Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Just Different

Since it’s my last week here in Sweden (don’t get me started on that), I thought I would dedicate an entire post to the differences between the US and Sweden, at least from what I’ve experienced. So, without further adieu, here we go:

  • In Sweden, it’s completely normal for a grown adult to purchase assorted candy; in the States, this would be considered childish.

  • In Sweden, the legal drinking age is 18 for inside a bar, and 20 for purchasing alcohol in a liquor store; in the States, it’s 21.

  • In Sweden, the yellow light on a stoplight indicates that the green light will soon turn on; in the States, it indicates the red light will soon be flashing.

  • In Sweden, grocery stores charge you for bags for groceries; in the States, they’re provided for free.

  • In Sweden, everyone recycles; in the States….well, not so much.

  • In Sweden, people get a decent amount of money for recycling bottles and cans; in the States, they get diddly.

  • In Sweden, people actually are nice to each other and visitors; in the States…no. Not really.

  • In Sweden, people will gladly switch languages to make it easier to talk to visitors from out of the country; in the States, people become offended if you can’t speak English.

  • In Sweden, the public transportation is clean and incredibly efficient; in the States, public transportation is the exact opposite.

  • In Sweden, there exists an incredibly economical nationwide train system; in the States, there exists cars. (Does this even make sense? A country so small has a nationwide train system, but a country that is 21.8 times larger doesn’t?)

  • In Sweden, there exist very little amount of homicides (around 91-99 murders in 2003); in the States…well, take a look at Detroit or Chicago. There you go.

  • In Sweden, there exists the best fast-food chain known to man: Max Hamburgers; in the States, we have KFC.

  • In Sweden, the price tag on the shelf is what you end up paying at the cash register; in the States, more is tacked on at the cash register due to tax. (I’m going to miss this when I go back home.)

  • In Sweden, new CD’s cost more than DVD’s; in the States, it’s the opposite.

  • In Sweden, students have a student union that enforces specific rules that protect students from unfairness in universities; in the States, it’s every man, or in this instance, student, for him/herself.

  • In Sweden, everyone loves black coffee; in the States, everyone loves Starbucks.

  • In Sweden, bank tellers work 9:30-3 and get Saturdays and Sundays off; in the States, it’s 8-4:30 everyday, with the occasional Saturday morning. (This one was for you, Alaina).

  • In Sweden, most Swedes do not show much, if any, national pride; in the States, you’re not American if you don’t.

  • In Sweden (or at least in Växjö), it’s pitch black by 4 p.m.; in the States, they get a few more hours of daylight.

  • In Sweden, college students drink and club on Tuesday nights; in the States, this would be considered alcoholism.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Now, I know what you all are thinking: sounds like Jordan’s becoming a socialist or wow, he really hates the States. Not true. Both countries are awesome; I just wanted to point out some differences between the two.

So don’t take offense, okay?


  1. Working at a bank in Sweden sounds right up my alley.

    This post was awesome. I LOL-ed a couple times. :)

  2. In Sweden, the grocery bags are actually of so much better quality that you can re-use them several times, and then eventually use them as trash bags. Just throwing it out there.

  3. and dont we love Sweden.. about the sun going down so early.. its winter.. and thats why we hate sweden during winter.. in the summer (at least in my summerhouse) the sun never goes down.. miss you darling! And someday? You will´come back S.O.M.E.D.A.Y?! You promised to be back for summerholidays... sweden miss you babe!