Swedish Language Blog

Feeling very Swedish in other countries Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Culture

I have been on the road for 2,5 months soon. I am enjoying my well-earned and long vacation this year. It is kind of a vagabond life when you travel that much. You’re closet is your luggage. You develop extremely many surviving skills during a trip on your own. I have been enjoying myself for most of the time but every now and then I’ve also felt homesick (hemlängtan). As my journey comes to an end soon I am literally longing back to work (the feeling shall disappear after few weeks) and for my apartment.

I am longing for Swedish tap water. (kranvatten) since I’ve been living on bottled water. I know it is the biggest hoax ever but I have been to places where to water smells, tastes a bit funny or too much chloride or iron in it. So No.1 is Swedish tap water. No. 2 is Swedish shellfish (skladjur) because I have mainly been to countries where fish isn’t a regular source of food. Now the next one won’t be popular I know but I miss a bit the colder weather. It’s been in the 80s-90s in Fahrenheit during the last months and I have burned my self several times and it’s been hard to sleep occasionally. I am not so used to involuntary sunbathing either. No 4. It is usually not the sallads Sweden is good for but I haven’t had a proper sallad for months. I had to make it myself from supermarkets. The combination of ingredients have been poor, uninspiring. Basically sallad, tomatoes and onions. In my opinion Sweden has become very good at serving different kind of sallads in the past 10 years. I think Nordic cuisine is truly can measure up to other internationally well-known cuisines like Italian, French of Japanese etc. No 5. My bed and my own bathroom.

But there are certain things I don’t miss. No 1. I don’t miss that people don’t know how to party. In general people are too uptight and can’t really relax (koppla av) thinking too much about what other people would think if they let go too much. Well maybe blame the pubs and the municipalities making up so many stupid and unnecessary rules in Sweden. You have obviously an other mindset when you are on holiday but I rarely experienced that a bar turned into a dancefloor (dansgolv) in Sweden while in other countries people set the vibe and the party rules not the pubs. No 2. The darkness. The autumn and the winter is soon on its way and I really don’t miss that at all. The cold doesn’t affect me but rather the wind and the rain. I don’t really mind the darkness either for a few months because it is cosy (mysigt). But the worst thing is if you can’t be outside because of the wind and the rain.

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  1. Jerry Nelson:

    You mentioned Nordic cuisine; when I lived in Sweden 1975-76, I thought the food was “OK” good but rather bland and not inspiring, except for pastries. I have been back 3 times in the past 6 years or so, and I noticed a huge improvement in cuisine, rivaling the best I have had anywhere. Sitting in a restaurant dockside, watching shrimp boats literally delivering fresh caught shrimp to your table is an experience I will not forget!

  2. Rita:

    I understand yearning for Sweden and all that goes with it. I have been twice and would love to live there because the do live and not just exsist. The food is great and I do the best I can to make as many items as I can at home. Believe me nothing is wrong with cooler weather.

  3. Tibor:

    Hi Jerry! Yes it is totally like that. I wasn’t alive back then but even as I said ten years ago it was still quite boring restaurants but nowadays it is amazing

  4. Axel Andersson:

    I enjoyed your article and I too enjoy the cooler weather. If I may say though, ‘extremely many’ is not quite right to use. ‘A great many’ sounds proper. In English the concept of ‘many’ is rarely subject to gradation. And one last thing, salad only has one ‘l’. Great article, though and it too made me miss home!