Sometimes I feel as though I do nothing but moan about Swedes and their weird ways here, so here goes a positive post about all the good things about the people of Sweden:
1. They are loyal friends. That’s the upside of the weirdness/caste system, which I heard the ex pats talk about, and have also read about on blogs, that while an outsider may be in the social wilderness for a long long time in Sweden, once they are finally accepted they are in for life, and that truly means something.
I’ve observed that with the Viking and his crew: they are more like how I imagine siblings to be than friends with how often they check in on each other and are involved in each others daily lives. I have good friends back home, but weeks or more can drift by and we’re caught up in our own lives, until finally we get together to catch up – I don’t think I know of any friendship groups quite as tight as the Viking and THM.
2. They really know how to live life. This relates a bit to my post about them being ridiculously perfect; there is a sense that they are truly committed to living well. On beautiful summer’s days you won’t find Swedes with the curtains closed playing video games or sleeping all day, they’re out enjoying healthy pursuits in the sunshine. People pack portable grills and bottles of wine into their kayaks before they set out for a paddle to some uninhabited island where they sunbathe, drink wine and picnic.
They love luxury and the simple things in life, decadent food and vigorous exercise, partying all night and quality time alone.
3. They really care about the environment. I remember the environment being a big deal when I was in high school, that it was drummed into us about recycling and not wasting water (remember those “Save Water, Shower With a Friend” t shirts?!) and whatnot, and now it’s like everybody decided that it was just too much work and now only tree hugging kooks bother. But Swedes, bother. On a national level I know that Sweden has a great ecological reputation, they have some program where they turn garbage into energy and so a) have almost no landfills, and b) it’s a renewable source of energy. Except, it works so well that recently they ran out of garbage and have had to import it from other countries.
The other day at work, a beaver swam past the jetty, and the water around the city is teeming with fish – in fact, people fish for salmon off bridges near Gamla Stan, and eat them – I don’t feel like I would eat anything that came from the Hudson River.
4. My Viking is one of them and he is the best person I’ve ever met. Bleuggghhh 😉