contrary to that. Reason I bothered with you is because you wrote some of the more thoughtful stuff here. I wouldn’t waste energy at the more idiotic comments spewing bile on Swedes/Americans/whatever. This aproach actually often works for me, but I can see why I would be offending and/or come off as arrogant. And that this isn’t the place for it, which is why I stopped. Heh, it’s most likely me who shouldn’t really be here. There’s other places, where the discussion is held in tone more fitting to what I want. It *is* arrogant of me to try and change something here just because it doesn’t suit me. So I wont.

If you were somehow offended, I apologize.

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Sapphire

March 14th, 2012 at 12:30

Hmmm, think we all need to take a deep breathe and say, “sweeeeeeeeeeeedeeeeeeeeeeeen”

:)

@ri – Just going to comment about applying for jobs. I agree. I have had the best of luck and worst of luck in Sweden.

In fact, at my very first interview (at a very very big tele company), I was told during a casual discussion about Stockholm that listing an address in Tengesta/Rinkeby/etc would not bode well for any applicant.

Friendly racism at its finest.

@ALL – Be nice, this blog post is really a place to rant when you feel your life is in the shits in Sweden. There should be lots of hugs given.

@Cecilia – I approved your comment because it was so idiotic. I happen to LIVE in Sweden and I can write about whatever the fuck I want as long as it is within the law. See, people like you give Swedes a very bad rap.

@fff – ditto. Sweden any day over India (though damn, I miss good Indian food!)

@ALL AGAIN – and for all those who bitch that we don’t have the right to generalize or stereotype, please shut up and wake up to the real world. Stop reading the newspapers, stop watching TV, stop reading books, stop talking to people, and stop going outside of your home.

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fff

March 14th, 2012 at 13:55

I am wondering if you will post about the great armpit hair debate. :) Ta håret tillbaka!

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Sapphire

March 14th, 2012 at 14:22

@fff – what, wha?? Fill me in on the armpit debate as it relates to Sweden

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fff

March 14th, 2012 at 14:40

I believe it started when a lady amongst the audience was caught on camera during the Melodifestivalen and she had some armpit hair and a screen capture was passed around and others were really mean and sexist about it… and thus started the armpit hair revolution.. now the Ladies and gents of Sweden are proudly showing off their armpit hair.

There’s some good debate going on around. (albeit I can’t say I understand all because most are in Swedish and my Swedish is very pedestrian!)

This has all the information! http://www.facebook.com/events/365673620120381/

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Andreas B

March 16th, 2012 at 00:21

Haha it’s so funny to read that Americans and other people are so irritated and almost hateful at Swedes for being rude and not polite.
Well in a mather of fact Swedes do not think It’s in anyway rude or impolite, to not hold the door for the person behind you. Or try to start a conversation with the people beside, ifront you on the bus.
I’ts more or less a cultural thing.

Check out this webpage as it tries to explain Swedish mentality and some unwritten laws in Sweden that can come in handy for people deciding to visit or move to Sweden.
Hopefully it will help some to understand that in our eyes you are the one being rude when you start talking with us without a valid reason ;)

http://thougtforce.hubpages.com/hub/What-characterizes-a-Swede-and-the-Swedish-mentality-some-unwritten-laws-on-how-to-behave-in-Sweden

P.S dont mind my spelling and misstakes at the grammar part my English is for from being perfect.

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Sapphire

March 16th, 2012 at 11:57

Read the article on Hubpages; well written.

But it’s unfortunate when the “unwritten laws” are:
“Don’t look direct at another person in an elevator or on the subway. ”

“Do not say “Hi” to a stranger unless you have a good reason, or if you do, speak about the weather or that the bus is late or something similar. ”

“Do not take a seat in a location next to a Swedish on the bus, theatre or subway if there are plenty of seats available anywhere else.”

From these statements, Sweden comes off as unfriendly and possibly hostile to human contant; a core issue discussed here.

BTW, it is absolutely rude to let a door slam behind you if someone is coming right behind. You can use culture as an excuse for not learning basic manners such as not letting doors slam into someone’s face but the reality, it is rude and unnecessary.

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Andreas B

March 16th, 2012 at 18:30

Dont take me wrong I guess its not really a “cultural” thing I think I’ts more of how we are raised (not that we are raised to be rude) I belive I’ts more that we dont really care (most of us, not all) if the person dont hold the door for you.
In the US you have your way of seeing things of whats right and wrong in Sweden we have our way.
What I’m trying to say is that neither the US or Swedish way are correct but its not wrong either (is that the correct way to say it the either part I dont now sry) you have all the right to think that Its rude to not hold the door, while we have to right to think its not rude.
Well I hope you understod what I was trying to say.

But in my personal experience its more common to hold the door for the person behind you in my half of sweden or as its more commonly known as “Norrland”
Not everyone does it and not always but more often. Like myslef most of the time I do hold the door but sometimes I dont, Dont know why. I cannot talk for everyone here but thats what I have experienced in my lifetime so far =)

“Do not take a seat in a location next to a Swedish on the bus, theatre or subway if there are plenty of seats available anywhere else.”

“From these statements, Sweden comes off as unfriendly and possibly hostile to human contant; a core issue discussed here.”

Yes I do understand that when you are coming from lets say US where its common knowledge to look people in the eyes, etc, etc. It is completely opposite from the US most of the time.
But thats just how Swedes are we really need our personal space, so dont fret over it to much everyone out there. Swedes get uncomfortable when someone is intruding on our personal space
thats why you may get some angry looks and that they ignore you. It’s just natural for us and for most other its unatural.
So its not your falt its just how we Swedes are.

P.S we tend to be more friendly by your standards Sapphire ;) (then again not all of us so dont expect to much) in the nothern half of Sweden.

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fff

March 17th, 2012 at 01:53

I just read the link posted above. As a total outsider (I’m not American, nor Swedish, nor ever been to Sweden)… I don’t mind the other bits, in fact, I would love that because it’s the total opposite where I am ( :( ). I am an introvert and I really value my space, and pretty guarded with everything. However, even this bit terrifies me.

“Do not take a seat in a location next to a Swedish on the bus, theatre or subway if there are plenty of seats available anywhere else. If you do; a Swedish will feel uncomfortable and become suspicious, convinced of that you are up to something bad! There is that “private zone again””

What is one to do? Is this applicable even during rush hour? I wonder if that is for every stranger. How would one even know if the one next to the Swede is non-Swede. (or I suppose a Swede simply won’t sit down so surely he is a non-swede if hen sits next to the Swede… am I even making sense…?)

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Kristian

March 17th, 2012 at 02:16

Hi!
I’ve been sitting here for hours I think reading the comments and find the very intressting, and the way especially americans but also others are whining about us being rude is HIGHlarious, but this is like swede-bash-mania.
After living in sweden my entire life and being very “swedish” in my persona I can agree with most things said about us being, on the outside, cold and unemotional. I’ll admit that I, at first seem unfriendly because I’m very direct and when I meet a person for first time I’m not very talkative but that changes when i get to know them. This goes for every swede, I think we just want a sincere relationship with people.

I have met a couple of americans and I have seen the differenses in the social culture, americans in my oppinion are more outgoing and will talk to anybody anytime but got more of the “I’m the best attitude” and therefor have a hard time accepting criticism, atleast the ones i have met. Even tho i can appriciate that in small portions,I found it hard to like a person with that view of themselves.
The part about haveing a hard time accepting criticism about USA is the same with swedes about sweden, If you want to start a fight i USA insult their army or their weapon-laws, just sayin’.
When I went to the states last year and i found it very shallow, maybe fake if you will, especially in the stores when a salesperson with a fake smile walk up to you and strike up a conversation just because he want you to buy more. Same with the people all this smalltalk in the elevators and so on, at first i found it charming but got annoyed with it later on because i don’t want to talk to people all the time where ever i go. Here’s where the privacy thing comes in, swedes want and need their personal space and are very conciderate about their own and others space.

Americans are jsut as bad as swedes in many areas even worse, In fact I think in the for weeks i was there i and walked around alot they maybe held the door once a day. In Sweden people hold doors for me all the time, also I think i got FIVE smiles in a month.

You might ask yourself why is he talking about america? because america is the only country I’ve been to and truly in my oppinion got a perception of peoples ways and culture. i have been to almost every european country but then it’s more like tourism instead of “being there” so to speak.

This is the perspective on the differens between americans and swedes by a 17 year old boy. Hope it isn’t to hard to understand I’m very tired. :D and I apologize for all the grammar and spelling mistakes.

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Andreas B

March 17th, 2012 at 11:11

@fff Dont fret over it to much about our personal space and stuff like that. The worst that can happend is that you get an angry look or that they ignore you.
We are mostly very friendly deep inside we just dont show it so the whole world can see it ;) and well most swedes (again not all of us but most) tend to be more friendly with you when they understand that you are for example a tourist.

Hopefully Sapphire and other people who have moved to or visit Sweden can confirm what I have been saying.
Because I can only tell you of my personal experience and what other people have told me.

Yes about rush hour it is perfectly fine to sit next to a person if there are a limited number of seats empty. That applies everytime its a limited number of seats on the bus or train its not only during rush hour. So dont worry about it =)

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Sapphire

March 17th, 2012 at 15:35

@Kristian – I apologize for meeting a bunch of unfriendly, rude Americans. That’s not cool.

@Andreas – I see things in Sweden as being an Asian, not just American (since everybody loves to compare everything on this site to the US).

At the end of the day, I always find it surprising that many Swedes find it perfectly acceptable to not interact with one another, smile, help someone else.

What’s so wrong with taking the initiative and smiling a little more and helping out another human being and making the world (or the country) a better place?

One thing I’ve learned from being here for four years is that I’ve become less friendly, less nice, and less helpful to others around me. And for that, I’m ashamed to have let that part of Swedish culture overtake me.

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Andreas B

March 18th, 2012 at 11:34

Oh we do interact with others, smile and help others just not to them same extent us you are used to (I cant really talk for Stockholm I’m not there so much, most other Swedes dont like Stockholm or its people)

People are different and we have all the right to be different and think in a different way I mean your way of seeing things is not the “only correct way” just as Swedes way of seeing things are not correct.
We are not perfect but wich country, people are perfect?

And if you feel that you have become less helpful, friendly and nice to others around you compared to what you want to be or are used to. I can only apologise and say sorry if you feel that way.

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Sapphire

March 18th, 2012 at 12:03

@Andreas – There have been several occasions that people have whacked bags, arms, and things into my head or shoulders and 1 out of 10 apologize. That on the streets I can get pushed so hard, I can nearly hit a parked car. Add to that that drivers here have no concept of red or green, Stockholm, can be an unfriendly city.

