Category: Sweden

Jeff in Sweden – Part 5 – Jul Edition

Jeff in Sweden – Part 5 – Jul Edition


(All pictures by me)


Last year for Christmas I went back to Canada and celebrated with my family. Now that I have an amazing Swedish girlfriend I also wanted to take the chance to celebrate Christmas (Jul in Swedish), the Swedish way.

So let’s kick the last post of the decade with another Jeff in Sweden!

Everything is Green

Well, one thing that was different for me without a doubt is that, there is just no snow at all. Even though Stockholm is probably as high as the highest Innu village in Québec we almost never get any snow. It was even worst (or better?) that we traveled down south to Skåne to celebrate Jul. There are even less snow there.

From nothing to absolutely nothing! Haha


This picture was not that far down from Stockholm. It got greener and greener the more we traveled down south.

For me, this is spring already.

That part of Sweden just goes from a long fall to a long spring and it’s summer again. It was also amazing, we got SUN!

Little Christmas Eve

A really special thing is that Swedes celebrate Christmas on the 24th. The 23rd is also pretty important it seems.

This is where they put up the Christmas tree and decorate it, prepare a lot of food, decorate the house more and hang together.

Then the real celebration is on the 24th. Where we eat ALL the food, watch Kalle Anka (see bellow!), open presents, drink snaps and so on.

Nothing happen on the 25th. It’s just “the day after Christmas where you eat the rest of the food from the day before and relax”.

Fish, Fish Everywhere

Back home in my family, we used to eat ham and/or turkey with some meat pie and other classic Canadian things like pea soup. It moved to classic sandwich of all sorts to lots of snacks through the years. Nobody wants to cook anymore. Simple is best.

Here though, Christmas food is a really important part of Jul’s tradition. Which was pretty great.

But you have to love fish.

Which I don’t. Well at least, not that much. I’m getting use to it. I never ate fish really before moving to Sweden.

Gotta adapt you know!


My girlfriend kept telling me that “it was fine if I would want to eat something else for lunch”.
Without telling me what lunch was. Probably to not scare me away.

Lunch was pretty interesting. It was, some fish that I don’t know the name. Some sort of dry fish that you then put in a lot of water with salt. You then add a lot of sauce made with egg I think (?) on top of it.
Comes with potatoes, green peas and some mustard sauce.20191224_140515_small_edited

It was not really my jam. It tasted good! But the texture of the fish was a bit much for me. I’ll have to get use to it for sure.


Fika. The best thing ever created after the wheel probably. If you don’t know what a Swedish Fika is, it’s a coffee break that you usually have around 15.00.

You drink coffee (I don’t but it’s fine) or something warm like tea and you eat sweet stuff. Usually a kanelbulle.

But since it was Jul, it was saffron related cookies/pastries and gingerbread cookies. YUMMY. Also, instead of drinking only coffee, people usually drink Glögg. It’s hot wine with spices. It tastes really good!

I was expecting fish for fika at this point.20191224_144626_small_edited

This comes with the WEIRDEST tradition. While having the fika, the WHOLE country watch Kalle Anka (Donald Duck).

I repeat, the WHOLE country watches the same movie from the 70s. Again and again. Year after year. It’s amazing.


Dinner was really awesome. Full of flavors and different stuff.

With a lot of fish. Obviously.

This part of the dinner is called a Smorgåsbord. Literally translated as a “Sandwich Table”. Which is pretty interesting by the fact that there are no sandwich.


I’ve seen a couple of pictures from Swedish friends and it seems to be pretty much the same in all the families. The two really Swedish thing for me in there are the Sill (pickled herring and the Julskinka (christmas ham).

The Sill is the biggest food tradition in Sweden I think. Swedes eat these in different flavors during ALL their holidays. I really like them. Especially the ones in mustard.

The Julskinka is a big piece of ham that you slowly cook in the oven with a lot of strong mustard on top. It kind of create a layer of dried mustard on top of the ham when you eat it. It’s pretty great!

The you have eggs with caviar on top, different cold meat, cheese, classic Scandinavian flat bread, beetroot, and crackers.

Yummy yummy meal!


