Ultimate Fighter

THE GOOD. THE BAD. AND THE UGLY.  Except, there hasn’t been any bad, and definitely haven’t seen any ugly. 


I want to move to Sweden. I do. If Seattle didn’t exist and I didn’t have so many products with American cords…I could absolutely see myself living a perfectly happy life in Sweden. It has big cities, but is small enough that the train ride in between is just enough time to get a good writing session in, a snack and then step off into a new city.

Maybe I’m just on a travelers high – or maybe it’s just really that good – but I feel so at home and just LOVE the way Swedes live. Just bare with me because I am going to sounds like a naïve 2 week traveler, but here’s my 411 on Svieden.


1) I’ll just start off with it right away. Again. The style fashion, and creativity is incredible. It’s not just like I walk out and see pretty blonde girls. No. Well – I do – but it goes further. The people look like they are all out a J. Crew / H&M / Abercrombie meets City Chic / Magazine. All I can say is it looks effortless and blows anything I have seen in the US out of the water. Even the dads and people in their 60’s have a clean, crisp look about them. If Pottery Barn made people  (if that was even possible) they would be the cut out of Swedish people. Everything is fun to look at. That analogy sounded better in my head. 


I think it is funny that the signs for walking here are conveniently a dad and child. Goes perfect with my #2. See below.

2) Daddy is often a child’s first word. Not to be rude (again), but in most cases, it is quite ordinary for the American mother to stay home on MA-ternity leave while the dad goes to wrk. That’s natural and I never even gave it a second thought. Until I got here. I have seen more dads pushing their tots in strollers and in grocery stores than I have mothers – like 92 / 8%. If that doesn’t melt your heart enough, then how about the fact that they get 18 MONTHS maternity/paternity leave! You can split it any way you would like – but it is quite common for the dad to stay home with the child. It’s great. That is the way to have kids.

3) America can be known for its obesity rate – of course mixed in with other wonderful things. Maybe not everywhere, but I think its safe to say, it is more common to see someone that is in good shape and say, “oh wow, how nice of shape you are in,” rather than “oh, hmmm – they made need to hit the gym.” I not trying to be rude, but honestly, lets be honest. With that, I believe it has something to do with the way they eat. I have yet to really see fast food places, a ungodly amount of sugar in the items, and it is quite common to actually eat things that are good for you. Fun concept. It appears to be working. Enough said.


4) Sometimes stereotypes are true. Sadly, like rumors often have a thread of truth, so do stereotypes (except when people say Seattle only rains…then I fight them.) In any case, the stereotype I am specifically referring to is the classy-kind-beauty that seems to be hand in hand with the Swedes. Maybe its just because of my accent, but I think the reason behind the kindness I have come in contact with is just built right in to the SweCharacter. Like how those spicy dots are just in the pepper jack cheese. You have no choice. Yep, that’s the best explanation. I also think it has something to do with the dialect here, there is a natural curiosity and pep in their accent…makes everything sounds happy.


5) What would you do if all the buildings were old, yet well kempt, made of rich brick, the streets are clean and people ride with bike to work, waterway everywhere, an underground subway takes away all the traffic and the tap water Is tasty? Well, you’d say you were in Sweden. That’s the best explanation of the geography and city setup. Its like out of Hansel & Gretel – but with some city life injected in. Perfect. 


LAST but not least: Fika. There is no translation to English; and that’s because there is no American habit of fika. This is best explained as an afternoon rest, coffee, snack and chat time. Ok, I realize people do this in the US, but the Swedes here, do it for real and as if it is a part of their day. There are a few traditions I would like to throw in my bag (although room is growing smaller in there) and bring back. THIS IS ONE OF THEM. I have already had like 9 Fika dates. nice. You gather with a friend or friends around…well, any time in afternoon and just take a nice breather. I think that would motivate me and give me a final push through my work day. I plan on bring Fika back with me. Pronounced like  the sound you make with “Ski” – but with an F and ka on the end.

There are – of course – some other wonderful things to write about (health care for everyone, public transportation, good free college availability). Maybe you are all revved up and want to have a SWE vs. US battle….not necessary, I am still in love with the US and where I call home (see – well – all my previous posts)…I’m just saying, I sure did pick a good spot to visit and I am not going to be happy to pack (but when am I ever…)



~ by Andria on September 18, 2009.

2 Responses to “Ultimate Fighter”

  1. Great explanation of sweden…wow i hope you have room for all your stuff when you pack to come home..haha So glad you are having a trip of a lifetime.. wish I was there.

  2. Did i just see you refer to “health care for everyone” as something you like? hmm thats strange…i thought you were against universal health care – explain yourself missy or else im going to tell everyone you secretly voted for obama 🙂 sweden looks beautiful im glad youre having fun babe

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