For The Swederlish!

(59 Posts)
Boomerwang Sat 01-Dec-12 23:33:04

Thought I'd start this thread in case someone like myself is looking for such a place. Seems to be tucked far into a corner though, so I'd be surprised if many checked in.

I'm a 33 year old English woman living with her Swedish boyfriend near Avesta. I discovered him online whilst playing a mmorpg in November 2010 and we have an 8 month old daughter.

I don't really like Sweden, if I'm honest. I miss the friendliness of Brits, the cheaper prices and much wider variety of products plus the more frequent and flexible availability of things such as transport and I really resent having to pay for my healthcare when it's for something I have little control over.

I was dreading the weather when I moved here, but it's not so bad. Sure, you get a lot of snow and it can slow things down, but it's a lot drier here so doesn't feel as cold as it is.

I miss my family very much, and I hate that they aren't getting to see my baby grow up, but I do like my boyfriends family a lot and I'm glad that we are living close to them, so that's something at least.

So why are you here? smile

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 23:56:54

Hej! smile

I'm a 28 year old English woman. I live in Stockholm and until recently worked as an English tutor/teacher (only for young kids who couldn't yet read as my written English is pants because I'm dyslexic.)

Snap with the meeting my DP on an mmorpg, we met in 2008 and I moved to Sweden in 2010. I have some lovely friends but no Swedish friends, I worked with ex-pats and made some lovely friends at SFI but they are all Englsih/Australian/Spanish/Dutch. My DP's family and friends are lovely but they don't yet feel like my "own" friends which is a shame.

I have pretty simalar feelings to you regarding the things I miss from the UK, I love popping into town when I'm in the UK and buying what I want/need cheaply and easilly.

I am pregnant and my baby is due next weekend, I feel like he is pretty well settled in now and will probably be late, hopefully not too close to Christmas.

I have enjoyed learning to ski since moving to Sweden, I also like mushroom picking and swimming in the lakes, I have really tried to throw myself into enjoying Sweden but I do miss beaches with proper tides and fish and chips.

I am loving the pretty crunchy snow!

Kram smile

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Sun 02-Dec-12 11:59:34

I'm 40 and live in Vara Kommun (about 1.5 hrs up the E20 from Goteborg). I'm English/Irish and moved here with my English husband and daughter(19) 5 years ago. He's a professor at the university in Goteborg. Our son is due in May shock. Didn't see that one coming.

I find the people in Vara very friendly and welcoming. This is very different from the kommun we lived in when we first moved here which was really closed and unfriendly. We left there after a year and the only person who had ever spoken to me was a Finnish neighbour. Within a week of moving to Vara we knew all our neighbours. The difference is so great it's like we've moved to a different country not just across the kommun boundary.

I was very homesick for the first 3 years and would have gone back in a flash, given the opportunity. It was quite a shock to realise one day, that now I only want to visit. Although there is lots I miss (like Cadbury's chocolate, pot noodles and Fry's turkish delight). But aid packages from our parents help with this grin

TeddyBare Sun 02-Dec-12 12:23:25

Can I join the Sweden thread too please? I grew up in Sweden but I now live in the UK. I'd love to move back one day but it's very difficult to find work in my field in Sweden.

Boomerwang Sun 02-Dec-12 12:43:48

Anyone can join it's just a thread :D

Boomerwang Sun 02-Dec-12 12:50:33

I said I live near Avesta but that's not strictly true although we ARE moving in to our new house today. We're moving from a house in the middle of nowhere near Uppsala. I We decided that our daughter needed to grow up in a community and have friends and places to go, and to be much closer to a doctor and hospital and school. We can't afford the move to the UK yet and the houses in Avesta are dirt cheap. Apparently it used to be a haven for addicts and criminals which more or less made the place die out and there are a few completely empty apartment blocks.

This is one of the times I'm glad we have an Alsatian because if I have to go to the shops in the dark I'll be taking her with me!

I need to get a job, but my Swedish is terrible so it looks like I need one where I don't have to deal with the public. My best bet is cleaning work I guess sad

tribpot Sun 02-Dec-12 12:54:34

I lived in Sweden (Blekinge) for 3 years and a lot of what you all say above rings lots of bells for me smile Having the munchies for Walkers Smokey Bacon crisps was a major problem. Sweeping 6 inches of snow off the car in the morning was less time-consuming than scraping the ice off here!