Even though now it’s pretty much a worldwide tradition, christmas gift was not really a thing hundreds of years ago. At least, not for Christians believer. It’s another cool thing that the Christian Church decided to take from the pagans in celebration with the winter solstice.

A julklapp is a gift that you give only during Christmas. It’s a really really old tradition. It comes from a tradition of people in Scandinavia going around, knocking on doors and, when people would open the door to their home, the person who knocked would throw a piece of wood with a message rolled around it (usually a rhyme) through the door.

Fast forward a couple hundred years, we then give presents to each other instead.

Swedes LOVE giving gifts. It was never really a thing for me to buy gifts in my family. I was receiving a gift from my parents, my grandparents and that was pretty much it. I never bought that many gifts at once and never received that many gifts.

I was in awe.

Decorations and Jul Traditions

I LOVE Swedish decorations. A lot.

I find them so damn cute and great. From all the candle lights everywhere to the little tomte. These are a remnant of sort of their old pagan tradition. (Santa Claus is also something that was taken from the pagans)

One thing that was really surprising for me was the straw goats under the christmas three. (See top image)

I’m French Canadian. We are raised Catholics.

Swedes are protestant with some, still, pagan traditions.

Every Christmas tree back home have a “crèche” under it. Depicting the holy birth of Jesus Christ. Here it was a bunch of goats made out of straw.

Which is like, WOW, goats! Can you imagine that? The animal of the devil!

I love it. Once again, a remnant of the pagan traditions.

I won’t give you an history course right here but Odin (All Father) used to pass from door to door and gives presents to children and he was traveling with a goat. These goats are there for a reason.

It’s also interesting that Santa Claus knock on door in Sweden. He doesn’t go through the chimney. You know, it makes perfect sense.


It was a really great experience. I really enjoyed every single bits of it. I’m always so thankful to be able to experienced other people traditions and see, even if it has sort of the same roots, how different it is.

To that, I wish you all a happy new year and raise you my mug of glögg!


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SkåBec Outdoor – Part 1


(All pictures by me and my girlfriend on this one too. Also reused for my other blog)

SkåBec Outdoor – Part 1


Like written in my last blog post I decided to go more unplug in my life. To see what the world has to offer outside these pesky screens that we tend to spend way too much time in front of.

First of, what with that weird title right? Well, SkåBec is basically merging Skåne, the Swedish region where my girlfriend is from and Québec, the Canadian province where I am from.

A Skånian and a Québécois walk into a bar…

You know the drill. Anyway.

Last week, I told my girlfriend that I wanted to go hiking somewhere outside central Stockholm. You have to go pretty far north of here if you want to have any sort of proper elevation. I’m obviously spoiled because of where I’m from in Québec even though for other people, it would be considered flat-ish. In any case, the lower part of Sweden is fairly flat and Stockholm is part of that flat area.

I was checking on google map for potential area and she proposed the Tyresta National Park. From the pendeltåg (suburbs train) in Stockholm to a 20 minutes bus trip it was close yet far enough so we could get there without traveling for three hours.

It was set!

The Wish to be Alone

So we got to the town close to the national park a bit early and had to wait for the bus. I thought that we would be pretty much alone. I didn’t wanted to see human faces except my girlfriend’s one that day.


The bus station was PACKED with people, so was the bus. I think the driver had to ask the people five times to move their ass to the back of the bus to allow more people to get in. As I sadly was expecting they were ALL going to the national park. It was easy to see anyway, they all had backpack, boots and other hiking equipment/clothes on them.

I started having anxiety symptoms inside just because of that. Jammed in that bus with so many people. Luckily the travel was fairly quick and with music in my ears on that part, I was able to not really think about that. Even though it started to become fairly warm pretty quickly because of the amount of people.

I just wanted to be alone for a couple of hours with my second half.

It was not a good start. To say the least.

Avoiding the Main Paths

So we finally got there. I was super eager to just start walking. I get pretty impatient in these situations but my girlfriend wanted to go into the small shop because there would probably be a map.

So she bought a map.

She also talked about possible paths with a lady working there and she proposed one secluded path outside of everything. I’m really happy that she talked to the lady because we went into one awesome walk. I was just not aware of it yet.

