Are you in Sweden? Are you coming to Sweden? Are you planning to visit me? Is this a shameless attempt to guilt people into visiting me?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions—there IS a right answer—then I have some sweet tips for you to make your transition into Swedish culture a little easier.
First off, when planning travel attire ensure that you are wearing something resembling the following. The Swedish (female) wardrobe is generally some combination:
White converse sneakers that are clean and not disgustingly filthy like some of us
Black pants that skim the angles
A striped t-shirt, or a plan t-shirt of quality material
A thigh-length, lightweight parka, unzipped. (or an oversize, unstructured jacket)
Bring an umbrella, just in case
Great, you are dressed properly! Don’t worry, no matter how prepared you are everyone around you will look ten zillion times better. There is something in the water here, everyone pops out in some beautiful catalogue and you are just there wearing a bright orange raincoat and a huge pimple between your eyes.
But I digress. Are you tired? Do you want some coffee? A ton of coffee?
That’s too bad, if you buy a stor kaffe it will be the size of maybe a tall Starbucks (and that’s a large. Stor=large). It’s strange living in a land of non-portion distortion.
Because maybe it’s a little unnecessary to drink a coffee that is equivalent in ounces to a bottle of wine.
Unless you are using that cup for wine, then it’s perfectly acceptable.
Or better, yet, skip buying the coffee and make some instant coffee at home. Sounds gross, but they have the instant thing down to a T. I would bet you couldn’t even tell the difference. Someone told me once that the y had to start putting electronic tags on the instant coffee in all the stores because it was the top stolen item.
These people don’t fuck around with caffeine.
Like, for real. Americans are expected to slug through the afternoon and fend for ourselves in terms of the afternoon slump. Not Swedes! It’s too dark and cold (sometimes) or beautiful outside (sometimes) for that nonsense.
Fika is my favorite time of day. It is essentially a mass coffee and snack break factored into the Swedish day and it is awesome. You eat some kind of treat with your coffee, and it picks you up and gets you through to dinner.
No time to stop for lunch or fika? Pick up a hot dog in a Pressbyran or 7 Eleven. They are actually quite good, and walk to your next destination while eating it.
Or sit down to a nice plate of meatballs
NOTE: under no circumstances, ever, make noise or eye contact with any other human you encounter. Not on the metro, not in the street, not in a cafe. Just don’t.
When interaction has to occur, limit your words to the following. “Hejhej (heyhey)” and “tack” “Hej da (Hey dough)”. That’s all, you will fit right it!
DONT LAUGH AT THIS CAT FOOD
Next, buy yourself a can of Snus. I was trying to describe what exactly snus is but I think Wikipedia does it most aptly:
Snus (/ˈsnuːs/; Swedish pronunciation: [snʉːs]) is a moist powder tobacco product originating from a variant of dry snuff in early 18th century Sweden. It is placed under the lip for extended periods. Snus is not fermented and contains no added sugar. Although used similarly to American dipping tobacco, snus does not typically result in the need for spitting and, unlike naswar, snus is steam-pasteurized.
<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/31739137″>Swedish Match – Snus- How To – ‘Office Setting'</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/philipberger”>Philip Berger</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
We met a guy who told us that snus doesn’t cause cancer. Which we balked at immediately but apparently they really did remove the warning against cancer on the packaging because of super sciency reasons involving the word “carcinogens”
Based on the mounting research demonstrating the limited harm-potential of snus, snus manufacturer Swedish Match has filed a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) application with the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), to modify the warning label by:
removing the current warning, “This product can cause mouth cancer.”
removing the current warning, “This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss.”
replacing the current warning, “This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes,” with this text: “No tobacco product is safe, but this product presents substantially lower risks to health than cigarettes.”
retaining the current warning, “Smokeless tobacco is addictive.”
So there’s that. Swedish men have the lowest lung cancer rate because everyone does this instead. Did I mention there are tiny particles of glass inside the pouches sometimes (always?) so that it can break into the gums and the nicotine can enter easier?
What do you feel like doing now?
How about a nice trip to the ABBA museum?
Because that exists.
Or IKEA, perhaps.
And for goodness SAKES leave your balloons at home you animals
I googled Sweden, and this came up