No one has a right to hit me in the head and not apologize. That’s bad behavior. That’s not “seeing things in a different way.” You spill wine on me, apologize and clean it up. You push me on the sidewalk, apologize. Everything else is just an excuse to promote poor manners under the disguise of culture.

After losing so much of my family this year, I’ve come to appreciate life and the difficulties we go through everyday to survive. When not meeting friendly faces in Stockholm, it makes me wonder if people are content, care about life, or care about the latest fashion trend.

There was a Pressbyrån I used to go to because the guy on duty was super nice and funny. He would always tell a joke and talk about random stuff and for those three minutes of standing at the register, you had a smile on your face. And you left with a smile. Your whole day brightened a little more. I wish more people were like him.

And the best people I have spoken to in Stockholm are old folks. Sometimes I have a hard time understanding them, but I love chatting with them for a few minutes!

On the other hand, I feel very different when going to Göteborg. There is some of the rudeness but overall, people seem nicer, happier, and less egocentric.

I have a few friends from Norrland, and none of them love Stockholm. It’s a nice place to live but not much more for them.

Maybe there’s something in the water in Stockholm that breeds this behavior??

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Andreas B

March 19th, 2012 at 01:00

Maybe it is something in the water Sapphire I dont know but as I said before people outside Stockholm tend to be more friendly.
Plus what I have been talking about is when we are for example sitting on the train and we dont talk to the person beside us. Not what you have been experiencing when people have pushed you on the streets and stuff like that. I agree with you there thats just plain wrong.

Stockholm probably have the worst drivers in all of Sweden.

Yes most Swedes outside Stockholm do not like that city or most of its citizens.

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Elizabeth

March 19th, 2012 at 11:14

Enjoyed this one and the previous one you wrote, very amusing…nice to see I am not alone in these opinions. Well. I have lived in Sweden since late 2009, married to a Swedish man and forced to live here because of his career. Previously I lived in central London and worked in investment banking. I told my then would be husband that if I moved there for the sake of his career I would not learn Swedish because a) i was too old to be arsed to make all that effort and b) when i realised what life was like here I WANTED the barrier of not speaking Swedish since I didn’t want to become like them and adopt their ways. I have wittily declared our home and the land it sits on as British Territory and that anyone who comes into my home must speak English and enjoy g&t’s in the afternoon. As you can imagine my guest list is short, but then again no one entertains anyway, since everyone is so boring they only sit at home with themselves and their families every weekend. We do not live in a big city so the situation is extremely limiting and i have decided to treat this unfortunately boring time of my life as a fashionable ‘time-out’, enjoying the hiatus from work, writing some fiction and enjoying our beautiful home and garden. of course sooner or later it is inevitable that i will flip out and demand we move somewhere where people are sociable and engaging, where entertaining every weekend is the norm and being fashionable means actually being known in Marni by the staff….but until then i have sadly tucked away the Blahniks and the Choos and am waiting it out…Sweden you are cute, and you seem to make lots of Swedes happy, but as for me, i feel as though my soul is being slowly extinguished by the lack of imagination and joie de vivre here.

and no, participating in orienteering events does not qualify as joie de vivre…sorry.

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ri

March 21st, 2012 at 14:51

Hmmn, as I said before, I spent 3 years travelling extensively all over southern Sweden, and despite almost everyone that lives outside of Stockholm’s claims, the rest of Sweden is not very different than Stockholm in the ways that are being discussed in this conversation. It is the fall back position of anyone not living in Stockers when the general perceived rudeness is brought up. The non Stockholmers seem to feel it is an acceptable excuse. Just blame it on Stockholm.

I also have become more rude, more abrupt after 13 years of living here and I hate it in myself and fight it whenever I notice it. Sadly it is more apparent whenever I travel to some other country, because unlike the average Swede, I do not open up and become a different person when I leave the confines of modersverige. I am just a ruder than normal American.

Swedes tend to be very different people outside of Sweden, especially the ones that live for some time outside of Sweden, they are more open, more outgoing, more friendly in almost every way. Then they move back to Sweden for whatever reason, and Jante takes over and they become part of the collective again. I often refer to them as Borgs. They close up and become cold and indifferent acting, and the poor spouse is often left wondering what happened to that fun loving Swede they met and married in some other country. A lot of divorce happens this way.

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ri

March 21st, 2012 at 14:53

You will be assimilated! Hahaha! :-)

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ri

March 21st, 2012 at 14:58

…and before anyone feels the need to jump in and admonish me for my language or wording, I realize that these are generalizations and obviously do not apply to every Swedish person, just to a lot of them.

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Mr White

March 30th, 2012 at 16:05

OK……

I feel with ya!

As with just about any country or culture on earth, wherever one finds him or herself for any lenght of time, there´s an infinite number of things to go berserk over in Sweden. As in the US, Albania or (insert nation of choice here).

But I seriously doubt that Swedes have a vastly different personality and outlook compared to most other Nortern Europeans, let alone fellow Scandinavians. Granted, there might be minor differences, but not enough to matter.

The climate is generally not too bad. Yes, it does rain. As it does in Seattle, Wa (Now, THAT is a wet city, if I ever saw one.) And the fact that Sweden is an oblong nation spanning from the arctic circle down to the top of continental europe means that one can almost but not quite find winter-spring-summer-fall kinds of weather during parts of the year. Cool!

Yes, some people do stand in front of the subway door when YOU want to get off quickly. They do that in Rome, Italy and NYC, NY as well…. duh!

The Systembolaget, all hang-ups about monopolies aside, is way better than folklore would have it. NO, I repeat NO other single independent sales organisation offers a bigger stock of quality alcoholic beverages, especially Wines. None! Yes, it sucks that you can´t run down to the corner deli in order to buy a bottle of alcohol laced “whatever you want” at 11 PM, but the same is true in 75% of the world…

And the notion that all stores close at 1800 hours just isn´t true anymore. Yup, 30 years ago they propably did, but not nowadays.

And on and on and on…

Suffice to say is that Sweden and Swedes are about equal on all accounts to our fellow humans all over the “civilised world”… no better, but sure as 6%#¤%& not worse either!

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Axel

April 13th, 2012 at 10:16

Saw your first post about Sweden. Man you really are “American”. I feel sorry for you, I really do. But here’s a video I hope you will enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXy2aRNiWEE

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Sapphire

April 13th, 2012 at 10:31

@Axel – Awww, you feel sorry for me, how sweet.

The Family Guy is hilarious and terrifying at the same time, because people in the US believe that’s how the country should operate. Scary.

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AussieinSweden

April 25th, 2012 at 07:08

one word: Jantelagen!!

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Black Chick on Tour

May 29th, 2012 at 19:07

I have a love/hate with the Swedes. I absolutely love Stockholm, however, it’s inhabitants, not so much. And, the thing is I want to like them, but they seem to be narrow minded, unfriendly, unhappy people. My husband is Swedish, and he’s is the most complainiest effer I know. He tells me that that’s one of the things he like about me was that I was happy. I’m like; happiness is a choice. Swedes choose to be miserable. My biggest bug is that when I try to be “culturally” considerate and speak Swedish, they (the clerks in the stores, or public places) treat me like sh*t; however when I speak English, then they get all phony, I’ve been told this is because they think I’m African living off of their welfare system. WTF!! So, to me this proves two things; (1) that’s Swedes make it hard for immigrants and (2) that all they see is skin color. Because if they really looked at me, my attire, my shoes, my purse, how I’m carrying myself, I mean really paid attention it wouldn’t be too hard to determine that someone carry Gucci isn’t on welfare, or who’s nails are obviously regularly mani-pedi (something most Swedish women can’t afford to do) isn’t an African immigrant living off of their ridiculous welfare system. And, why are the women such b*itches? Gawd!! But, I love me some Stockholm and I’ll go back again this summer. Because with all the BS, I have some really great friends in Stockholm (half of them not being of Swedish descent).

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MINA

June 1st, 2012 at 06:30

Born and raised in Sweden I have experienced all the annoying Swedish thing mentioned above and in the previous post. But what really infuriates me about the Swedes is the lack of respect and the mockery towards other countries and their people at times. I currently live in Greece and you have no idea of the insulting and insensitive feedback the Swedes blurs out everytime they comment on an article related to Greece and their distressed situation right now. No respect att all!!

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S

June 3rd, 2012 at 18:51

‘XL is more like M in clothing.’? Just wait till you live in Asia! A Swedish XL is most likely an XS in Asia. Oh and, did i mention that they make ‘one-sized’ shorts and dresses?

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Sapphire

June 5th, 2012 at 10:12

@S – Really?!! I would expect a Swedish S to be an Asian XL…everyone there is so small! At least last time I visited Singapore I found clothes for tiny people like myself.

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fff

June 6th, 2012 at 18:41

Haha, I agree with you Sapphire. Asian sizes are very small. It’s great for tiny Asians, but not everyone is tiny. I’m quite round and nothing ever fits. It’s just so annoying.. Even when it comes to shoes, I have to buy a non-local brand so it will be my size. I hate the sizing here. The one-size fits all thing are equally annoyin.. *shakes fists

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marcus

June 8th, 2012 at 09:18

Hi Emanuella. That’s truly disturbing. I think it’s disgusting that the Swedish men didn’t try to help you. They must be total bastards. I certainly would expect any decent self-respecting man to help a damsel in distress. You have every right to be angry.

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fattynoparents

June 15th, 2012 at 13:02

Hey, I’ve recently discovered your blog, and it’s huge fun to read, thanks a lot.

I’m interested in Sweden, and I plan to go there for a holiday next summer, and it’s really useful to read some true to life comments about the country.

Why I comment here is because the more I read about things people hate about Swedes, the more I’m sure I will feel myself like home there lol.

Why, in Moscow we have the same idiots for drivers, the same shitty service, the same refusal to smile from anyone anywhere, the same greyness and cold.

And I have a very strong feeling that Swedes, when compared to Russians, are rather nice and friendly. Although we DO usually hold the doors on the subway, you can be killed with those you know :)

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Sapphire

June 18th, 2012 at 13:27

@fattynoparents – Hahaha! At least the subway doors here aren’t killer but they don’t reopen if something is jammed in them. LOL.

I’m sure since you’re visiting you’ll have a blast!!!

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S

June 30th, 2012 at 14:10

@Sapphire My bad, i posted that when i was really tired. Yes, the other way round, you are right.
A Swedish S = Asian XXXL

That is more like it.

So how is it going with your Swede? This blog is amazingly entertaining and interesting, and as much as one hates to be stereotypical, the comments on those boys are spot on.

