Sunday, March 28, 2010

Springing Forward and Sunday Beer

Today is Sunday. But not just any Sunday. At 2 am this morning, the clocks changed. We finally sprang forward over here in Sweden. Suddenly, the cold dark days of winter are being replaced by the cold light days of… well, winter. It isn’t officially spring in Stockholm yet.

Sweden doesn’t declare spring based on that silly equinox, but instead on the temperature. SMHI, the weather gurus here in Sweden, have decided that it is spring when the average 24 hour temperature is over 0 degrees for seven days in a row. As long as this happens after the 15th of February of course. This means that certain parts of the country are in the throes of spring while other parts are in the throes of jealousy.

Stockholm is not there yet. Soon what with all of the snow melting, but not quite. It wasn’t the time change that I noticed today though. Or even the thawing temperatures. It was beer.

I saw a man walking up the escalator with a full case of beer in hand. And this struck me as odd. Because, as I mentioned above, it is Sunday. The fact that it struck me as odd struck me as odd. Beer on Sundays shouldn’t be something noteworthy. But in a country where last call at the liquor store is 3 in the afternoon on Saturday, seeing someone walking around with a full case of beer at 4 in the afternoon on a Sunday raises an eyebrow.

He must have been coming home from the ferry, there’s really no other reason. Unless he grossly miscalculated his beer intake for the night before. But I’m thinking Finland.

It frightens me though that I notice this. I shouldn’t notice this. Either I have embraced the Swedish liquor culture and accepted Sunday as dry days meant to nurse hangovers, or I am pathetically attentive to what other people are doing. Which just sounds sad. So let’s go with the acceptance of Swedish liquor culture.

Welcome to Sweden. And Sunday beer.

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  1. Being a good observer is required for being a good writer. Don't be ashamed of that. :)

  2. U made a good point there. That's my experience/impression of Sweden as well....that you become so attentive of everything and everybody. Surely, it's good to be able to observe...but with it may come other less desirable traits: judging, being nosy and violating other people's privacy. I can feel these subtle but still significant differences between here (North America) and there (Sweden).

  3. Happy Daylight Savings time! I didn't realize Sweden had not already sprung forward since we in the U.S. did that 2 weeks ago (another interesting tidbit I've learned from your blog :)

    As an American, I still find the restricted alcohol access in Sweden a bit odd. Obviously, Americans have our own idiosyncrasies and weird habits, etc., but the alcohol one is, even to me (a non-drinker), a bit unusual.

    Maybe they don't want people to get drunk the day before the work week begins, so they cut everyone off on Saturday afternoon?

    In any case, cheers to the fellow you saw this weekend hauling the case of beers, and cheers to you for DST, Hairy!


    ( ^_^)o自自o(^_^ )

  4. @Mazui - oooh I like that even better then!

    @anonymous - very true, sometimes it is good, and sometimes it can be a little much.

    @anonymous - thanks, it was pretty exciting last night when 7:00 came and went and it was still light out.

  5. @Anon: That is one very odd statement. You gotta be the only person that sais Swedes are nosy and violates other peoples privacy.

    I think a Swede (or atleast a Stockholmare) couldn't care less of what you do with whom and when. In fact, I think most people actually complain about people being to "stiff and cold" in Sweden, not "talk too much, being noisy and violating peoples privacy". Are you sure you really visited Sweden? :P

    The US on the other hand (or atleast in the stores you walk in to) you get interrogated. When you leave the staff knows where you're from, how man sibling you got, how old your parents are, why you are visiting, where you're staying and so on. Or atleast that what a Swede would say. An American would just call it "being polite". :D

  6. Coming from a dry state (Indiana), the inability to buy booze on a Sunday has not been much of an adjustment for me. It's the inability to buy a bottle of wine at the grocery store while I'm actually shopping for the ingredients of meal I want to serve it with that drives me crazy.

  7. Hey, you gotta admit that our way of deciding when it's spring is A LOT better than yours, right?! "First day of spring" and you can look out on drifts of snow. Spring, my backside... Nah, temperature is the way to go! Welcome back btw! :)

  8. @anonymous - I think they were saying that when people get stuck noticing all of the details they become judgemental. not that swedes are.

    @shazzer - the grocery stores I can handle. its the opening and closing hours that get me actually.

    @terander - are you kidding me, its genius! I love it.

  9. Let's go with acceptance of booze culture :)