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The surprises that get you

What Swedish rules and regulations were unexpected

post 22.Sep.2018, 10:52 PM
Post #1
Joined: 22.Sep.2018


I'm looking at the possibility of moving to Linköping from the US. I know this will be a huge culture shock for me, but I think I'm prepared for it (as well as I can be).

I'm curious, though: What have other immigrants found to be the biggest surprises as far as laws, rules, regulations, or social mores?

For example, I've read that there are laws specifying how long you can leave a pet alone at home. I think it's six hours? I'm not sure. How does one hold a regular job if the pet cannot be left for the duration of the workday? Does the pet count as not being alone if you have two pets together?

Another example is Sweden's strict laws about driving under the influence, permitting a blood-alcohol content roughly a fourth of what is typically permitted in the US.

I've also read that most US citizens fail their driver license test the first time they take it.

What other laws or regulations have people found to be surprising on moving to Sweden?

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post 23.Sep.2018, 02:36 AM
Post #2
Joined: 21.Oct.2012

You are really off track.

You should be really worry about the discrimination that you (and your family will have to go through). The dysfunctional housing system they have. The dysfunctional education system they have . The violation of right of foreign workers .

This is just the surface the of deeply rooted racism and egoism you will see. You will find it sickening when those hypocrites deprive you of your rights or discriminate you while they brag about their "advanced fair and just society".
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post 23.Sep.2018, 03:47 AM
Post #3
Location: Germany
Joined: 10.Apr.2007

Compared to the US, the Eu driving licence is much more difficult. Not least because you have to have a basic understanding of Swedish during the practical test. And coming from the US, your licence is only good for six months - so good luck!

The theory side of the test involves learning the answers, some ambiguous, to around 800 possible questions.

My wife who is a polyglot with two science degrees and speaking six languages failed four times!

Don't even think of drinking alcohol and driving in Sweden. The beer is much stronger than you are used to and it is a cultural no-no to do this. Easy to lose a licence for 12 months.

Can't imagine anyone leaving a dog for 6 to 8 hours by itself. But you will find that most restaurants won't accept dogs, that few hotels do either and that you have to book a specific place on a train if you travel with a dog. That's because everyone in Sweden is phobic about allergies, and they are totally intolerant to dogs or cats.
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post 23.Sep.2018, 09:22 AM
Post #4
Location: Gävle
Joined: 28.Feb.2016

Yea, alcohol is almost taboo here. You should see the looks I get when I ask someone if they want to go to the pub after work. XD unless it's a Friday or Saturday, then Swedes seem to drink until they pass out. As was stated before, European beer is a lot stronger than American piss. Watch out for the "extra stark" beers, my favorite.

Also, be careful when it comes to drivers licences. You can actually lose your license for public intoxication amongst other things. You don't actually have to be driving to lose your license.

You're going to find it very difficult to make friends, Sweds are very antisocial. Almost all the friends I've made here are other Europeans, Italians, Germans, Brits and Greeks. I would say they almost have a big city attitude, and God forbid you sit next to someone on the train or bus and try to strike up a conversation lol
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post 23.Sep.2018, 04:41 PM
Post #5
Joined: 20.Feb.2012

"Yea, alcohol is almost taboo here. You should see the looks I get when I ask someone if they want to go to the pub after work."

That's because alcohol is a switch for Swedes. It's either on or off. On means drink until you fall over. They can't fathom meeting up for a pint (or two) after work and having a laugh, and would likely think you are on the full binge midweek.

Susan Sontag wrote about the peculiar "Swedes" in 1969, noting that the Swedes had just emerged from an era when running into someone you know, whilst purchasing alcohol, was essentially akin to being identified as a rapist (yet they all piss-it-up-to-the-max every weekend).

Sweden is so uptight, their only "out" from the eminent and pervasive social oppression is getting fall-down-drunk.

Sad, but true. And when Swedes drink, it is only about getting wasted. Forget interesting conversation or adventure.

"Predictable" is the name of their game (yawn).
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post 23.Sep.2018, 05:05 PM
Post #6
Joined: 25.Jun.2009

Yeah, I went to a couple of parties in Sweden and thought I was back in college. Party till ya puke!
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post 23.Sep.2018, 07:17 PM
Post #7
Joined: 15.Feb.2018

The thing with alcohol consumption, I believe, speaks more about a lack of self control... or an individual strength. Not sure how to explain exactly...

