You know you have been in Sweden too long when

You know when you have been in Sweden too long when…


1. You rummage through your plastic bag collection to see which ones you can keep to take to the shop and which ones can be sacrificed for rubbish.

2. You no longer snigger when you see grown women walking around with their hair in plaits.

3. The first thing you do upon entering a bank/post office/chemist etc. is to look for the queue number machine.

4. You accept that you will have to queue to take a queue number.

5. When a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume:
a: he is drunk
b: he is insane
c: he’s an American

6. You don’t think twice about putting the wet dishes away in the cupboard to dry.

7. A friend asks about your holiday plans and you answer “Oh, I’m going to Europe!” meaning any other Western European country outsideof Sweden.

8. You no longer crunch up or fold your paper money. You always put your money in your wallet.

9. You see a student taking a front row seat on the bus and wonder “Who does he think he is?”

10. Silence is fun.

11. The reason you take the ferry to Finland is:
a: duty free vodka
b:duty free beer
c: to party hearty. .. no need to get off the boat in
Helsinki, just turn around and do it again on the way back to Sweden.

12. Your coffee consumption exceeds 6 cups a day and coffee is too weak if there is less than 10 scoops per pot.

13. You pass a supermarket and think “Wow, it is open, I had better go in an buy something!”

14. A sharp intake of breath has become part of your vocabulary, as has the sound “Jah hahh”

15. Your native language has seriously deteriorated, now you begin to “eat medicine”, “open the television”, “close the lights off”, “take a beer”, “look upon everything” and tell someone to “follow with me” or “you needn’t to!” You start to say “for 2 years ago” and expressions like “Don’t panic” creep into your everyday language.

16. You associate pea soup with Thursday.

17. Your idea of unforgivable behaviour now includes walking across the street when the light is red and there is no WALK symbol, even though there are no cars in sight.

18. Your notion of street life is reduced to the few teenagers hanging out in front of the railway station on Friday nights.

19. Your bad mood becomes your good mood.

20. Sundays no longer seem dull with all the shops closed, and begin to feel restful instead.

21. “No comment” becomes a conversation strategy.

22. You have only two facial expressions – smiling or blank. Also your arms are just hanging down when you chat with other people.

23. The fact that all of the “v’s” and the “w’s” are together in the phone directory seems right.

24. Your old habit of being “fashionably late” is no longer acceptable. You are always on time.

25. Hugging is reserved for sexual foreplay

26. You begin to understand Johan Tornberg’s broadcast of the hockey game.

27. You refuse to wear a hat, even in minus 20 degree weather.

28. You hear loud-talking passengers on the train. You immediately assume
a: they are drunk>
b: they are Finnish> c: they are American
> d: all of the above

29. You give up on trying to find fat-free food and pile on the butter, cream
and sugar.

30. You know how to fix herring in 105 different ways.

31. You eat herring in 105 ways.

32. You no longer look at sports pants as casual wear, but recognise them as
semi-formal wear.

33. Your front step is beginning to resemble a shoe shop.

34. You are no longer scared of Volvos and Volvo drivers

35. You have undergone a transformation
a: you accept blodkorv as
b: you accept surströmming as food
c: you accept alcohol as
d: you accept

36. You can actually drink the coffee.

37. You no longer have to search for the flushing mechanism.

38. You no longer see any problem wearing white socks with sandals.

39. Indoors you wear sandals with socks, regardless of the season.

40. You no longer correct people who say MAC Donald’s.

41. You just love Jaffa.

42. You’ve come to expect Sunday morning sidewalk vomit dodging.

43. You know that “religious holiday” means “let’s get pissed.

44. You enjoy the taste of surströmming and lutfisk.

45. You know that “men’s public bathroom” is another phrase for footpath.

46. You know that more than three channels means cable.

47. You get all the Finnish and Norwegians jokes.

48. When you’re hungry you can peel a boiled potato like lightning.

49. You eat jam with savoury dishes

50. You’ve become lactose intolerant.

51. You accept that 80 degrees C in a sauna is chilly, but 20 degrees C
outside is freaking hot.

52. An outside temperature of 5 degrees C is mild.

53. It no longer seems excessive to spend 1,000kr on alcohol in a single

54. When someone asks for “three cheers” you say “hoorah, hoorah, hoorah,

55. You think that riding a bicycle in the snow is a perfectly sensible thing
to do.

56. You have conversations with people outside when it is –10C.

57. Having to book seat numbers at a cinema makes perfect sense. And you sit
in your booked seat even if there are only 2 other people there and your seat is
in the front row, on the side.

