Something Swedish

Don’t judge my decision to move to Sweden: In response to a vicious comment


Over the years I have tried to keep Something Swedish as positive, inspirational and helpful as possible. In response I have gotten hundreds of positive, encouraging, and touching comments. In fact, I have met a handful of these people in real life and have gained some life long friends through this blog. Thankfully, these kind and sweet words overshadow any negativity such as the mean and ignorant comment that I am about to share, which Something Swedish received three days ago.

Now, I am not personally offended by this comment per se, but I do find it offensive. In fact I read it twice to figure out if it was a joke or not. The reason I am sharing it is to give a proper response to someone who obviously wants to be heard – and to share the moment with all of you instead of hiding it in the unseen comment section.

Texas&Beyond Wrote:
May 6, 2014 at 6:43 am

I do not get it. How can a New York woman get married to a Swedish man and then leave the greatest city on earth – moving to a Halmstad – a medium sized Southwestern coastal city with 100 000 people and a density with is below 100 people/Km. I do not get these middle class liberal American women that move to Scandinavia marrying some liberal blond Middle class IT-programmer with an eco-friendly apartment. Than these American women get all creative and make a blog and fill it with Swedish food, design and nature pictures to show fellow American women that – why “hide” from United States in New York or San Francisco when they can go to Sweden and get married to a blond feminist eco-friendly man and live among 9 million socialists – that is even more hipster than the people in NY and SF. Soon they get pregnant and we have to read about how good socialized health care is. Nine months later we when the baby is born they write something about how “natural it feels not to circumcise the little boy”. We are then shown more picture from her IKEA-home and in the middle the little baby clothed in Swedish design cloths made by unionized labor and that her husband will take out “daddy days” so he can connect with the kid.

I cannot stand liberals – hopefully can the entire NY and SF move to Sweden so we can built a large parking lot over the Bay Area for our SUV:s and use NY as a test-site for no bull shit free market capitalism.

Dear “Texas&Beyond”,

Thank you for your comment, sorry for the delay! I am also sorry that my existence confuses you, if it helps – yours confuses me just as much. The difference between us is that I wouldn’t go onto your personal blog and tell you as much, but it’s sweet that you care so much to go through the trouble to search for a blog that you will hate the contents of. That’s real dedication.

Being a “New York woman” is not what defines me, and my husband is not just “a Swedish man.” We are people who happen to live in, and perhaps even come from (you don’t know, do you?) these places, so why would it matter where we move to? I do feel sorry for you seeing as you don’t understand enough about human beings to know that people fall in love despite gender, age, race, or location. In fact, I didn’t even know location should be on that list, but it seems as if your main problem with me and my blog is that I relocated from “the greatest city on earth” to “A Halmstad.” (Thank you! You know, I do still love NYC! What a shame that following this compliment you hypocritically end your comment with hoping to turn NY into a test-site for capitalism)  To make it clear, Halmstad is the name of the town I live in, not a thing  – although it does seem that you otherwise did your research! Good for you. It would be a shame to leave a comment without knowing what you are talking about. Yes, your Wikipedia stats are correct. It’s almost as if you know a little about Sweden…or at least the stereotypes.

By this point in your comment I am now considered a “middle class liberal American woman” – that sure escalated. How long have you been reading my blog by the way? I’m just curious to know how much you truly know about me. It’s obvious that Something Swedish is surely not the only blog on the topic that you have read, or read on a regular basis just to piss yourself off and add fuel to the fire to give you some sense of passion. I wasn’t aware that my particular life situation was a “trend” I am so damn trendy that I do trendy things without knowing it. I must have psychically known that the anonymous person I played video games with and whose company I enjoyed was a blond haired, IT-programmer Swede with an eco-friendly apartment….except that he is none of those things, aside from Swedish of course. In fact, I have to force my Swedish husband to recycle (such a bad Swede, I know!).

