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Getting a driver’s license in Sweden (B-körkort)

It’s time for a fun update!  Today I’m going to talk about getting a driver’s license in Sweden (or rather, what I had to go through to get my Swedish driver’s license).  Listen up, Americans… this ain’t no joke.  The test is way harder than you think.

Raise your hand if you moved here and found out that your driver’s license was only good for the first year that you were here?  I’ve always thought that was weird – as if we would suddenly forget how to drive once the 366th day comes rolling around.

Keep your hand raised if you thought that it was no big deal for you to get a new license because you drove back in your home country, or you chose to postpone the process because you didn’t think you would need a car.

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An evolved view on transportation

Have you heard of the famous Google, Facebook, and Apple commuter buses that ferry their employees from San Francisco to their corporate Silicon Valley campuses? It is a love hate relationship; the employees love them but the community have really turned against them, mostly because they see the buses as symbols of gentrification and displacement. Rents and property values in the areas where the commuter shuttles pick-up employees have apparently increased faster than other areas. I don’t have enough data to comment on this issue, but I did want to comment on something else!

I recently read an article¹ about San Francisco gathering public feedback around the idea of a centralized transportation hub for private commuter shuttles instead of having stops all over San Francisco. I then read a follow-up article² where they analyzed the different responses against the respondents’ IP addresses and zip codes to figure out where the respondents most likely worked. I read through these comments just to get an idea of the sentiment from the community. Continue reading

Characteristics of Swedish business culture

I’ve lived in Sweden for almost 8 years now and fortunately, I’ve been gainfully employed this entire time (crossing fingers). These years have given me a lot of insight into how different it is to work at a Swedish company when compared to an American company.

Here’s a few of my observations over the years…  Treat this as a cheat sheet to understanding Swedish business culture just a bit better! Continue reading

Parking in Stockholm

Hello dear readers!

Time for another update, this time on a topic that is related to my most recent achievement (getting my driver’s license) — PARKING!

One of the biggest complaints you hear from folks in Stockholm is that parking is atrocious and is incredibly expensive. This is true, but it’s all relative, right?  Folks, I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area. While the suburbs in the SF Bay are parking-friendly, the streets of San Francisco proper are definitely not.

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A newly minted Swede

Hello readers!

I have some big and exciting news! As of October 3, 2013, your dear blogger is an official Swede!  That’s right – I am a naturalized citizen of this country!  Don’t worry, I didn’t give up my American citizenship – nope, all I did was add to it.  I even managed to get my Swedish passport – it only took 3 days.

Being SwedishMost people congratulated me this week and asked how it felt.  My friend Victoria gave me a little “Welcome to Sweden” goodie bag filled with nostalgia-triggering items that apparently all Swedes of my generation owned at some point.  It’s been a week, so I figured I would try to put into words the emotions that have been coursing through my veins these last few days.

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I really shouldn’t do this, but…

Hello readers!

The autumn weather has hit Stockholm with all of its fury.  The temperature is hovering between 6c and 10c right now.  I have been out of town a lot the last few weeks, but when I came back to Stockholm last night I noticed that everyone had busted out their fall/winter jackets, and the girls were back in their boots.  I like the look, so I’m glad it’s still in fashion!

I’ve been working in the UK the last few weeks on a project.  My team is comprised of my colleagues from the Stockholm office.  We don’t know each other that well so we had an opportunity to bond around meals.  One evening, we started discussing about how Swedes behave when they get into a situation where they don’t want to do something but don’t really know how to tell you.  It makes for an interesting situation since Swedes really dislike confrontation, so how do they resolve this conundrum?

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Americans love Stockholm!

Greetings, readers!  What a beautiful summer it’s been in Stockholm.  After a long and harsh winter, we have finally gotten our due.  Thank you, weather gods…

First up – I’ve updated my most popular blog post – the one about buying an apartment in Stockholm!  If you’re interested, take a look – the updates are at the bottom of the page: https://trulyswedish.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/buying-an-apartment-in-stockholm/

My college buddies Scott and Ty visisted me in Stockholm at the beginning of July.  They’ve never been to Stockholm before and I thought it was fitting that after six years of being here, it was time for them to visit.  Ty lives in Pasadena and works in Hollywood and Scott works at an accounting firm in Sacramento. Continue reading