Emily Dowd: Picking up on the Swedish culture

Picking up on the Culture

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I like learning about other cultures and I like to write, so get ready for some readinggg. It’s been pretty easy to pick up on all the differences here because… I’m in a different country. It’s been fun learning their lifestyle and parts of their culture.The first thing I learned is how important it is to know to take your shoes off at the front door/entrance of certain places you visit. All swedes take their shoes off at the front door of their own homes and other peoples homes. Two places besides homes I’ve visited have also required you to take your shoes off at the front entrance. The gym we go to is extremely strict about this. You have to walk/drive there in one pair of shoes and bring along a different pair to change into once you get inside. It’s definitely something I have to get used to, because I definitely trump all over my parents or my own apartment while wearing shoes. The other place was the physical therapy building I visited to get treatment for my hamstring. Had to take my shoes off at the front there too. It’s only certain places, you obviously wouldn’t take your shoes off at a restaurant or place of work to kick back and relax while doing your thing.

The second day I got here I went to lunch with my roommate and manager. We were eating our food and my body was still thrown off from traveling over here that I wasn’t hungry enough to finish the whole meal. I got really nervous that I had to and tried to muscle it down but it just wasn’t happening. So I asked the manager if it was considered rude to them if we didn’t finish everything on our plates. He said it was. Started eating again and he told me he was kidding, it’s not considered rude. Funny. But good to know, don’t want to offend any one.I don’t really understand how Europeans aren’t as fat as Americans because literally every corner, even the smallest of towns, has a bakery of some nature located on it… for random trips to get some coffee and a lovely calorie loaded treat of your choice. This girl can’t turn that down, no matter how much kronor I’m dishing out for it.

Also, after practices on some days the team is given some type of bread, meat and butter to have as a snack. I guess most of the team eats before practice (so like 430-5pm) and then eats that afterwards. Carson and I don’t eat before practice so thankfully it’s not considered rude to turn down food or else I’d be coming home weighing twice what I do now.. ah.


Coffee is hugeeee over here. It’s pretty popular in America too to be walking around with and instragraming pics of your Starbucks coffee (guilty) but I think they have us beat with this one. You pretty much have coffee with every meal, even at dinner time. They even get breaks in their day to have coffee.. like hour long breaks haha. There’s places for coffee everywhere. I remember the first night I got here my manager asked if I wanted coffee at like 730 at night.. but sleep was more important. Not sure how they do that. It’s really hard to know what flavor it says on the packages because as far as I can get out of the people at the grocery store when I go to buy it, it goes by what type of coffee maker you have. I guess they pretty much stick to medium and dark roasts. And sadly they don’t have hazelnut coffee :( Carson and I noticed recently on the women here that some of them have a gold piece of tooth jewelry in whatever shape they chose (heart, star, etc). I wanna say I’ve seen that one someone else, but I can’t remember where. Don’t think it was in the US. I thought it was some type of odd cavity so we looked it up and sure enough it’s tooth jewelry. Wonder if that will make it to the states.


Potatoes are extremely popular here as well. Every meal is served with some type of potatoe cooked a different way. Can’t hate on that because I love potatoes. Interestingly though, haven’t run into many french fries. Definitely not a bad thing.Washing clothes has been interesting as well. Not a clue what the machines say, I just go by the time and hope that it’s right. They have settings for baby clothes which I thought was interesting. Don’t think I’ve seen that in the US…

Random tid bits

Just wanted to write one more for a little bit because I pretty much created the blog on a whim and wrote it all in one night. So, the soccer part. The main reason I’m here. I’m very thankful I still have the opportunity to do what I still love everyday. Part of me thought before I came that I was just coming because I wanted to travel. I do want to travel but I also have realized how much I still love playing soccer everyday after doing it almost everyday again for a week. Traveling is a huge plus and I’m thankful I get to but also thankful for the playing everyday again part too. Practices have been getting better and us Americans are getting more used to their style of play, which is mostly the same as ours, aside from a few things. Learning experience, which is what I also wanted. To grow in my game and at the European level.Another tid bit I missed is that I’m 6 hours ahead of everyone back home. It hasn’t been as hard as I thought but its still weird that I’m living my day while they are sleeping and vice versa. Thank god for technology haha. I’d be lost without it.
My hamstrings hate me here. The weather won’t let them loosen up because its still really cold. Never had to layer so much to exercise. I literally can’t go to prac without my gloves (learned that the hard way). But I started meeting with a physical therapist yesterday. Started out with a massage and he said the strains are so deep that they can’t be properly worked out with just hands. So this morning I had 4,000 volts of electro shock waves pushed extremely painfully into my hamstring. Just the right side for now. It’s supposed to get worse before it gets better so we shall see.Last thing is the weather. It’s still soo cold here and grey almost everyday. My smart parents were right about layering. That really helps and I have to force myself to remember that. Double everything is basically the way to go.

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