I miss living by the sea - whenever I live in the UK I seem to end up right in the centre of it, which is annoying. When ds is older I think I will miss the very safe environment the kids in my town were growing up in.

In those days there were no Kindles, so getting books in English was a bit of a chore - we all had to read whatever everyone else had with them, and likewise watch each other's box sets or go to the house of the person whose satellite dish was facing the right way to get Sky, or something! I definitely don't miss the one-screen cinema that was all there was for about 100 miles, and the shopping <shudder>. I once brought a hoover from the UK as my checked-in bag, because it was impossible to buy a bagless one there.

I also don't miss having to carry three purses full of currency (or even four on occasion) but this was because I was commuting from Sweden via Copenhagen and Amsterdam every weekend. What a joy that was.

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Sun 02-Dec-12 13:00:38

I'm studying with the OU at the moment part-time. Once you've been in Sweden for 4 or 5 years (can't remember which sorry) you can get CSN funding for foreign distance courses.

MrsMerryMeeple Sun 02-Dec-12 13:20:19

Hej! Good job Boomerwang, I was thinking we should stop hijacking Honeytea's moan about the brits inability to deal with the cold.

I'm an Australian whose now been here gulp, almost 9 years! Living in Stockholm with Swedish DH. DS is 1.8, DC2 due next year.

Sitting here munching Walkers crisps, went to the English Shop a couple of days ago! grin

BeedlesPineNeedles Sun 02-Dec-12 14:45:50

Hi there

I'm in Göteborg, been here about 3 years with my Swedish sambo. I think I'm the opposite to you honeytea as I have no (native) English speaking friends. All of my foreign-to-Sweden friends can speak English but it would be a bit rude for me to speak my own language whilst they're speaking a foreign one. Actually I think that's what I miss most, just having normal conversations in English with people other than my boyfriend.

I do also miss shopping and still buy most of my clothes on trips to England.

I do have a job here but although I only speak Swedish at work I don't actually have to speak too much to do my job. grin

honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 15:55:19

So many of us in Sweden!

Flamingnora that is really interesting about studying OU, I will be looking into that once my mammaledigt ends smile

I am envious of my non Swedish/non English speaking friends who have trilingual kids, I feel like my poor baby will "only" have 2 languages.

Does anyone have any advice about what happens in terms of paperwork after the birth of a child? I have read that you have to apply for a name if it isn't on the skatterverket list, our baby will have the middle name bryan after my grandpa I don't think it is onthe list, any ideas how long it takes to get a name approved?

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Sun 02-Dec-12 17:26:16

All I know is that it costs an arm and leg to get them registered at the embassy and get their first passport. I might go for an Irish one instead of British as it's a heck of lot cheaper.

honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 18:16:10

Do you think I have to register the baby at the british embasy? I was just thinking we could have him be Swedish and register him in the UK when we visit. I should have really looked into this, poor baby will be born nationality-less

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Sun 02-Dec-12 19:09:20

Your partner is Swedish isn't he? So your baby will be Swedish by birth. Neither of us are Swedes so our baby can't be Swedish. I've just read on the gov website that if you want your baby to be registered with Britain, and have a British birth registration document (they can't have a UK birth certificate sad), you have to do it through the embassy or the consular department in London. Although it also says you don't have to do it and it isn't necessary in order to get a passport. Which is good to know as it cost £200 to register them shock

honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 20:09:04

200 pounds that is so silly!

yep DP is Swedish so the baby will be Swedish, but me and DP are not married so DP needs to officially accept responsibility for the baby before we can apply for the passport.

We plan to go to the UK in March I hope we get a passport in time!

fraktion Sun 02-Dec-12 21:05:48

Not that I live in Sweden but you definitely do not need the registration. If thy want to apply for a British passport later they will need their birth feet translated and your birth cert but the nationality is automatic. I wouldn't be paying the cash. That's assuming you have the other nationality.

Otherwise you just need to apply for the passport at the embassy/consulate but I think all the European ones go via Paris now which takes an age...

