Day 106, 107 and 108 — Bits about Sweden

There seems to be actions ongoing to thin the vegetation around the neighborhood over the past couple weeks. The same two guys who cut up the tree that fell over in our yard have been busy with their industrial strength weed whackers that will take down saplings and their chainsaws with the result that the views to the sea have opened up enormously. Leaves everywhere on the ground helps too. The golf course still looks beautiful, though. Because of the rain, the course is a lush green at all times.

This water hazard reminded me on a recent stroll why I gave up golf (an seemingly incurable slice).

A golf course is surely the most beautiful sporting venue (I wouldn’t consider hunting a sport unless the ducks were given hand grenades). I can enjoy it now without the frustrations of trying to hit an unmoving ball in a straight line.

Away from the course, though, the woodsmen have been busy.

A recent freeze is probably what did this plant in, which I just noticed this morning. There is a definite feeling that Mother Nature is taking all her things inside. Something must be coming.

I think I better get down to the sale of winter boots tomorrow morning.

Having been here for over three months now here are some points about Sweden I read on a website that certainly seem to hold true:

— Most stores or businesses require you to take a number and wait until yours is called. You aren’t necessarily waiting in a line, but you are waiting.

— Learning Swedish is not a necessity at all. I could get by forever without learning the language except for the fact that Mariette’s parents don’t speak English.

— Stores are not open past 6:00 except for a few grocery stores and they close by 9:00. A 24 hour pharmacy is not even a dream here.

— Food packaging is a little — um, unconventional. Lots of things come in toothpaste tubes and yogurt comes in milk cartons, which makes it hard to get to the dregs. Very unlike the tubs in the U.S. where you can spoon it all out.

— People take their shoes off when entering a house. Every abode has a shoe rack and coat rack right inside the front door for shoes and, for much of the year, coats, gloves, etc. At our housewarming party in August there were literally 40 pairs of shoes on the floor inside our door. I should have taken a picture.

— Things start on time, with or without you. People are punctual which I find really good. Over the years Mariette trained me (forced, actually) to be early, so being right on time is just right for me. There is a Swedish word, lagom,  for which there is no precise English equivalent but which means roughly not too little, not to much, just exactly enough.

— Plastic bags cost about a quarter, so you keep the ones you buy and take them with you shopping. The cost covers the environmental impact of plastic bags.

— The water and air are really, really good. We are living in probably one of the most pollution free places anywhere. It helps that they closed down the nuclear power plant here some time back. It would stink to live in such a beautiful area and have an “incident.”

I will see if I can come up with some more later.



4 thoughts on “Day 106, 107 and 108 — Bits about Sweden

    • Yes, on the no coupons. No, on the no sales. The most common word you see on store windows especially in summertime is “Rea,” which means “Sale.” You cannot find a store that is not holding a sale. Maybe Sweden has not caught up with the coupon idea yet. I dunno.

  1. Hi Dan,
    Hey I recently read all of your posts to present time and then signed up to get notices of new posts. Thanks for taking the time to share your life in Sweden with us all! I enjoy learning about other countries especially with that personal touch. I was born in Holland and love to go back and visit, one day it would be nice to live there for a while!
    Bert Schippers

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