The boy sitting at the back of the bus was maybe 10 or 12 years old. Dark haired and dark eyed, he leaned against the foggy window, hunkered down in the last seat to the right. His hoodie covered most of his face and music filtered from his mobile serenading those of us who also sat in the rear. He wasn’t wearing headphones.
It was some mix of Latino music that filled the bus with a happy beat, but as new passengers entered each, in turn, looked back at the boy. Glaring looks from passengers already seated were also directed toward the kid – it was rude to be playing music out loud. It was rude to be agitating other people with something so personal as one’s own musical selections. No one in Sweden does this.Read More»
Fabian Schmid recently wrote to me about his new documentary series Fika: to have coffee which explores the magical Swedish tradition of taking time out to enjoy a coffee with pastry. I really liked his presentation and wanted to share it here with my readers.
Since my own arrival in Sweden, fika is something I’ve come to embrace nearly everyday – often at my favorite writers cafe – sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. It has its own kind of varying personality fika does – in the summer sitting at an outdoor cafe, in winter cozied up with blankets (the blankets are usually provided by the cafe) and candle light, the lovely welcome of spring time when all the Swedes wake up and turn to the sun, and in the autumn sipping an espresso watching the leaves turn to gold.Read More»
When contemplating a move to Sweden, one can be quite mistaken in thinking that the Scandinavian culture will be somewhat similar to one’s own. This, I find, is especially true of expats and foreigners who come from the US, Britain, Australia, and Canada. We assume that we are moving to a country which will allow us to integrate with ease into a multicultural, white – yet diversified – and progressive society. When we find that cultural mores and differences stand in stark contrast to our own, confusion reigns. There is complaining. Many experience culture shock. There are those who rebel. Some of us become very depressed, and some just get lost between the cracks. Integration into Sweden does not come with a guide book or instruction manual. Until now …
Julien S. Bourrelle, founder of Mondå, seeks to connect people and provide a light in which to guide Swedophiles toward a more satisfying and successful integration. His new book, A Social Guide to Sweden, is a much needed resource for people hoping to understand Sweden and her sometimes rather odd character. Not only for foreigners, the book also shines a light on Scandinavian nuances which will enlighten many a Swede as to how they are perceived by the outside world, and it illuminates the challenges faced by those who seek a new life in the Nordic nation.Read More»
Today I have no water. Today is also the day I planned to clean in preparation for the electricians who are coming tomorrow to rewire and upgrade the electric in our apartment. It will take them two days. On those days, we will have no electricity.
An excellent opportunity for spring cleaning, I thought. The sun is out, so let the cleaning begin.
Today I have no water and I have no idea why. Construction, I assume. This was an unplanned surprise. It is also not the first time we’ve been without water. So the laundry I hoped to do can not be done. The walls and floors, I planned to clean will – if done at all – have to be done with a spray bottle and cloth. It ain’t happening.Read More»
Happy International Women’s Day!
It’s kind of funny the way the universe throws opportunities into your path when you are ready – and sometimes when you are not – to accept the challenge. I’ve been a bit absent from this blog because I’ve been writing for my living and enjoying some really nice jobs.
Here is one such one. I was honored to be asked to write for the Swedish Institute for International Women’s Day. Sweden.se is the official website of Sweden and I’m pleased to share with you Sweden’s Ten Superwomen. From Academy Award winning actresses to film producers to the fastest swimmer in the world, Sweden ladies are rocking the stage.
Hoping that you all take today to find your passions and look toward the future. The best is yet to come!
And while you are here, take a look around the gallery. A collection of photos from Sweden with the latest updates.
Writer/photographer Lisa Mikulski. Available for print or online publications and business in the Nordic region, Europe, and the U.S. Editorial, news, features.