I had a little spring break fling with a really cute Swede, on an exotic Asian island. I have never had so much fun in a very long time! I always find my thoughts frequently returning to that night.
My girl friends and i both confirmed those Swedes are amazing kissers, though we can also confirm there are the occasional hot d-bag. I have luckily met a very sweet, smooth cute one!

What are your thoughts, ladies?

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Zeithri

July 6th, 2012 at 18:58

Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
I’m laughing my ass off! This is so true! XD

-Born and unfortunately still living in Sweden for now.

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Ed

July 10th, 2012 at 18:03

I think all countries have their pros and cons – obviously. Opening doors, not smiling, no smalltalk, service issues – these are all things that are pretty innocuous in the general scheme of things. I think Sweden suffers from its cautious, steady as she goes, attitude to everything. Swedish people tend to do things well and properly in my opinion. They are not jokers, they take everything and themselves quite seriously. This is not a bad thing necessarily but its interesting to read comments from people who have been here 20 years or 30 years, myself having been here for just a year now. When I got here I was amazed my the clear skies, fresh water, outdoor life but as I time has gone on I don’t think I’ve ever felt more depressed in my life. I feel like I’m in The Truman Show – everything looks good and seems to function but there is something that is definitely not quite right. This is my favorite quote from the comments:

‘The modern Swede is a ruthless neo-conservative pro-capitalist individualist with the mindset of a domesticated obedient Socialist drone pumped up on populist juice and Schlagerfestival as downers’ Very good.

Swedes are very pleased with themselves, they have high self esteem and they believe that their system works. They choose to ignore the shortfalls in the system, they understand the system, each other and get on well with each other. If you are from somewhere else, this will probably not be your norm. I am miserable here, I’ve sort of made some friends but I don’t really relate to any of them. My sambo is Swedish and she seems to like it, doesn’t think about it too much, has fun with her friends and family. So I don’t think the problem is really one that Swedish people have – its the problem of the foreigner in Sweden. Unfortunately there is not much we can do about it but put up with it or leave. I feel my life as I have known it is over if i stay here. I die a little more every day.

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Zyna

July 15th, 2012 at 22:22

OMG!! I have learned to like Sweden but seriously these are amazing and I completely agree with every little thing. So as much as I like my life, I guess it is a love/hate relationship with Sweden.
Thanks for posting this!!! Definitely going to share.

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Mercy

July 16th, 2012 at 12:13

I’ve lived in Sweden for some years now and can’t wait to leave. I have been told that I’m the type of immigrant Sweden wants (by Swedes) and that means white, European but not Eastern European and educated. I have met so many racists here, it astounds me. The assumption that any Iranian or Hungarian should be thrilled to form part of a servile underclass and not have too many kids or expect to have the same kind of home as a Swede is horrible.
The Swedes have a pretty dark history concerning eugenics too and that crosses my mind when I see the blond hoards…I wonder if the wild and wacky genes just got eliminated.
And my other pet hate is about the language. Lets just accept that no one outside of Sweden speaks Swedish, so anyone who comes to live here for a while and tries to learn is doing it because they want to be polite. In that case why do you pick us up on every tiny mistake, pronunciation error and grammatical slip? When I moved here I was told (again by Swedes) not to bother learning Swedish because the SFI classes were just full of illiterate Arabs who were these for as long as possible for the money, and anyway, everyone in Sweden speaks English and will be pleased to practice with you. And so it for, for about 6 months, after which you are expected to be fluent and any inability or lack of desire to speak Swedish everywhere is taken as an insult to the mighty language. Hardly anyone speak Swedish, it’s not a pleasant language to listen to, and it doesn’t have enough words so you all use English and French words anyway. Get over it. No one is interested.
And finally, Swedes need to get it into their heads that not everyone wants to be Swedish. Dressing your kids up as ginger biscuits and dancing about pretending to be a frog is not great culture so you don’t need to hang on to it like it’s Beethoven or ballet. Yes, you currently have plenty of unspoiled countryside but only because there aren’t enough of you to mess it all up completely, Your lives and your country and your language will have to evolve, You can’t cherry pick which bits of the present and future you want forever…you all want the latest electronic toy but you won’t take responsibility for the waste that creates because the mess is in some other country full of those foreigners who don’t matter. Time to join the real world Swedes!

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Patrik

July 22nd, 2012 at 01:59

I seriously think you are absolutely wrong. You cant have been living in Stockholm for a year, impossible, because everything you say is wrong (except a few exceptions obviously).
Swedes if any country in Europe- knows how to drive, and let pedestrians cross.
We have a great fashion sense here, compared to backwards UK for example.
Our housing situation in Stockholm is one of the Best, why? Otherwhise our houses and apartments would look like they do in London, bad standard, expensive as Fuck and your sharing the flat. Do you have to do that in Stockholm, no!

Our XL is European standard, so any XL in Sweden is the same in Germany, France, UK. Its just that you americans are so fucking obese.

Customer service? We have genuin customer service, in Sweden we dont pretend to love you and kiss your arse. We are honest, and thats a service we swedes love.

Fair enough, some other things you have said I do agree with. But it has been so many bullshit things that I had to make a comment, because I read some of your previous posts and i thought you were joking.

I dont live in Stockholm anymore, I live in London. And oh my god, it makes me realise how much i love Stockholm.
If you are annoyed about people blocking the way for you when you try to get out from the tube, then dont even come to london.

Why I am annoyed is because you took many things that sweden is great for, and said that we dont do this or that, when we do!

You have a hard time finding some great pair of gorgeous shoes? Are you serious? Have you even tried to go out..? My girlfriend, who isnt Swedish, she finds them everytime she looks online (Swedish websites).

But then again, online shopping in Sweden is in the stone-age.

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ru

July 26th, 2012 at 17:13

I wanted to point out one thing that astounds me .. so swedes don’t even look at each other in public and its criminal to actually smile at a stranger much less talk or help them with a package or something ….. but .. they have no issues showering naked with strangers in stalls with no doors (and sometimes no walls even) at public swimming pools and saunas

i just don’t get that

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Sweden Citizen

July 29th, 2012 at 21:34

Visit someplace else then Stockholm…. that is where you get the worst image of Sweden… most of us hate Stockholm Divas (Major amount of Stockholm Citizens are GENERALLY diva, ego, careless, or just retarded and evil.

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Ed

August 16th, 2012 at 11:18

I think you can argue forever about who does this and who does that but what i will say is that Swede’s have very, very little genuine compassion for their fellow man. They make up rules and employ sociologists to make up for where a heart should have been.

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Francisco

August 26th, 2012 at 05:24

If you had lived in Germany for some time (specially Berlin) you would really understand the meaning of living in a country full of unfriendly, aggressive people with no manners whatsoever. Because I have spent 5 years in Berlin, everytime I went to Stockholm it was as if Sweden was a paradise of police and smiling people. Chear up!
PS: I live in Rio de Janeiro now,,,ah ah .

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Francisco

August 26th, 2012 at 05:25

Now we all hate Sweden because of Wikileaks and Julian Assange, of course.

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Emil

September 2nd, 2012 at 16:34

Sweden being full of feminists is a big plus in my book.

The housing market is hard to get into, and the gray/black market sucks. But the standard of housing, even compared to the price, is really high. No sucky showers-in-the-kitchen like in e.g. Copenhagen.

Also, Stockholm drivers are really nice, always stop to let pedestrians cross etc., I really don’t think you’re doing them justice here.

Systembolaget sucks. Not exactly a “socialist” thing though, they have the same thing in Minnesota but not in Cuba, y’know…

I totally agree they should learn to talk to strangers. Or at least smile. Or at least make brief eye contact. Or at least not pretend people don’t exist when you’re looking right beside their face on the subway.

Generally, though, I think the snobbish cooler-than-though atttude is a Stockholm thing rather than a general Swedish thing. And by the way, I know several Stockholmers who don’t like it either. I’ve met some really nice and open people here.

– A Dane in Stockholm.

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Puttano

September 5th, 2012 at 04:09

1) what pro-sweden swedes that is pro-sweden, is OBVIOUSLY BIASED and therefore doesn’t matter shit.
2) you should go to Iceland. In sweden people bump on you and don’t say sorry? In Iceland they PUSH you away and expect you to thank them.

It all boils down to fanatical collectivism and hate of the individuals who stand out. Jantelagen. Look up Jantelagen.

Scandinavians are, presently, not even human. That’s why they don’t have compassion. They’re not human, they’re just robots and nothing else. It’s extremely, extremely sad for everyone living on planet earth right now that such people and culture even exist. Swedes are a problem for the international community. I think the US should invade it… ;)

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Puttano

September 5th, 2012 at 04:15

By the way. It’s called Antisocial Personality Disorder. Also Narcissistic Perosnality Disorder (probably in the form of collective narcissism, here).

The swedish traits (and scandinavian in general) are considered pathological for the whole of western culture. Lack of compassion of others, seeing others not as individuals with their needs but as objects at their disposal reated to feed their ego: this is how swedes live and it IS a morbose state of mind.

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Puttano

September 5th, 2012 at 04:43


You say we are whining – take a look at yourself. You are the one whining about Sweden, and constantly picking at us and our lifestile. Please stop. What good will come out of it, really?”

pffff. Keep going, blogger. This is normal to them: they think a person shouldn’t follow his own initiative because a collective he shouldn’t give two shits about (life is NOT slavery to a collective, but they don’t know that) would get annoyed and defensive. Having no empathy and capacity to put themselves in the shoes of any other but themselves (if they can put themseves in their own shoes, I’m not really sure), they fail to see the good in the exposure, the free exchange of information, the inherent curiosity of people (they have none), the will to share and warn/make others happy (they have none of that either), and the venting – one of the most important tools for the mental health of individuals, a tool they don’t take advantage of, no wonder they’re so unhappy; unhappy? suicidal.

Well, a person can do nothing but that, only Swedes (unfortunately not only, but them too) have that extremely high level of repression of their own initiative and will. They are the anti-overman. The worst a human being can ever be, slaves to the collective, slaves to society, perfect cowards with no personality and individuality. Sweden is surely a communist empire where everybody is forced to never raise above mediocrity.

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Swednet

September 6th, 2012 at 18:54

I agree with nost of your comments about Sweden can be a bit of a boring place and the Swedes do have some funny idears and on off days Sweden realy gets you down, so you wander what the hell you are doing in this shit hole. But atleast you can go to most places without the fear of being shot and people are not put to death buy the government or keep people interned without trial for years. There I admit one drawback with the Swedish judicery they do not have Juries as in US or UK instead politically appointed which creates risk for bias. Why do you think Julian Assange dose not want to be extradited, he is afraind of an unfair trial and reasonably so. One thing I realy hate about Sweden is it is turning into a Environmental dictatorship with propogander over climate change being spertided out all the time on TV radio Schools and work place. As my little protest I usually put the wrog thing in the wrong recyicling bin to prove I just dont follow the GreenSocialst propoganda. Any way who am I to moan I was given a pension (förtids pension) which the government gave to anybody with the slighest disability so I used it to go to college Konvux when I got the best grades then got into medicin still got paid while doing the medical degree, by the way you do not have to pay for University in Sweden. Now is that not the best welfare state in the world. Would you get the same in USA or UK. My point being there is a lot of thing madning about Sweden and Swedes, but instead of moning get the most from it free education maturnety leave for one year, subserdized day care. Dont bite the hand that feeds you.

