Around the World in 67 Blog Posts – Stop 10: Sverige

After meeting the giant people of Holland, we stay in the Nordic hemisphere and pay a visit to some more tall people. Sweden’s inhabitants may not be as tall as the Dutchies but they might be the blondest if there were statistics for that (or is that award going to Finland?).

One automatically thinks of a mass furniture company when looking at the yellow and blue of the Swedish flag. My Dad hates IKEA, he thinks it’s horrible quality and that the assembly instructions are unreasonably long and complicated. I’ve had experiences that made me agree with him but IKEA has also made me very happy at times. I actually enjoy following the  instructions – I find it meditative in a way. Meditative until I realize that I used the wrong screws 256 steps ago and have to re-do it all. Or meditative until the legs of a table just won’t be equally long, no matter how long I tweak the tightness of individual screws.

Sweden is not only the land of affordable, cool furniture but also the land of the moose, the biggest deer species. Moose in German is “Elch”, which makes sense when considering that the moose and elk are often confused and elk seems like a much more direct translation of Elch. Does that make sense or did I lose you? If I did, no worries – what I’m trying to get at is the word Elchtest, which was all over the media in Germany in the late 90s. This moose test is designed to test how a car handles having to avoid a moose/elk crossing the road, and got the mentioned massive attention when the new Mercedes model flipped over in 1997.  

So basically every time I see a Mercedes A-Class I think of moose and Sweden, which makes me think of IKEA and assembling their furniture, which puts me in a happy, meditative state of mind. Seems perfectly normal to me…

I do realize that I haven’t really said much about the country itself, partially owed to the fact that I haven’t been to Sweden.  But I think Scandinavia in general is pretty awesome, so let’s just leave it at that – there’s nothing bad too say.

My two favorite Swedish people:

  • Queen Silvia of Sweden (who is really German and has a really cool biography)
  • Magdalena Forsberg: I grew up watching her get win after win after win after win on the Biathlon track. Biathlon is one of my favorite sports and Magdalena Forsberg should be a role model for every athlete.



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