I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider having a blog to be “creative,” it’s more of an outlet – maybe you should start one to get all of this anger out of your system without attacking random people on the internet. You did catch me though, I am indeed guilty of starting a blog, I guess I can’t deny that one. And I do write about Sweden  and Swedish things – guilty again. I know doing this makes no sense; why would anyone in their right state of mind want to talk about and share things that are happening in their lives? Oh! Right, you think it must be so we can brainwash other American women! DUH! It sounds like a vicious cycle we’ve started by falling in love and relocating. Did you know that some people fall in love and move to countries OTHER THAN Sweden?? And SOMETIMES it’s a MAN that moves to Sweden because they fell in love with a Swedish woman… or a Swedish MAN. Shocking, I know.

You are right about one thing – there are about 9 million PEOPLE living in Sweden. How socialism and being a hipster coincides truly eludes me, just like that fact that women tend to have children and then like to talk about their children, seems to elude you. Ah, now we’ve moved onto circumcision, how sweet. It turns out that every culture has it’s own way of doing things and these things might be different than what people are used to when they move from a different country…I think what you are are referring to is “adapting”. It happens. When people are exposed to more ways of living, they tend to change the way they think and even some of the things they believe in or just daily things they do. And yes, people write about it because people are story tellers – we always have been. Blogging might be new, but the tradition of talking and writing is not. We like to share and teach and learn from other through these stories and that is why these women, including myself, write about these things that might seem strange to you. The secret is, you don’t need to read it.

Ikea – probably the one thing you knew about Sweden before doing your blog and Wikipedia research. The last time I checked, Ikea is international – even though it is from Sweden. Many Americans, maybe even your friends, family, and neighbors own furniture from Ikea. I hate to tell you this secret, but there are other furniture stores in Sweden. Lastly,  I’m not sure why anyone would have a problem with a father connecting with their child and I feel very bad for your children if you think this is a bad thing. I guess this goes back to you thinking that all Swedes are feminists; there is a difference between feminism and equality. If I were to hazard a guess I would say that you think women should stay home barefoot and pregnant, cooking, cleaning and looking after the kids while the man is making the money – the equality in Sweden would shock you and most people in the world think it’s a good thing.

If I understand correctly – you can’t decide if you hate socialists, liberals, hipsters or Swedes more; you want to wipe both NY and SF off the map, even though you admit that NY is the greatest place on earth; you judge without knowing or understanding, but you know how to use Wikipedia to make your point; you hate blogs and bloggers, but read them anyway; you really like stereotypes; you don’t understand cultural differences; you have no desire to connect with your kid  – or for your husband to connect with your kid – since, unlike you, I won’t assume anything about who you are. I hope I understood the point of your comment. Thank you for taking the time to write to Something Swedish 🙂


Whew, that took a while, but as you all know I ALWAYS – even if its a few months late (sorry!) reply to comments left by readers! And I always encourage discussion and feedback on posts.


40 thoughts on “Don’t judge my decision to move to Sweden: In response to a vicious comment

  1. There are always uneducated trolls on the internet. I loved your response!

  2. Hey Niece, You answered that so beautifully. It is a shame that someone would take the time to voice their opinion in such a negative way. I could never fathom why anyone would feel the need to comment on another’s life. We all have a life that should be lived as we please without justification to anyone. I constantly tell Tucker, my previous dog, that he should be so happy he is not a human. The way some of us treat each other is unbelievable and this blogger comment surely proves it. Yes, we have freedom of speech but to have some comment as harshly as this person is not a good thing. Words of mothers, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. All I can do is pray for this person and hope there are no others out there who feel the need to be so opinionated although we do know there are many. Love you my dear niece and love to Esby too. Hope I got his name correct. Please be sure to have lunch with me next time you make it to New York. Aunt Theresa



  3. Loved yout response tooo, as I´m a swedish woman..! Halleluya!

  4. It’s like with most things in Life. Unless you experience it, it’s very easy to stereotype someone or some Place. Sweden is often viewed outside as a utopia, but of course, it isn’t. It has the same problems as other countries. Some parts are better than other countries and some parts are worse. Living in a new country is a big challenge for most people and is not Always a choice. Circumstances such as love etc can be the deciding factor.

    Every country can be criticised for something, including the US. But in general, the system Sweden works and led to the country surviving quite well during the credit Crunch. In fact it was one of the first to come out of recession. It has a low level of Government debt to GDP, has a trade surplus, a generous benefit system, especially when it comes to supporting families with Children. They have free University, plenty of open spaces. It’s very family orientated and generally friendly, although some people may say a bit reserved. But I like that.