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Tony

September 9th, 2012 at 02:24

Hey bitch!!! Stop hating on Sweden! They invented Minecraft!!!

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Ed

September 15th, 2012 at 06:42

Easy on the exclamation marks Tony.

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Ed

September 15th, 2012 at 06:46

I work on a music project for adults with learning difficulties. None of the people I work with/for show any of the normal Swedish traits. They are kind and warm and funny and open and curious. These are the dysfunctional people in Sweden!

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TedvG

September 15th, 2012 at 13:22

Hi, I am an IT-er, programmer if you will, currently living in southern Germany not far from lake Constance. Born and grown up in the Netherlands. As a software engineer, i mostly had an interesting life, bot fun and also hard times (but isn’t that part of life? (what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger..) ) working and living in several countries, Belgium, 5 years in Switzerland, projects throughout Germany, often with interesting and nice IT-Colleagues. Sadly it is now much harder to get a new IT contract, or almost any other job for that matter, because I am 61, but far from being a fossil :o) I’been a week on a vacation in Stockholm in June 2008 and fell in love with this city and its archipel. Took many boat trips (there). Talked with many swedish people that I’ve met spontaneously while on the boats or sitting somewhere near the water for instance. What I would like to emphasize here is, that what you send out.. is also what you’ll receive. No matter where you are, e.g. if onewalks around with a negative attitude, one will encounter the same, it will fire back. So, not always, but it is a matter of perception. The much dreaded winter in Scandinavia has also very beautiful things, like being close together by a fire. or beautiful landscapes. In short a lot depends on your one perception and attitude, doesn’t it?
Life is not always easy, try to make the best of it, even in these relatively hard times
Live well and prosper :o)

Greetings to all from D-88636 Illmensee, Germany!

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Charlie

September 19th, 2012 at 06:44

XL is more like M in clothing. This you?:O But seriously…. you need to see the right places… the right people here in sweden just gotto know where to look!

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Lottie

October 12th, 2012 at 19:27

Swimming is not taken seriously as a recretional sport. Swimmer’s ettiquette does not exist. State owned pools don’t have life guards, or set out the pool with lanes which suit the swimmers. Swimmers don’t wear swimming caps. Ew – hair. Swimming costs about 10 euros a go (or 70-80 krona). I will concede one, and one only, plus – the after workout sauna for free. Everyone hangs out naked in the changing rooms, but show no awareness let alone politeness of/ towards anyone else.

In general, my biggest beef with Stockholm is that friendliness just doesn’t exist. Unless you are in a shop. Then all the shop assistants become smiley and diplomatic. Other than that, people don’t seem to have friends, and everyone lives in tiny single flats eating cinnamon muesli alone, wishing they were somewhere warmer, happier and more convivial, like Greece. NB: I am neither from nor have ever lived in Greece – no bias there.

I think I’m done, thanks for the joyous read and delicious compilation. Great therapy.

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Sue

October 13th, 2012 at 03:36

I am loving all these comments especially the one about Disneyworld being the happiest place on earth then Systembolaget must be the antichrist. So true. Folks, you made my evening, haven’t laughed out like this in a long time. Thank you!

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ed

October 22nd, 2012 at 21:37

I’m back again…i was on the bus the other day and an old lady got on with a fancy wheeled zimmer frame and shuffled towards the wide seats made available for the old, pregnant, etc. The bus driver pulled away as she was half way across and she stumbled, my first thought was that he hadn’t seen her…’jag kan inte stanna’ he shouted back as i got up to help the lady. Meaning, ‘I have to get going’. Everyone else seemed entirely indifferent. I don’t imagine you would find that anywhere else but Sweden. Sadly. I know bus drivers are generally harrassed, stressed individuals but there are limits to how utterly shitty you can be.

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Philip

October 31st, 2012 at 00:15

Many of the people that describe the typical swede here rather seem to describe a typical ‘stockholmer’. I’ve lived on the west coast of Sweden for my whole life and most if not all of the things that I read here, that Swedes are boring, apathetic, arrogant etc. only fit into one or two of the people I’ve met or know.

One should tread carefully when judging a whole country of people, you come off as very arrogant yourself.

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Philip

October 31st, 2012 at 00:21

Btw, I see the irony in me having a biased view of typical ‘stockholmers’ myself :P I have been there on many occasions, though, and I can see a clear difference in people from the west coast (Göteborg, Halmstad etc.) and people from the Stockholm area. I might have just met all the wrong people in Stockholm though.

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ed

November 1st, 2012 at 19:23

I think Philip that you have to see a lot of this as catharsis for people who live here coming to terms with coming from somewhere else. On the outside its very easy to see Swedish people as arrogant, boring…etc etc because actually compared to other countries that is how they do look! But of course they are not all like that. I have met some wonderful people here with natures that you wouldn’t find anywhere else…but living in a foreign country is very stressful unless you happen to be earning good money and are generally quite bulletproof. If you are skint, finding it hard to find work, socially sensitive then you will find fault and that is the same wherever you go. There are many common threads that foreigners identify in Swedish people and i don’t think the foreigner should underestimate lagom and jante’s law. Swedish people have this innately. If you come here thinking you are something special, think again. Not even Swedish people are allowed to think that! When i write my memoirs, Sweden will be several chapters.

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Philip

November 4th, 2012 at 01:02

Ah I see, Ed. It was a pretty interesting/funny read anyhow. Hope you continue writing stuff, because it is interesting to read things from other perspectives and so on. Have a good day!

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Bella

December 5th, 2012 at 02:16

Thanks for an interesting blog! I am a bit surprised though about the amount of comparisons between Sweden and America.. Being a foreigner in Sweden who comes from an African country I would really like to give another perspective. Sweden took my family in, gave all of us free education, even though we were not citizens (including university education and higher degrees). When I graduated I got a job in Sweden (yes, black foreigners actually work and pay taxes in this country, even though there is discrimination in the job market). Now I am raising my little daughter and enormously enjoying the time I got as maternity leave and available day-care and other perks, which makes me the envy of all my friends and relatives in many countries across the economic spectrum. I do agree that Swedes can be shy and aloof, but as with all shy people it just takes time to get to know them. And about the general manners and interactions: Well, wherever you live there is always a balance between the individual freedom and the sense of community. In a culture with a stronger sense of community, people interact with each other more (but on the downside they will limit each other’s freedoms more – I am thinking of my home country and its more conservative culture). If a human being is lucky enough to be able to choose where to live, then he/she can always choose a place that best fits their own point of balance..

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Arilou

December 22nd, 2012 at 04:06

“People whine about the weather. I already know the weather sucks, thanks for pointing out the obvious.
People don’t make small talk.”

But whining about the weather IS small talk!

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Tex-path

December 26th, 2012 at 06:37

1. For Swedish People defending Sweden – WE ARE ENTITLED TO OUR OPINION, AND NOBODY, NOT EVEN YOUR ALMIGHTY GOVERNMENT CAN TELL US WHAT TO THINK AND DO!!!Feed, you need to stop trying make people think, look and behave like you. LISTEN instead, and maybe you Will learn something.
2.It is not a cultural thing to slam doors in peoples faces, push away my baby stroller just to pass, squeezing your selves by me instead of saying excuse me so I can move, to pick your nose in public, spitting on the street, hitting people with purses and shopping baskets. It is lack of manners and common sense. You behave like stone-age men, and then talk about foreigners as wild savages, when foreigners are the only well-mannered people in your backwards, uneducated robot-land.. Rudeness is not culture, it is LACK of culture and actually a feature ofanti-social crwatures living in the woods.
3. I have lived in a small town of 50k people. Take people.rude.unfriendly. My child fell when a girl pushed him?__– with a shopping-car.She didn’t appologize, just looked at me like I am crazy when I told her to Watch out. I pushed her in the back and she just kept walking. They are insane.
4.My baby needed a diaper change and I needed to use a restroom which of course costs even in a mall. Baby screaming, and no change. I get excited when I see a woman coming out from the restroom, since the baby is screaming so badly. I hurry to get on after the woman (not the lady, no such thing in Sweden)

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Tex-path

December 26th, 2012 at 07:00

I get to the door, real happy, with my screaming baby, but the woman pushes me with the baby, and slams the door and sais “I had to pay, why should you get for free?” Det ska vara lika för alla, “it should be the same for everyone”. Yeah, sure.i Said that I sure hope she dies, horrible person with no heart. Then she goes on about God and heaven. Really? Heaven? No Swedes there for sure!
5. NO SWEDEN There is nothing called Swedish hospitality. Meatballs were not created by a Swede and lagom is not a word that Only exists in Sweden. Smörgåsbord is a Swedish word for having all the food on a table without anyone serving it to you (the lack of service) and ombudsman, a person that will talk with somebody for you, so you don’t have to take any redponsibility or talk with another person.THESE are Swedish words, along with Quisling. Everything in Sweden is NOT better. Swedish academics go and clean norweigian fish to make money. Foreign proffessors and doctors drive cabs in Sweden.Sweden is NOT openminded. It is VERY racist and why you would not take a foreigners word for it, but keep repieting “we are not racist” like robots wont help. Believe it or not, PERSON WHO IS FOREIGN GETS TO DECIDE IF THEY FEEL DESCRIMINATED, YOU ARE NOT THE ONES TO SAY “WE DO NOT DESCRIMINATE BECAUSE WE SAY SO

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dontomato

January 1st, 2013 at 11:18

“WTF IS THE MATTER WITH YOU AMERICANS?!?! How lame are you? You find some things you don’t like about a country and you have to make a website out of it? Who does that? I’ve been to America a couple of times and believe me, your country is far away from being flawless! But I don’t make a website about it! I am as proud as can be over my country, I love Sweden! I do think my country is amazing. We care about each other, we have free education, for everyone, we have a great system, and even though you don’t think so, it’s working. How long have you been in Sweden to actually have an opinion on that? You don’t know how it’s working here. I am not the biggest fan of America, but I respect your country. I don’t have to show your imperfections to the world to feel good!

