All contents © 2020 Philip Semanchuk.

"Förstår du?" is Swedish for "Do you understand?", or as they said in another era, "Can you dig it?" In October of 2000 I moved from Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A. to Stockholm, Sweden. Everyone asked why; I never had a concise answer and I probably never will. I think this is as close as I'll get, but this still isn't an answer. I wrote these just to help myself understand, because often I don't understand something until I explain it to someone else. Förstår du? I put it up on the Web because I thought you might like it.

This is the first time I've lived in a city, so maybe that's why I am inordinately amused by public transportation. The Tunnelbana (Stockholm's subway) shows up here a lot. So does baseball, and mustard greens. Go figure.

I have been asked many basic factual questions about Sweden, for example what the weather is like (Florida, but colder), is it true that polar bears roam the streets of Stockholm (of course!), if all the people are tall, blond and beautiful (not all of them are blond), and where it is located (look at a damn map already!). Despite all claims to the contrary, my knowledge is neither infinite nor entirely unbiased. The Web contains lots of information on Sweden (see below), and there are people out there who actually get paid to write it. Lonely Planet's site is a good place to start, and then there is always your local public library. Culture Shock by Charlotte Rosen Svensson is a good book, and libraries often have travel guides on their shelves too (Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Rick Steve's, Fodors, etc.)



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