Domburg Seaside 58 | Netherlands

Jack the Flipper likes to wishes you a friendly & nice 4.Advent today!:)

We’ve took photos of the breakwater structures of Domburg in the Netherlands on several trips to that beautiful coastline in our neighbor country. A 3 hour drive by car and you can breathe and feel the ocean of the North-Sea. Along your hike down the coast you discover dozens of these wooden structures at the shore.

Nature is our Mainspring!

JACK THE FLIPPER

http://www.jacktheflipper-shop.com

4 months in, what else stands out about Sweden??

Moomin,
even though its Finnish I seem to find Moomins in the weirdest places around Sweden, Swedes seem found of them and even though I vaguely remember seeing it on TV when i was younger i certainly have never seen it as much in my life as i have seen it here this year hahaha xD not to mention moomin svenska bwahaha

language errors, 
yes yes, the inevitable when you are learning a language i suppose.. sometimes you make mistakes that send Swedes into a seizure of laughter, those awkward moments when you say you eat Chinese people instead of Chinese food, or when you say your bus leaves in a year instead of an hour, 
they will forgive me after laughing for about an hour, it certainly makes up for interesting conversations ;) 

SMÖRKNIV
i can not get over how Swedes have this little wooden knife especially for butter, its the most cute thing alive, using your own knife is considered unpractical because after using your knife for something else you cant put it in the butter anymore, and even though i like having clean butter its amusing to me having to wait for people to finish using the butter knife instead of scooping out with your perfectly fine knife beside your plate xD

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jul jul jul och jul 
I never realized how little Christmas ttraditionswe had in NL!, or well, in contrast with Sweden that might be! Sweden has oodles and oodles of Christmas traditions, markets, advent candles, dates when you should put up decorations, julbak, special foods and candy. 
not to mention just like Sinterklaas coming like 1,5 months early Christmas starts earlier and earlier here according to the swedes themselves, the main streets in Stockholm being decorated like crazy it makes up for a great Christmas spirit :D 

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(for instance, this was the 8th of november xD ) 

julmust
This is THE drink everyone knows, drinks and loves, its nearly always the same brand and you can buy it EVERYWHERE, its really funny to see how the drink spread like wildfire the second it was introduced to me. 
It tastes kinda like cola but don’t let the swedes hear that!! (its like comparing Sinterklaas and Santa Claus for dutch people ) its a fizzy drink without alcohol and it has a much sweeter, softer taste then cola.
you can definitely taste some different ingredients and I do intend to stock up on one or two when they come back with Easter (different wrapping of course xD though they are claimed to be the EXACT same thing ) 

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let there be light!
stepping away from the Christmas stuff for a bit i noticed something like three weeks back which i then suddenly saw EVERYWHERE, it’s in a way hilarious to me because it’s something that’s kinda frowned upon in my own country, 
Swedes forget to switch off the lights, SO, MUCH, 
In the beginning I felt the strong compulsion to turn off all the lights they left on, nowadays not as much anymore but none of the less i notice it still. rooms that are empty with the lights on, coming back home to an empty house and finding the bathroom and kitchen light on, seeing in the morning when i come up that some lights were forgotten in the evening. It’s one of those little cultural differences and I love it. 

complaining about the weather 
I know this is a stereotype Swedes hold about themselves!, I can see the truth to it here and there, but for the main i’d rather say they have weather to complain about much more then others might xD the cold can be harsh and the weather un-calculated, the weather itself is very different from home but i would NOT say harsher or more difficult, it evens out a lot, still the first topic on the morning when i arrive in school is more then once the weather on the way ;) 

still the puns
Sweden is the country of puns, and as the amount of understanding of Swedish grows, so does the amount of puns…

someone help me 

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foreigners
there is actually a big amount of foreigners in Sweden, I noticed this observing not only by how people look (no no, as an exchange student i should know better then judge on the looks) but also in conversation with a load of them, not just people fleeing their countries, also Danes, Norwegians, Fins, Germans, Brits, and central Europeans are all over the place! It makes up for very interesting conversations :) 

Stockholm vs Uppsala 
SMACK DOWN, 3…2..1… FIGHT!!!!!
ehem, well, these two cities being the main destination when I go somewhere on the weekends i have a nice perspective on both of em,
 
Stockholm being a HUGE cities brings diversity but also the question to be specific, if you go to Stockholm its better to know what you want to do there beforehand. the tunnelbana (subway) is EXTREMELY practical and Gamla Stan is the absolute perfect place in the world, if you get off the main streets in Gamla stan you get into this old city vibe with narrow streets and random growing trees and just so much beauty, i could just sit there and draw whole day and i just might when summer comes again, 
Stockholm has some very specific and therefore amazing stores like the sci fi bookstore and several special clothing stores which make up for a lot of wants and wishes.
the transport for me is cheap (SL bus region) but the food is expensive (well that is unless you go to MAX every time which you really should do every time xD) I like Stockholm mostly because every time I go there something new and exciting happens and the things i have seen and experienced there make for memories of a lifetime 
I love Stockholm

