Smiling - No one smiles here and summer is supposed to be when people in Stockholm are the happiest. I should clarify that when I say no one smiles, I mean in passing they don't smile. When you are out to dinner or with friends then people will smile but if you pass someone on the street and make eye contact smiling doesn't follow. This seems strange to me. Maybe it is a Midwest thing but where I come from, people smile or at least nod their head to acknowledge your presence. That doesn't happen here. When we were here in June I was going up an escalator and I was smiling. The guy in front of me said, "Wow, you are very smiley. Are you happy?" I wasn't expecting that question, most people would just smile back. I wouldn't consider myself an overly smiley person (This is true for me especially at school. I've been told I come across very serious, some might even say it takes a while/a year to get to know and love the real me :) . . . you know who you are.) but when you are around people who never smile I guess I'm considered a smiley person, wouldn't have ever classified myself as that.
Flip Flops - I can count on one hand the number of people I've seen wearing flip flops. I'm guessing with all the walking they have figured out flip flops aren't the best for your feet. Before living here I would walk around in flip flops all day and my feet would be fine. Well, walking around in flip flops in Olathe and walking around in Stockholm are two totally different things. If we had a car I could see how flip flops would still work just fine but since we use public transportation and walk a lot my feet get really tired. One of my first Swedish purchases was new shoes.
Shoes - I am not a shoe girl. I don't tend to get excited about shoes and if they aren't comfortable I'm not buying them. It does seem like here they care about comfortable shoes since they walk so much. However, I'm not sure I love the style of comfortable shoes they have. Lots of people wear Converse lace up shoes which is fine. But they wear them with everything, regular jeans, skinny jeans, skirts, dresses, capris, etc. A lot of people have white ones that are really dirty from being walked in so much. I think people also wear tennis shoes on their commute to work and then change into "cute" shoes once they get to work. I have a feeling I might be doing that. I had a hard time finding shoes that I thought would be comfortable to walk in plus something I would wear again in the states. I also wanted a pair I could wear with skinny jeans.
I finally settled on these. So far I like them. Pretty wild huh?
Healthy people - There are very few overweight people here. I'm guessing it is a combination of all the walking they do but also the food both cost and selection. Food is expensive. Meat is especially expensive. I bought ground beef for tacos and it was $7.45 for one pound. They also don't have a lot of junk food at grocery stores. Plus you have to carry everything home which makes you really think hard before putting it into your basket. They are very into cheese, bread and coffee. Everyday they take a fika break. A fika (fee-ka) break is a coffee/tea break in the afternoon usually around 3:00 and they usually eat something sweet at that time as well. Today I went to a faculty meeting at a school right at 3:00 which was their fika time. They had coffee, tea, bread, cheese, tomatoes, cookies and chocolate.
This is my idea of a fika break. I don't like coffee but I sure do love chocolate!
This picture is from June. I decided I might have to try some coffee (or a Mocha Latte) if I was going to enjoy fika like the locals.
This was my view out the metro one day.
This is my new school.