Archive for April, 2008

I am not a Brit, I am Swedish

April 26, 2008

When I was living in England everything Swedish became very important to me. Traditions I never before cared about was all of a sudden so important just because they were Swedish. I don’t think I ever been as Swedish as when I lived in England.

I got really hurt last Christmas when someone didn’t seem to understand how important it is to make a full Swedish Christmas buffet even though we wouldn’t eat it all. It’s not the point, you need to have EVERYTHING on the table regardless if you will throw half of it away. I don’t eat most of the Swedish Christmas food but of course you need to have it on the table.

How would you feel if I took away your Brussel sprouts?

I brought not one but two heavy kubb games over to London. People were almost falling off their bikes looking at us playing this weird game in the park. I felt so Swedish throwing wooden sticks and I didn’t mind having a crowd watching me doing it. I explained the rules and history with passion: big, strong Vikings once played the game in Sweden a long, long time ago. I’m with the Vikings!

To visit IKEA was one of the highlights in my British life (quite sad). I felt so proud and Swedish when I walked through the IKEA labyrinth. In the restaurant I gave angry stares to all English people eating meatballs with chips. You have potatoes not chips with meatballs. I feel quite strongly about this. You wouldn’t have mash with fish and chips, would you?

IKEA in England looks just like the IKEAs in Sweden the only difference is in Sweden IKEA doesn’t fly the Swedish flag outside the entrance, but I did find it very charming to see all the Swedish flags welcoming me. I almost felt like singing the national anthem.

So now back in Sweden, feeling oh so British I of course behave exactly the same, but the other way around. Everything that reminds me of England needs to be pointed out to anyone who cares to listen.

Last Friday my friend and I wanted to celebrate our new jobs, so out we went. We started with champagne outside in the sun it was totally bliss. Then another glass but then we decided to go for something else. I went to the bar and what did I see: Pimms! Of course we had to have Pimms. Swedes don’t drink Pimms, which made it even more special.

I had to help the bartender to make the perfect Pimms. He said its only British people and Swedes who lived in England that drink Pimms. I’m one of them I told him with a big smile on my face.

Gosh I had so much Pimms and ordered Pimms to everyone around me. Pimms made me so happy because it reminded me of England. I think it made everyone else happy too.

Thank god I never felt the same about Absolute Vodka when I was living in England.

And I love speaking English. No English speaking person is safe. If I hear English I have to go say hello. I am so sociable! You can understand that my little British heart melted when not one but two people actually thought I was British.

If someone had mistaken me for a Brit a few months ago I would have been offended.

2 100 000

April 23, 2008

I was in a taxi with my mum heading back to hers. She lives in a city about 2 hours outside Stockholm. Everyone who lives there wear tracksuits and believes in god, except my mum. She wears a pyjama and believes in me.

Mum was talking loudly (as always) about the champagne she had at home waiting for us to celebrate she is becoming a granny, my new job and my flat.

-Don’t even talk about it! I felt very rough after too much celebrating on champagne the previous day.

The cabdriver started to laugh.

-Where have you bought your flat?
-In Stockholm, Kungsholmen.
-How much did it cost?!

First the British Lisa reacted and thought “how very rude to ask” but then I remembered I’m in Sweden and here you are allowed to ask.

-2,1 million (about £165k), I answered the cabdriver.

A few days later I was talking to an insurance company to arrange my home insurance. The insurance broker asked me for the address of the property.

-WOW! How much did that cost?
-2,1 million. I smiled.
-I can’t believe the prices in Stockholm, but it is a very nice street and next to the water.

Stockholm is the most expensive place to live in Sweden, as London is the most expensive place to live in the UK, or even the world.

I did ask a few people in England for their property prices before I learned that it’s not a question you ask. It’s not something you talk about. Sorry if I offended you. I ask because I think its interesting. It’s educational.

Apparently is because property prices are so expensive, especially in London, and it would give a hint of how much money someone has. And talking about money is as we all know very bad.

So even if my colleague at work, who went to a boarding school and speak poshish first didn’t want to tell me how much his home was worth, its quite easy for me to figure out that his townhouse in Fulham isn’t cheap.

Once when he was drunk I flashed my eyelashes and asked him, and he only confirmed what I already knew.

So lets all talk about property prices. I dare you.

Me = a home owner

April 12, 2008

I had seven viewings on Sunday in two and a half hours. I needed a friend, a car and some seriously planning to take me around the city. One of the flats was mine so three days later I bought it.

Yes, that is right. This is Sweden, we do things quick over here. It doesn’t have to take months and months to buy a property, three days is enough. You don’t need a solicitor either the estate agent will do it all for you. Swedish Estate Agents can do more then just open doors.

I am a happy owner of a one bedroom flat on a fancy street (of course) next to the water and a big park in the city of Stockholm.

The flat has no mice, no boiler that will break annually (the property has ONE boiler which all the flat shares and it never breaks), no mould, no carpets but beautiful wooden floor, double glassing, bathtub (very important for a Swede) and central heating.

The flat is ready to move in to, nothing needs to be done, no DIY for me.

Jag saknar dig

April 12, 2008

Since so many people end up on this blog by google ”miss you in Swedish” I thought I should teach you all how to tell a hot Swede you miss him/her. Tell them: ”jag saknar dig”. Pronounce it like: jug, suck -nar, day.

Jag saknar dig London.

It has to stop!

April 4, 2008

There is still so much England in me. You can take Lisa away from England but you can never take England out of Lisa!

The other day I made a completely fool of myself standing at a bus stop putting my arm out to hail the bus.

In Sweden when you are waiting at a bus stop it’s because you actually want to go on a bus. Swedes don’t hang around bus stops just for fun.

I hear myself say “in England…” a lot.

Every time I’m about to walk out of the tube station I reach for my travel card in my bag and realise I don’t need it to walk out of the station.

I answer my phone saying “hello” instead of saying “Lisa”.

An English phone conversation:

-Hello, is this Lisa?
-Yes this is she. Who is this?
-Hi, it’s Jonty do you want to go out and eat lobster?

A Swedish phone conversation (so quick and easy):

-Hi it’s Anna do you want to go for a fika?