The 3 Summers Theory…

…or: how to take full advantage of the best weather.

In Sweden, Summers are shorter and milder than in lower latitudes. However, with the climate changes, nothing is as it used to be, even in areas where the sun would shine for months in a row (Southern Europe). It is now possible to have 2 or 3 seasons in a day!

When you live in a country like Sweden, you want to take advantage of the best seasons – Summer and Winter – since those are the times where you can do more activities outside. During Spring, the snow starts melting, and you can no longer enjoy skiing, but not yet hiking. The Autumn is a bit friendlier, since you cannot ski yet, but there are still good opportunities for hiking, biking…

If you take this into account, and if you enjoy good weather, you will see that the best times to go on holiday (if you have no kids, and thus, are not subject to school times), are the Spring and the Autumn. You can have a first Summer, in Southern Europe, between March and April, and recharge your vitamin D levels. Then, enjoy the nice Swedish Summer, between June and August (still possible to do while you work, since the day lasts 18-24h). Finally, when the days start decreasing (Sep/Oct), you can get ready for another Summer, pretty much anywhere in Europe. This enables you to benefit from lower prices and get away from the high season crowds =)

Weird food habits in Sweden

Some time ago, I wrote a post about my favourite foods in Sweden. Now it’s time to unveil some weird habits of these adorable people!

I just came back from the supermarket, so I guess I am truly inspired!

1. First of all, in Sweden, potatoes are considered vegetables. The biggest advantage is saying one eats a lot of vegetables, even if only french fries! Even though I went enough times to the supermarket, I still run to the Grönsaker (=green stuff), before I acknowledge I have to go to the other side, if I really want to buy green stuff! Potatoes are yellow… I know, this is an old debate, because potatoes are a vegetable, botanically, but considered a carbohydrate, nutritionally, so the place where you will find it at the supermarket, depends on the country.

Before leaving the potatoes business, do you know there is a whole aisle with different kinds of potatoes? That is not so difficult to understand if we take into account the long Winters in Sweden, which in the past, prevented people from having fresh vegetables for great part of the year.

2. A lot of food comes in tubes. Which is not bad, just not normal, for most of us! In fact, it makes it much more practical to take it on a picnic (instead of carrying a glass jar), and makes the food last longer. Thumbs up for this Swedish idea!

3. The passion Swedes have developed for candies! And this one I cannot understand. Maybe because I never really liked them, even as a kid. And maybe because I tend to associate loving candies with being a kid. Right before the cashier, you will find one or two aisles with all types of candy you can imagine. It’s more or less like going inside Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but with candy instead of chocolate. It’s really insane this passion – last time I flew, I had an old couple sitting by my side, eating bags of these marshmallows. And they were excited as kids, trying to match the car colours between them!

4. Amongst candies, the top choice is Läkerol, a liquorice candy that you will find anywhere in Sweden. I was offered some, on my first week here, and I still don’t feel ready to try them again!

5. Last, but not the least: the size of the containers and packages! If you buy cheese, you will be able to find easily 1, 2 and 5 kg packages (I don’t think we can find more than 1 kg in Portugal). But that’s nothing! You find pickled vegetables in 10 kg containers, and rice in 25 kg bags! Surprised? It’s nothing more than carrying a bag of cement! And rice is not even that popular in Sweden… I guess they should sell 50 kg bags in Portugal!