    Of course, it has its problems. It’s Medical system is generally free, but has Medical staff shortages, long waiting times for surgery for some. The unemployment rate for the under 25’s is one of the highest in Europé. They are good at taking in refugees, but not so good at integrating them into Swedish society and backing that up with the correct Resources.

    I could go on, but Sweden is a hotbed of hi Tech startups, such as Spotify, Skype etc. It adopts new Technologies faster than other countries. It is the 3rd largest Music exporter in the World. Sweden offers a lot, but it’s not for everyone. Despite their great English, you do really need to learn Swedish to integrate better and in turn be happier. I’m still Learning!

    Finally, I could easily stereotype the US, but I won’t. Most of the issues with the US is totally related to their politicians and not to the ordinary Citizens. I have cousins who live their and through them, I have met lots of really nice people. because, when it comes to it, we all generally want the same thing. We want a home, a job, food on the table, a safe environment for our family and friends and a system that supports us when we really need it until we can get back onto our feet. We are no better or worse than most other people. We are just slightly different in our approaches.

    If that is liberal giberish to you, then I’m guilty!! PS: I thought Margerat Thatcher was great! 🙂 Some others would disagree. That’s Life”

  5. What an interesting comment and it seems that I am doing this whole living in Sweden thing wrong since my husband is also neither blonde or an it worker! Kudos to you though for such a wonderfully thought out and written response.

  6. More power to you!
    I´ve never commented before, even though I really enjoy reading your posts. I have also moved here to marry a Swede and I moved from Portugal, a place with great weather if you compare to Gothenburg! 😉 Sometimes I am glad that we have a crisis back home to justify why I moved… because somehow, it´s almost embarrassing to say that I moved for love! Apparently it´s not entirely okay for modern independent girls to do this.

    No place is perfect. I have learnt that from Sweden! But what I fail to understand is “Texas&Beyond” can make a list of the things that actually make this country fantastic and make them sound terrible! Maybe that´s the biggest secret… and these things will scare away people that would ruin them. Awful that a dad can take leave to bond with his child. Sounds really terrible.

    I must say, however, that I often get the opposite reaction from people. They say it´s great I moved here to this perfect country, so much better than where I came from. And things are not EXACTLY like that… so imagine if all the comments would just make you feel like fitting in and giving up your hometown is a piece of cake and the best choice ever. So well, just take the good out of his comment. He is puzzled that you would chose such a hard path away from your family. 😉

    Anyway, thanks for your words! They reminded me why I am around!

    (Also, super cool, do you still play WoW? Server? Would be great to meet you guys ahah!)

  7. Right on! Even though, to be frank, I thought his comment was rather amusing. Especially the part about making SF and NY a parking lot for SUVs. hehe.

  8. I didn’t move to Sweden, but I did Ex-pat to Germany. Thank you for being an educated and articulate person. I would have just “screamed” at them and hurled insults. I have gotten many questions, even from friends and family about why I chose to move to Germany, and i get just as many questions from friends about why I want to stay here. From both Americans and Germans. My only response is I am happy and I like it. Do what makes you happy and forget the rest of them 🙂

  9. I feel your pain and bewilderment over that long winded and rude comment. It is a sad fact of internet life, that if you blog, there will be someone who doesn’t like what you said, and will attack you in the rudest, most hurtful, and bewildering way possible. Whatever it was set that person off that attacked you, was probably something that had little or nothing to do with you. They just happened to be reading your blog and went off on a rant. As someone who occasionally blogs, I have had my share of puzzling and downright nasty comments. I once wrote a light hearted post about living with celiac disease, and I wrote it in a humorous way. A few comments came in, and they appreciated the humor and general silliness of the post. Imagine my amazement when someone wrote to tell me that I should stop whining and feeling sorry for myself, and that there was no such thing as celiac disease. I was making it up so people would feel sorry for me. Since I didn’t and don’t feel sorry for myself, I was confused as to why someone would think so. I know of other bloggers who have sometimes complained about vicious attack emails and comments too. One woman was attacked for her looks, and another one was insulted and told that her child was ugly. Still others have been ridiculed and called stupid, while others have been told they were hateful and that the commenter wished them dead. Those are mainly on blogs that deal with politics though. That seems to bring out the worst in people. If they can’t win the argument with ideas, they spew hate, and they project their own ideas on to others. I honestly don’t get anything remotely political from your posts, and I fail to see how anyone could! I can’t imagine what makes people say such nasty things. I love your blog and it’s positive cheerful approach. I have learned so many interesting things from you about Sweden. It is cheerful and informative, and you keep things pleasant and light hearted. It is a joy to read your posts. I hope you keep blogging for a long time. It is always a delight to see a new post from you.