58. You regard it as sensible to eat ice cream when it is 15C.

59. You regard it as sensible that the ice cream van comes around playing
that annoying song when it is -15C.

60. Someone calls you a “good moron” first thing in the morning and you smile

61. It’s acceptable to eat lunch at 11.00.

62. Julmust starts to taste good.

63. You associate Friday afternoon with a trip to systembolaget.

64. You think nothing of paying $50 for a bottle of ‘cheap’ spirits at

65. You know all of the “telephone times” by heart.

66. It seems sensible that the age limit at
Stockholm night
clubs is 25.

67. You actually care who wins ‘Expedition: Robinson’

68. You have your own innebandy club.

69. You find yourself debating the politics of the social democrats.

70. You use ‘mmmm’ as a conversation filler.

71. You have only two facial expressions, smiling or blank.

72. You think it’s more fun to stay at home and drink then go out.

73. You wear warm clothing when it’s 25 degrees plus in April – because it’s

74. You wear shorts and t-shirt when it’s barely 10 degrees in July – because
it’s July.

75. You get extremely annoyed when the bus is two minutes late.

76. You think women are more than equal than men and deserve to have better
positions in the work place.

77. Your wife watches TV while you look after the kids.

78. You become a punctuality freak and dump your friends for being late more
than once.

79. You spend the week’s entertainment budget on a pack of cigarettes and a
drink in Gamla Stan.

80. When a stranger asks you a question in the streets, you think it’s normal
to just keep walking, saying nothing.

81. You’ve been engaged for four years and don’t have any plans to get

82. Americans start to look entertaining, witty and fun, and you just want to
go to the U.S.A., travelling across country on
a greyhound, because it’s “romantic.”

83. You and your friends know exactly the same information, and have the same
attitudes and beliefs in the value of Social Democracy.

84. You lose any artistic talent whatsoever.

85. You think that if you smoke a joint you will wind up in an insane asylum.
[or become a habitual criminal]

86. You jot down ‘fisk fingrar’ on your shopping list.

87. You no longer look for Vegemite on supermarket shelves, even if it’s your
first time in that particular shop.

90. You think black rimmed glasses are cool. Your wardrobe now consists of 20
different shades of black and grey.

89. You stop explaining to people what Christmas Crackers are and accept that
they aren’t – at least in Sweden

88. You have an uncontrollable urge to mail this list and point out the
numbering is incorrect!

91. It doesn’t feel like lunch unless it’s a hot, full course meal drenched
in gravy.

92. You eat unlimited amounts of sausage products without worrying about your
nitrate intake.

93. You think that an unripe wedge of tomato on a limp leaf of iceberg
lettuce can be called a salad.

94. You don’t question the concept of ‘telephone time’. It seems reasonable
that no business can be conducted on Friday afternoons. [or the entire month of

95. You assume that anyone who apologises after bumping into you is a

96. You feel discomfort if you can’t find the nummerlap machine.

97. You reach for your pocket 20 times a day as mobile phones ring all around

98. You actually care if your mobile phone meets the fashion standard – and
so do your new Swedish friends.

99. It seems reasonable that even those begging for money at T-centralen
reach for their pocket as the melodic music of the Swedish mobile phone

100. You get into a Mercedes taxi cab and think nothing of it

101. Paying $6 for a cup of coffee seems reasonable.

102. You understand that when a colleague asks you out for “a drink,” it will
probably be a long night with a severe hangover the next day.