So here is an approximation drawing I’ve done over google map about the path we took.

No photo description available.

So the route seemed simple, we had to follow the path north-west to a scout camp and from there take another path.

We followed the path we found at the scout camp.

It was not the right one.

So as you can see on the left of the image above, the line is going to a lake on the left and then turns pretty straight east. We realized looking at the map and at our position that the road was really not where we were standing and that the road was to our right above a small cliff.

So we went cowboy, on a straight-ish line to find the new road!

Damn I was happy. Smiling. Having so much fun.

I was in the wood alone with the woman I love with no other human being in sight and an awesome traveling day ahead of us and already lost.

Freaking perfect.


(This mushroom was HUGE but we even found bigger ones down the path. No banana for scale though.)

Back on the Right Path

So after climbing that cliff by going with some S shape movements avoiding trees, branches, bushes and other things we crossed an electrical poles line. I was kind of thrown off by these things. It was a little bit less magical that the trees but at least we had a big landmark to orient ourselves.

My goal was to go elevated enough so we could find the path and, as expected, when we reached a good elevated position, my girlfriend found the path not far bellow us.

We are the best team.


From there we followed the small path and got offtrack once again. The path led us back to the electrical line and we knew it was not where we should be. We just came back and took the other path to our left.

Our next objective was to reach a small stream that we saw on the paper map we had. From landmark to landmark.

I felt like in a video game exploring a forest!

Compared to home there is way more berries growing in the wilderness. That’s good to know if you ever get lost, at least, you could find something to eat for a little while.

One thing that is so amazing is the taste of wild berries. These blueberries that were everywhere around us for almost the whole travel tasted amazing. Nothing compared to what you can by in grocery stores. Even if they are supposed to be fresh, it’s still not as fresh as when you pic them yourself.


Deep in the forest I really feel like home. Swedish forest and the forest I used to go behind where I grew up and pretty much the same but sometimes you get a reminder that you are in Sweden.

There are quite a lot of rocks around the Stockholm area.

Everything is on a freaking rock.

No wonder why Vikings decided to raid outside of these areas. It’s impossible to grow anything on rocks!

On the other hand it was still pretty cool to be on open spaces from time to time but it was way better to walk on small paths and even moss. That was probably the smoothest hike of my life. Moss is so cool to walk on. We came across two little cairn during the day. I added a rock on the first one. Gotta keep the fun alive!

We also saw a hare on the way. He probably almost got a heart attack when it realized I was close and ran away really quickly.

The Small Stream


So we reached the stream at some point. I think it was just a little bit after twelve. We were walking for quite some time already and I was starting to feel hungry.

So I took my bow and arrows and I decided to go hunting for some hare.

I’m joking.

Even if I would love to, hunting with bow is illegal in Sweden and obviously even more illegal on a national park.

I prepared some small sandwiches and also had cheese, nuts and just because, two cans of ciders.

So there, we sat near the stream. There was no other sound than the wind in the trees and the birds singing. I used my small portable tool as a table and we sat on the really over comfortable moss.


During that time we saw the first human being of the trip. A guy on a mountain bike. Hats off to him, that was really not a mountain bike track but hey, everything can be a mountain bike track I guess.

We never saw him again. We found some bones on the way. I hope it was not from him.

After eating we then checked where to go next. Not that there was many paths but just to have a global idea of where we were heading.

There was really only one path possible anyway, to stay in the forest, leading to a pretty big lake named Årsjön. Which I guess could be translate as “The Year Lake” or something. (My Swedish is not really on point yet, maybe it just doesn’t mean anything).


Smooth Sailing to the Lake

From the stream to the lake it was pretty straight forward. More trees, more small paths, more quietness and more awesomeness.

Important to say that my girlfriend had a mission! You can freely pick berries in parks in Sweden but you can also pick mushroom. And she knows about and love mushrooms.

I don’t really, but that’s all good.

Her goal was to get the most Kantarell as she could. I think it’s her favorite mushroom. Especially freshly picked. I also learned that, it seems to be a big thing in there. We saw so many people picking mushroom on our way back. I was really surprised to see people really well dressed going deep out of the paths to find mushrooms. I was also kind of laughing for that reason. There was some people really well dressed for that kind of activity.

