Swedish Swedos and Stekare Stockholmers

I have no idea why Stockholm men wear a ton of hair gel. The average Stockholm male uses 9 containers of gel and the average cost per bottle is 230SEK. That’s a lot of gel, enough to electrify an entire heard of horse I bet.

Please men, I beg you to stop the madness. This slicked back, supergel’ed hair is just not cool. Remember the group on Facebook relating to Crocks, “you look so fucking stupid with those shoes on”? This is the same thing. In Swedish we call it “stekare” and I define it as those skinny guys with long slicked hair, Armani eyewear, and virtual ipods playing GLAMOROUS in their ears. And they bounce when they walk down the street.

Still need a visual image? Here are a few:

The Swedos are invading
The Swedos are invading

A little too much sun or bodybuilding tanner
A little too much sun or bodybuilding tanner

Now crazy swedes
Now crazy swedes

Self portrait of a Swede
Amazing self portrait of a Swede’s reflection
From Steelth via Flickr

Stureplan boys eating
Don’t they just look full of themselves
From medvinen via Flickr

Swedish men out there, take heed, take notice, please do not overdo yourself like a peacock. You might think you’re cool in Stureplan with those awesome sunglasses and the ability to buy a drink at Sturehof, but frankly it’s just stupid looking. I love well dressed men, but I hate cocky looking men.

The 2009 Stockholm Marathon

The 2009 Stockholm Marathon is today and I nearly forgot about it. Thank you to Fredrik for posting something on Twitter this morning. The marathon is one of the largest in the world, at 18,500 runners. And environmentally friendly too; cups and other items are biodegradable and/or recyclable. Those running will receive a Champions Chip, a small electronic chip tied to the left shoe, to keep track of your running times.

I will be heading out with the camera, the big nikon monstrosity, and taking photos and posting them here later today. EPIC FAIL. My first camera’s battery died, so I charged it. Then I had no memory card and the stores were already closed (damn early closing in Sweden!). Then I got my small point and shoot, put the battery to charge. Popped the battery back in, headed out…and the battery was dead.

By this point it was already 7:30pm and everyone had passed through Södermalm. That was fast! No stragglers or anything. These Swedes really can run.

If you interested in heading to watch the marathon, here is a map of the route.
Courtesy of: http://www.stockholmmarathon.se/start/content_popup.cfm?Sec_ID=438

Folks, this is the best chance to see athletic Swedes go all out. Honestly, most all of the runners would kick my ass any day. But that’s okay, they are also quite beautiful. So get out, grab a drink, and watch the athletic Swedes take over Stockholm.

40 things I learned in Stockholm one year later

It’s been one year since i first visited Sweden. Some of my opinions changed, some are still the same. Check out 2007’s 40 things in Stockholm to get an idea.

Let’s see, what did we learn in one year:

  • Stockholm people cannot drive, obey traffic signals, or stop for pedestrians
  • Males who are from Stockholm have the slick backed, douchy, hair
  • Men love wearing pointy-toed leather shoes
  • Stekare is term used to describe snobby, stuck up, douchy haired males (usually from Stockholm)
  • The T-bana is a chaotic mess on Friday and Saturday nights
  • Crayfish is pretty darn tasty…pour down that aquavit
  • Systembolaget has a line to enter the store on Fridays…buy your beer earlier!
  • Swedes are lying (okay deluded) when they tell you Sytembolaget has a great selection of alcohol. And you can place an order for things not in the catalog too!
  • Females still wear the stupid looking leggings from the 80s
  • Swedish pizza is the best food that the country can offer
  • Men won’t flirt with women unless they are on the verge of blacking out
  • Everything is fucking expensive in Stockholm; if you are not broke in one week you really weren’t in Stockholm
  • Swedish men in general have issues showing emotions
  • Females still wear the baggy t-shirts from the 80s
  • Some men carry “purses”
  • Friday and Saturday are reserved for getting completely wasted. Drunk isn’t good enough
  • Swedes freak out when things are late
  • Some Swedes are passive aggressive. Other Swedes love to get pissed off
  • No one holds the door for you; watch your nose
  • With one of highest life expectancy rates in the world, they sure drink, smoke, and drink coffee like there’s no tomorrow
  • Drivers still don’t understand the meaning of “pedestrians first”
  • Sill is a delicacy according to the Swedes
  • One only eats candy on Saturdays
  • Mexican restaurants are no where to be found
  • Swedish men have issues talking; sometimes you have to kick them in the balls to hear them speak
  • There’s no such thing as a discount
  • Forget flirting with everyone, you will just look stupid
  • Walk fast and look at the sky and hope others don’t talk to you
  • Meeting the boyfriend’s family is no big deal

