Ten Things To Understand Once You Have Been Living in Sweden For Two Years

All contents © 2008 Philip Semanchuk.

  1. Understand that you will be sad to leave.
  2. Understand that winter is difficult. You know how in the sweltering depths of August in North Carolina people say, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity"? Well, it's not the cold, it's the darkness.
  3. Understand that everyone in Sweden gets paid an entire month's wages on the exact same day. The weekends immediately following are a really bad time to go out for a quiet drink.
  4. Understand that some people believe it is impossible to learn a foreign language once you're an adult. Självklart kan det göras!
  5. Understand that you can become a better English speaker no matter how long you have been using the language.
  6. Understand that they put raw red onions in everything.
  7. Understand that moving here was an outstanding idea even if you can't remember anymore why it was important.
  8. The average Swede will claim to have lots of vegetarian friends but when pressed for names they can never come up with any. Understand that this is simply communal psychosis, like Elwood Dowd and Harvey writ large. Be gentle with them.
  9. Understand that trying to cover up flawed pronunciation by mumbling does not help matters.
  10. Understand that you will be sad to leave, but you can always come back.