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20 things to know before moving to Sweden


Jag upptäckte den här fantastiska (och säkert nyttiga) artikeln hos Bortabrabloggen. Originalartikeln finns hos The Local. Här återger jag bara en nedkortad version. Tips för alla som ska flytta till Sverige alltså (och lite bra utifrån-perspektiv åt oss andra).

  1. Start building your coffee tolerance – Coffee drinking is fostered through a tradition called fika. It’s not uncommon to grab a cup of coffee after breakfast, after lunch, before dinner, and after dinner.
  2. Pick a number, please – From the pharmacy and tax office to your doctor’s office and local grocery store’s deli-meat counter, you’ll be forced to exercise patience as you wait to be served in a numbered queue.
  3. You can probably get by with English for decades, but… –  That’s because many Swedes are fluent in English and are always happy to switch so they can practice their English on you.
  4. Get you shopping done before 5 p.m. (if you can) – Many stores close early, especially at weekends and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a store open past 9 p.m. that isn’t a gas station.
  5. At some point, you will squeeze food out of toothpaste tubes – To prepare you for your first visit to the cold foods section of a grocery store, understand that in Sweden, tubes are also used to package foods such as caviar, mayonnaise, mustard, and other similar condiments.
  6. Daddis pushing strollers – Couples are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave, and this time can be shared between parents. So you’ll often find new fathers with parked strollers and babies strapped to their chests, having lunch and fika dates with other dads.
  7. Camping and hiking and picking berries – If you think high-calorie fikabröd means most Swedes are borderline obese, I’ll let you in on a little secret — Swedes love the outdoors.
  8. Melodifestivalen – This widely popular music event, held every February through March, is a welcome distraction on long dark winter nights.
  9. Many businesses shut down in July – It’s not uncommon to find restaurants and stores shut down for an entire month, usually in July, while employees take their 4-6 week vacations.
  10. Try keeping it ”lagom” – When used in reference to societal behavior, it means blending in appropriately without extreme displays of emotion.
  11. Locate your nearest IKEA – There are very few stores in Sweden where you can buy affordable furniture and food at the same time, so it’s definitely worthwhile locating your nearestIKEA.
  12. Nice shoes. Please take them off – You’ll quickly notice that shoes are taken off when entering private residences in Sweden. There are many theories surrounding this old tradition.
  13. Winters are really cold, dark and can be depressing – At the depth of winter in some northern parts of the country above the Arctic Circle, you might get as little as three hours of sunlight per day.
  14. Be on time – It is common knowledge here that ”time” should be respected at all times — regardless of whether you’re going for an interview or meeting up with friends for fika.
  15. Get your tasty adult beverages at state-run Systembolaget – You’ve got only one legal option of buying stronger alcohol, and that’s from one of the roughly 400 state-run liquor stores called Systembolaget.
  16. Keep that plastic bag – Before you toss out that plastic bag, you may want to reconsider. Most grocery stores will charge you a few kronor for plastic or paper bags in an effort to keep waste low and encourage recycling.
  17. Special days celebrating food – These are days when Swedes collectively celebrate the following foods: cinnamon buns, pancakes, semlor and waffles.
  18. It is safe to drink the water – Drinking straight from the tap is the norm and highly encouraged in Sweden. The water is clean, fresh, and ice cold so you can save tons of money.
  19. Business casual means jeans – General everyday fashion in Sweden is simple, relaxed, and casual.
  20. Not all education and health care is free – Contrary to popular belief, not all healthcare and education is free, a common misconception many foreigners hold about Sweden’s subsidized social system.

Källa: Bortabrabloggen

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