Santa pulled out a box wrapped in animal gift paper and read out a name. In front of him, my son Herman and a pack of mostly blonde-haired 3-year-olds dressed like Santa Claus and gingerbread men waved their arms. One by one, with a gift in hand, they ran to their parents who opened their eyes wide and feigned surprise. I watched from the side and began to panic.
My Swedish wife had the flu that night. So I was at my son’s Santa Lucia and Christmas party without my full-time guide who makes sure I don’t make any missteps on the slippery Swedish etiquette slopes. “Please come with me,” I begged her before I left the house.
Maybe you heard that Sweden’s TV4 is airing a sitcom called Welcome to Sweden about an American guy who falls in love with a hot Swedish woman and leaves his great job in NYC to move to Stockholm?
Well, that’s pretty much my story about moving to Sweden. Except that I moved from New Jersey and had no job or money when I moved here. On the other hand, my Swedish wife IS hot, so there’s one similarity.
Welcome to Sweden disappoints
In one of the opening scenes, the Swedish customs agent looks through every last inch of the American guy’s baggage and asks him a bunch of tough questions.
Guess how many people who speak English are interested in finding jobs in Sweden?
Google says 5,400 people per month search for that exact term — “Finding jobs in Sweden.”
So you’ve had it with your country! You’re sick and tired of two weeks of vacation or think the population is too obese. Or maybe you’ve fallen in love with a beautiful Swedish woman who’s promising you that you can easily find a job in Sweden. Or maybe you’re fleeing war or poverty. Or maybe you’re stuck living in Sweden and can’t find a job.
Or maybe you love Abba? Or maybe you love fish? Maybe you like Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy? I can go on and on, but won’t.
Everyone knows Swedish meatballs are a hardy meal that will keep you energized in all seasons. But today, a lot of people are talking about that little red condiment that’s jammed between the meat and the potatoes — Swedish lingoberries.
Scientists at Lund University in Sweden have discovered that Swedish lingonberries can almost completely prevent the weight gain caused by a high fat diet. If you don’t know, lingonberries are like a more bitter version of cranberries — generally eaten with meatballs and other meaty Swedish food.