MrsMerryMeeple Mon 03-Dec-12 07:23:30

DS is Swedish. I had to apply for his certificate of Australian citizenship, which was the usual bureaucratic saga with accompanying fees. Then apply for a passport. Ditto the saga and the fees. Hope he appreciates it when he's older!

Been here for nearly 2 years now, initially Gothenburg and for the last 18 months in Stenungsund, a bit north of Gbg on the coast.
DH is Swedish and our DD (2 & 4) have only Swedish nationality. They were both born in Belgium where we lived previously and where I still get homesick for.
After 2 years of mammaledighet I started SFI in August and have progressed with that to SAS and am now doing SVAN part time while working part time as well.
Most friends here are Swedish though I know a couple of English girls which is good to have as a back up, but generally I socialise with other swedes and speak swedish with them. Getting on top of the language has really helped me in feeling settled here.

Re the paperwork for our DCs, most of that was done via the swedish embassy in brussels as that was where we lived but it was all v smooth and didn't cost much iirc. The British embassy system was so complex and pricey we just didn't bother!

Have just shelled out a small fortune on renewing my UK passport... hmm

gingercurl Wed 05-Dec-12 11:28:39

Hi! Swede living in the UK here. Can I join? I moved here 14 years ago. Am from Stockholm, but have been an expat most of my life, and now live in the East Midlands. The OP struck a chord with me because I could have written pretty much the same thing but about Britain and the Brits. Up until I had my DS five years ago, pretty much all of my social life revolved around work. Now, I've met some people through him and it's made living here much better. But... I still feel to some extent that I have made and existance for myself here whereas, if I was in Sweden, I would have had a life.

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Wed 05-Dec-12 11:43:32

My English husband wants me to apply for an Irish passport for our baby when he's born. Irish citizenship can be passed on for generations whereas British can only be passed on 1 generation. He's worried that when the EU collapses (in a hundred years or so) his descendents will be trapped in Sweden forever. Irish citizenship will mean the back door is propped open grin.

Because DH has lived outside of Sweden for many years, there are only a few school friends who he still knew to socialise with when we arrived here. Spread out accross the wider Gothenburg area, so not really able to just pop in for coffee with them.

When we lived 6 months in Gothenburg I didn't make any friends at all. I hated it and found the people really rude, pushy and unfriendly. Since moving to a small town I love it. I like that I know most of the people I see out and about. We live on a street of newly built houses which means lots of young families and parents at home with kids. I found really genuine, warm friendships and support from several neighbours when we were home together on parental leave. And the DDs' dagis has loads of lovely parents whom we have got to know to the point that we no longer need to talk about our kids when we meet but we can talk about other things as well. So that makes it feel like a good place to be.

Those of you with DC, what language do they speak? And what language do you speak with them?

Oh, passports out of Sweden go through somewhere in Germany I think. Whole thing is a nightmare!

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Wed 05-Dec-12 14:40:45

Not anymore surroundbyblondes. You now have to apply through the IPS in Liverpool.

BeedlesPineNeedles Thu 06-Dec-12 07:41:18

surrounded do you think the difference in friendlyness of you neighbours is just the difference in living in a flat to living in a house (I'm assuming you lived in a flat in Gothenburg!)? When I first moved here we lived in a flat where DP had lived for about 10 years, but hardly anyone spoke to us. Now we live in a house, we know the names of almost everyone on our street, and one of our next door neighbours comes round with cakes she has baked etc (it is a very small cul-de-sac, which probably helps).

Though I was in Stenungsund last month and it did seem very nice grin

Well done on getting through SFI, I never did it but did read a few horror stories about it on TheLocal

Nah, we lived in a house in both västra frölunda and in hjuvik. In neither place did I feel at home, and I was often stared at when I spoke English to the DC, cashiers at shops etc wouldn't say a word (in either English or Swedish) when the total came up at the end of shopping, presumably because they had heard me speaking English, assumed I couldn't speak Swedish and were anxious to speak English to me.

Here in lovely, lovely Stenungsund everyone speaks to me in Swedish, but that's fine, we're in Sweden!! It's ignoring me because they're worried to speak English that I hate!!

It is the type of street that we live on though, you're right. Lots of young families, people eager to meet and socialise with each other. Where we lived first people had their own lives set up already.

