The stereotype is true. The majority of the people in Sweden have blonde hair and blue eyes! Several of our Swedish students that don’t have told us they dye their hair so they can be different.
We are students (and one cranky instructor) from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (yeah…go google us!). We all just graduated with our Bachelor’s degrees and Minnesota Teaching licenses. So now we get to pay to teach yet again…this time in Alfta and Edsbyn, Sweden. Soon we will actually get paid to do this teaching gig. We will teach alongside some wonderful Swedish teachers with equally fantastic Swedish students for three weeks. Then we will party like rock stars in Stockholm. There you have it…the reason to follow along on our adventures.
The village we are living in with pour host families is called Alfta. As far as the culture in Alfta, Sweden… everything is the same and yet different in a good way here. The weather is cold to us, but the Swedes say the weather isn’t cold at all. When we talk about the weather and how cold their last winter was its’ hard to imagine the temperature, because they use the metric system. So when we use Farenheit, they use Celcius. We’re able to walk to school everyday. It’s so quaint and everyone is super nice and friendly
Here are some simple observations I have heard from our students so far:
No elastic fitted sheets
Order food before drinks at restaurants
When you go to a restaurant, you aren’t rushed out at the last bite!
Bikes, strollers, and dogs are all over the place
Swedes say hey before coming into a room
Two toilet flushing options…how cool is that? “Imagine life with a light flush and a heavy flush!”
Walk and don’t walk noises when crossing street
Crispy and ice cold tap water…that is the best tasting in the world!
Drinks are in bottles except water, which is in a glass
Water is either ‘with or without gas’. If you want it without bubbles, it is ‘flat, still, or tap’
Hipster short black ankle boots- European fashion rocks
Light switches are like a see-saw
Locks to the doors are single dead bolt
Different sizes for different currency value/amount in Swedish kroner
Coffee is always ordered after dinner…and drink it black and strong if you want to fit in!
The jean sizes are way off…OMG!
No cops- everyone is so peaceful and nice
People don’t say excuse me they just go around you
There is no color in people’s wardrobes- all is black and gray… maybe some earth tones
Not all bathrooms have a toilet and sink. Most toilets are separate rooms
Swedes don’t wear green on St Patty’s Day
Cab rides are volvos, Mercedes, bmws, not crown vics or sketchy mini vans
So that’s all for now.