You say we are whining – take a look at yourself. You are the one whining about Sweden, and constantly picking at us and our lifestile. Please stop. What good will come out of it, really?”

spot on.
all about this website is just pathetic, narrow-minded and and on the verge of being comical. it’s quite fascinating that someone can be so fanatic about sweden and put so much effort and energy on a website about a such a small and rather insignificant country. perhaps i shouldn’t be surprised as i’ve noticed americans often do want to compare and straighten out things in terms of “rights” and “wrongs” between cultures once they’ve moved somewhere and discovered there IS a world outside of US after all. it’s like it would be some darn competition! but hey, sweden isn’t gonna change for you over night. however, a change in your attitude will probably make your life easier and won’t hurt though. you have to understand that sweden is a quite diverse country when it comes to local cultures, mentalities, manners etc depending on where in the country you live. stockholm isn’t sweden and sweden isn’t stockholm.! i almost got a culture shock myself when i moved to stockholm for the first time. my neighbours didn’t say hello to me like i was used to from home. i’d advice you to travel the country more and THEN perhaps you might also learn to understand and see things from another perspective than the american and stop judging a whole nation from your rather limited experience with the country. it would like judging the whole US just because the majority of the people i met in NYC were assholes. come one.

sweden may not be everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure. however, i know many americans who love their lives in sweden as well as those who can’t wait to move back to good ol USA. i think it also depends on from where in US you come from too as the culture differ depending on where in the states you come from in relation to where in sweden one ends up. all in all, if you hate sweden so much you can always leave ya know.

and one more thing, christ america, when are you going to learn how to make REAL coffee and not TEA or not mess it up with some sickly moca-chocolate-syrup-shit? .. everytime i’ve been to US no matter the place it’s the same diluted story. you need to learn how to drink coffee. wimps.

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V.

January 3rd, 2013 at 03:35

I’ve been living in Sweden for almost 3 years now. I moved from Dallas, TX which is about 1.5 million and growing to a small town of about 20k. The next largest city has 100k. I agree with everything you have listed here. If I had time I could add even more. Off the top of my head I would say there is no sense of community here at least among the natives. I’ve experienced it with other immigrants or 2nd and 3rd generations of immigrants. The Swedish pure bloods don’t want to associate too much with the foreigners. I know people who have lived here for 10 years and still have no real Swedish friends or have maybe 1-2. I really miss the US,

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julle himself

January 4th, 2013 at 14:05

Im a Swede and I am lauging my ass off when reading this.

drunk Swedes standing in line on Mc, classic hahahaha.

but I think you are overreacting. Ppl here are just as reserved as in France, germany or Usa. fuck, its a western country, ppl are shy its the world today in “the west”. Ppl dont start small talk on Mc with strangers in France or germany or sweden wtf.

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Johanna

January 8th, 2013 at 00:27

As a Swede myself I have to say that all the nasty comments about Sweden and Swedes are quite hurtful and upsetting. No Sweden is not a perfect country and Swedes are not perfect people – but you simply cannot judge 9,5 million people by the (I-don’t-know-how-many) Swedes you PERSONALLY have actually met and/or got to know.

I don’t like to generalize but Swedes do tend to be quite resereved and that could definitely be mistaken for rudeness. But in general (again, I don’t like to generalize) Swedes also tend to be a bit (or very) worried about bothering one another and therefore rather keep to themselves. We (ah, generalizing…) simply don’t want to risk upsetting someone else. The law of Jante is strong, and sadly it’s really hard to get rid of. The law of Jante is basically telling a person that you should not think that you are something special, you should not believe that anyone is interested in anything you have to say. I think that might be why some people are quiet and don’t talk much, because they are simply thinking that no one will be interested in what they have to say. (“Why should I say hello to that person, why would he/she be interested in speaking to me? “) It’s a very negative thing and probably also have to do with low self esteem.

However what is upsetting to me is that lots of people here seem complain about Swedes being rude and unfriendly… by being rude and unfriendly themselves?! How nice is it really to post long comments on a website about how much you hate Swedes (or anyone else for that matter)? Yes we are all entitled to our own opinions and I’m not saying you all have to love Sweden and Swedes. But saying things like Swedes are rude, Swedes do this, don’t do that, and bitching about how horrible people are, THAT is what’s rude and unfriendly. THAT shows a serious lack of manners and respect.

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Johanna

January 8th, 2013 at 00:39

Oh and I forgot, what’s up with the issue with fitted sheets?! They are available in Sweden, and have been for as long as I can remember, known as dra-på-lakan (pull-on-sheets). They should be available in any textile shop, if not you don’t need to look further than IKEA :)

http://www.ikea.com/se/sv/catalog/products/30149957/

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maria

January 9th, 2013 at 23:50

I am also Swedish and I have to laugh as well, when I read this.
I also can’t help but wonder how long you guys have been living here and if you do speak the language? Do you ever consider that, even though most people are learning english in School or have been learning English in school, its still a foreign language and a lot of people are not comfortable to speak with native speaking people. And yes we may a bit reserved, but when I have been on a bus in Paris, London, or other countries in Europe, I am not really having a big conversation with anyone either.

What I don’t understand either, iswhy even bother moving to another country, if you think everything is going to be the same? I know a few people who moved here because they got offered a job, and they haven’t seem to have any problems to meet new people and social with native swedes. So maybe you people need to practise your social skills!?
Regarding customer service, it is different here and many other places in the world, maybe not as good, maybe some restaurants have really good hospitality service, I don’t know which restaurant you count, but seeing as you are in Stockholm I guess you have visited the best ones?

Everything that you are basing your “facts” around is in Stocholm, a capital city…. It’s like I would base the whole US, from the week I spend in NYC, but I won’t because I haven’t been around in the US to make an opinion what it is like to live there. But here I work as a waitress, I get out around 17.000 after tax, and I have a rent so I can manage to save about 10.000 every month. Can a waitress in the US manage that??
Maybe Sweden is not perfect, and if you compare it with other countries there would probably be countries more desirable to live in, but I would say, if you don’t like it- don’t stay, becuse the thing I have about Sweden the most, is complaining people- especially complaining foreingers!

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Sapphire

January 14th, 2013 at 23:51

@Johanna – I’ve seen those sheets. Having one color, one type of quality, does not constitute a choice of buying fitted sheets. I bought them, they were horrible quality. And on the other end of spectrum, Hästens charges 1000-2000kr for fitted sheets, ridiculously priced.

From the five years when I moved to Sweden to today, there has a big improvement in selection. But still, I go to Amazon to get mine.

Perhaps I should update my fitted sheets to lack of good tissue paper. :-)

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Chantal

January 15th, 2013 at 18:07

This is my second time reading your ‘hate list’ and I enjoyed it completely. I agree with much of it.

1. The fashion SUCKS big time!!
2. I am continually shocked and skeeved out when I visit the gym. There was once a baby in a stroller in the gym while his mommy and daddy worked out with heavy weights. Mind you, the father is one of the owners. On another occassion, a boy younger than 6 was walking around the heavy lifting area all by his lonesome. Why doesn’t anyone wipe the equipment after use?? Why does the door to the dressingrooms open OUTWARD into the weight area? Why must we expose my gorgeous foreign goodies to the whole damn gym??!! WTF?!
3. Where do people go to party in Sweden? Why am I still bored almost a year later? Someone please help me find somewhere or something to help me let my hair down and go wild. Please! = (
4. I know what snow and cold are. Please stop asking me if it much different than the cold snowy northeast U.S where I have lived. And stop whining. If you were born and bred in Sweden, you would be accustomed to the joys of winter by now. = )
5. Do Swedish people get mad? Aside from my poor tempered boyfriend, I am yet to find an angry Swede. Quite refreshing compaired to the nutty folks in the U.S. = )
6. The coffee tastes like bad medicine! If I am not making coffee at home or the office, I pretty much do not like drinking coffee when I am here. = (
7. May someone please advise … is Sergel’s Square really not a good place to visit? I need excitement so bad right now, I would not be opposed to visiting someplace off-beat! HELP!
8. Why arenät more Swede’s concerned with germs, bacteria and safety? People seem way to trusting here for my taste.
9. OVERALL, I enjoy it here and would consider staying long-term. May just need to replace the boyfriend. = )

Ciao for now!

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Johanna

January 24th, 2013 at 21:59

@Sapphire, I honestly can’t understand why anyone would want sheets that aren’t white xD Maybe that’s my inner Swede speaking?!

I have to agree about the tissue paper though!!

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Lars Schulze

January 26th, 2013 at 11:52

Intresting, your views on swedish beer. We feel the other way around and dislike the watery and waek american beer. Exception: Samuel Adams that some peaople buy to drink along with csalt christmas foos.Another exception: Brooklyn lager which has become a succes in pubs in Stockholm. Who could have imagined that some years ago? Lapin Kulta is not swedish by the way, it’s finnish.

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gds

January 28th, 2013 at 03:57

Ya’ll should watch “Big Steve From England” on youtube. See his whacky adventures in Sweden

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Björn

February 4th, 2013 at 00:14

For all of those who take this post the wrong way.

Take a damn chill pill, this is meant mostly for laughs and fun while describing stereotypes. If you recognize yourself too much and feel a need to reply in a offensive nature then perhaps take a hint and change yourself instead of trying to defend something that does not really matter. For everyone else, that dont fit in, well be fun and interessting and fun and interessting people will find you. Swedish people are not hard to make friends with, its just that there is a certain procedure involved=D. Good luck.

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hejp

February 13th, 2013 at 09:43

“XL is more like M in clothing.”

Luckily we’re not as fat as americans in general are.

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Sheri

February 15th, 2013 at 08:25

Loved your comments, i have ancestors from sweden on both sides of my family… glad they migrated to America, sounds like we have it better here, health care might not be free here, but then again, we work for a living, and we get to choose our doctors.. my family is better looking than pics that i have seen of the swedes, and i love our FREEDOM!

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Marie

February 18th, 2013 at 20:39

They don’t smile. So true. I don’t think many of the men are all good looking, unless they have darker hair. Some have these blocky heads on top. You see it in men who might have buzz cuts. Odd heads. When a man has no color and almost looks like he has albinism, it’s not attractive. It looks fine on the women though. My daughter is dating a Swedish guy and he gives me the creeps with the no smile look and death warmed over paleness. I feel like they all look like serial killers because of their lack of facial expressions. It’s really creepy and I myself dated a Nordic type in my youth. I ended up dumping him because he was an expressionless non smiling depressing person to be around. I’m so upset that my daughter is dating this guy. Every picture… no smile. We are Italian and this is upsetting me. We love life and love laughing. European men with the dark hair and light skin are so much better looking. My daughter turned out to be a pale Italian with more Nordic looks. It happens in northern Italy. He likes her fair looks, even if she is Italian. The Swedish women are fine looking though. Just my opinion and I do hope this boyfriend isn’t some wacko with his expressionless face. I’m not kidding. He creeps me out. I also have to realize that my ex boyfriend who was similar, turned out to be a hard working successful sane person, but he still doesn’t smile and he has a cute wife who is fun. On the plus side, this boyfriend of hers is intense and likes to talk about much to her. He is more relational one on one… but please just smile at my dinner table!