So we were stopping here and there and she was collecting mushrooms. She probably has hawk eyes or an inside mushroom radar because I never found any and I was the one walking ahead. Maybe because I was not really looking at the ground?

I’m pretty sure it used to be a Forest Troll house or something. It really looked like an old shelter under all those tree parts. There was even a path going under it. Was pretty cool to see!


The Lake

So we walked to the lake and half the quietness was over. Some part of me was pretty sad already because that day was going to end at some point and we went back to where the main roads were mostly. Meaning quite a lot of people.

Near the lake there was an official camping area, so, yeah, quite some people there but it was still pretty smooth.

There was two girls swimming in the lake. Some couples fiddeling with their tents here and there. A bunch of guys with a really beautiful dog cooking meat on a BBQ. This was great. The smell of the fire and the meat was amazing.

I had to take an obligatory picture of the lake for really obvious reason. I really love water and lakes. The water was fairly warm, at least, warm enough for a small dive. After all that walk it would have been really welcomed but we quickly realized that we didn’t really had time for it.


It was probably around a quarter passed three when we reached the lake and we had some big plans to walk even more and see awesome spots. There is a pretty big area where the forest caught fire years ago and it seems it’s pretty awesome to see. We really wanted to see that but we had two problems.

The break gave time to my body to send me signals that both my pinky toes were hurting quite a lot already. My city walk shoes are really not made for forest walk. I’ve learned it the hard way.

We had less that three hours to catch the last bus.

So we had to shorten our plans. Sadly. We decided to go south-west in the starting area direction and trying to leave the main path as soon as we could.

The Last Stretch


So we left the lake and the short goal was to reach the other lake close by named Bylsjön. (No idea what that mean really. We’ll just call it Lake Bill.)

Getting there was pretty quick but the walk was not super great. Probably 80% of the path between both lakes were on rocks. On one hand it was good cardio-wise to go up and down but it was pretty horrible for my poor pinky toes.

In any case we reached the other lake (not the picture above) and then we checked the map. Looked at the possible roads and went on one.

After like five minutes it felt weird. Like, the sun was not really in the right direction. I have a good sense of orientation in general and that didn’t made sense but, anyway, I just kept walking.

Then we reached the lake.

A lake? There was no lake on the way. What the fuck happened we asked ourselves. It didn’t made sense. We checked the GPS on my girlfriend phone and yeah. For whatever reason we went left at the lake meaning that we backtracked to the big lake.

Absolute Savage Mega Fail. (That’s the lonely weird line on the map above going north.)

We laughed quite a lot and went on our way back, which was forward right? We probably lost 25 minutes so all in all we didn’t really had time for a lot of shenanigans in the wood or else we would miss the last bus.

But still, after Lake Bill, we saw on the map that there was a dotted line, meaning there was a path. I have to say, we maybe have found the path, or we were just walking in opens between the trees, it’s hard to say.

We crossed a beaver dam (that was pretty cool, thanks beaver, Canada loves you) and we ventured into the wilderness again.


This was how the path looked when we found it near the end of that wilderness. We can clearly see a path right?

This is where we saw a lot of mushroom pickers. Families with children, couples, old people, name it, all trying to find mushroom. I’m not sure they found much though. The area was really wet at some place so it’s cool for mushroom but a ton of people probably passed there before them.

In any case, it was the last stretch. You can see on the picture above that the sun was getting down fairly quickly at that point so we followed what looked like a path and ended up on a road crossing a little farm meaning that we were sadly at the end of our trip.

Sounds of cars, lots of other human beings, baby crying, etc. The fun was over.



Amazing. A bit over 32900 steps of awesomeness.

We had so much fun.

We learned quite a bit there, it was pretty cool.

We were there on the Saturday and on the Monday I was buying proper hiking boots and pants. Even though I had long sporty pants for the trip it was not as good as proper hiking pants. I also carried four 500ml bottle of water. Two liters of water for two person is not enough. We had just enough and it’s because we kind of not drank that much on the second half of the travel and that we really shorten the path we wanted to take because lack of time to take the bus.

Getting lost is half the fun seriously. Trying to find your way back is really cool!

