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God this place is boring!

My thoughts.

beefbroff
post 6.Jan.2013, 02:06 AM
Post #1
Joined: 11.Nov.2011

I have been here for over a year now and still can't quite adjust to how boring it is. I find people really difficult to converse with, be it in my native English or the Swedish that I have learned (I have a Swedish sambo). Sometimes it's like talking to a rock. I got a job and thought, ok here's a chance to meet people, but to my utter dismay my colleagues don't have much to say or talk about and I get tired of trying to drum up conversation all the time. All people can talk about is money! Nobody ever asks questions about me, my life, my past or what am I doing here etc etc. It's hard not to take it personally and I do take it all with a pinch of salt as I lived in Germany before here and got on with people fine, and often enjoyed after work fun and going out.
What's with the System Bolaget too? Although I see its function, I can not help feeling frustration of the fact that I have to drive 16km for a 4% beer and that being between those silly opening hours that are mostly when other people are working. I tried hosting a party or a get together as you could call it, to get to know people but everybody is driving so nobody drinks and everybody sits and talks about money then when the clock strikes 9 it seems people want to get home because they have to go and buy some garden furniture the next day. I go to the same shop almost every day and the people who work there don't acknowledge me even though they must recognize me.
Does anybody have any tips or experiences of opening people up a little, or is it the way it is? Do I have to give it another year or give up completely? I miss banter, I miss being spontaneous, I miss open minded people.
Just needed a rant.
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Lanza572
post 6.Jan.2013, 02:10 AM
Post #2
Joined: 13.Dec.2012

Where exactly do you live and what job do you do ? ?
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beefbroff
post 6.Jan.2013, 02:15 AM
Post #3
Joined: 11.Nov.2011

Is location a key factor? Are there parts that are more social?
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Svensksmith
post 6.Jan.2013, 02:28 AM
Post #4
Joined: 28.Jul.2011

A trip to someplace warm can fix a lot of what's ailing you.
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Coolrunnings
post 6.Jan.2013, 07:39 AM
Post #5
Joined: 15.Jun.2012

QUOTE
Nobody ever asks questions about me, my life, my past or what am I doing here etc etc

Well, why should they? The world doesn't evolve around you... wink.gif
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Mark249
post 6.Jan.2013, 08:32 AM
Post #6
Joined: 9.Nov.2012

The Swedish workplace is for work, not making friends.

Friends for your freetime you'll have to find somewhere else.
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Franciscodeflores
post 6.Jan.2013, 09:58 AM
Post #7
Location: United States
Joined: 27.Apr.2009

Julian Assange should have asked for suggestions in regard to how best to socialize in Sweden. Perhaps he would have received equally helpful ideas.
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Boar
post 6.Jan.2013, 10:12 AM
Post #8
Joined: 2.Jul.2011

QUOTE (beefbroff @ 6.Jan.2013, 02:06 AM) *
I have been here for over a year now and still can't quite adjust to how boring it is. I find people really difficult to converse with, be it in my native English or the S ... (show full quote)


QUOTE
I tried hosting a party or a get together as you could call it, to get to know people but everybody is driving so nobody drinks and everybody sits and talks about money then when the clock strikes 9 it seems people want to get home because they have to go and buy some garden furniture the next day.

Doesn't matter you lived one year or twenty years. You successfully organized a party. Isn't that enough? And, you have a sambo. Why do you think it is boring here in Sweden? And, why do you need friends in the second case? Is your sambo a fool (is not able to control you), and that's why you need friends? Don't take it serious. For what reason do you need friends? To drink öl together? That you can even drink in pubs. There are many ways on how to have fun. If you are not happy here the same applies everywhere. Just shut up and get used to the system. Don't whine too much.
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Migga
post 6.Jan.2013, 10:16 AM
Post #9
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

What are your hobbies? What are you interests? Do you have any prior social ties here? Do you have a partner? If the answer is yes then I`d say; use it. Use your interests, ties or partner to get to know people. Have you signed up for any avocation club? Do you do sports? Have you gone to concerts or some event lately? Have you visited any social networking groups; http://www.nightview.se/?q=welcome ?

Complaining won`t make people want to spend time with you.
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chazza
post 6.Jan.2013, 10:43 AM
Post #10
Location: Scandanavia
Joined: 15.May.2010

hey Beefbroff.
You are not getting much slack cut on this forum are you !

My only advice is to try to nip back to the UK whenever you can and top up on the things you miss - the banter, the spontaneous stuff - just being able to make small talk with whoever in your own language is a sanity saver.