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Rynn

March 5th, 2013 at 23:06

I moved here about nine months ago to live with my boyfriend, and I’m having doubts. I have lived abroad in the past, but had a much easier time adjusting and making friends.

As previously noted, the people here seem unfriendly, uptight, and completely lacking in sensuality and joie de vivre. I enjoy the natural beauty and the city is attractive enough, but I’m not sure I could see myself living here for the rest of my life.

People always complain about the French rudeness, but during my time in France I made plenty of friends and found the people pleasant, engaging, and with a lust for life. If I so much as approach a person on the streets on Stockholm for directions, they give me a look as though I am from Mars.

I have thought about giving it another few months, but it might be time to jump ship.

I love your blog, btw!

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fattynoparents

March 7th, 2013 at 07:08

Hi, I came back to this post, because I’ve visited Stockhom twice by this time and am planning to go back there in May.

What I wanted to say is that Swedes are definitely better than they are described here ;) Stockhom drivers are MUCH more pleasant than in Russia, and people on the whole are much nicer.

Maybe one needs to live there for a while to see the bad sides, but seriosly, come to visit Moscow one day, and you will realize that Stockholm is a paradise in comparison :)

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Liz

March 12th, 2013 at 11:47

I feel like an American living in a Swedish prison camp. Since shopping is so limited i order my stuff from the US, but the Swedish postal service in arms with customs opens every single one of my packages and requires detailed list of items including their value… even the ones my friends send me as gift. This never happened in the US, even though i ordered many things from abroad.

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Sapphire

March 15th, 2013 at 22:19

Hi Rynn – I’m sorry you’re having a bad time here so far. But keep your hopes up till the summer. Swedes come out in droves then and become much more friendly and happy.

Have you found a job or some hobbies yet? Go to Meetup.com and head to one of the after work events. The people are usually a blast and hopefully it gets you out of your rut.

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Robin

April 1st, 2013 at 14:14

Liz: Strange. I order stuff from the US almost on a weekly basis and rarely have trouble with customs (and NEVER when it’s been labeled as a gift)

About the list…I agree with a lot of what’s being said, but I wish people would keep in mind that you can’t judge Sweden by Stockholm alone. I’m originally from northern Sweden and I have pretty much the same issues as you regarding manners etc. when I visit Stockholm. The atmosphere in central Stockholm is pretty unpleasant, severe assholeism seems to be rampant…It’s a beatiful city but something just seems to bring out the worst in people :)

About the size of clothes (which was in the previous “hate-post” but whatever”…If you ever buy old american clothes you’ll notice that the sizing in, let’s say, the sixties was a lot more similar to the current sizing of, let’s say, swedish clothes. For instance, an M typically used to be A LOT smaller. I don’t mean to get in your face about fat americans but you do have some pretty high rates of obesity and it doesn’t seem far fetched that american manufacturers chose to use vanity sizing rather than upset their customers. After all, it’s better to be a M than a XXL, right? It’s just like how a small soda etc used to be a lot smaller…

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Filip Axelsson

April 8th, 2013 at 14:02

Seriosly? Fuck you. i thought the other post was funny. But “full of feminists”? What’s wrong wit hthat? Huh? Do women not deserve to have the same kind of paycheck as us men? Do they not deserve to have an actual life instead of standing in the f*cking kitchen all day long? Fuck you dude. And about Alcoholic beverages. Don’t f*cking drink alcohol then. I’m a soberist (or whatever it’s called) and I can have fun anyways. And I never complain about the weather. I go out every weekend and do my job. Deliver commercial that 80% of the people receiving it are gonna throw it away. And I do it despite it being a fucking snowstorm or there being ice all over.

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Filip Axelsson

April 8th, 2013 at 14:12

I correct myself, you seem to be female. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m a male feminist and hate it when retards complain about Feminism.

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Tania

April 9th, 2013 at 05:32

Hi, everyone!
First and foremost I must say that I really enjoy this blog. Being a Swede in a foreign country with mostly foreign friends, it is always interesting to see how other nationalities see Swedes.

However, even though I on many points can agree with the criticism of Sweden and the Swedish system and what not, I do believe that any topic as volatile as patriotism (or religion, politics and sex for that matter! :P) should be handled with a great deal of respect and care. It is ok to criticize but many of the posts I have seen here have been down right hateful which in no way should be the way you talk about the country you live in.

At the end of the day I understand that it may be difficult to adjust to Sweden if you haven’t lived there your entire life, just as it is for me adjusting to Scotland right now, or how it has been when I’ve lived in other places. Most countries have their different cultures and social patterns, but really, who are we to say that one way of life is better or worse? Cultures can’t be measured in numbers so can people please accept the fact that Sweden will be different from whatever country you’ve come from because if it wasn’t then it wouldn’t be Sweden would it?

And to conclude, it really is interesting to read these discussions if people would only agree to disagree on some things.

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Natasha

April 18th, 2013 at 10:19

This is exact;y what to expect from a visit to Stockholm! When I visit it can get kind of depressing seeing no color (black and white seem to be the only color swedes know) and no one seems to be even a bit happy. People also have a problem with staring. Some people are very rude, if you try to stop to ask for directions or with a simple question they will look at you as if you are going to murder them and walk away as fast as possible. Every now and again you will meet someone very nice and happy to help you. Also it can get rather annoying when swedes push you out of the way because they have obviously never heard of saying excuse me. Most people won’t hold a door for you or do kind gestures, but this is only because they worry about themselves and themselves alone. They do not take well to strangers but can be the nicest person you meet if you actually know them. If it weren’t for Stockholm being such a beautiful city, I probably wouldn’t visit that often and would stay in the villages where it’s peaceful.

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Craig

May 12th, 2013 at 14:02

Some I agree with, but some is stupid.
Systemet despite being a shitty system does have a GREAT selection of alcohol available. Where else do you find such massive alcohol supermarkets? Its crazy awesome.
Though that you can’t buy a shitty selection from regular shops is terrible.

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Dash

May 30th, 2013 at 15:46

Taking out the weather stuff… it looks like you described Brasil!! ;)

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Kellie

June 26th, 2013 at 17:10

No matter where you live, you’ll complain about the weather. I live in the United States, in Michigan, very close to Canada. I love the cold weather. It makes me want to move to Sweden all the more! Heck, I’d even like the dark just fine since extreme lighting (Like the sun) make my eyes and head hurt. And the system in Sweden is just outstanding to me! A lot of things that Americans fight for the right to every day is already legal or accepted in Sweden. Same sex marriage, the abortion laws, etc. (I used those two becaue those are the two I’ve just been reading up about lately. Those two subjects, as well as gun control, are the most talked about right now. Today expecially for abortion, in Texas anyway, and for same sex marriage). I want to move to Sweden and I don’t mind if nobody likes me because I’m American because it seems you guys like to keep to yourselves anyways (I’m just going on what I’ve read in these posts and am being mildly humorous).

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Will

June 27th, 2013 at 12:01

Ad i swedish citizen the only thing i can say is that this is the biggest bullshit i seen in years. Probaly you don’t know nothing about sweden and i can make a 10 times longer list about how america is a worse country.

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Fleur

July 3rd, 2013 at 03:15

Hey guys. I am from Holland and married to a guy who fled his home-country in the 90s and now lives in Sweden. We live in a small town in the south of Sweden- so no Stockholm comparison. I met my husband in Belgium where we both studied at the time, and he is very well-educated and intelligent, and speaks Swedish perfectly. He has dark hair, but blue eyes. I look Swedish I guess. When my husband is with his sister, speaking their language, Swedes stare so much that even I feel uncomfortable. They are very unfriendly. I don´t care about the weather, but the people are very unpolite and unfriendly, even in the small cities. Blame it on Stockholm if you want, but it is not true. My husband has epilepsy, and had a seasure on the street where nobody helped him up for 10 minutes-and this is a small town. If you say ANYTHING about Sweden that is not glorifying the country, you will get such hostility back- DON´T YOU KNOW HOW IT IS IN THE STATES, DON´T YOU KNOW WE HAVE FREE LIBRARY BOOKS? Yeah, I don´t fucking care about your free books if I have to see unfriendly faces all the time. They also don´t speak english in small towns-

-Hi, could you please help me, I lost my bag here somewhere
– (staring, like crazy)- Den är inte swedish gibberish gibberish gibberish
-I am sorry I don´t speak swedish
-swedish random words gibberish
– I really do not speak any swedish
– ok hej då

??? This goes for anyone red-neck and/or over 40 -everybody under 40 stops behaving like a Swede, but LOVES to speak english, and would just invade your privacy and just attack you with questions and trying to show off their english. And calling USA out on double standards? Are you joking? What about all the talking about health care when 3000 people die yearly because of inappropriate care or too late interventions? What about all the talk about how everything is accommodating for people with allergies, when they have dogs in the buses (allergic people can walk?) and smokers outside every single store? That pisses me off the most, swedes have the worst hypocrisy ever.

So here is my list- what I hate about living in small town in Sweden

1. People STARE at you ALL the time. It was not once that I had to take out my compact to see if I had something in my face which brings me to

2. NO MANNERS! Somebody pushes you with their shopping basket and nada-not a word- they hit you with their bike-nothing-you hold the door for someone-no thank you. The other day this guy was in the queue in front of me, and forgot to buy a plastic bag. He looks behind, and I hand him one, so he does not have to go back, -he grabs the bag I handed, and says NOTHING-no thank you, not even a nod-like I am a slave that needed to do this ?! My husband found a wallet a woman was looking for, she talked to the clerk, my husband walked up to her and gave it to her, and she just grabbed it, said Oh, and said hej då to the clerk, without even thanking my husband. The don´t thank if you hold the door, and IF they hold the door, they stand there and wait for the medal

3. The public places are DIRTY! Butts, paper, and the toilets are just horrible, worse then in the red light district- and this is a small town.