103. You start to think that having a sauna in the nude with a bunch of
strangers is a necessary part of daily life … and a necessary part of

104. You start to differentiate between types of snow.

105. You get offended if, at a dinner party, someone fails to look you in the
eyes after raising their glass for a toast

106. Seeing a young woman with lit candles stuck to her head no longer
disturbs you.

107. You become extremely skilled at assembling pre-packaged furniture kits.

108. “Candles” are a permanent fixture on your weekly shopping list.

109. You get to the movies early so that you can watch the commercials.

110. Most of your friends have the same names and you must use both names to
distinguish between them.

111. You manage to convince yourself that you really enjoy eating potatoes,
tuna, pasta and sausages and it’s not just because that’s all you can afford to
eat here.

112. You accept you must walk 2 kilometres to collect your book/tape from the
Post Office, because they don’t deliver small packages (or large ones)

113. You finally accept that the milkman isn’t going to roll up – ever- and
you have to go out in the snow to the shop to buy your milk.

114. Your shed becomes the first stage in the recycling process and you can’t
get in it for bags of paper/cardboard/bottles, refundable glass/plastic,
recyclable glass/plastic/ containers/etc.

115. You accept that you will never again wear your beautiful stiletto heels
because:> a: there’s snow everywhere and even if you did then,> b: you
still have to take them off at the door which instantly ruins the hitherto
glamorous line of whatever you were wearing as you drop, 10cm, onto your flat
feet in your short and sexy little black dress. Not the same effect at all.

116. When offered a bottle of beer the first thing you look at is the
alcoholic percentage.

117. You take every opportunity to raise an enormous flag in your garden.

118. You can’t contemplate actually doing anything until you’ve first had a
‘fika’ (with coffee AND cake).

119. You think it entirely reasonable to pay $40 for a five minute chat with
the doctor.

120. You use the alcohol percentage-per-kroner standard for measuring the
quality of beer and wine.

121. You think it is normal EVERYTHING is regulated and you obey the rules

122. You no longer snigger when your kids ask for a Plopp when you’re out

123. You think it’s normal to park your car only on the right hand side of
the street and are quite happy to move it elsewhere on Thursday evening because
the street is being cleaned

124. You accept that you will get parking tickets regularly and stop caring
that you have no idea what was wrong with your parking.

125. You don´t eat the jacket on your potato.

126. Nobody fights to get the “parsons nose”.

127. People keep showing you print outs of this list on the bus.

128. Hearing the words f*ck and shag on daytime TV seems perfectly normal.

129. You think Australia is wrong to drive on the left hand side of the road.

130. You mutter “oy,oy,oy” continually to yourself even though you are the
only one in the room.

131. You understand why there is a Green, Red and Blue underground.

132. You understand why the underground does not only operate underground.

133. Even you can hear your own accent.

134. When someone asks you for “sex” you assume they mean half-a-dozen.

135. All winter you dream of what you will do in summer, and summer is the
warmest day of the year

136. You wear a dress or skirt over your trousers and combine them with
training shoes (this is especially problematic if you are male)

137. You expect to find the glove you dropped in February hanging on a post
in June

138. Bringing dead sticks indoors at Easter and hanging coloured feathers on
them seems a good way to celebrate spring.

139. Pigs say “nerf nerf”, frogs say “kvack, kvack” and roosters say

140. You immediately think that a bottle of wine contains 75cl, and a carton
of cream is 3dl. And you can’t for the life of you remember just what 500ml is
in dl or cl.

141. “It’s 5 degrees outside” does not necessarily mean PLUS 5, it could mean
minus 5.

142. You talk of 10C as “10 degrees cold”, when in Australia +10C would be
considered cold. And who else calls +1C, “one degree warm”!