My goal, and she’ll probably be part of the adventure is to sleep overnight in the forest before the winter comes here. That walk was pretty good just to see how it feels.

It was one of many for sure. I’m already looking forward for the next SkåBec outdoor session!

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Jeff in Sweden – Part 4


(All pictures by me and my girlfriend on this one)

Going Unplug


It’s been quite some time right? I have a bunch of draft about the Jeff in Sweden little “series” I’ve done but I’ve never finished them. The part 3 is when I have been in Sweden for six and a half week. I’ve now been in Sweden for one year and a half. Time flies!

Last year in November I wrote about men mental health. I wrote about my burnout and depression, my little own story to say. Recently my body started giving me signs that I now recognize way too well. Weirdly enough I don’t understand where it’s coming from since pretty much everything is in line in my life right now but, still, I decided to go more “unplug”.

You know, feeling what’s real.

Social Media

If anxiety is the bane of our generation, I would say that social media is the 2nd in line for it. The amount of time people spend on all these sites and apps to look at other people life is horrible. I was part of these people for way too long.

It’s a drug you know, like any other. The craving for likes, the views, the little moment of fame.

I decided to leave Twitter two months ago. It was one of the best choice I made. For different reason and obviously my work, my Twitter account became quite popular in the last year, from like 300 followers to almost 4000. Whatever I was writing could be taken out of context or linked to my job.

Fuck this shit. I’m gone.

I’m not really using Facebook anymore outside of the messenger feature and I already have unfollowed 99% of my “friends” so when I open the app, I basically see adds that I don’t give a damn about.

I still post a couple of pictures on Instagram, that this is smooth enough.

So since I’m not spending all that time on social media anymore, what am I doing with this amazing free time?

Manual Work

I’m a gamer. I use computers.

I’ve almost never have done any manual labor in my life. Yes, I grew next to a farm so I’ve built quite a lot of treetop houses and camps in the forest when I was young but that’s pretty much it.

For those of you who know me a little bit, I do Viking Historical Reconstitution. That thing kinda forced me to start using my hand. Since I love wood, I started carving a while back.

This led me, after viking markets and meeting friends to make a freaking Haithabu bag. (I’ll probably write about my experience in another post.)

No photo description available.

Nothing worked like I wanted it to be but I’ve learn SO MUCH because of it. Creating thing from scratch with no proper knowledge about a thing gives a ton of good feeling inside.

Working wood, cutting fabrics, learning about all different type of stitches, braiding some ropes, rolling yarn, etc, etc. Lots of stuff learned in like 2.5 days!

Viking Markets

As said above, I do, live and love viking stuff. The great thing about viking markets is that well, you live like a viking. There is absolutely nothing digital about it.

We’re obviously not raiding villages, viking was more than just that. We live unplug, really, that’s the gist of it.

During my summer vacations, I spent a whole week in Visby on the island of Gotland for what they call Medeltidsveckan. Which translate to Medieval Week. My girlfriend kind of hyped me for a whole year to go there and I was more than happy to accompany her!

An amazing experience.

A whole week where everybody is dressed in different medieval styles with countless activities to see and experience. I ate amazing food, I’ve seen jesters doing crazy funny shit in the ruin of a cathedral, seen Corvus Corax live in another cathedral ruin, saw a reconstitution act of the battle of Visby and a lot more.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, ocean, sky, shoes, tree, outdoor, nature and water

It was not really relaxing because of the thousands of people there but I walked so much and spend way too much money of amazing food and viking clothes and swags.

I was able to travel north of the island to a place called Fårö. I felt like I was in some sort of video game barren lands there.

Absolute quietness. This part was relaxing. This also reinforced the idea that I’m not made for cities.

I’m a countryside guy.

Even though I was raised in a suburb, when I was you, it was mostly fields everywhere and forest.

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Physical Activities

Swedish winter are horrendous. Not because it’s cold, at least, not for a Québécois like me. I think last winter the temperature didn’t even went down bellow -15C which is nothing compared to the usual -40C in February back home.

The problem is the darkness.

I was not prepared for that at all.

My body needs sun and you barely get any from end of October to start of March.