Rude Swedes are not an oxymoron

Yes it seems strange to call Swedes rude but it is true when certain conditions are met.

Condition one: In a bar. People will push throw the crowds without ever uttering the words förlåt (sorry). Even if you are lucky to find a place with a table to put your drink down, you can bet some girl or guy will push from behind to overtake your spot. I had the experience of having a jackass spill wine (thankfully white) on my Burberry coat while at the bar. I poked him in the side, since he stood at a whooping 190cm, and told him I wanted napkins because he spilled wine on me. He was annoyed and irritated and in a condescending manner, apologized.

Condition two: On the street. Cars will just stop for you, few inches shy of stripping your soul out. People will walk straight into you or push you to the side; no apologies needed.

Condition three: In a restaurant. Tipping? Does not exist; or in rare instances, there is tipping. With that in mind, don’t expect much in the way of service. I have not experienced bad service (maybe because I am foreign) but stellar service definitely is lacking.

Condition four: Alcohol. Need I say more?

Condition five: On the train. You will get smashed; just hope the people nearby are wearing decent deodorant. You do not need to talk to the people around you, ever. Until the train comes to a crashing halt, your train compartment neighbors are invisible.

What I learned in 40 hours in Stockholm, Sweden

I went to Sweden for the first time on September 1st and stayed for a mere 40 hours (why so short? that’s another story). I feel love in though: the people, the country, the city, the progressive ideals, and the T-banan (a functioning metro system) made me feel “home.” Well, everything except feminism gone insane part.

But I did make some interesting observations while in Stockholm:

  • Clocks are everywhere
  • They are punctual…hence the clocks
  • Men push baby strollers on the streets
  • Women have umbrellas for the rain, men don’t
  • It is fashionable to tuck pants/jeans into boots (for women). I would presume with the downpours it makes sense to keep the bottom of the pants dry and therefore tuck them in.
  • Everyone on the T-bana is on the cell phone. And they like to speak loudly (compared to the French at least)
  • It is fashionable to wear tight leggings and short/half jackets
  • No one jaywalks unless they are a tourist
  • Both women and men love scarves
  • Couples do not make out in public. For that matter, I didn’t see many hold hands.
  • When the rain comes down hard, somehow magically, everyone disappears
  • They use radiator heating and it works!
  • There are no bathtubs…what a bummer for wanting a warm, romantic bubble bath
  • Tabacs are present at every street corner (as in France). Grocery stores? Impossible to find
  • The gutters on buildings function properly, for the most part
  • The weather does change every five minutes (as in Iceland). “It’s not the weather that is bad, it is the clothes you are wearing”
  • The metro is spotless
  • Trains arrive every couple minutes. And yes, the Swedes will freak out if it is late by one minute
  • In the winter, they “build things” instead of…
  • People may look reserved but are very friendly. A stranger saw me struggling to open a water bottle, he came up, opened it, and thanked me.
  • The Swedes thank you for anything they do
  • Not all Swedes have blond hair
  • For that matter, not all Swedes have blue eyes
  • Every other Swede is an engineer of some sort. Worst case, a programmer.
  • And yes, the men are beautiful, but so are the women. Damn that competition.