They have a hard time when life is not dictated by the govt, consensus, taking numbers for a queue, systembolaget, outdated drug laws- equating marijuana to heroin. It’s almost as if they are conditioned to be afraid of themselves... and others who might be or seem different.

It’s a strange place.

Strange days have found us
Strange days have tracked us down
They're going to destroy
Our casual joys
We shall go on playing
Or find a new town
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post 23.Sep.2018, 07:36 PM
Post #8
Joined: 15.Feb.2018

QUOTE (Gjeebes @ 23.Sep.2018, 05:41 PM) *
"Yea, alcohol is almost taboo here. You should see the looks I get when I ask someone if they want to go to the pub after work."That's because alcohol is a swit ... (show full quote)

Susan sontag’s letter to Sweden is quite interesting. She doesn’t completely slam the country, and I have yet to find a free full version to view, but what is startling is that her critique from 1969 still rings as true then as it does today.

The “rebellious” youth, for decades, seems to always give in to conformity, anxiety, and a tense silence.
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post 23.Sep.2018, 11:19 PM
Post #9
Joined: 3.Jun.2018

Housing system. It's something very well hidden so nobody from outside sweden can see the true mess the system is. On the news they tell you that everything is great and housing is getting cheaper but they will never say a word about the queues and the second hand market. It's all controlled.

Second hand rentals where you will be moving every 6 months/ 1 year in most cases.
Long queues of 5-10 years for first hand rentals.
Sweden is a buyer only market. Rentals are a dead end. It's just a cynical system, everyone knows the consequences but everybody looks the one way. There is even a black market where you can pay to skip the queue.

On the human relations side, the isolation, people don't make eye contact with other people. It's funny and sad at the same time.

The inability to speak your mind unless you want the group to "hate you" as a person who creates a conflict for simply giving an honest opinion. Sweden is a very conformist society.

The passive aggression. Never seen so much in my life.

If you come here to raise kids then the system will help you that's one of the few things that makes sweden worth it specially since you live with someone.

But for a single, this country will be tough. Difficult to speak to people. women is a no go unless you are one of the accepted countries or you are blond blue eyed. Very superficial people in general.

High wages for doing anything, this maybe one the few positive things. You don't have to work hard since most swedes just do enough. Overpaid wages, two fikas a day, get paid an extra for doing 40 hours a week.
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post 24.Sep.2018, 12:40 PM
Post #10
Joined: 3.Jun.2015

Wow.. has the OP had enough now, or is he still planning to come to sweden?!!

Things I learned in this thread:

- Everyone replying to this thread hates the Swedes and Sweden
- Everyone replying to this thread appears to stay living in Sweden nonetheless!

Take advice from these people if you want to, or just go ahead and move to Sweden and discover that not everyone is the kind of head-case who posts on this forum!
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post 24.Sep.2018, 03:34 PM
Post #11
Joined: 15.Feb.2018

QUOTE (MisterDuck @ 24.Sep.2018, 01:40 PM) *
head-case who posts on this forum!

Takes one to know one?

The op asked about what was unexpected/ surprising. If we just said to him, as you suggest, just come here and find out for yourself, then 1, we would be doing them a disservice, and 2, we wouldn't be offering a real opinion on his question.

And the truth is, from an outsiders perspective, and how Sweden promotes itself, everything is just wonderful and top quality in sweden. The surprise is... It isnt
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post 24.Sep.2018, 03:36 PM
Post #12
Joined: 7.Mar.2016

@MisterDuck..There we go again about hate. Just because someone hates a particular red dress his friend is wearing, doesn’t mean he hates color RED.
When folks here talk trash about Muslim immigrants, you didn’t crawl out to call them out on hating..I smell double standard.
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 24.Sep.2018, 04:19 PM
Post #13
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

TheLocal is the last refuge for those that cannot cope with the life they created for themselves...
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post 24.Sep.2018, 04:25 PM
Post #14
Joined: 7.Mar.2016

And also a mental asylum home for people who don’t have any business here but living in a mental meltdown wherever they are.
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 24.Sep.2018, 08:41 PM
Post #15
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

I'm here for the comedy...Keep it up... laugh.gif
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