Uppsala is a very warm and practical city, the train-station is a place i always arrive first and they do have a practical set of buses that much like the subway in Stockholm can take you around town, sadly however Uppsala has a different public transport region which means for me that i have to pay for every single bus i take ^^” the price might not be as much for every bus but it does add up, 
this little fact however does not really say anything about the city and i praise the UL buses for having the option to pay with your bank card!.
the city is very open and there is a lot of nice cafe’s which you can go and sit whole afternoon, especially worth mentioning is VOX which is a youth cafe run by volunteers who are so incredibly nice!!! there are some fun stores in Uppsala but i can mostly just praise the cafes there. the people are friendly and it feels good to see the usage of bicycles again in this no.1 cycling city of Sweden.

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(the arrow is where i live, Stockholm and Uppsala you can see on the map, Hallstavik is the nearest city and Norrtälje is where i go to school ) 


the darkness~~
while i am writing this it is actually the darkest day of the year!! now as grim as it might sound, THE LIGHT WILL COME BACK STARTING TOMORROW *sobbing* It has indeed been very dark, complete utter night darkness at 3 in the afternoon, my Dutch ass could never be prepared or warned enough. it made up for a fascinating yet difficult change for It affected my sleep A LOT both feeling sleepy during the day and feeling restless and not at all sleepy while at night not to mention both in the morning and evening walking to the bus stop/home through a bit of forest with complete darkness and in my shaking hand a flashlight. it has a horror like quality to it which for me was hard to handle some days. long story short i am glad its over with but i wouldn’t have avoided it if i could have.

the battle of cheese
Sweden: French and Swedish cheeses are the best!!
Me: EXCUSE ME???? EDAMMER, GOUDA, OLD AMSTERDAM
Sweden: oh please Ninke what are you talking about *puts dutch imported Edammer on sandwich* 
Me: HMMMMMMM

No i’m kidding xD, but I’m picky and patriotic on cheeses!!
then again we have Halloumi that’s some GOOOOD cheese!!

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the reason i add it is because usually people tease me on the cheese thing, but i stand by my countries cheese dammit!! 

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My Swedish
right, kinda grabbing back on the part i talked about the language errors i make, my Swedish is getting better and better gradually but it’s hard to stay confident when there is simply still so much left
looking back to when I started however, I learned so much! i can have whole conversations only using Swedish and gradually the sentences get more and more correct and the words get more and more diverse

getting there, getting thereee ~~

Cooking and discussing cooking
This is something i consider very Swedish, they discuss what they want to have for diner, they experiment with meals and they try diverse things, they try and make something special nearly every day and they love it! before, during and after dinner they talk about how they did it, when they did it and how it came out and its funny to both listen to and see in action :)

The dishes
also something i have noticed, Swedes are generally way more calm with cleaning up and doing the dishes after dinner or during the day, our kitchen specifically can look like an atom bomb went off at times

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however we can clean it up with the speed of light due to practically placed cabinets and such. at first i thought it might be an individual case but talking to other exchange students it turns out it’s more of a thing we thought ahahaha so funny 


discussions 
SWEDES HAVE DICUSSIONS, dinner, school, fika’s, group gatherings, you are never safe from a discussion. 
HOWEVER, discussion in Sweden are very different from how wed have them in the Netherlands, they are more diverse in subject, more expressive, less heated and angry and the opinions of everyone are respected even if disagreed with. Discussions usually last longer and what is to me the biggest difference is that they do not always result in an outcome, an answer, an agreement.
rather then that often everyone stays with their own opinions but has taken in the other opinions just for perspective.

mayonnaise??
in NL i found out, we are basically the only country that eats mayo with their fries.. which feels weird? i miss my patat met mayo sometimes haha, however, i do see swedes eat mayo on sandwiches.. which feels weird to me, i have mayo associated with fast food sauce and therefore seeing it on a cheese sandwich is an odd usage for me xD 

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hills?… Mountainssss!!
my Swedish friends and family will understand if they come to my damn country hahahaha on the way to school I already refer to the road as a mountain, getting tired just thinking about it *sobs*

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when in Sweden eat Swedish!
Just as back home Swedes are very eager to eat products produced in their own country, especially in their own area are very popular and the supermarket sells a lot of sausages that are locally produced for instance 

HMMMMMM i’m gonna have to make some more posts like these, I know these are the most amusing, it’s getting more difficult for me to think of typical Swedish things however because they have started to blend into daily life and into myself more and more,
i will be sure to hold a list with me somewhere and as soon as i have a decent amount of things listed i will make a new post like this again, until then I hope you all found this amusing!!! I will be posting again after Christmas so everyone

HAR EN GOD JUL OCH EN TREVLIG NY ÅR!! VI SES IGEN I 2015 :)

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