Angelholm Travel Blog

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I spent my first day in Ängelholm, Sweden with Graz. It was lovely catching up over a cup of tea. We visited in a quaint little tea house that was very traditional Swedish (light wood on the floors, ceilings and furniture and crisp, bright blue scattered throughout.) The weather was cool and it was nice to sit outside. I asked Graz to explain the Swedish people to me. (Every culture has “characteristics” that are pervasive throughout.) She described them as “conflict-free.” She was explaining what she meant when I saw a bee flying nearby. Not in the mood to be stung, I mentioned that we should move. Graz, as cool as the breeze said, “Don’t worry. It’s a Swedish bee. It’s conflict-free.” We had a good laugh and finished our tea.

I thought she was exaggerating when she described the Sweds as “conflict-free”, but after spending a week there, I quickly realized that it was no exaggeration at all! They are quiet when they speak, avoid conflict and confrontation. They don’t like “passionate” conversations or loud voices, even in excitement. They like everything to look okay on the outside, even if they are going crazy on the inside.

I found this trait to be amusing at first. (It was funny to see my polar opposite, Maltese friends in this culture because their culture has raised them to be quite the opposite of conflict-free and quiet!) But as I neared the end of my time in Sweden, I realized that it was kind of just plain creepy.

Graz and Simon’s city, HelsingbØrg, was a bit more diverse, but in Ängelholm, blue eyes, blond hair, light skin and outside perfection made the town feel more like a scene out of The Stepford Wives than real life. The people were friendly, but I always felt like something was missing. The weekends brought out a different scene altogether. Drunks lined the streets, peeing on buildings, throwing-up in allies and singing at the top of their lungs. It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, except it consumed an entire town.

The oppression is deceptive. Although their hair is blond, eyes are blue and skin is light, their souls are dark. Atheism, alcoholism and suicide run rampant in Sweden. They love to chat in little cafes (but never too loudly) and go about the duties of every day life, but the emotion, the passion, the vivaciousness of life is missing. Walking through the streets of Leah’s town, everyone looked the same, dressed the same, talked the same, shopped the same, the streets were clean, the people were friendly and yet something was missing. Life. They had lost connection with the Source of Life �" God Himself. The saddest part is that they can’t even feel that it’s missing.

HelsingbØrg was nice. Anton, Graz and Simon were great company! (I’ve missed my friends!) But, overall, Sweden is not for me. :) I don’t think you’ll have to worry about me packing my bags and moving to Sweden any time soon!

My first traditional Swedish meal was so graciously made by Anton’s mom. (She’s squeezably cute! But then again, the Sweds aren’t big on touching either.) :) It was wonderful! The most interesting dish of the night was dessert which resembled a rhubarb soup. I’ve always said that I’ll try anything once. I thought of rhubarb pie and thought, “it’s rhubarb! How bad can it be?!” It was unlike anything that I’d ever tasted before. It kind of resembled a mashed up rhubarb plant with water and cream. Not recommended for future travelers to the beautiful country of Sweden! (Hint: Just stick to the meatballs and potatoes!)

Overall, I had a great time visiting with old friends and making new ones. I had a bit of culture shock and realized that Sweden is not somewhere I want to live in the future. But I also learned some valuable lessons about culture, food, friendship and life. I’m really thankful for this experience!

To see more pictures from my Sweden travels visit:
nightsky says:
Good blog! The northern part is actually alot more typical Swedish; quiet, laidback and conflictless.
But I think you opinion about swedish people will change once you start to learn them.:) I think people in northern Europe are very similar.
Posted on: Aug 13, 2011
dieforu says:
great blog!!!
Posted on: Jun 29, 2009
efincher0812 says:
I've heard that northern Sweds are different than their southern counterparts. I wouldn't mind visiting northern Sweden one day! :)
Posted on: Jun 27, 2009
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photo by: nightsky