If you haven’t been in Sweden long enough then you can do a few things that make you unquestionably Swedish. And I mean in a good way, not the get wasted and throw up on the tunnelbanan at 2am way.
1. Queue up – Getting that kölapp at the local apotek or systembolaget means you can waddle around the store and not have to stand in one position. When there is no kölapp, you’re utterly confused and wonder why i God’s name someone would make you stand single file when instead you could get a piece of paper with a number on it.
3. Drink Bäska – Forget OP Andersson and Fläder brennavin. Want the real deal? Drink Bäska. If you survive two shots, consider yourself a true Swede. If not, go home and drink the Icelandic Brennivin to work up your tolerance.
4. Visit Drottningholm (or any castle) – Swedish castles are all located on beautiful grounds. For the most part, you can hike walk in the woods and enjoy the beautiful Swedish nature.
5. Pick berries and mushrooms – Part of the rights under allemansrätten, you can pick berries, fruits, plants, and flowers on any property as long as you don’t disturb the owners or are picking directly from their garden (that would be lame to take strawberries from the house garden – and illegal in this case). The summertime should be filled with berry picking and chanterelles.
6. Eat meatballs – You can eat them at a restaurant but the best is to make them at home with mashed potatoes and fresh ligonberry jam. Mums! Need a recipe? Just follow the Swedish Chef‘s instructions.
7. Take a boat ride – As long as you have access to water, hop on a boat and take a ride to a popular or deserted island. On the west coast there’s Marstrand and tons of uninhabited islands, on the east coast of Sweden, there are all the Stockholm city islands and boats to Fjärdaholmarna, Vaxholm, and Grinda.
8. Sunbathe at the beaches – I use the term ‘beach’ loosely as it could mean sunbathing by the water on a lot of rocks. Or it could mean having an actual sand beach. And by sunbathing I mean being a solar panel, with or without your clothes.
9. Picnicking at 10pm – In the summertime, you’re guaranteed to lost track of time because the sky is never dark. Have a early dinner outside grilling lax and meats and then enjoy the orange sunset while the sun disappears for a mere three hours. It may sound cheesy but on a good, clear night, the sun is bright orange like a fireball. Get on a hill to see it.
10. Watch Eurovision – There are two ways to watch Eurovision in Sweden: because you love it or you love to hate it. Both are acceptable forms of watching. And you get extra credit if shots are involved to make fun of your homeland Sweden.
Is there anything you do with friends that guarantee your Swedishness? And speaking Bork gets you double extra credit.