When I came to Sweden, a lot of things seemed new to me and it took me a while for getting used to all that, for example, the cars here drive on the right-hand side of the road and the driver seat is built on the left-hand side of the car. But, this may not feel very different if you have traveled to many countries and have been used to this already, unlike me. I mean, I don’t drive here, but it’s weird when you are trying to cross the road and you forget which way the car would come and look on the wrong side 😅🙈🙆♀️
In this post, I thought I will list down a few funny and weird things that uniquely characterizes Sweden.
“Hej” is not just a word, its an emotion in Sweden. Everyone greets each other with a Hej which is pronounced much like “Hey”. “Hejsan”, “Tjenna” and “Tje” are also other greeting words that you would hear often. It might seem quite amusing when you see the bus driver greeting each and every passenger with a “Hej” when they get into the bus. For me as an Indian, where “Hey” is something very disrespectful to say to a person unless he is a very close friend, the culture of greeting even the professors with “Hej” was definitely a different experience that now I am used to.
Okay, now this is the surely the top interesting one! Sweden is one the most gender-equal countries and that reflects in their toilets as well. Don’t be surprised if you see gender-neutral toilets around, where men and women use the same restroom. It is very common. But, I am not talking about the gender-neutral toilets here. I am talking about the non-gender-neutral toilets.
Sometimes, the toilets don’t have the symbol in them. It simply says “Dam” and “Herr”. Now if you’re someone like me, who tried to guess what the words could mean and thought “Herr” for women’s washroom then yay join the club of embarrassed ladies! Herr actually means “Mr.” in Swedish and Dam means lady, Damn! 🤣 It can be a fun experience to walk into the wrong toilet and to get weird looks from the actually embarrassed men 🤣😂 I have done that a lot! Oh, they were not on purpose by the way, just so I clarify. 😆
The week number
Most of the Swedes dont use the dates, its no more 1st of March, It is the Thursday of week 9. And, your interview letter might ask you, if your schedule looks free during the early week 10 or so. At first, you will be lost, I was too, but slowly one will get used to this. I haven’t started totally adopting the week system yet but I am getting closer for sure, because I see myself using it now and then. At least, it doesn’t piss me anymore. Although I do have to google the week numbers all the time… 😅
Alright, there are more interesting things to this list like the Licorice candy, funny Swedish words etc that one must absolutely get used to and I will continue to write about them in the next post. Until then do a little research about the cover picture if you don’t get it yet. Stay tuned!