I did my SFI after having lived here for a while, so it was pretty easy to get through. Same for SAS to be honest. Now I'm at the more difficult stage that I can understand, I can converse, but I am getting frustrated that I'm not as functional as in my mother tongue, and I know that this is my next goal so that I can not only work, but work at a level which is interesting and challenging. But I'm a bit lazy now, as I have my little comfort zone and I can manage all of my daily tasks in Swedish.

Boomerwang Wed 12-Dec-12 23:17:53

Hi folks its been a while. No pc or broadband, that's why. Using mobile now until its set up so excuse bad spelling and grammar.
Moved into new house. Whole story of problems but I cba to bore you with that.
We're next to all the schools, have a convenience store, 5 min bus ride away from shopping mall and 30 min walk from grandparents. I'm much happier about that.
I suppose its time to apply for a Swedish driving licence, close my UK bank accounts and change the address on my passport. Bf reckons we're here for the next 5 years sad
People generally seem nicer in Avesta than they do in uppsala. Maybe its because its a much smaller town?

MrsMerryMeeple Thu 13-Dec-12 20:35:06

Ok, need a second (or third fourth and fifth) opinion here. Is it just me, and are my childhood memories tinged with sugar hyp, or does swedish icing taste bleugh! Made cupcakes for Lucia yesterday, iced them with "florsocker" mixed with water, and I thought it smelt and tasted nasty!

Wondering if it's a beet-sugar vs cane-sugar thing?

Anyone else noticed this?

Agree. Had some cupcakes at DD1's iceskating the other day where the icing was vile :-( Not sure if it was the sugar or what it was. Florsocker seems to be okay for buttercream though. Or try ordering from the English shop online?

Boomerwang, I feel much happier in our small town than I did in a city. People know each other but want to get to know others even so. yhey seem to have time for eachother here.
Hope it works out for you smile

Boomerwang Thu 27-Dec-12 18:39:17

Another update! Finally have my pc up and running. Had a great Christmas and I hope you all did too. The dinner was odd and I couldn't eat half of it. It was some kind of buffet. I did ok with meatballs, 'prince korv' and a spare rib but there was stuff like caviar on eggs, something which looked like cat food sliced up, four jars of 'abba' fish in smelly liquid and a huge jar of pickled herring. Not to my taste. I did miss my mum's amazing Christmas cooking. I tried to make fudge, biscotti and stollen cake. The fudge was too sweet and didn't set properly, the biscotti was overbaked so rock hard and the stollen cake tasted revolting. I'm not much of a cook blush

Since living here though I have developed a taste for salt gherkin, beetroot salad and crispbread, though!

tribpot Thu 27-Dec-12 18:59:43

Your description of Christmas dinner has made me laugh, Boomerwang. I'm imagining you trying to think of a polite way to say 'what's the stuff that looks like sliced cat food?' grin

My oldest brother is over from Shanghai so his family have been going mad for stuff you can't get in China (pickled eggs, allegedly - I do not believe this). So it seems wherever you are you hanker for the stuff you can't get smile

MrsMerryMeeple Thu 27-Dec-12 23:31:06

Hi all. Hope you enjoyed your "100 ways to eat dead pig", otherwise known as Christmas in Sweden. We did the full turkey dinner with pudding on the 26th, so I'm now happy. Nom nomnom. grin

I'm selling a bunch of english novels on Tradera, since my LO is about to learn how to climb out of his cot and we need to turn our study into a kid's room, and that means less bookshelves. Gaaargh.

PM me if you want the link.

Boomerwang Fri 28-Dec-12 08:14:44

Ooh I'm always interested in English stuff available in Sweden as the postage is usually cheaper but sadly I don't have time to read. My kindle was fully charged last time I used it but I'll bet it's wound down to nothing now. Shame, I really loved reading the steamy stuff I downloaded ;)

Actually, the postage thing here is annoying from online stores. Sometimes they'll send to a store nearby instead of directly to you, and they charge up to an astronomical £10 extra for the service. I've not found cheaper than £6 yet. Why on earth do they do this? It's put me off online shopping as the products aren't usually much cheaper in the store unlike in the UK.