I arrived in Sweden in March 2018 and I was so surprised to see how many people were in parks and outside when it was sunny.

Now, I know why.

After a winter of darkness, the moment you see sun, you want to be outside as much as you can. You want to enjoy every single seconds of it.

It made me realized how much I love doing physical activities outdoor.

I restarted bouldering here in Sweden too. It’s a good thing when the weather is kind of shit and it’s a really good physical workout all around.

I even climbed my first 6C here.

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The cool thing about the fact that winter are so mild here compared to home is that I was able to bike in February

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Biking is really a joy in Sweden. There are bike paths everywhere and they often leads to some outside part of the cities, sometimes in the wood or through fields. I even ended up biking to the Queen Castle at the start of my summer vacations.


I was even able to play Spikeball barefoot in the sand in March!

Like I said, if it’s sunny, you get the fuck out and enjoy it as much as you can.


Also recently I was able to merge two things I love a lot together.

Throwing Frisbee and walking in the wood.

My climbing buddy Markus made me try Discgolf and I’m totally addicted now. There are quite a lot of different parkour here in Stockholm and a few of them are super beginner friendly, which is obviously good for a n00b like me. Throwing a disc is not exactly like throwing a Frisbee.

Then, talking about walking in the wood, or hiking…


This is translated as “The everyman’s right” or “The right to roam”.

Basically, everyone can go everywhere for free in Sweden.

You can camp where ever you want if you are not too close to someone else house,
You can make a fire if there is no fire ban,
You can pick mushroom and berries in the wilderness,
And so forth.

I had a project in the back of my head when I was in Canada and it was to buy a piece of land and build a cabin there, for me, to leave the stress of a city for a moment. I still have the same project here but, for now, I’ll be able to do something close to that without owning anything. I started just recently to tame the forest here and get a feel of how it is. My girlfriend proposed the Tyrista National park so we went for a 23k walk there and it was an absolute blast to be her and me alone in the wood for half a day, walking.


I realized that, I don’t have any anxiety feeling inside when I’m in the wilderness. It’s relaxing and it’s great to not be in front of a computer too. The thing I do the most in my life since that’s the main tool I use to work.

My goal is to pass one night in the wood with minimal gear. Making a one night shelter won’t be a big problem with the amount of fallen trees you can find in the forests here.

A bunch of pieces of wood, a nice fire, a good sleeping bag and I’ll be all set for one super relaxing day where the only thing I’ll hear is the wind, the birds and maybe a water stream running by.

I mean, look at that, isn’t it peaceful enough?



I realized that, getting closer and closer to nature gives you a real feeling of freedom. I seriously think that it’s what freedom really means. Not being locked in what society forces you to like or thing nor being locked in front of a screen be it your computer or your phone.

I’m still young at 34 and I now realize that I should use the energy I have to be outside deep away from the burden of society as most as I can. Sweden is tiny compared to Canada but yet, it’ll take me a really long time to walk around here.

Maybe one day, I’ll even be able to make a shelter for a night where Norway, Sweden and Finland meet up far in the north!


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Jeff in Sweden – Part 3

Jeff in Sweden – Part 3


So I’ve been in Sweden for six and a half weeks now and I wanted to share what it’s like to live here, for now! For example, I still haven’t went to the full loop of looking for an apartment by myself . Which I know, it’s one crazy thing that gives headache.

But anyway, he are some “bullet points” in random order.

It’s Expensive

So if Sweden would be a sword in Dungeon & Dragon it would probably be called something like Sword of Expensiveness and Stockholm would be Sword of Expensiveness +1. I know it’s not as expensive as L.A. or like Norway but for me, coming from small Quebec City, it’s worlds apart. Having a burger and fries for $31 and a beer for $13, for me, it’s crazy!

Lagom is Great

Lagom is a swedish word basically meaning “just the right amount”. It’s a way of living mentality. Living the lagom way. Obviously, like everything, it comes from the Vikings. How it translates in the day to day is that Swedes are a really helping community. It’s all about teamwork. For example, let’s say you have a cake and there are 10 people, the lagom way would be to cut the cake in 10. Same thing if there was 100 people. It’s all about team and equality. It’s really hard to describe but I felt the team and equality after like two days.

