Sweden VS England - What makes us different?

11:18:00

I've now lived in England for just over 7 years so I thought I would compile a list of things I've had to/tried to adapt to while being over here. 


*Double taps. In the kitchen, bathtub and bathroom sink - Who invented these and thought they were a good idea? Team this with boiling hot water and you can never wash your hands, face or the dishes ever again.

*Pulling your arm out to stop bus drivers - I don't know if this is because I'm from a small town in Sweden where we only have one bus or it's some old British tradition where they just want people to exercise more. Most of the time the bus drivers ignore you anyway and keep on going, and in the middle of a blizzard that's great. Super great.

*NO salt liquorice, NO salmiak - My favourite kind of sweet hasn't reached the Isle kingdom of Britain yet :(

*Speaking of edible things I miss; nougat (hazlenut chocolate, nougat sauce), vanilla custard, pizza, swedish chicken curry baguette, every single chocolate sweet, milk tasting like milk and not like plastic bottle, 1 litre tetra packs with banana yoghurt, flavoured sparkling water WITHOUT sugar or sweetener. The list could go on but I won't bore you.

Spring time snow in England

*The weather - Why is it always raining? And how can it be 25 degrees one day and chilling 5 degree winds the next? How can it be super warm for seven days in March but the rest of the year sucks? And I'll never have a white Christmas again, because IF you get snow in England it will come just in time for Easter and thoughts of summer rays.

My Swedish Visby
*The houses - There are a lot of neighbours close by, the houses are tiny and everything is made in dirty orange brick. Even though the majority of Swedes live in flats, at least we have the option of buying amazingly large wooden houses for 1/7th of the price a mid terraced orange nightmare will cost you here in England.

*Dental care - SUCKS. Medical care - SUCKS. Yes we do pay for all our care in Sweden but when it comes to dentists, I pay them the same but they always mess it up and I don't even get my money back! :S Going to a doctor in England - you HAVE to know what's wrong with you or they'll send you home with nothing. And then you die.

*Waiting times - never in my life have I been in so many long queues as when I moved here. Doesn't matter if it's in the shop, on the phone or for an appointment You've paid for or for people who pay YOU, you can bet your sweet bum you'll wait. I know it's bad manner in Sweden being late (although that was my trademark) I've come to understand that it's fine for everyone here to be late to see you, but it's made VERY clear that if YOU dare to be late you'll be in for an even longer wait just because someone has to prove a point.

*Gas - I mean what is this? Gas for your cooker, gas to heat your house, gas to warm your water, gas on a prepayment card you have to take to the shop to put gas on. Also, very gassy men. I have a utter fear of gas, it doesn't smell if it leaks (although man gas does smell A LOT) but it will kill you in your sleep or explode your house if you light a candle. Why? What's wrong with electricity?

*Lack of trees - England has some amazing hills which we do not have in flat land Sweden but these hills are bare as bare can be, not a forest to be seen. I love forests. In England you have to drive to one, pay a parking fee and walk on man made trails, and you'll always see a house through every tree. You'll never be alone again.

Looking for some trees

*The school system - Why do the kids start school at 4?????? And why do we have to pay almost £3 a day for a lunch consisting of chips and beans???? And why does it cost so much to have your kids in nursery???? £250 a WEEK???? Oh and I forgot - nursery meals aren't included in the cost of having your child there. It's completely up to you if you want to pay an additional £50 a week for that or let your poor kid starve in the hallways.

*Nothing is inclusive. Even with your rent you have to pay an additional local tax which is around £130 a month, you then pay water, gas, electricity. Nothing is easy, quick or simple. Having 100 different bills going out on all different dates to different companies is an ball ache.

English field

There are so many more things I literally can't adapt to over here it would take me all day to list them. But what is BETTER in old Churchill's land?

*Options - few things are monopolised and the competition of companies and businesses mean the prices go down and you can pick and choose whatever you want. You don't have to pay £300 more for a pram just because there's only ONE shop which sells it.

*The ease of alcohol - Now, I don't drink alcohol ever, obviously. When would I find the time and energy with a million kids hanging off my knee caps? But IF I wanted to, I could pop into ANY small/medium/big/convenient shop and I'll find more alcohol than anything else and great low prices. It's also 18 here to buy it which I guess is fun for most. Although I find that they always check my ID (I mean I turn 27 in like a minute!) and if I don't have my passport they don't even let me buy ONE alcopop and that's greatly offensive. I'm not that old yet that I find it amusing. 

*Pink - It is my favourite colour, but it's not a Swedish colour. You have to find hidden gems and specialist online shops to get home wares in pink over in Sweden, while as soon as I moved to England I found that pink is the top colour over here! Anything and everything I could ever want is made in several shades of pink - fuchsia, baby pink, vintage pink, pink, pink, pink. Which means I spend a lot more than I should...

*Small country means easier to get around. Even though everywhere seems to take 40 minutes with car you can still travel from top to bottom in just a few hours.

*Christmas starts in September! (although you can't find Halloween supplies until a week before the big day) Swedes are very anti early holiday celebrations and are strict with no Christmas decorations before first of advent (around the first of December). I always start my gift buying in the middle of September so the timing over here is perfect.


What is it that You really love about Britain?

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