  10. Her comment makes me think, “The lady doth protest too much.” Perhaps she has a secret wish to be a liberal Swedish resident that she can’t realize because she’s stuck in Texas? 😉

  11. Your response was wonderful. What is WRONG with people? I fell in love and married a Swede, and I LOVE Sweden, and I’m about as Libertarian as you can get. You can’t help who you fall in love with, or where they are from. We did the long distance thing for years before He moved to the US to be with me while my grandfather was dying. It sucked. People just don’t understand, how small the world really is, and all the wonderful things and people that are in it.

  12. There are portions of Texas larger than the entirety of Sweden that are total desolation. West Texas is the most God-forsaken part of the world I have ever seen. It must affect the mentality of the folks who live there. By the way, San Francisco, where I am from, is probably the most European/Swedish city in America (if it’s not any town in Vermont). All that said, you have to look awfully hard to find something not to like about Halmstad.

  13. Great response! I guess I joined the trend too….except my Swede has red hair (good recycler though).

    I can’t understand being a jerk to a stranger because of their life path…

  14. You tell em! Don’t let the idiots get you down.

    You, your husband and your son have a great life ahead of you in what is easily the most socially and technologically advanced country on earth.

    That whackjob Texan is just butthurt that the United States hasn’t been the “greatest” at anything for 30 years and probably never will be again.

  15. Don’t let the internet trolls get you down. Your blog is awesome. I enjoy reading how your life has changed and what you and Esby are up to. Hope things are going well, miss talking to you two. 🙂

  16. You and I have been friends for many years. We have lost touch often throughout our lives, but we have always caught up in little bits. I just wanted to say that I’m proud of you for the decisions you have made.

    Even though I have lead a rough life at times, I have been able to smile in darker times when I see people I care for doing well and making life more than average.

    I miss writing every time I read your blogs. I think about returning to it when I see the way it gives perspective to your experiences. I just wanted to tell you that I’m proud of you daily!

    I hope that we continue being friends long into old age with our grand babies and intense stories of trials and triumphs.

    We have a lot of life left to enjoy, so here’s to keeping making the best decisions for ourselves and our loved ones against the odds.

    I’ll throw a shoe just for you! Narf!!

  17. You and I have been friends for many years. We have lost touch often throughout our lives, but we have always caught up in little bits. I just wanted to say that I’m proud of you for the decisions you have made.

    Even though I have lead a rough life at times, I have been able to smile in darker times when I see people I care for doing well and making life more than average.

    I miss writing every time I read your blogs. I think about returning to it when I see the way it gives perspective to your experiences. I just wanted to tell you that I’m proud of you daily!

    I hope that we continue being friends long into old age with our grand babies and intense stories of trials and triumphs.

    We have a lot of life left to enjoy, so here’s to keeping making the best decisions for ourselves and our loved ones against the odds.

    I’ll throw a shoe just for you! Narf!!

  18. Well done! That was quite possibly one of the best rebuttals I have read in quite some time. The scope of some people’s narrow-minded-ness and ignorance and judgemental attitudes constantly amazes me. Keep doing what you are doing and don’t let the idiots of the world rain on your parade. Lycka till!

  19. Beautiful response to a rather illogical comment. Oh no, eco-friendly life-styles and dads who connect with their kids, what sorcery is this?!