4. Their health care SUCKS: My mother in law waited for a normal scan for 5 months!!! Also I got misdiagnosed 7 (!) times, until we went to visit nl, where I got the right diagnosis, in like 15 minutes. 3000 people die every year (according to patientnmnden!) due to lack of care, late interventions or long care queues and some die in the emergency room, waiting to get care -(I have been there twice-4 hours wait one time and 6,5 hours wait the next, mut my husband tops it with 8,5 hours!!!) The worlds best health-care? For 33% taxes and really bad salaries, you should expect better than an average of 6 hours wait to get emergency help! welfare state ??? REALLY? which brings me to-

5. BAD salaries! In small towns, an average salary is 15 000-16 000 kr netto. That is just sad. It is like under 2000Euros, even for qualified people- In the Netherlands I made around 4200 Euro (at the time 1 euro was 11 kronor). Now krona is strong, but it makes no difference to a swedish person if they are still in Sweden- they still make very little money (not that it is so strange, they have fika all the time and meetings about having meetings, so I am rather surprised that somebody pays them to begin with – compared to level of efficiency, they are way behind any European country´s work etics and efficiency) I now make 17 000 kr netto (I don´´t feel great about this), and my husband 24 500 kr netto – which is almost the same amount that he made on his extra job during our study years in Belgium. I just don´t get where these Swedes get their numbers- WHO lied to them and told them they have a great standard? It is not as shitty as Slovakia for instance, but it is very bad compared to almost any west-European country.. NOT talking about Stockholm. You all say that Stockholm is not representative for the country-so here I am NOT talking about Stockholm. We have friends making a lot of money in bigger cities. I am talking about small towns, where most people do live. Graduates take their university diplomas and travel to Norway to clean frozen fish just to make enough money to survive the unemployed months that follow the graduation. (this is a real case!).

6. Their social security system is THE biggest joke. Social welfare is a joke- a friends unemployed daughter went to get help after her divorce , and she had a 6 month old baby- and was denied, due to the fact that she borrowed money from a friend prior to that. When she got help, she got like 500 Euros to survive the month-both her and the baby. The baby needed a jacket since it was winter, which costs around 70 Euros, and diapers cost around 15 euro, and you need to buy it maybe 5 times in the month. A loaf of bread is around 4 Euros. I still wonder how that poor girl survived (the mother would not help her since “she needs to learn to handle it, that is what the state is for, why did i pay taxes otherwise?”) The insurance companies will not pay off even if you pay a lot, since they always find some loophole ( DO NOT TAKE INSURANCE HERE)
Försäkringskassan will not pay out sick leave for people that lose legs and arms, sice they still can work with something else… Afghanistan is a more humane country I feel.. What do they have to brag about REALLY?

7.LACK OF CRITICAL THINKING. Sheep. Just repeating WE LIVE IN THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD-WE PAY TAXES SO WE CAN HAVE THE GREATEST HEALTHCARE IN THE WORLD WE ARE SO IN FASHION AND EVERYBODY US BEHIND US, SINCE WE ARE THE WORLD-LEADERS. They believ this. Honestly. They do. And if you bring the facts they tell you to go home if you don´t like it. They go to Norway with a MA in political science and clean fish, since Norwegians won´t do it, and then you come home talking about stupid Norwegians. You have a university diploma and you clean their fish to get as much money as a doctor would get in Sweden and THEY are dumb, and THEIR country sucks. Sure honey *patting on the head and throwing condescending looks*

8. They just don´t use mirrors. That is the only explanation. They look like hell- why do they dress like that? They are all the same!!! Everybody wears white converse-from small kids to very very old women (not even kidding). Prime boots -just saw a 70 year old with leggins and prime boots. The conformity is ridiculous! And just because something is in fashion does not mean it should be worn all together. (colorful harem pants with leopard print with black prime boots and yellow tote-bag together with a t-shirt with the American flag and a sun-hat (TRUE STORY) All expensive, all in, but SHOULD NOT BE WORN ALL TOGETHER. Yeah, good luck explaining that.

9. They are VERY VERY VERY racist, and to make the matter worse- they think that they are the most open-minded nation in the world. They think that everybody that is not Swedish is dumb, steals things and is less “civilized”. What they do not know is that civilized is very broad spectra, and for example, burping in public, spitting on the street, and peeing and puking on the street or on the walls of a church which many Swedish people find completely normal (yes, when drunk, but how long can you use that excuse? Why don´t other people do the same things when they are drunk???!) , are seen as very uncivilised behaviours by every other nation in the world. My brother has an adopted son who now is 17 years old and black. When they visited us, the boy was shocked by all the starring on the streets , by the way they were speaking to him, and he was followed in several shops, and also searched because they accused him of stealing. He broke down and cried when he arrived, saying that he will never ever come to Sweden again. My husband has also been followed around, and just yesterday, when asking a woman to please move, since she took his place in the queue, she told him to “go home”. He has no home other than Sweden, and has lived there for over 22 years, but obviously, he is still not at home-he should just shut up, never ask anything of anyone, or he can just go home-just because his hair is dark. That is just insane. He never experienced it in Belgium or in the Netherlands. The way they talk to people is disgusting, superior and above everyone. Comments that this will recieve will prove it- “No, Sweden is the greatest place on earth, Go home, We are the only nation that bla bla bla, USA is worse, Canada is worse, UK is worse,..” Well, to a Swede, everyone is worse. He could be starving, and not getting any medical attention despite the 33% taxes that he pays, and get a third of what they get in Norway, and still think that Sweden is the richest country in the world with the best health care. Realistic people those Swedes.

10. I read some blog the other day and my husband and I were just laughing our head off, somebody wrote that Swedes are the only people on earth that still need fire to survive. They still warm up their houses with fire and not electricity (COMPLETELY TRUE at least in this town, like 40% of people who own a house make fire at home instead of using modern ways of heating) and they live off the grilled food during the summertime. It is true, and rather disturbing- all the disposable grills on the balconies. The whole world avoids grilled foods, but swedes just eat them every day, the medical news just don´t reach them (or are they so superior that they do not apply to them?!) Kind of uncivilised stone-age behaviour, which is kind of multiplied when they choose to grill on their balconies AND just outside apartment buildings. These savages grill EVERYWHERE. Like on the parking lot, outside a gym, outside a building, next to a hotel… Yeah, not many places where I haven´t seen people bbq. We live in a house and it is less bbq here, than at random places and balconies. I AM NOT JOKING!

11. DOUBLE STANDARDS yes- their state cares about the environment (or could it be that they invested gazillions to develop an eco.fuel and have a huge need to promote it and justify it, although it turns out it is quite nature-unfriendly actually. YET this super-caring state allows smoking in many public places, (train stations, bus stops, outside virtually every store, mall, bank and they have ashtrays placed right outside the door) BBQs everywhere, thousands of people warming up their house with fire wood (resulting in very bad air quality and everybody smelling like bacon – yummie), the number of old cares (like 60-70 year old cars is very high- and many people in Swedish towns are like Texans were in the 50s- they are stuck there. hates foreign people, like cars, don´t care about environment, are trash and look like ones, and drink too much. I have an asthmatic 8 year old daughter, and she has really hard time living here-in this clean, environmentally friendly paradise – due to such bad air quality.. The number of vespas and small mopeds is also very high. The amount of these polluting viachels is NOT limited and if Hanna stands on the pavement, and few American cars (they smell SO Much) drive by in the short period of time, the asthma spray wont do it, and we have to go to the hospital to get help, and where she gets checked medication and some more oxygen. She never had to do this in nl, or Belgium. It is so polluted, it is grouse. What is more, in this oh so well informed and enlightened community- not only are people allowed to smoke right next to the door of the train (often the driver and the controll-people smoking just next to the door) , but dogs are allowed on both buses and trains, which makes it hard for my hyper-allergic daughter to use public transport. Thank god we brought our car and we can drive her to school, it would be impossible otherwise. So much for their care about their citizens and people with difficulties. The only reason they make all the wheelchair ramps is so the people wont stand there next to the pavement in their wheelchairs for months- since nobody would help them up.

12. They laugh at my dutch accent. Have you heard yourself speak English? Ok, I say F instead of V sometimes. Bu you say SH instead of CH, and ice when you mean eyes. Really, you are not in a position to talk. Churchil is NOT pronounced SURE-SHILL. and Zoo is not pronounced Sou.

13. not Even your friends wouldn’t pay your coffee if you forget your wallet, and if you do something for them and then ask a favor back, they say” It is not my fault that you are a fool and do stuff for me for free” Happened to my husband when inviting some friends with him to his birth-counrty buying them dinners, coffees, everything, letting them stay with him for free, and when he on day 5 forgot a wallet, nobody paid for him, he had to call a friend to pick him up. I thought he was joking until I came here and heard his friends retelling it, like when he forgot his wallet,m and everybody was to drunk to drive him home. ..Sounds unbelievable, right?

Why do I stay? My husband has a contract for 2 more years and can not brak it due to financial liabilities, and he likes it here. He is a moron ;-) In 2 years we are off to nl, and I will miss the nature, but NOTHING else…

And mark my words, now thwy will start writing about grateness of Sweden. AGAIN. Yawn.

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Anders

July 11th, 2013 at 17:29

Sapphire:

You say that the start-up environment in Sweden is worthless, but if you actually look at figures the only other country producing a larger number of successful start-ups per capita is Israel. And many of the most successful internet start-ups of Europe originate from Sweden. Just look at some of the companies from the Stockholm region MySQL, Skype, Spotify, King.com (Candy Crush Saga), Mojang (Minecraft), Klarna, DICE (Battlefield series), just to name some of the more recent successes. You have to remember that Sweden has the population of North Carolina so you can’t compare it directly the US. And you might get fooled if you’ve lived in SF/Bay Area because Silicon Valley is in a class of it’s own when it comes to start-ups, but it’s kind of special case because a large portion of US start-ups move there to get funding.

You’re also wrong if you thing Swedish companies are only serving the Swedish market. Sweden has more companies per capita on the Fortune Global 500 than the US. Companies like Ericsson, Volvo, Scania, H&M, IKEA, ABB, SCA, AstraZeneca, Skanska, Securitas, TeliaSonera, Tele2, Assa Abloy operate succesfully in many markets around the world.

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Anders Andersson

July 18th, 2013 at 14:31

The problem with Sweden is that it’s full of Swedes whose grandparents weren’t smart enough and ambitious enough to leave when the US and Canada were looking for workers.

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isodora coobar

July 30th, 2013 at 06:13

I just finished reading this blog and it was truly interesting. Sweden, I’m sure some of you may be offended by some of the negative post but it’s been a very informative read and only makes me more interested in your beautiful country. I’m American and have really come to the point were I dislike my government and the red neck behavior in this country. We could learn a better way from Sweden

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Sapphire

August 18th, 2013 at 23:49

Anders – I don’t believe the startup market is worthless, but I do see the market as too much foam and too little substance in Stockholm.

I agree, there are some very big companies that have become startup darlings. But there is a very real glass ceiling for talented engineers/designers/entrepreneurs to start their own companies and receive seed capital. The whole of seed, angel, and VC funding is still foreign to the startup market for the most part. Not that aren’t VC, there are, a few, but there are almost no companies just in the angel business (that I know of).