143. You know that “Extrapris” goods are cheaper, even though your English
mind translates the word as “extra price”

144. You will squeeze past somebody rather than say excuse me.

145. When returning to “civilisation” you hear yourself saying TACK all the

146. The first thing you do in the morning is to switch on your car

147. Drinking spirits can only be accompanied by formal singing from song
sheets and vice versa.

148. You accept that adverts for houses do not include the price of the

149. You accept that Job adverts do not include the salary scale.

150. A fun way for people to pass a wintry afternoon is to watch a Bandy
match outdoors when it’s minus 20 degrees.

151. Everybody has an outdoor thermometer at home and they all compare
temperatures when they get to work.

152. You start eating egg and bacon instead of bacon and eggs.

153. You ringed somebody yesterday instead of you rang them.

154. Your husband is very long instead of being very tall

155. You think coffee is supposed to look and taste like mud, complete with a
mouthful of coffee ground sediment.

156. You pay the TV-avgift because you think you’re getting your money’s
worth watching SVT.

157. You start looking at socialbidrag (welfare) less as an absolutely
desperate last resort and more as a way of life.

158. You pour filmjölk (soured milk) on your Kellogg’s Frosties.

159. You put tomato sauce (as in Heinz Big Red) on your macaroni. Just tomato
sauce. And love it.

160. Your preferred pancake topping is lingonsylt.

161. You begin thinking that you’re going to actually miss blood pudding for
breakfast while you’re visiting Australia

162. You don’t want a cold glass of Coke with ice on hot summer days but
rather a nice steaming cup of coffee.

163. You start to think that smoking is really not that bad, even for 13 year

164. You stop searching for a T-Bone steak.

165. You start believing that good service is overrated.

166. You can’t remember the words to the theme of Gilligan’s Island.

167. You accept and take for granted that you will just have to suffer
through a cold.

168. You take two hour naps at work and the idea of losing your job never
crosses your mind.

169. You don’t even get surprised when the doctor, not only can’t help you,
he/she can’t even diagnose you.

170. You take it as a given that your wife/husband will get so wasted on
Midsommar that he/she will end up in bed with someone other than yourself.

171. You tailgate people who are driving 120 on the freeway.

172. You think Australian coffee tastes like water.

173. You don’t get disgusted by the little balls of discarded snus (chewing
tobacco) at your feet at every bus stop.

174. You don’t even get disgusted by seeing people spit, constantly.

175. You start talking to yourself in Swedish.

176. You think nothing of spending all day at IKEA looking for a piece of
furniture and then spending the whole next day putting it together.

177. You wonder how you ever lived with wall to wall carpeting

178. You take your shoes off when entering a house while visiting your family
in Australia.

179. You can’t throw a plastic bottle away with out having a guilty

180. You think an hour and a half cycle on your washing machine is a “quick

181. You not only order a pizza with asparagus, banana and bernaise sauce on
it, but you actually like it and wonder why they don’t offer it back in

182. You think of where you will be going in terms of the shoes that you will
wear. Your favourite pair of “Barbie” shoes keep getting buried further and
further back in the wardrobe.

183. You find yourself munching on Kalles Kaviar and hårdbröd at3 A.M.

184. You get used to hotdogs being called sausage and you eat them as the
“meat” part of a meal without a bun.

185. You find yourself wobbling home from the pub on your bicycle.

186. You know how to take care of a toddler, a pram with baby, a shopping
trolley (that needs to be returned for the coin), paying for and bagging all
your own groceries, without ever once expecting anyone to offer to help you.

187. You hide 5 or 6 bottles of spirits in your suitcase, one or two in your
backpack, and put just one in the duty free shopping bag.

188. You think horse meat is a totally acceptable sandwich topping.

189. You think there is nothing wrong with planning Christmas around Kalle
Anka (Donald Duck).

190. You don’t even think about what you are saying when you are off to the
shop to buy your favourite brand of cat food, and you say, “Be right back love,
I’m just gonna go get some Pussi”

191. You start calling Coke “cola”.

192. You get up for a cigarette at 2
AM in July and put on your sunglasses first.

193. You have 53 different recipes for strömming and you’re about ready to
clip number 54 from Dagens Nyheter.

194. You start thinking dance bands and Tom Jones are kind of cool.

195. You think that people who wear other colours apart from black, grey,
white or blue are exhibitionists.

196. You start to miss falukorv when you go on vacation

197. You know the words to more than one ‘snapsvisa’ and sing them without

198. You can deal with the idea that the week starts on Monday.

199. You would never ever even consider using a metal knife on the butter.

200. You are no longer offended by the fact that you are a Swedish size XL
when at “home” you are a medium.

201. “Godis” and “glass” become daily necessities.

