Friday, July 07, 2006

The Ten Most Difficult Things to Do as an Expat in Sweden

10) Take a shower without having to mop out the entire bathroom afterwards.

9) Date the natives.

8) Mate the natives.

7) Pronounce the number sju.

6) Get the bill within a reasonable amount of time after finishing a meal.

5) Get something done during the months of June, July, and August at any place of business including banks, public authorities, and post offices.

4) Survive the months of November, January, and February without going postal due to lack of sunlight. (Yes, that's right. The post office is closed in July, and you go postal in February. What happens during the months in between is anybody's guess.)

3) Navigate a path between all of the baby buggies taking up space on subway, buses, and sidewalks. (The proliferation of baby buggies this time of year is directly related to the months of November, January, and February, as couples find other things to do than leave their apartments).

2) Date the natives. (Does that sound familiar?)

1) Write a top-ten list about life as an expat in Sweden without making any reference to herring, whether fermented, pickled, or used as a deadly weapon.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Marie said...

Is it really that hard to date a native?

2:22 PM  
Blogger Curiosa said...

I think it is if you come here single. (Love immigrants excluded). It IS easier to mate than date, but if you try to date in the American sense it just doesn't work. I was here for almost four years before I started dating someone seriously...and ironically enough, he's also American. But the original "mating and dating" post really was more tongue-in-cheek than anything else...

2:44 PM  
Anonymous schlockmeister said...

It's also hard to understand that "Hey, lets go and hide away with just my family in the middle of absolutely nowhere with no electricity, shower or bathroom for four weeks" is a serious suggestion

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

If you want the bill for your meal, get up and get dressed and as you are about to leave the establishment I am sure the bill would be pressented to you... If there are complaints you can always state the abvoius, you wanted to give your money away but the opportunity to do so was tardy.

Works every time.

Oh and I don't date the natives either, I had to go to Irland to find myself some one who was dateable and I am a Swede!

3:13 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

I really like your wit and I am learning much about a country I knew very little. I saved your blog as a favortie on my computer.

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Max said...

The number "sju"... I usually describe it to foreigners as a failed whistle...

10:00 AM  
Blogger carly said...

The key to pronouncing "sju" : move further north.

Then you can say just an approximation of "shoe" and get away with it ;-)

11:52 PM  
Blogger Curiosa said...

Joe - glad you like it. Tack!

Max and Carly - Four years in, I can pronounce it correctly. But saying "shoe" seems like cheating, somehow.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous docrotk said...

Agreement all around. Two slight personal modifications come to mind... I see Älvsjö as the hardest of all - I can make either the sj or ö sound if I wind up, but just can't make one after other. Also, March is what killed me - after February, I thought I had survived the worst and was home free, and then March was even colder when I wasn't prepared for it.

10:24 AM  
Blogger lenabarclay88 said...

I love love LOVE your blog! As a fellow american in Malmö (though I'm also half-French and I lived in Goteborg for 4 years), you put what I have been thinking these past 4 and a half years into words perfectly! I thought I was the problem! yay! I'm (somewhat)normal! thank you so much and keep writing! You are so right and so hilarious!

6:03 PM  
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9:58 AM  
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9:59 AM  
Anonymous flirta said...

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10:34 AM  

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