    It’s even dumber considering they list some of the best things about Sweden, and then pretend they’re utterly disgusting. Especially the bit about circumcising babies. “Natural” mean “the way nature made it”. That means with foreskin. If some people decide to circumcise either themselves or their babies, well, I couldn’t care less (even though I believe all men should get a choice, not a forced decision when they’re so little). But you can’t call it “natural” to, effectively, mutilate someone.

    (Can I just mention that feminism is indeed about equality. Feminism works to make women equal to (but not better than) men. Feminists will usually also work towards getting rid of sexism towards men (such as ‘no dads are allowed to stay at home with their kids’ or ‘boys are never allowed to like dolls, ever’). But unfortunately there are extremists in every political view or ideology, and they’re the ones shouting the loudest giving feminism a bad name.)

    ((I’m sure you already know this. Forgive me for taking the spotlight of the actual issue of your post, I just didn’t want anyone to see that and think all feminists are what I like to call feminazis.))

  20. Good on you for responding to that awful narrow minded post! I personally really enjoy reading your blog and would love to move to Sweden one day I find you really inspiring! I am so glad you stood up for yourself against horrible keyboard warriors. I wish you and your husband all the best. Thanks for another great read look forward to hearing what else you have been up to.

  21. I truly have to commend on the way you dealt with those horrible comments. I think it is such a shame someone would do that to you.I will continue to enjoy your blog.

  22. Really good reply! Texas & beyond might not like your blog, but I do 🙂

  23. Great reply and hope you will blog for a long time.

  24. You go Meg this reply you gave, makes me proud to call you my favorite Neice .Just think I left NY> to live in a beach community in the south would love to meet that A-HOLE

  25. I received a similar, though slightly less rude comment from a RELATIVE about my decision to move to Sweden to be with my boyfriend. I loved your response! So elegant and polite.

  26. Great reply. Great blog. 🙂

  27. Well put. But maybe a nicer answer than this person deserved. It made for good reading though….

  28. Great reply, I have been reading your blog for some time now and have always enjoyed it. As you say sometimes a man falls in love with a Swedish woman and moves to Sweden all be it 17 years after we got married 🙂 Keep up the great work 🙂

  29. Wow…All that for me? My comment was not even directed at any person. I just noticed what these blogs are about. I cannot see where my comment would be considered “rude”. What I’m telling you is that Scandinavia has become some kind of liberal-hipster Mecca for big-city American women, who feel that NY or SF is to “conservative” for their taste. These women than look for Swedish men – apparently these are the worst of the Scandinavians and so they feel they “fit the best” in the scheme of things.

    What I cannot understand is how anyone can enjoy having a feminist husband whom take care of children, cook for you and think that equality is more important than the natural hierarchy within the family. I cannot understand that people like yourself enjoy pay half your income in taxes, have your children for “free” at municipality run kindergarten, getting child-benefits regardless of income, don’t have to save up for their college, getting your Masters for free, eating meat that is by law always slaughtered none-kosher, getting subsidized dentistry and health care, get eco-friendly energy (What’s wrong with oil?), no death penalty, equality between men and women and be applauded for breastfeeding your baby for six months.

    Yes, this “natural thing”, everything should be so “natural” with no circumcision, natural baby-mother relations, a long and equal paternity leave, working-out for being healthy instead of looking good, no additives in foods, using a bike or walk instead of driving a car. Your new adopted country does not even have death penalty and if you had seen the pictures of Swedish prisons. They look like “hotels” – they even get free university education in there. Also, you cannot even own a gun without license in Sweden and you have to be 18! You are certainly not free in Sweden.

    After a few years in Sweden you dreaming of living in Texas! No gender equality, no socialism, no welfare state, no feminism, no liberalism, no anti-corporate stuff like that it is wrong with additives in food, no small portions when you order out, no gun laws, no anti-war propaganda, no Obama, no compassion with criminals and best of all – you can drive you care wherever you and mass-transits are rare! Cheap gas before green-buses is our melody. Oh, did I say that we have Rick Perry – the greatest governor since George W. Bush.

    Apparently, its election-days in Sweden – You don’t see these kinds of political TV-commercials in Sweden do you! You may not like the message but at least people have an opinion in United States and not all of us are atheists like they are in Sweden.

