Sometimes I’m amazed at how Swedish I have become. I love the wintertime and snowfall and the darkness doesn’t bother me that much. Laundry bookings prevent a run on the washing machines Saturday morning, and the despicable Systembolaget is clean and full of helpful information when buying wine.
There are some Swedish things I cannot live without. Perhaps I have truly lost my mind.
Kalle Anka önskar God Jul
Finally, a country that loves Donald Duck more than Mickey Mouse. Plus, you have to be drinking glögg and eating pepparkakor.
No shoes in the house. Seriously, why would you wear shoes in the house? After steeping on concrete, rain, asphalt, shit, used papers, grass, stones, Americans will go home happily and put those nasty shoes on the couch. And you look at Europeans for double-dipping the salsa with disgust.
A special time, and it doesn’t matter what time, for coffee and sweets.
Known as “everyman’s right,” allemansrätten provides Swedes the ability to experience nature and the outdoors without restrictions. The main covenant of allemansrätten is “do not disturb, do not destroy.”
This allows you to camp on public and private lands (not restricted lands) for up to two nights without permission. When you leave, there should be no evidence that you stayed.
You also have the right to pick berries, mushrooms (not black truffles, they grow underground), and flowers for yourself.
It’s a wonderful right that promotes being neighborly, respecting the outdoors, and learning about nature.
A soft bread bun filled with soft almond paste and delicious whipped cream. Who wouldn’t like it?
Gustaf Erik Pasch used a non-toxic red phosphorus in 1844 compared to the existing yellow phosphorus used to light the match. No idea why Solsticken’s baby logo looks just like the Water Babies’ sunblock baby.
No wonder Swedes love candles!
25 Days of Vacation
As a full time employee, 25 days is the minimum under Swedish law. Swedish law also states you have the right to take 4 weeks off in July. I never have, but I split 2-3 vacations throughout the year.
This makes me want to be a more productive employee – relaxed, refreshed, and happy to not fight for vacation days.
I hate you, but I still need you.
The most amazing thing since sliced bread, sliceable cheese!
photo by Rauenstein, Creative Commons Some Rights Reserved.
Skatteverket DIY Taxes
Doing taxes has never been easier and in a way, more fun! Skatteverket, the Swedish Tax Authority, sends you a massive yellow colored, 4-paged glued tax document with your earnings and taxes and then tells you if you need to pay or if you get taxes.
If you have deductibles, they’re so easy to fill out, you’ll beg the IRS to do the same.
Oh, and you can snail max, text message, phone call, or online submit your taxes. Winning!
Wafflar, Kanelbullar, Lussekatter
Basically all sweets are delicious in Sweden. Even those super marzipan, sugary tartlets. The exceptions to the rule are licorice ice cream and salty licorice. But then again, there are days I have licorice ice cream.
I am sure I will come up with more…