202. When visiting others you try to go in first. If it’s locked THEN you
ring the doorbell.

203. While visiting England someone gives you directions and says, “It’s
about 5 miles down the road.” You in turn ask, “Are you talking Swedish miles or
English miles?”

204. You start spelling the days of the week in lowercase! monday,

205. You find that you can’t spell in English anymore. You now replace C with
K. Like panik, automatik, seasik, arithmetik…. and you try to remember does
papper/paper have one or two p’s in English?

206. You no longer make appointments, but instead you book times.

207. You read text instead of sub-titles.

208. As a student, you accept and even enjoy getting dressed in formal wear
to go to a candle-lit 3 course dinner where you will alternately bang on your
table and stand on your chair singing songs in praise of alcohol each and every
time you attempt to raise your fork to your mouth.

209. You have an Åhlgrens “Bilar” addiction.

210. You know all the Fanta and Marabou flavours.

211. You think that the 25kr ICAbonus cheque is generous after spending
2500kr in their shop.

212. The words “typ” and “liksom” are part of you spoken English vocabulary.

213. If a friend says that he/she would like to get together with you, you
instinctively reach for your pocket calendar.

214. You own a pocket calendar.

215. You begin to understand Danish.

216. It seems normal to you that you’ve been bleeding in the emergency room
at the hospital for four and a half hours when the three doctors walk by on
their third coffee break since you got there.

217. You can identify the people on Big Brother and Expedition Robinson.

218. You plan to watch “kvinnofängelset” (Prisoner) the next day because you
need to know what happens.

219. You can name the toppings of at least ten different pizzas just by name
(which is coincidentally more than the pizza-baker can himself)

220. You accept that you will never get what you ordered at Burger King.

221. Not only do you not mind, but even expect to wait ten minutes for a Big
Mac at McDonald’s.

222. You ask for a Big Mac and company outside of Sweden.

223. Trousers/pants tucked into all shoes, including low-top sneakers, seem
like reasonable fashion sense.

224. Someone cuts you off on the freeway and instead of giving them the
finger, you simply mumble “eedeeyout” under your breath.

225. You even lock your car to take a pee on the side of the road.

226. You no longer think it odd that you talk to your kids in English and
they answer in Swedish.

227. You sit and pretend that Ice Hockey is a great substitute for footy.

228. You use your Swedish Lexicon to look up all the English words you’ve

229. You say “I’m almost annoyed” when you’re as furious as humanly possible.

230. You find it completely natural that otherwise sensible people dress up
in silly hats on several occasions during August while they’re eating crayfish
and drinking as much vodka as they can.

231. Christmas has changed so much that you only associate it with rice
porridge and Donald Duck.

232. You don’t think twice about calling someone in the next room using your
mobile phone.

233. People buy you a drink in November because they remember when you bought
them one in March.

234. You have no idea what “The X-files” is but you watch “Arkiv X” as soon
as it’s on TV.

235. It’s normal for a post office to be located inside the local store,
where no one can help you.

236. A 25 % sales tax on just about everything is no big deal.

237. VD is the boss, not something you need to get medical treatment for.

238. You know the names of at least three different types of sill (pickled

239. Opening your Christmas presents on the 24th of December no longer seems
like cheating.

240. You can use bra, fart, and slut in the same sentence without

241. You go on a package holiday to Greece and never leave the hotel complex.

242. You refer to weeks by their number.

243. You carefully dissect the restaurant bill so you know to the exact kr.
how much everybody owes.

244. You know the catalogue numbers of all of your favourite wines at

245. It’s May. It’s 15C degrees. And you’re stretched out
on your balcony in your bikini trying to get a head start on your tan.