YES Sweden can be as boring AS till you get some survival strategies in place. If you have to drive 16k to the nearest boozer then you must be in the boonies. there is certainly more fun to be had in the city but even so, you are probably just missing your old lifestyle and all in your own language. If you can escape now and then it will help. cheers and all the best.
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Seamus Sean
post 6.Jan.2013, 10:47 AM
Post #11
Joined: 4.Oct.2009

QUOTE (Coolrunnings @ 6.Jan.2013, 07:39 AM) *
Well, why should they? The world doesn't evolve around you... wink.gif

It is how normal people converse.

To the OP, I know what you mean, my advice is not to be too worried about it. As you pointed out they haven´t much to say about anything anyway so why would you want to be hanging out with them?

Before I picked up the lingo I´d sit at breaks and listen to my co-workers chatter away and always thought it must be something real interesting and a conversation I was missing out on by not knowing Swedish...I was wrong as it turns out and now most of them spend the breaks fiddling with their Smart phones so the conversation about the new washing machine or lawn mower doesn´t even take place.

The get together you went to the bother of holding sounded like great fun, but again I wholeheartly understand what you mean, in a way you were lucky they left early+sober with the great adventure of buying garden furniture looming the following morn, if there had stayed and had beer taken you would have had them drunk and telling you what a great person you were and they were your bestest best friend...then you would meet them the next day/Monday morning and when you said "Hej" they would look at you as if you had just asked for a kidney!

I´ve been here close to 7 years and I gave up trying, even get togethers at my kids schools or before that at the dagis, all the Swedish families would sit as far apart from each other as physicaly possible advoiding eye contact with others, I still find it highly amusing, those from outside Sweden tended to talk to each other and there was a kind of us and them situation, and before anyone attacks me, it wasn´t my fault the immigrants had enough manners and social graces to speak with others while the locals huddled in their own little family bubbles.Even now the amout of other parents who go out of their way to advoid said "hej" when you run into them at the school gates is scary, year after year our kids go to the same class but to say hello to each other as we drop off/collect would just to much, again not all are like this and a few do smile and say hej, took some of them a number of years to do so but at least we have come that far in 5 years of meeting most mornings.

You asked for advice in how to open them up...sorry haven´t cracked that one as of yet and infact at this stage I´ve given up trying, if and when I meet one that is nice and friendly, interesting and willing to chat with out the aid of a dozen beers then great I chat back, and they are out there just very few and far between. But in my experiance the best way to make friends in Sweden is to go to SFI, you meet folk from all over the world, many speak good English and you can practise your Swedish together, many have very interesting tales to tell and having come from other lands they tend to have a better outlook on the worlds events beats talking about the price of washing machines anyday! Many are well mannered and say hello/goodbye please and thank you.

So don´t give up just don´t expect too much, Swedes are Swedish at the end of the day and we just have to get used to it! biggrin.gif
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Gordy
post 6.Jan.2013, 11:14 AM
Post #12
Location: Skåne
Joined: 1.Oct.2005

QUOTE (beefbroff @ 6.Jan.2013, 02:15 AM) *
Is location a key factor? Are there parts that are more social?

Absolutely, certainly my experience down here in Skåne is completely at odds with stories like yours. I can relate to what you are saying though as my experience in places as close by as Blekinge somewhat mirror what you are saying i.e. the lack of personal contact, the seeming obsession with money in almost every conversation etc.

The locals here are in general very open, I often have long casual chats with my neighbours on all sorts of topics when I meet them either close by or when out shopping in town 10kms away.

It's even possible to end up in idle chit chat with complete strangers when out in the shops. And in shops or the post office that I visit regularly there is always a warm greeting and a bit of chat.
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trumanshow
post 6.Jan.2013, 12:31 PM
Post #13
Joined: 8.Aug.2012

I think we have all felt that OP. You have to look at the flip side of those things that you find boring. Boring is because we are used to feedback in other countries. Feedback can also be quite boring. Its a bit zen living in Sweden. You are forced to address what is missing in YOUR life. In this nation of individualists nobody is going to help you live your life for you but people will leave you alone to do what you want with your life. If you want to paint - go be a painter. If you want to act - go act. If you want to play music - play music. If you want to fish - go fishing...If you want to live in a society where people are constantly interacting, providing social support and feedback, meeting up for a chat...go live somewhere else. Swedes are quite honest people. Gloomy some might say. But that in itself is honest. I went back to the UK quite recently and in reality British people ought to be just as gloomy but they put on an act. I like Sweden more and more, it takes time to get used to but in reality I feel free to let my gloom flag fly.
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beefbroff
post 6.Jan.2013, 01:26 PM
Post #14
Joined: 11.Nov.2011

QUOTE (Coolrunnings @ 6.Jan.2013, 07:39 AM) *
Well, why should they? The world doesn't evolve around you... wink.gif

It doesn't? I always thought it did. Seriously though come on, the way people get to know each other in my experiences are to ask questions about each other as it usually breaks the ice a little.

