Archive for February 1st, 2007

Property, Property, Property

February 1, 2007

We want to move and are looking at properties on internet all the time. This is something you would never see in a Swedish property advert:

• Hot water 24 hours
• Double-glazing
• New carpets
• Fitted kitchen
• Central heating
• Power Shower

If this sounds like your ideal home, move to Sweden, however you would have to bring your own carpet. There is no Carpet World in Sweden.

When we bought our flat I’m now living in I didn’t really understand what central heating* was or what they meant with ‘hot water 24 hours’. I was focused on finding a flat that didn’t have carpets and had mixer taps in the kitchen/bathroom. Am I a snob?

Ok tell me: why does anyone want to have hot water in one tap and cold in the other? Even people that pay thousands of pounds for a new bathroom choose to have two taps. WHY? It makes no sense at all. I don’t understand it. Did the plumbers miss the class where they learnt how to mix the two? Is it an English thing to like to burn your hands in boiling hot water, or not wash them properly in cold? Am I a snob?

In Sweden ALL properties have hot water 24 hours. You could have a nice hot shower in the middle of the night if you fancy. Or maybe just have a spontaneous shower that you didn’t plan. Just like that! BTW all properties have showers and all of them are Power Showers.

This is not a joke, not everyone in the UK has a shower, but they have a bath and two taps.

If you live in a flat in Sweden you don’t have a boiler in your flat. There is one boiler for the whole building and it NEVER breaks.

That’s another thing I don’t understand: why does all boilers break down in October every year? I had never met a plumber before I moved here and now he’s one of the people I see regularly. Our boiler has broken down 3 times in 3 years. Touch wood, not again!

When we move in here of course the boiler were broken (its English standard) so we had two plumbers here sorting it out. Actually I was in a hotel because of stress with previous “plumber” that had just flooded our flat when he opened the boiler he believed was empty. Anyway I was asked when we wanted to have hot water so they could set the timer.

Me: Timer? I don’t need a timer I want to have hot water all the time.
Plumber: ALL THE TIME?! But that will be very expensive.

As a Swedish person I honestly didn’t understand what they where talking about. Now our timer is set on one hour in the morning and one hour at 6.30pm.

All properties have double or triple glazing and central heating in Sweden. When it’s cold outside its warm inside, and it can be very cold in Sweden.

My Swedish friends always bring thick socks and extra layers when they visit me. Not for our strolls in the park, its for when we sitting in the sofa drinking tea. I don’t have central heating. I have a fan heater and three electrical radiators. The electricity company is SO happy, the environment is SO sad. Am I a snob?

Carpets, I think they died out at the same time we stopped using cheques in the seventies. Or when we realised they are very difficult to put in the washing machine.
Do NEVER EVER put a carpet in the bathroom! Promise.

And lastly: why take your kitchen with you when you move? Don’t you have enough to pack and organise? When we move in this flat we had an oven but no hob.
If we now all decide to leave the kitchen when we move, it will save us all going to go a buy a new one when we move to a new property. OK?