246. You don’t understand why your friend from Mississipi took offence when
you referred to him as a yankee.

247. You no longer laugh hysterically when you hear a sappy love ballad being
called a “butter song”.

248. England, Scotland and Wales can all be called England.

249. You’ve come to accept that customer service departments don’t do
anything to help customers.

250. If you meet someone you haven’t seen in ages you just stay right where
you are chatting away even if that happens to be in the doorway of a very busy
department store.

251. You think the songs played at “The Eurovision song contest” are instant

252. Christmas presents are opened somewhere between Donald Duck and
“Karl-Bertil Jonsson” on Christmas Eve. Whoever heard of doing it the morning of
Christmas Day?

253. If no TV station airs “Ivanhoe” on Christmas Day you become extremely

254. You just have to watch “Grevinnan och betjänten” on New Years Eve.

255. You don’t find it strange that they add tax on top of the taxes.

256. It’s perfectly normal to hear teenage girls say “cunt” as a swear word.

257. You no longer find it hypocritical to hear people bashing Australian
culture in one sentence and in the next hear them saying that they’ve always
wanted to go to Australia.

258. Food is supposed to often be white in colour.

259. You’re no longer repulsed by the idea of eating pölsa or isterband.

260. You find it reasonable that reviews of non-Swedish movies with a Swedish
actor in them should use at least half of the space available to discuss how
good or bad the actor was in it, even if he had just one line.

261. You understand the jokes in “Pistvakt”.

262. You watched “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones” just to see
Pernilla August.

263. It’s normal to have an entire pizza just for yourself.

264. You have learned how to schedule your bouts of illness so you don’t get
sick on weekends. Because if you do get sick on a weekend you have a hard time
getting to see a doctor and you’ve wasted a weekend. It’s much better to be sick
on a Monday so you can call in sick. That way you can extend your weekend!

265. You don’t get surprised when kids come trick-or-treating during Easter,
all dressed up like witches.

266. You don’t find it odd to find movies with a “translated” title. It’s
perfectly normal for a movie to get a completely different English title than
the one it has in the rest of the world.

267. You sing bawdy drinking songs instead of Christmas carols.

268. The first light of understanding in your child’s eyes is when he bangs
his little cup against something and says, “ska!”.

269. You use the word “or” as a question.

270. You consider 11 the standard age for no longer riding in a stroller.

271. You are concerned when the picture on the front page of the paper is not
of some completely random person watering their garden or of a child holding an

272. You think it’s normal that people take shoes in a bag to the theatre

273. You start using “rather” as your most common adjective
in English

274. You stop thinking you’re being yelled at every time you hear “Hey!”

275. You no longer expect to just “call in” unexpectedly on a friend.

276. You no longer feel it’s unbearable inside an over-heated shop wearing
full winter gear.

277. You no longer look for toilets marked specifically male or female

278. You remember to buy the weekend grog supply before5.00pmon Friday

279. It is your birthday YOU have to make the cake

280. You know you have to hurry home to stop the ice cream from getting too

281. You start collecting travel brochures and talking of trips to tacky
places like Gran Canaria just for a fix of sun.

282. You agree to pay 500kr for a basic hair trim.

283. You accept that fruit juice is always made from concentrate.

284. The most interesting report on the news is the weather.

285. You start to believe that everything in
Sweden is actually good.

286. When you say good bye to someone you depart by saying ‘Have it so

287. When you make a mistake or an accident happens you say ‘It was not the

288. You don’t blink an eye at the cloak room size at the pub with all the
boots and stuff in there, despite the fact that it may be 3 levels high and cost
5 bucks – making a pub crawl definitely out of the question sometimes.

289. You get annoyed when you realise you have to say “not too much and not
too little” instead of “lagom”.

290. You either run for the last pendeltåg at 1 am or choose to party on
until 5 am when they start again rather than endure the horrific night bus home,
as a taxi ride would require taking out a 2nd mortgage.