  30. That was my last comment. You can have the last word.

    • Obviously this texas woman is one of these that prefer to be at home barefooted and pregnant (nothing wrong with that) but her ideas are so out of touch with reality and she does not have a clue about Swedish men or Sweden.

  31. Your response to Texas&Beyond was spot on and as always intelligent. Texas&Beyond is a gun and B ible toting , ignorant idiot. And being a fan of Rick Perry proves it! Glad the majority vote for whom we chose as President (Obama-2 terms, Yeah!) I for one LOVE reading Meg’s blog, I save them all. Love you Meg!.

    • Carrying a gun and reading a Bible is not wrong, and doesn’t make you an ignorant idiot. I am not in support of his method for stating what he is trying to say, but I don’t see how being insulting and judgmental towards others whom you have stereotyped is any better. I didn’t vote for Obama either. I actually had to step aside and choose to not vote for either candidate because in this country of ours, the votes mean less each year. Both options weren’t awesome, and the whole political structure is a disaster right now. I studied enough about government to know that there is a huge number of decisions being made right now that are oppose to public interest.

      Thing is… there is a massive amount of sarcasm in his statement and also a good quantity of judgmental tone in regard to leaving a “Free Nation” for one with a different way of operating and a completely different system of rules and boundaries.

      In my experience so far in this world, you really don’t have a perfect place to be no matter where you are. We grew up in the US feeling like we had it better than anywhere else, but it feels like it less and less everyday as corruption wiggles it’s way into the highest places of the world we live in. I had a conversation with my cousin the other day about her psychology class final. Her assignment is to become and attempt to function as an assigned type of person. Her assignment was to be a lesbian for a day, and to fill in the blanks for her assigned report.

      Being that we are Christians in our family, we were discussing our difference in perspective from many of the people who are Christian or say they are. Being my faith background I don’t agree with homosexuality. That being said, just because I don’t agree with that, doesn’t mean that I pass judgement to someone else because they are. She has the same view I do on this, and we both know our family is ready at a moments notice to talk about how much they can’t stand the LGBT agenda and the way things are with those biases. I treat friends and acquaintances, or others I meet as a person first, and treat them how I would want to be treated.

      I leave the Judgement to God. I don’t make unfounded accusations, I don’t point fingers, and I don’t have to agree with a persons decisions to appreciate the person, or get along with them, or be friends with them. My sister is bisexual. I don’t agree with that decision, but I don’t tell her that she is a terrible person for it. She knows I don’t agree with it, but we agree to disagree, and we move on to more important things like being family! I have had many disagreements with family, friends, people I don’t know, and even shitty people who treat others badly as if they enjoy that sort of thing. Even though I disagree with them, I don’t treat them like shit or condescend them because of those differences. The reason I am saying this is because of the multitude of stereotyping that I see being done as if it is acceptable.

      We are losing our freedoms, not because people are stupid or smart, manipulative or gullible, but because we cannot agree to disagree. We cannot accept that someone else sees something different than we do without it being cause for an attack on the other person. So as I get older and as I am raising two children of my own I have to weigh the decisions I am faced with about how I raise my children to treat others, and one thing I will not raise them to do is be condescending to others about something they don’t agree with. Those bumper stickers that say Coexist have always been a thing that I feel inside my conscience as being incorrect or wrong because of my religious belief, (As in I don’t feel that every religion is equal or true, and I do believe it is a sin to believe a false religion.) but it does have one thing it definitely highlights and that is the ability to recognize that you don’t see those other religions as being proper, or good, or correct, when you stand behind another, but you do still have to live in a world where they exist, and there is nothing good that can come out of trying to tear someone down over their perspective.

      Certainly folks want to follow the one that gives them fulfillment and truth, and I believe that if you are solid in something you believe, people will want to be a part of that, and not because it is supposedly better than another, but because you shine with your ability to love and be good to others rather than treat them with negativity. Surely there are a lot of people in this world who live under these different ideologies for their own gain, and understanding, and I’m sure that a good number of them are incorrect in their behavior, but they still live and we are all still in the world together.

