Hej! In my first post from the Scandinavian country of Sweden, I will talk about some of my experiences and observations that I have had so far. My first two days I have been severely jetlagged, so it was difficult for me to stay focused on any reading, however I have been able to absorb a lot of Swedish Christmas culture. I arrived the evening of December 22nd, and on the 22nd and 23rd, I have experienced the many roundabouts on the roads, I see lots of blue and yellow (Country's National Colors) everywhere, particularly in street signs.
The day before I left America, I transferred my money. The exchange rate was 6.8659 Swedish Krona to every $1 American. So although every 7 Krona equals about a dollar, things are still far more expensive here. For example, a can of coke, which probably costs $0.75 to $1.00 in vending machines in America would cost about $1.50 here in Sweden. When I arrived here in in Sweden, I realized things are smaller. The houses are smaller, the cars are a little bit smaller (but safer, as Volvo is a Swedish brand and is popular among the Swedes... but still considered a little dorky), and the smallness reflects some of the simplicity of the country. Swedes eat similar foods (Ham, cheese and crackers, meatballs, taco salad), and play the same games (Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3). They party, they shop, and they even have been eating similar portions of food to me, so either I'm a bad representation of the "fat American", or the food they are consuming happens to be a lot healthier. Now that I think of it, it's probably the latter.
Everyone seems to be able to speak pretty good English, and it has helped me to feel quite comfortable with the country. I talk about business to a lot of people, and my next blog posts will chronicle some of what I have learned from talking to people, as well as summarizing how the business climate is here, and also how starting a business works.