291. When you arrive at a destination you immediately scan for the nearest
free toilet or private hide away – crikey even Mack – Donalds is off limits.

292. You find yourself eating bay-con for breakfast and talking about Bill
Clin-ton and taking a trip to Lon-don.

293. Anything good and in particular food is “giant good”.

294. ICAis not
I.C.A – it’s eeka.

295. The wash cottage is not a holiday resort but a very competitive

where the rules should never be broken and in particular
never go over your time by even a minute or you risk a lot of sucking and
muttering from the next in line.

296. A recipe for drugs is not instructions on how to make them.

297. Gift is not a present but it could be dangerous (whether it is poison or

298. Using a shovel when you are cooking is perfectly normal

299. A dime is yummy not currency

300. Sambo is not a racist remark

301. When talking about centuries the Swedes all seem to be a hundred years

302. When a Swede realises that you are an Aussie, you immediately rattle off
the facts about sharks, spiders, snakes and other creepy crawlies just to get it
out of the way.

303. You know what ‘What seventeen’ means.

304. Swedes saying Va’ to you is still annoying (even after ten years), not
to mention that there is no real word for please, or?

305. You think that reading this list is one of the most exciting things you
have done for ages.

306. You know that “fan” is a swearword, and not an
admirer or an air conditioner.

307. You eat pizza with a knife and fork.

308. You only leave the country to stockpile cheap alcohol.

309. All of your conversations resemble a chess game, with each participant
quietly and patiently awaiting the other to finish their turn.

310. You’ve owned more than one Volvo.

311. You accept that any bureaucratic employee is incapable of a single
autonomous thought and that anything, regardless of how ludicrous, is law once
committed to paper.

312. You no longer find this list funny, just painfully true.

313. You know the names of two or more Swedish ministers.

314. You get excited when you hear someone speaking English.

315. You travel north on vacation instead of south.

316. You start to mix up your c’s and k’s when writing in English.

317. Even the 140kg amateur body-builder uses the handicapped door-opener
instead of “straining” himself and you think nothing of it. In fact, you do it

318. You take off your shoes when entering someone’s house outside of

319. A seven-year-old with his own mobile phone seems perfectly sensible.

320. You no longer eat yoghurt, you drink it.

321. You know the Swedish national anthem better than your own.

322. The inescapable stench of Mamma Scans’ meatballs on your fingers, which
CANNOT BE WASHED OUT, no longer disgusts you.

323. You put both jam and cheese on toast and call it breakfast.

324. You were excited when Kalles Kaviar released “Kalles Randiga”.

325. You eat caviar from a tube.

326. The only pasta that you eat takes 3 minutes to prepare and is inedible
unless drenched in ketchup.

327. Three for the price of two is the deal of a lifetime, regardless of what
it is. Even 3 for the price of 2 1/2 surprises you.

328. You use a coupon to save 5 kronor on something that costs over 100

329. Your wallet contains more plastic than a

330. Christmas is more intimately tied to “Kalle Anka” than to Santa

331. You can tell the difference between the different radio stations.

332. You make liberal use of compound words never heard of by Webster or

333. You actually pay an annual television fee without feeling infringed.

334. You actually pay an annual television fee.

335. The idiots in all your jokes are Norwegian.

336. You tease people from Skåne about their “Swedish”.

337. In chess, you refer to the knight as a horse, the rook as a tower, and
the pawns as farmers or peasants.

338. At Easter, pre-adolescent boys dressing up as old women isn’t a sign of
a developing psychosis, it’s just part of the festivities (although it may
explain a few things down the line)

