Monday, October 02, 2006

Top 10 Interesting Sweden Things Not Interesting Enough for an Entire Blog Entry

10. There are not drinking fountains anywhere. I, of course, learned this the hard way, over and over again. When you visit me, bring your own water.

9. When I first learned of the possibility of this life adventure in Sweden, I had to make sure that I knew at least one city name in Sweden and I guessed "Stockholm?" Fortunately, I was correct. Another very important city in Sweden is one you've never heard of. It's called "Gothenburg" and it's on the west coast, the main shipping port for all of Scandinavia. You should be ashamed of your geographical ignorance. Thankfully, you have Linköpinglivin.

8. Roundabouts are a beautiful thing. How we on the west coast of the U.S. live without roundabouts and subways, I will never know...

7. No one reading this is unaware of my love for playing and following sports. While my attention to the American sports scene has hardly missed a beat (good 'ol internet-Go Dodgers!), my sports outlet in Linköping is the Linköping Lions Hockey Club. We're off to a bit of a slow start, but you too can follow their season at:

6. "Röd är röd!" Red is red. You may NOT turn right on a red light. Period. However, traffic lights do turn yellow before they turn green, which I take it to mean they want you to fire off the line as quickly as possible, so I comply...

5. The closest eatery to my apartment in Linköping is McDonalds, actually about a two minute walk. McDonalds are everywhere in Sweden, sigh. Okay, perhaps the occasional indulgence a fry or two or 80 gives one a sense of home, which I am not above.

4. The Swedish alphabet is exactly the same, except for three more letters at the end:
Å is pronounced "aw" as in raw
Ä is pronounced "ai" as in rain
Ö is pronounced "ir" as in girl
For a real fun time, we'll do accents someday...

3. Swedes love nature. Lakes, forests, rivers, endless meadows, canals and countryside (but not mountainous until you get way up north). Water and forests dominate the Swedish topography. There is a forest about a two minute jog from my apartment, which has a 5 km. wood-chipped trail for running, biking and walking. I love this trail and run it twice three times per week. So, I have established a routine of running 21 miles per week. This in combination with no longer living on an American campus with college dining halls at my fingertips has helped me lose 15 lbs. since I left Seattle in mid-June.

2. Some famous Swedes are Alfred Nobel (Nobel Prize(s) is awarded in Stockholm every December 10), Ingemar and Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo, Björn Borg, The Swedish Chef from the Muppets and Tiger Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren.

1. Garbage. You read that right, garbage. Virtually all residential garbage is thrown into handy chutes located on every apartment building level or a street corner of houses. The garbage is deposited, then promptly vacuum sucked underground across the city to the dump. The only garbage trucks you see in Sweden are commercial. Pretty cool, yes?

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I'm really trying. Google Blogger is just too powerful. Keep checking back for the exciting conclusion to Sean vs. Google Blogger. Until next week...


Christopher said...

I need to get one of these Viking helmets for my nephew.

Todd said...

Top 7 Signs that Sean misses the United States (would be 10, but Google Space limits got me, too).

7. The only person he can communicate with is pictured in this week's blog.

6. He's making lists of non-interesting things about Sweden.

5. He researched what happens to Swedish trash.

4. He doesn't have a job yet (Don't believe him if he tells you he does...has ANYONE seen proof???)

3. Sean...the self proclaimed hater of advanced communication technology (i.e. cell phones, instant messenger, etc) now has 2 IM accounts and a webcam so he can talk to anyone (read: anyone that will listen!) at anytime.

2. He runs now? Sean, even at 21 miles a week, you wouldn't make it back to Seattle until early 2011.

1. Two weeks ago, his mommy was in Boston, so he flew to see her. (there may or may not have been a wedding, too).

We miss you, too, Sean.

sarah said...

Your brother is funny, clearly he won the lottery in most areas of whiting genetics...Quite interesting that you have lost 15 pounds while eating a steady diet of mcdonalds french fries(are they still called french fries there? ya never now how far the fredom fries craze made it)Perhaps a new documentary is in the making called Fast Food Nation Sweden: The real deal, how to loose weight eating McD's and saying you run 21 miles a week.Miss you xoxox

kelly said...

i mostly appreciate sean's weekly updates for the remarkably witty remarks from the younger whiting. we'll leave out other comparisons for now and just say that the younger whiting is a bit wittier than sean...

Stephanie V. said...

You forgot ABBA!!!

Scott said...

Love the gnome. My cousin just started his frosh year at Cal. Poly Pomona and was given a gnome - by his Swedish mother - to watch over his stuff.

He told me the myth is that if you treat your gnome right, it'll guard your stuff. If not, it might steal your things.

Jocke said...

Love your blog! I have to correct you on the underground-garbage-suction-thing though! It is an old system that is out of working order in most cases. And even when it WAS working, the garbage ended up in a small room for later recovery by the commercial garbage trucks :)

Keep up the awesome blogging!

Anonymous said...

We know Swden has succeded when people know of Elin Nordegren :) I'm glad you mentioned Alfred Nobel at least, but what about ABBA? ;) Very fun blog to read, keep up the good work! =)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean!
Great Blog! My decendents are from Sweden. In fact you have met one in Linkoping, Anders!. He is a first cousin to my late Mother Ebba who lived in Joliet, Illinois. Anders along with you have been very sharing when it comes to Sweden, Linkoping, and Stockholm the birthpalce of my Grandfather. Thank You!
Continued much sucess to you there in Sweden, my roots.