Fika is Also Great

Fika is probably the most sacred thing in Sweden. It’s basically a “mandatory” coffee break but since Swedes really REALLY like to drink coffee it has to be a thing. This is also interesting because, Swedes don’t like to small talk. Nobody talks to nobody for random reasons, it’s probably a reason why non-Swedes find them so “cold” but they are not really. Anyway, going back to Fika, it’s interesting because THIS is when the Swedes small talk. Fika is all about drinking coffee and talking about whatever. A proper Fika coffee is usually also accompanied with a Kanelbullar (a cinnamon bun).

Swedes Crazy Driving

This is something I saw on my first day here and I still see that a lot every time I go for a walk around town. It looks like, for me, that they usually drive pretty well all around except for one thing.
They U-turn literally everywhere and especially on intersection. I don’t know if it’s legal or not but it doesn’t matter they just go for it.

Stockholm is Beautiful

From Gamla Stan (Old City) to all the island archipelagos here. There is a crazy amount of stuff to see. With all the museums and the old buildings, the statues everywhere, all the parks, the new eco-friendly neighborhoods, the marinas, etc. Seriously, it may be expensive but that’s one hell of a beautiful city.

It’s Over 9000 Restaurants

Well, not 9000 and it’s probably a normal thing in big cities but where I’m from, around the office where I used to work for like 12 years, in a month you could probably get a taste of all restaurants. Here, I don’t think I’ll even be able to test them all. There are just way too many. Also, compared to Quebec, there are foods from everywhere here at walking distance. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, French, name it!

It’s Public Transport Heaven

There are literally all kind of transportation here, trains, subways, buses, trams and even boats. You can travel a really big distance really quickly here and it’s pretty cheap. Also, the cool thing is that the SL card works will all of the above. No need to think about what to use where. They all work with the same card. The distance I had to cover in a bus that took me one and a half hour in Quebec is taking me 10 minutes here. Except if you want to go far from the city, you don’t need a car at all.

The Personnummer

In Canada we have the SIN (social insurance number). It’s useless. Seriously, it’s a 9 digit number that you pretty much never use and nobody except the government uses it. In Sweden they have the Personnummer, it’s the same thing, a X digit number on a card BUT it’s used everywhere. If you go get a cellphone contract for example, you don’t give your personal data or whatever, you give them your Personnummer. Your address and whatever is related to it. Same thing for your bank account and whatever else. The “downside” (for me it’s not, really) is that all your info are available. Where you live, your phone number, where you work, etc.

Phone Contracts & Internet

This is the things that are cheap here. I was paying $85 a month for a 2GB data in Canada. Here, you can have a 40GB data in ALL of Europe for $35. Same thing with Internet and it goes freaking fast. They had to have something cheaper right?

They Bike a LOT

It’s less apparent than when I was in Malmö but still, Swedes bike a lot. There are bike lanes on pretty much every single street so it’s really easy to bike around the city, sure, again, compared to Malmö there are slopes (Malmö is so flat you don’t even have to change gear) but it’s still really bike friendly.

They Don’t Use Money

Don’t ask a Swede if he can lend you money, it won’t happen. I just saw an article talking about it on the web. Sweden is the fastest country heading for a digital currency only. There are a lot of shops/restaurants/bar that don’t even accept cash anymore. Everything is paid with cards. It goes so much quicker. Even when I was in Quebec I was never carrying cash and I was sometimes missing on street stuff but here, you really don’t have too anyway. Even for street stuff because of:


Swish is a mobile payment service and it’s the greatest invention ever concerning money. You link your bank account with a app on your cellphone then you can transfer money to however with a simple digits code. No need to use a card reading machine if you have a food truck, simply ask people to Swish you the money.


So, I think that’s it for now! I probably forgot stuff but on the other hand I’ve been in Sweden for only a month. More to come for sure.

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Jeff in Sweden – Part 1

Jeff in Sweden – Part 1
BingoLotto, Drinking Soup, First Day at DICE, Jetlag, etc


Since they lost my suitcase (again), I went for a little walk including shopping to buy clothes on Sunday. Didn’t wanted to go to my first day of work with dirty clothes y’know.