QUOTE (Kegzmc @ 6.Jan.2013, 08:37 AM) *
When queuing in your local store have you tried whipping your cock out and whipping your balls off the counter?. This is a sure attention winner and will definitely make you friends

Top tip there, thanks I might try that next time.

QUOTE (Boar @ 6.Jan.2013, 10:12 AM) *
Doesn't matter you lived one year or twenty years. You successfully organized a party. Isn't that enough? And, you have a sambo. Why do you think it is boring here in ... (show full quote)

Yes thanks I might just have to shut up and put up. I needed to vent a little however and thought this as an ideal place.

QUOTE (chazza @ 6.Jan.2013, 10:43 AM) *
hey Beefbroff.You are not getting much slack cut on this forum are you !My only advice is to try to nip back to the UK whenever you can and top up on the things you miss - ... (show full quote)

I wasn't expecting to much of a warm reception with this post but I am just being straight and telling how it is. Nice to know I am not the only one who has felt this way. Yes I live out in the sticks.

QUOTE (Seamus Sean @ 6.Jan.2013, 10:47 AM) *
It is how normal people converse.Before I picked up the lingo I´d sit at breaks and listen to my co-workers chatter away and always thought it must be something real interest ... (show full quote)

That's so true about the Smartphones! Also interesting how you say all the immigrants are open and chat with each other
as it's the same experience I have had. I finished SFI and met some great people. We do still meet occasionally but of most of them aren't here to stay for long.
QUOTE (Gordy @ 6.Jan.2013, 11:14 AM) *
Absolutely, certainly my experience down here in Skåne is completely at odds with stories like yours. I can relate to what you are saying though as my experience in places as ... (show full quote)

I am in Halland. I have heard Hallanders can be somewhat snobby.

QUOTE (trumanshow @ 6.Jan.2013, 12:31 PM) *
I think we have all felt that OP. You have to look at the flip side of those things that you find boring. Boring is because we are used to feedback in other countries. Feedbac ... (show full quote)

Yes you are right, this place is a good place to get something done, if you want to. I notice that already. There are lots of positive sides to life here and it's not all doom and gloom.
I wouldn't say however that Swedes are quite honest people. I find them quite the opposite.
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Puffin
post 6.Jan.2013, 02:33 PM
Post #15
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

You need to do some research and find a smaller group of like minded people - however be aware that in some areas (especially smaller rural areas) that drinking a lot/getting drunk in front of work colleagues is not as socially acceptable as it is in the UK and that drinking a lot in front of colleagues on a work night might get you labelled as an alcoholic.

Also while some work-places are very social and people go out drinking together it is not as common as in the UK and in some workplaces it is frowned upon it is important to appear professional in front of work colleagues and not get drunk.

A lot depends on where you live in Sweden - cities tend to be cosmopolitan with a strong café/bar culture where as small rural areas can be very different and some areas retain a traditional temperance culture where people are members of anti-drinking churches/organisations. If people you work with a member of the Elim Church or IGTO you can assume that they are teetotallers. In Sweden some people also think it ill-mannered to drink if there are recovering alcoholics present - but as a stranger you may be unaware of this history.

There is also the "timing" issue - there is a huge difference between having a party on a Tuesday and a Friday - in many workplaces there is a strong code against getting drunk in front of work colleagues and drinking at all of a "work night" is socially unacceptable in many places (when I am invited to someone's home on a work night here in Dalarna I am used to only alcohol-free drinks being served although the same people would be paralytic on a Friday!!). One of the reasons that "fredags-öl" (Friday night beer) is popular

If you live in a remote area where everyone drives and public transport is poor/non existant then people will not risk drinking and driving (remember that the Swedish drink driving limit is just a quarter of the UK limit). You need to indicate that people can stay over or meet up in a central town where people live.

Perhaps you need to find more like-minded people such as clubs/interests
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