It is generally known that the Swedes love their beautiful country and have a spiritual affinity with the mountains and forests of Sweden. The varied landscape with moorland leading to the Arctic tundra is home to some endangered animal species. With a vibrant outdoor life, adventure sports and interesting cities such as Malmo, Stockholm and Gothenburg with their trendy shops, it is no wonder that a list of 10 things I hate and love about Sweden is so easy to put together…but I am actually finding it quite hard to limit my list to just ten things. Let me try:
Start with the Food
Swedish favorites like kalops, a delicious and tasty slow-cooked meat stew, fried herring fillets and kottbullar or meatballs are a mouth watering treat on a cold winter’s night. Follow it up with home made sponge cake with whipped cream and strawberries; treats that the locals as well as tourists love about dining in Sweden.
Sweden is way ahead of other countries when it comes to making buildings accessible to visually – as well as physically disabled people. Wheelchair ramps make it easy for everyone to access shops and offices.
Its Charming Looks
Tourists love those red and white painted wooden cottages as well as the decoratively carved homes of the Stockholm archipelago as well as the timber homes in pastel shades around the harbors.
Sweden is loved for giving the world wonderful music. Swedish pop icons like ABBA and Roxette have turned Sweden into a place known for its rich pop culture. There are lots of annual events in Sweden for anyone who likes music.
Sports Lovers and Outdoor Enthusiasts
They love getting out into the magnificent countryside for recreation. In addition, the long coastline lures many hobby anglers to this country. When it comes to sports and hobbies, Sweden is known for churning out tennis stars, racing drivers and top golfers. Bjorn Borg, the top Swedish tennis player of yesteryear, even has his own shops in Sweden.
In winter, Sweden is covered in snow and there is opportunity for brilliant skiing in any of the many skiing trails, many of them floodlit. The largest ski resorts are Slen and Are and they have lifts for downhill skiers. Horse-riding is also a popular sport and there are heaps of riding clubs as well as exciting mountain trekking.
People love the fact that Sweden is still a nation that loves a good book to read. In spite of the Internet and television, Sweden has invested in libraries and they still love to get their news from the daily newspaper.
A Nice Little Coffee Break
Swedes love their coffee, and even at work, their coffee breaks, known as fika paus are revered. In a hectic world, this simple pleasure sets Sweden apart as utterly unusual.
Things to Do Year Round
Make the most of winter and skate on a frozen lake or visit the IceHotel in Jukkasjarvi, built entirely of snow and ice which melts and which is then rebuilt in October each year.
Lots of entertainment – whether it’s cultural or contemporary. People love World Heritage Sites and the town of Visby has a medieval wall and vaulted street with historic sights and trendy nightlife spots. Entertainment in Sweden is richly varied; with the weather partly influencing what’s on at the moment. Apart from the outdoors, there are excellent pubs, casinos, stores, markets and clubs in each town, so that there is always something to attract every kind of person traveling to this multifaceted country.
In spite of Sweden being a modern Scandinavian kingdom, consumer goods of which are known the world over, and in spite of it having beautiful countryside and a world class capital city, all is not as it appears and I just want to get this off my chest. Yes, besides the things I Love about Sweden, there are indeed also 10 things I hate about Sweden.
Absence of Small Niceties
It sometimes feels as if it is each person for themselves in Sweden; nobody holds a door open for you; even if you are in a wheelchair. I always make an effort to be helpful and friendly, and it just seems to me sometimes that the small niceties that people are inclined to take for granted in other countries are mostly unknown in Sweden.
The Weather Conditions
The icy temperatures that blow in through the door are often not from the weather conditions but rather from the icy, judgmental and unemotional character traits of the Swedes. Small wonder that the Swedes, just like the other Scandinavian countries, walk around so morose; they bottle up everything inside and are petrified to show any kind of friendliness.
The Crime Rate
It seems as though politics and racism are all Sweden holds dear. So much talk about politics day in and day out, bla bla bla. No wonder no one is safe anymore and the crime rate has escalated. They’ve had enough of it.
The very foreigners Sweden’s media and politicians criticize are used to clean up their mess; it’s a common sight in many neighborhoods to see local youngsters chuck litter in their streets and scoff at the people who clean up after them.
Conducting Whale Hunts (*
I despise Sweden when you consider that its so-called Minister for the Environment actually joins forces with other countries such as Denmark to work to allow the world’s whaling nations – Japan, Iceland and Norway – to conduct whale hunts. Simply barbaric. They will be the first nation up in arms when they hear that the whale has become extinct because of their relentless savage behavior.
They Are Rude and Obnoxious to Tourists
What I hate about the Swedes is that they are not big on customer services at all. They don’t appreciate the money tourists bring in to their country. They are rude and obnoxious to tourists who come into their shops and will not even greet you. They could care less that they might be making a sale from you… you would think that they would care whether they lose customers, but it seems of little importance to them to make their country warm and inviting.
Stockholm – Egocentric City People
People from Stockholm believe that, because the king lives in Stockholm, the world doesn’t exist beyond their city; they don’t follow news of events elsewhere, and when they travel they are often seen as selfish and egocentric city people.
Not Interested in the Outside World
For their stupidity at not wanting to know what is going on beyond their borders, they aren’t even aware that there is such a thing as fitted sheets. They’re everywhere but in Sweden, it seems. How sad is that for such an advanced country?
Lastly, Sweden is an expensive country to visit; and the fact that they allow people to walk barefoot around the gym with no concern for the likes of athlete’s feet, tells me to put my money elsewhere.
All in all, there are things I hate and things I love about Sweden. It can be an outstanding travel destination…but it depends on the person.
10 Things I Hate and Love About Sweden, written exclusively for Daily Scandinavian by Diane H. Wong. Diane H. Wong is a search engine optimization specialist and business coach. Besides, she is a research paper writer at the service where everyone can ask to “write my essay” so she prefers to spend her spare time working out marketing strategies. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies.
*) The Norwegian whaling is sustainable and legal. Norway’s resource management is based on the principle of sustainable use of natural resources. The harvesting of marine resources, including whales, is based on scientific criteria. Annual quotas are set on the basis of procedures developed by the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Norway has worked, and will continue to work, within relevant international fora, to develop measures that will protect endangered species and, at the same time, allowing for sustainable harvesting of abundant stocks. (Editor’s note)