Things that happen when you live with a Scandinavian
Maybe you’ve already moved in and you’re Googling “strange things that happen when you live with a Scandinavian” – don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Or maybe you’re thinking “Should I start sharing my home with Agneta or Henrik?” Here, we give you a heads up what things might be like in your home, if you choose to go ahead. You’ve been warned.
They make you leave your shoes in the hallway.
Everything off in the hallway – and on with a nice pair of slippers. It’s a hygiene thing (although in Denmark you can sometimes get away with it). In Sweden, they’ll make you ask your guests to take their shoes off, too. This is how it will be from now on.
Announce when it is pee-pee time
“I think I’ll go for a pee now” will become a staple sentence. Eventually, you’ll start to adopt this habit too and find yourself doing it during a meeting at your fancy non-Scandinavian office.
The heating is maxed
Despite what people think, Scandinavians hate to be cold. Your house will now be a comfortable 23-24 degrees all year around. Any less and there will be complaints.
Also, you will air the room before bed. Yes, open bedroom windows, even at minus 20c.
Re-decorating & furniture
Living with a Scandi, decorating is easy: There is only one colour to choose from (white). This colour is also applied to skirting, radiators, ceilings and floorboards. Also you probably won’t need curtains any more (at least if you live with a Dane). If you don’t have a sofa table, one will appear within a week of the move because not having a sofa table in unheard of (where will we put our coffee?!)
Also, you no longer need carpets: Start your goodbyes now.
No more nick-nacks
One by one, those little cute things you own will be replaced by stylish candle holders and sleek things. No more souvenirs from Tenerife, no more ornate fireplace clocks. Eventually, you’ll find them all in a box in the attic. Good bye.
Is it a cult?
They burn day and evenings, sometimes entire packets of tealight in one room. Don’t fear, this is not a cult; it’s just cosy. Also, you may find that 4-5 small lamps are added to each room. Because, hygge.
Your double duvet is replaced by two single ones.
This is not a declaration that the love is dead, merely that nobody will steal your duvet again and you will keep your cold feet to yourself. And wait for an invite. THIS is true love.
Specialist equipment starts to appear in your kitchen:
Exhibit 1: OSTHYVEL
For slicing cheese. What is important to know is 1) You must NEVER make a ski slope and 2) you will never again be allowed to hack away at the cheddar with a blunt knife. Ever.
Exhibit 2: Filter Coffee Machine
Scandinavians drink more coffee than anyone else in the world. If you live with an ultra Scandi, you’ll have a MochaMaster (these brew the fastest). But any filter machine works. From now on, your coffee will be so strong you’ll be awake 19 hours a day. Coffee before bedtime (around 9 pm) becomes normal. Milk in coffee is for wimps.
Exhibit 3: Smörkniv
For butter. Never use your own, only use the designated knife for butter.
Look, it’s a body. It’s not anything Scandinavians think is sexual: It’s skin. We don’t care. There will be nakedness. If there is a sauna, there will be nakedness there, too. You may sit next to your new Father in Law, naked. On a small flannel. Get used to it and let it all hang out.
You will have sandwiches for breakfast. And probably sour milk. But definitely sandwiches – with cheese – and jam. Together. And coffee, a lot of coffee. There will be crispy bread – and it will re-appear at lunch. And for snacks. It never, ever ends.
Dinner is at 6
Dinner is at 6. Not 6:05, but 6 pm. Except, when you invite people over, the invite might be for 6, so therefore people must arrive at 6 pm. By 6:05 food is served. DO NOT BE LATE. for anything, ever again.
Before you eat, say ‘Velbekomme’. When you’ve finished your food, say ‘Takk for maten’ (thanks for dinner). Fail on this and you will sleep with the fishes. Also, shots of 40% alcohol with some meals will eventually become the normal (always look people in the eye when you say ‘skål’, or you’re just rude.)
Fridays will become cosy Fridays. You will start to share big bags of crisps (dip each chip in dip mix). There will be darkness, 117 candles and Nordic Noir. After a while, they will start to add the dreaded….
Because: Tacos are Scandinavian, everyone knows that. Tacos = burritos, nachos, quesadillas, enchilada, chimichanga… It’s all just Tacos. All of it. But only on Fridays.
Don’t be surprise if you after a while of living with a Scandinavian you start to consume around 550 grams of sweets every Saturday (the average). Only uncivilised people eat sweets the other six days).
Also, salty liquorice.
Weekend: Hiking days
The weekends will become 48h opportunities to get outside. Seeing as there is ‘No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”, every weekend will be a selection of hikes, walks, runs, bikes etc. Outside, with your backpack and your “all weather jacket”. If your chosen Scandinavian is a Norwegian, he or she will make sure to pack an Orange and a bar of Kvikklunsj chocolate.
Any snow and you will hear the words: “Snow? Really? You think this is snow? When I lived in Denmark/Norway/Sweden/Finland…. “ etc.
Mid-May is Eurovision
You can try to fight it, but at some point, your Scandinavian will be found in front of the telly, Pina Colada in hand, with a score sheet and dismay when Sweden doesn’t give Denmark 12 points as planned.
Flags are now for every occasion, but only on occasions. Birthdays = flags. Flags in cakes. Flags on sandwiches. Picking up someone at the airport = flags. Eurovision = flags. Midsummer = flags. National day = flags.
Everything. Always: Rinse and recycle. You will start to make trips to the recycling stations together. Awww.
You may start to see strange things in tubes appear in the fridge. Or things that look like plasticine. You will start to add remoulade on every meal once the Danes are done with you.
What other things do you think might happen when you live with a Scandinavian? Add your comments below!
PSST: Want to surprise your sweetheart with the aforementioned salty liquorice or dreaded things in tubes (you may earn yourself an extra cosy Friday)? Pop by or visit our webshop if you can’t make it in.