Past Opinion Articles
Article for the week of 10/4/06
Straight from the Swede
Okay, so in the whole “Being Swedish” thing we have covered the basics
of being Swedish, politics, drinking, technology and hockey. All good
and important things, but a country is only as nice as it's climate allows.
So what is the weather in Sweden like? Is it true we have to ski to work
everyday, polar bears stalk the street and the snowflakes are the size
of Roseanne Barr? No, not quite. First off, winter is not 12 months. It
is more like 6, possibly 7. And there are no polar bears or deadly large
snowflakes during this time. There are regular bears, true, but they usually
stay off the street unless they get a hunkering for honey and suffer from
And looking out my window, at the moment all I see are some really grey
clouds. The sun usually goes off to warmer places for it's vacation this
time of year, although temperatures are pretty decent, and this summer
was insanely hot and sunny all the time. Not that I was complaining too
loudly, it did, after all, mean swimming was fun and nice, while jogging
would have been equal to throwing your brains in a vat if boiling water.
Not that I know what that feels like, but I'm guessing it's bad.
Oh, we did have the occasional lightning-storm, one of which happily ruined
the internet for yours truly for over a month, because Swedish phone companies
and ISPs are entirely and totally incompetent. Jolly hip hurray!
All in all though, the summer is all too warm in the middle of the day
and just right at evenings, and, of course, freezing at night. Compare
this to fall, which is pretty much like evening or night constantly, with
just the right amount of rain to bug you, and then, after a short fall,
we have winter. And more winter.. and more winter. This is the time of
year where your fingers freeze to tiny bits, the sun goes down at noon.
I heard Sweden has the largest amount of season-related depressions, and
I can almost see why. Unless everything turns into a less than likeable
slush, it is either the just right temperature for a snowball fight (this
never happens, however), or that lovable pure white and colder than hell
temperature of powder snow. Or you just have no snow at all, or just enough
to miss the rest, and everything is cold, cold, cold. And yet you never
get nearly enough snow for school to close, instead the buses merely have
trouble in traffic and you have to get to school early instead. Truly
the best half of the year (or not), despite the fact that the snow merely
lingers from mid-February to April.
And after that, you usually have spring. In Sweden, spring feels like
it lasts a grand total of about a week, then it's summertime, and everyone
is happy and jolly and burning up again.
And also.. those grey clouds I mentioned opened up. The streets are nearly
flooding and the temperature has dropped two degrees Celsius. It is good
to be the Swede.. or possibly not. Then again, to quote garbage “I'm only
happy when it rains”. Or it is possibly a good time to start dancing and
singing, as soon as I find my raincoat and lose my senses.