I walked around Södermalm, the neighborhood I’m currently living in. Pretty sweet place I must say.

Residential roads are super duper quiet, I love that.
There are awesome looking restaurant all around the place. It’ll probably take me a year to go check all of them.
Also pretty interesting for me, compared to when I was living in Malmö, when I was working on The Division, there are way more slopes in Stockholm. This adds a lot of awesome view points around its countless islands.

When I came back from the sunny walk I decided to open the TV. Things I’ve probably done 5 times in my adult life.
I never watch TV.

First thing I see is a show called BingoLotto.

YO, Swedes are not messing around with Bingo! WOW.

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Super well dressed people.
A crowd in the back to see the show,
Lots of prizes (it made me think of The Price is Right),
Guest stars,
A band playing songs and ambient music for all the people there when they mark their Bingo sheets as the numbers flow using Swedes names. Bertil, Ivar, Niklas, Gustav, Olaf.

Amazing. Really. It was so relaxing I checked the whole freaking show without any shame!

Then I went to bed early.

Woke up at 230am again. Great.
Took me 4 hours to sleep again then, quickly my alarm rang. It was time for my first day at DICE.

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Morning routine then a sweet 8 minutes walks to the office under a cold sunny/windy day. Thanks to the Nordic Relocation Group, my appartment is super close to work.

Got a tour of the office from my line manager (the office is a real labyrinth), got the access keycard and got information about this awesome next Battlefield game.

When for lunch with my leads.
As an entré I got a soup with no spoon. Then, seeing the guys with me I remembered that Swedes drink their soup. I forgot about that. It’s a small detail yes, but hey, it’s unusual for me ok!

Read a lot of documentation about Level Design philosophie at DICE, and even touched Frostbite a bite before leaving because I would have fell asleep on my desk, thanks to my awesome jetlag.
From now on, I’ll never be able to work without 3 screens. Dawn you DICE and your awesome desks. Standup desks by the way.

On, and they have a few trophies at the reception. Not bad at all.


I’m still not getting over the fact that I’m living in Sweden.

First day DONE.

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Jeff in Sweden – Part 0

Jeff in Sweden – Part 0

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So I moved to Sweden.

Pretty crazy isn’t it?

Spent 32 years of my like living in cold Quebec then I decided to move to cold Sweden. Even though it’s not really cold here. At least not in Stockholm.

I worked at Massive, in Malmö 5 years ago and since I came back, there’s a part of me that always wanted to go back to Sweden. I fell in love with the country. I didn’t knew when or how I would be back but I knew I would, at some point, go back.

I was not really thinking about working there though. But here I am. Moved to Sweden and starting to work for EA DICE tomorrow.

But this is PART 0 of I don’t know many parts. I’ll write about this crazy adventure as I see fit.
Before moving, I had to say farewell to a lot of people and good bye to close ones.

So I threw a party. One hell of an evening at my favorite medieval restaurant in Quebec, La Chope Gobeline. Lots of people came. People always told me that others like me. But you never know. I threw a party without really knowing who would come. I even invited some people I haven’t seen for years.
The vast majority of them came.

People I love.

Here you can see a part of the people who came.
Long time friends, coworker and ex-coworker from the video game industry.


It was really awesome to be surrounded by so many people I care about and care about me.

Lots of emotion, amplified by booze, was in the air. Saying farewell to so many people was not easy.

Then, a few days later I got my visa so everything was set.

I was in this process since October.
Phone interviews.
On site interviews.
Dozens and dozens of emails.

It took five months of intense stress for me to get here in Sweden but thanks to EA DICE. Many people helped me.
When you think about it, it costs thousands and thousands of dollars for a company to bring someone over.

They paid for my visa.
They paid for my on site interview.
They paid for my move.
They are paying for my 2 months temporary gorgeous appartment.
They are paying people to help me with every details.

Adding to that is the crazy good conditions DICE is giving me as an employee too!

So here I am, in the beautiful capital of Sweden surrounded by this old and new Swedish architecture and dozens of islands covered in a bit of snow as I write this.

What’s next?
My first day at DICE.
I’m looking forward to this.

After that, we’ll see!

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