Also I noticed they were stingy in the 'mellandagsrea'. For example, El Giganten barely knocked off 20% of their stuff. Jysk on the other hand went the whole half price on some things, that was a blessing as I need a new vitrinsk'aw'p (cba to dig out char map)

Just back home again after a week in the UK, eating turkey and filling up on bacon and proper sausages. Disappointed that we were given so many presents that my large box of Yorkshire Tea didn't fit in my suitcase hmm

Boomerwang Sat 29-Dec-12 21:33:53

haha my mother sends me tetley tea now and then. I have too much actually. I also get moist toilet tissue sent over as it doesn't seem to exist here. Also malt vinegar, gravy, cadbury's chocolate and jelly!

Ended up paying 89kr for a packet of tea today at the English shop. Not happy about that. Bloody Ryan Air baggage limits

PandaOnAPushBike Sat 05-Jan-13 23:26:47

You can get PG Tips in CoOp these days. Tends to lurk around the foreign foods section as opposed to the rest of the tea hmm

We had proper Christmas on 25th. Turkey and all the trimmings followed by Christmas pud and cream (I'm pregnant so if I can't have brandy butter, nobody's having brandy butter). We did go out to a very posh hotel the week before though for a traditional julbord. It was very nice, but then I love fish, but it isn't Christmas for me.

We went to midnight mass too. The priest is polish I think. He dipped the wafers in some sort of liqueur which nearly blew my head off. Polish Christmas tradition perhaps?

Boomerwang Tue 08-Jan-13 18:56:30

Am I the only one who calls Coop 'The Co-Op' like in the UK? Trying hard to break the habit!

Sorry. I now say coop (as in chicken coop)

Will go there tomorrow to see if I can find tea. Luckily my DB is coming over in a couple of weeks so can bring me some more supplies.

Read something shocking on here the other day about them changing the taste/shape of cadbury's dairy milk. Should I get him to bring some over, or am I risking disappointment??

PandaOnAPushBike Tue 08-Jan-13 22:30:29

If they don't have it, try the Indian supermarket here. They do quite a few British products for a lot cheaper than the English shop.

Oh and I say Co-Op too Boomerwang. I refuse to be assimilated. grin

PandaOnAPushBike Tue 08-Jan-13 22:32:35

That link didn't work. Try this one.

Have just ordered from a website called No idea if they're any good, but a fiver for 160 bags has to beat 89kr for 80 bags here, even when you add postage costs....

I did find PG Tips in Coop, and local ICA has twinings, but it's not the same (small tantrum)

honeytea Mon 14-Jan-13 09:05:09

Hello smile just a little update from me, I gave birth to my ds on the 18th of December, the Swedish hospital was bloody amazing, like a posh hotel. We went to bb Stockholm which is a private maternity ward at Danderyd sjukhus but it is free (like the free private schools.)

Ds is doing great, I'm finding I speak "swinglish" to him lots, I must stop that!

Ds is 4 weeks old now and my dp went back to work today, does anyone know of any baby massage/baby singing type things on Stockholm?

Happy new year to you all smile

Boomerwang Mon 14-Jan-13 10:16:52

Congratulations on the new baby :D sorry I don't know anything about Stockholm so I can't help.

Grattis honeytea! Glad you had a good experience and all going well. Not in Stockholm either, but try öppenforskola. Most communes have them and they tend to have groups/sångstund for under 12months separately. Ask at bvc also. Does yours have a mother & baby group? It can be a good way to get started.

MrsMeeple Mon 14-Jan-13 17:01:01

Congratulations Honeytea! You're lucky to have been to BB Stockholm they were my first choice but were full for DS, so we ended up in (the normal part of) Danderyd. Which was sitll luxury compared to the experiences in other countries that I've read about on here! smile Fingers crossed there's space in May when the next one is due!

We did a baby music class with DS. I think it was run through the local council (kommun). But check the "kommun" websites and the local churches. They quite often run sessions.

there are a couple of playgroups for english speakers if you want to get out and meet other parents. The one I went to have kids of a wider age range than the swedish drop in playgroups, as there are more expat SAHMs. Most of the Swedish kids are in daycare by the age of 2.

A quick google of "babyrytmik Stockholm" gives quite a few hits.