      If there is one thing we definitely should have down by now, it is treating the people around us positively and good, rather than trying to attack them because they see things different than we do. I will always have disagreements with people as I progress in my life, but I will continue to be good to those around me despite some folks having the inability to do the same, and I hope you have to reflect on this, and see how it doesn’t help and only hurts to pass that kind of mentality along.

      There is a lot in this which probably could have been a blog post, but I don’t feel like I want to go through and refine my statement since this is technically a comment. I just wish that people would recognize that being judgmental of others through stereotyping is a mistake, and it makes a categorized judgment of a person or group of persons you don’t know or understand, and is slanderous at times towards people who aren’t always fitting the descriptions that are commonly applied.

  32. That was so incredibly brilliant!!! Lovely response and well done.

  33. I, for one, welcome our new international ladies :v

    And a nice response Meg, indeed. I do however doubt that everyones favourite texan is for real. She/he borders on satirical and/or trolling. I truly do wish that Sweden was such a paradise as has been described. 😀

  34. Although IKEA was started by a Swede, the company is Dutch: has been since shortly after Ingvar founded it. The reason why has to do with the hereditary Swedish oligarchy that runs the domestic economy and the barriers to entry for upstarts not born into it.

    I lived in Sweden off and on for 20 some years and am married to a Swede. The “on” portions were pretty much all fairly miserable times. We do have some Swedish friends and even they admit that Swedes, by and large, are social misfits with serious psychological issues. Why this is so I cannot put my finger on exactly. But I have yet to experience any other society where folks actively go out of their way to make their fellows miserable like the Swedes.

    For Americans, Brits, Aussies, Canadians, Spaniards, Greeks, etc etc, this is so illogical that most of us are dumbfounded that any society would evolve like Sweden’s has. The illogic of actively causing fellow Swedes upset and distress – whether by cutting in line, taking their parking place, slamming a door in their face, running to the only free table in a restaurant ahead of others waiting, refusing to give up seats on the subway to pregnant women and the elderly, or any of 1,000 other similar behaviors – is just so beyond the pale of our respective societies that we cannot fathom why any society would treat its fellows so. Especically considering how tough the weather is. Why any society would compound 8 months of grey, cold, uncomfortable weather with rudeness and hostility among its members is just beyond our comprehension. But hey – it’s your country. Do as you will. Most of us that experienced it have moved to better places and left it all behind us.

    • I just have to say… I don’t recognize any of this. Not saying that you’re lying, but none of it is familiar to me in the least. I’m actually a little confused. It’s like we’ve lived in different Swedens.

  35. Our insecurities are rather sensitive to criticisms.

    Sometimes I cannot tell if my wife is being sarcastic toward me or speaking kindly from her heart. When in doubt about a persons true motivation, I just try to believe for the best, and give them my sincere compliments. (I would rather be wrong and happy than right and indignant.)

    I’m a Canadian man married to a Swede/Norwegian…..seems to be working out ok.

  36. That was such a dumb email, I really wonder if it was meant satirically (but if so, this person really reaaaalllly needs to brush up on his timing–and his punch lines!)
    Your response was far better than he or she deserved.
    I stumbled across Something Swedish quite by accident, and I love your blog and find it fascinating! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  37. I actually see good points in each argument. Can I just say “to each their own”?

    I lived in both countries (but not Texas, only visited it) and I can say both countries have things that I loved and things that I hated. And I am neither American nor Swedish so I did not take any of these comments personally…Perhaps it is harder than it is about your country? But I see the point from Texas that people tend to blog or post online happy memories and moments that they discover when they move to a new country. Indeed first years are always in a honeymoon phase. Everything seems amazing! Everyone should move to [insert a new country]! But that phase typically ceases at some point.

    Sweden is no paradise. It has many issues, some brought up very accurately by Living happily ever after once I left Sweden. If any person says that Sweden has no issues, then he or she is in denial. All places do. But it also doesn’t mean that Scandinavian countries are not great places to live. They actually are. If not for the weather, I’d move back in a heart beat! (because for me personally, the good things overweight the bad ones, but the weather is key determinant).

    But in the end whatever makes each happy.

    It is a great argument. My applause to both sides for the way it was handled. But the discussion should not cease. Each side can start understanding each other better only by colliding.

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