There are many people I know trying to break this glass ceiling (by becoming angels, forming networks to lure in foreign VC, etc) as well a whole group of delusional people believing that there is no glass ceiling for funding. There is, and the sooner we all understand that, the easier it becomes for all of us to learn to become real startups.

I take it back about the Swedish MNCs. Even though several now have removed their HQ from Sweden, they still have large Swedish offices. You’re totally right.

I suppose my irritation has been that many companies believe they’re doing startup work, when really they’re just another consulting firm. And there are SO MANY internet consulting firms in Stockholm, I can’t keep track of them. And those firms think they’re startups. They’re not. They’re small businesses. It’s totally fine to be a small business (both Sweden and America rely heavily on small businesses for economic strength). But startups have a very different mindset. And when companies brag they’re the newest, hottest startup in Stockholm taking part of the “startup scene”, I take issue.

Startups are small businesses but small businesses are not necessarily startups.

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Gregory

September 7th, 2013 at 20:23

I went to Sweden looking for the amazing guys ahahhahaha and what a disapointment!!!!
all guys are horny all the time trying to fuck whatever they find!!
They always complain about United States.
Guys always think Sweden is the most perect country in the world, but always drinking and partying!!!! like jerks, no respect to anybody. HORRIBLE.
I just went to Sweden to discover guys there are jerks.

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ed

September 19th, 2013 at 21:14

There are lots of things to dislike about Sweden but that’s not to say Sweden is all bad and certainly I have met some great people here. I think what most people who have written feel is that they have probably never been made to feel so unwelcome in any other place. I would second that. I am a pretty outgoing person but, as the French say, ‘they don’t give away any presents’. I would say that its a pretty good place to live if you are Swedish. If you have grown up here and are grateful to live in a society that provides for you. I can’t think of a nation that is quite so insular – North Korea obviously! Its a strange collective mentality that seems out of place now when people are forming relationships on a more global level via the internet. This doesn’t seem to encroach on the Swedes. They are desperately hanging on to the glory days of the Swedish model, to the UN yearly statistics of most functional/nicest/happiest/educated/cleanest trains. But for all this statistical success they are a very touchy lot. Insecure. It embarrasses me as an English person when English people bang on about past successes and national pride and in Sweden it just irritates me. I wasn’t personally in the Beatles, the inventor of the steam engine or on the normandy beaches in June 1944. I get the feeling that most Swedes in some way feel that they have all individually contributed in some way to some sort of superior society. Its about as much fun as the most tedious game of trivial pursuit you’ve ever had.

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fattynoparents

September 23rd, 2013 at 14:40

And again I come back to this post, cuz for the last year I’ve been to Stockholm 5 times, and I just can’t get enough! Whatever the things to hate about it are, I’m deadly in love with it :) I do hope to move there some day!

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Dukk

October 10th, 2013 at 11:33

“Those damn heaters in doorways of malls (think Gallerian) are completely uncool for the “enviromental capital of europe.””

Those are actually environmentally friendly. They act as a barrier between the cold outdoors and the regulated temperature inside, so in the end it saves energy. The proper name is air door:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_door

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Sapphire

October 25th, 2013 at 08:26

@Dukk – the article states, “Air curtains can be used to save energy by reducing the heat transfer (via mass transfer when air mixes across the threshold) between two spaces, although a closed and well-sealed physical door is much more effective. ”

A double sliding door to Gallerian would be much more effective than the air curtain.

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oscarus

November 3rd, 2013 at 08:35

I honestly have no idea what’s going on in that slighty less functional head of yours, and I’m not sure I do wanna know, I might get infected.

Just to clear one thing up for you – I am sure there is both non-white and fitted bedsheets in Sweden, like there is everywhere else, I even have some myself, can you believe that?

XL is like M.. I guess that bothers obese americans, so why don’t you go to the gym and get some exercise instead of being a pain in the ass – and don’t forget your f****** sweat-towel!

It is just cultureclashes. I’ve been living overseas so I get that you think some stuff are bad/weird. But WTH would you move to another country when you are so ignorant to other cultures and customs? Go ahead and make a list about your own country, I am sure stuff like ‘not holding door open’, ‘not making smalltalk’, ‘no white bedsheets’ etc can be found on that list too.

I think the only place you are gonna be able to like is your own, maybe because it has got non-white bedsheets? I dunno..

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Asja

November 22nd, 2013 at 04:01

What a great discussion. I’ve noticed many times that every time the Scandinavians approach another culture, they show absolute respect. They read about your national symbols, learn something of your language, and always will mention that. But here one finds a perfect anatomic description of their attitude, how it works and how it shows.
But one should never speak of such things – I would be extremely rude if I discussed swedish seriousness here.
Thank you! I’ve had fun and learned a lot reading this thread!

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Asja

November 22nd, 2013 at 04:09

To warm up my doubtful compliment, I must say that in any country most of the people aren’t nice, aren’t cool, and aren’t at all interesting to know. And that even with all this well-masked arrogance towards other countries, well-grounded, however, I do believe Sweden is one of the world’s best possible countries to live. And that those who dislike Swedish drvers should start driving in Ukraine.

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Sarah

November 30th, 2013 at 15:20

This blog has given my swedish life a Buddy! I thank you for that!

First of all, I really love how some swedes are commenting on the specific instances of this blog in a defensive childish manner, and feels like they are missing the bigger picture.

if I wanna add to the list, I would say that much to my experience, in Sweden there is “Sweden” as in the perfect place and “the rest of the World” as in those who are dying to come to Sweden and those who should learn from Sweden.

Unfortunately, I can relate to many of the ugly comments in blog regarding the attitude, not necessarily what’s on the outside, but mainly what’s on the inside of those who would(or wouldn’t) smile at you. You’re always an inferior! not because they seriously are rotten, but mainly because of their insecurities and fear of what’s different. I’m just repeating the constant excuse I get from those who have been loathing themselves and the Swedish way of being Lagom in everything –(agreeing with you on the notion: why not just try your best? I encountered many who slack off at work/school just cause to them it was good enough and proud that it is Lagom!). Okey i promised myself not to dig into detailed or drift away but i did it anyways– where they feel the need to suppress and be dishonest to their own selves. And of course that reflects on their interaction, view, perception of others.

After several years of silence, I had to speak up to those around me about the frustration and agony I encounter on a daily basis in Sweden, thought that something has changed in me and gone wrong, for I have been exposed to many different cultures, countries, communities and always found a way to embrace some unique aspects of the environment and take that in. But I utterly failed in Sweden!

I just want to make it clear, that its not my experience in Stockholm only, I have been around at least the other 4 major cities, coupla counties and towns, and the TERRIFYING part is the youth! Where their journey to find their identity starts with putting down others, and by others i mean non swedes. one effect that is clear nowadays is the main support group for the “racist” political party is youth, and educated university students. Snap! I’m drifting way off!! too much stuff to say…

I think responsibility and maturity are lacking greatly among many, but in Sweden its more prominent and it is suffocating living a life where you only follow THE RULES, so if there is no rule stating what should I do if I run out of toilet paper, then I would just sit there and wait for a rule to pop up, a typical swedish mentality.

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Minou

December 5th, 2013 at 23:33

You complain about the System bolag, but did you know that domestic violence went down 20% when it started?
Weird huh?

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Larry Eisberg

January 24th, 2014 at 17:53

Sweden is a fake and lonely place where everybody knocks each other down. Everybody wants to leave Sweden so the people you meet are the ones who are stuck and they are just miserable.
They are all in heavy debt so any woman you meet will be sizing you up if you can pay her debt. Relationships with these people just don´t last past your paycheck. The good news is If you get one of them pregnant you can always escape and they can´t screw you in a courtroom or drag you back.
Just remember to leave quietly in the middle of the night and only call to laugh when you´re on the safe side of the Atlantic because they could still screw you.

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Larry Eisberg

January 24th, 2014 at 18:02

The only fun part of Sweden was when I was travelling.

Living in Sweden was a very miserable experience. Sweden is a country of zombies that suck your wallet dry and leave you an unhappy husk if they get a hold of you.

The trick to enjoying Sweden is to avoid the leeches/ zombies and not staying long.

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Annika

February 14th, 2014 at 00:11

Honestly, the only thing I see on this list is a bunch of complaints from a foreigner. No, Sweden is not the same as America, did you really expect it to be? That’s a pretty naive way to look at the world. Swedes live a different lifestyle, learn to deal with the difference.

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pirate

February 16th, 2014 at 13:18

I find these arguments hilarious. Im just a Texas traveler wanting to get some nice swedish tail. Will be going to Sweden this summer and only summer! Fuck cold weather ha. Also this blog kicks ass. funny as hell. Merica fuck yea! Sweden Fuck yea! lol sorry , too much sugar cookies.

p.s. Swede brahs you can have our Latina girls. I’d rather much prefer a Blonde Viking Woman ;)

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Julie L

February 19th, 2014 at 11:49

Swedish parents undressing their kids publicly: Let’s say you’re at the beach or in the park. What do you see? Naked 2-5 year old little girls and boys running all over the place. Clothes were invented for a reason! My real question is, why does the parents come up with the idea to publicly undress their kids and letting them run all over the place? “No, Stina isn’t going anywhere if we don’t take off her shirt and panties!”. They aren’t even watching the kids! They just lay on their towels while reading a book by Camilla Läckberg. They wouldn’t even notice if the kids disappeared.

And, I’m just saying, you don’t know if the old man who sits a few metres away has sense in his head. He can take pictures or kidnap the kids. I mean, the parents wouldn’t even notice since they are too busy “working on their tan”.

Also, not all people like watching other children run around all naked either. I’m one of them. That’s another example on typical swedish rude behaviour. Only caring about themselves, not a thought goes to the people around them.

By the way, I don’t think that the kids will have less fun if they have a bathsuit or at least some proper shorts on. But if swedish parents really feel the need to undress the kids then at least watch them so they don’t “take a pee-pee” on the other visitors.

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Sebastian Tiger

March 3rd, 2014 at 16:46

You (the woman who wrote the ”10 things i hate about sweden” and ”more things i hate about sweden.”

I don’t get why you say that everyone is doing something when 1 or two does it, the same when you say that no one does something, for example not holding up doors for others, loads of people does that.

Stockholm has bad drivers because of immigrants, old people and to young people.

You wrote that you hate that swedes are whining about for an example rain or the cold climate, you are whining exactly as much as they do or even more. The only ones that does whine about these things are weak and annoying people and i really hate them because they make people think that everyone is like that and then they start whining about everything too. >:(

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