339. You feel a certain sense of pride when you see Swedish people in films
or on foreign TV shows.

340. Drinking is the fundamental pillar of your social network, be it coffee
or alcohol.

341. You aimlessly chat using SMS.

342. A “big strong one” is a beer.

343. When someone says “Cheers” you look at everyone in turn before

344. You know that going for a coffee is a first date.

345. When someone asks you “Hi, how are you?” you actually take time out to
explain how you are.

346. You automatically try to dress the same as everyone else.

347. You know the words to the frog song.

348. When you stop converting Swedish crowns into your native currency.

349. You are no longer surprised when you see full-frontal male nudity in a
commercial or on TV.

350. You make fun of tourists.

351. You can pick out the real blondes from the fake blondes.>

352. You get used to seeing dogs tied up outside of supermarkets and you stop
to pat them.

353. You learn to let the BMW’s, Audi’s, and Mercedes do whatever they

354. Paying $3,000 for a dog seems normal.

355. And paying $800,000 for a 3 room (living room, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms,
kitchen) house in a suburb of Stockholm seems cheap.>

356. You accept that you pay bills at the post office, pick up packages from
the grocery store, and you have to drive 5 miles to find a postbox to put your
outgoing mail in.

357. You enjoy that postcards are the means of communication.

358. It seems sensible that you need to be at least 25 to buy a bottle of red

359. You don’t think twice when you hear “Shake it out”. You just check it

360. When you are terrified of meeting you neighbour in the stairwell.

361. When you see that the time is 3.30 and you say it’s “half TO four” (halv fyra)

362. You can prepare fish in five different ways without cooking it.

363. You think there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

364. The only thing in your quick memory is “Hej” and “Hej Hej”

365. You think Sweden is big (because you always compare it to Finland,
Norway or Iceland)

366. You think is perfectly normal that people get in to
nightclubs/restaurants with innerbandy stick and shopping bags.

367. You think is perfectly normal that nobody talks on the bus, train or

368. You accept that people talk to you only when they are really drunk.

369. You accept that the best answer for a question is always “Jag vet inte”
meaning “I don’t know”.

370. It’s acceptable that you don’t have the same rights as Swedes to buy a
mobile phone, rent an exclusive apartment in Gamla Stan, or to make a
reservation by phone to a restaurant.

371. You accept the fact that to rent an apartment you have to wait in the
queue for 5 years.

372. Pronouncing Euro as “Evro” makes sense.

373. You never get sick of meatballs and/or falukorv, cooked any style.

374. You’re complaining in January not because it’s minus 10 degrees, but
because there’s no snow.

375. Your house is starting to look like the showcase to IKEA.

385. Sunbathing while there is still snow lying is normal.

386. A disabled toilet is on the 2nd floor of the gym.>

387. You’re disappointed when your Curry/Chinese food isn’t served with

388. Despite explaining that mince pies at Christmas contain dried fruit,
they are still looked upon with suspicion.

389. When you think it’s perfectly normal to
leave all the manufacturers’ stickers on all of your glass ware.

390. When
you reply ‘Yes, thank you’ when people ask you how you are. (Hur är det? Jo

391. You
understand that yiros (kebab meat) is not only found on a roll but also on a
pizza too.

392. You always wait until you are actually driving before putting on your

393. You think Swedenis big (because you compare it
to Finland and

394.When someone asks for a cup of tea, you give them a cup of lukewarm water
and a selection of teabags.

396. You accept that people talk to you only when they are drunk.

397. You recognise the taste of surströmming right away.

398. You randomly begin sentences with the catchphrase “You know you have
been inSweden too long when…”

399. You start thinking about the weekend on Wednesday morning.

400. You automatically line up the barcodes on all your groceries at the
supermarket checkout.

401.You’re used to see horses everywhere, and constantly step in their

402. You’re used to seeing dog owners picking up the dogs’ heaps in little
black plastic bags.

403. You think it’s perfectly OK to wash your car just once a year – the day
before the summer holiday drive.

404. You start thinking about buying a boat.

405. Your kid can use a pacifier until he/she starts school.

406. You’re not surprised anymore when hearing about an old petrol station
being turned into a mosque.

407. You know that twenty hundred is a year, not an hour.


409 Your talking with an Australian friend whose name starts with “J” and you
pronounce it with the Swedish alphabet. E.G. “John” sounds more like “Yohn”

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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