Yes, the kids are in daycare, but often not full-time. As soon as a sibling is born and there is a parent off on parental leave the non-school age kids drop down to 15hrs daycare a week.

We went to a lovely playgroup run by the church, though we neither of us believe and have opted out of the church. They were super-welcoming AND they had the best fikabord grinThe christian stuff was minimal (one tiny, inoffensive song of a repertoire of about 20).

honeytea Mon 14-Jan-13 20:52:44

Thank you for the advice smile

I am due to join the mammagroup but not for a few weeks yet, I am going to an international parent meetup tomorrow if I can manage to get me and DS washed, dressed, fed and on the bus in time. Today my acheivments were showering, getting dressed (into clean pyjamas) and putting 1 wash load on so I think I might be being a little optimistic about my trip into the city!

Mrsmeeple I hope you do get to go to bb stockholm, it was so lovely although my friends who have been to dandyryd have said it was lovely there too smile I went to a private (but free) midwife whilst I was pregnant, they are in gamlastan and östermalm the midwife I went to is the same company as bb stockholm so they give priority places to the people who have been to their midwives. The day DS was born was a record breaking day 19 babies were born!!

I had a funny time in a baby shop last week, my friend gave me a swaddle me blanket and it works amazingly, DS settles much better when swaddled. The problem is that his newborn nappy explosions mean that we were washing the blanket every morning and then paniking about it being dry for bedtime. We went in and asked the person in the shop if they had a swaddling blanket and tried to describe it to them they said "no we don't sell anything like that! It sounds cruel!" My friend brought us another one from the netherlands so the situation was solved, I think the shop assitant was considering calling social services on us for restraining our baby.

Boomerwang Mon 14-Jan-13 23:28:24

A website for English Mums in Sweden if you are interested:

MrsMeeple Tue 15-Jan-13 11:19:04

I was also with a midwife connected to Bb Stockholm. But if they're full, they're full!

I know what you mean about swaddling. In Australia, it's recommended to help stop tinies from waking themselves with their startle reflex. In Sweden most seem to think it's torture. What happened to "lagom"? We wrapped DS up tight for the first few weeks.

MrsMeeple Sun 27-Jan-13 18:32:45

Hej Galwaygirl, come join us. smile

Boomerwang, I saw your other thread briefly about having a shit time at mammagrupp. Then before I could read it fully and reply, I had to go take care of the DDs. When I got a moment, it had disappeared from active convos.
How are you doing? What happened?

Boomerwang Fri 01-Feb-13 13:20:10

I feel better now that I've had a chance to talk it out on here and to know that I am not the only one who has had an awkward time adjusting to a new situation involving that elite club 'parents'. For my child's sake, I will try again either at the same place or a new one, but I'm going to take someone with me who can bridge the gap in the languages at least at first.

Where did you post your other thread? Couldn't find it earlier...
I hated öppnaförskolan. Grim behaviour and cliquey parents. The two ladies who ran it were lovely though and always made DD1 feel special

Boomerwang Fri 01-Feb-13 15:03:20
Boomerwang Fri 01-Feb-13 18:28:19

Can I ask why everybody appears to be living in the capital or other great cities like gothenburg and malmo? Is it for work? I live in the middle of nowhere it seems.

MrsMeeple Fri 01-Feb-13 18:50:45

Why Stockholm? For me it was a combination of that's where the work is for me and DH, and not being willing to move to the back of beyond. DH lived in Östersund when we met, and I was a LOT less willing to move there than to Stockholm. Thankfully he was ready for a change too and got a job here, so we moved to Stockholm together, me from o/s, him from Östersund.

Nothing against Östersund, I'm sure it has it's advantages, but I come from a bigger city, have a tough enough time with the cold and dark at this latitude, and wanted to be somewhere with an expat community I could integrate with if I needed to.

Can you afford the odd long weekend in the big city? Come down with DH and DD and arrange a meetup with some of the english mums or us MNers who are here? Then you'd have someone you have met to moan with via email etc. Always good to have someone to vent with.

DH is from Gothenburg and we have his family (for what little good they are!), his friends etc. Plus he was able to get work here in his area of expertise.
As previously said, I have been happier since we moved to a small town on the outside of a bigger city. I hated Gothenburg itself and enjoy the familiarity of a small town.

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