Blame it on the Swede


This is what I do at work. Every day.

One thing that is both irritating and convenient when you live abroad is that people do things differently, they are culturally different. Many things differ from how it is at home and quickly you settle for less, or different things. Cultural relativsm helps you make it through the struggles of everyday life.

Living in a shed in Stockholm? Well, who would rent to a foreign student. The people are distanced and weird? That’s the Swedish culture. You don’t understand the authority processes, you are desperate looking at the metro map? That’s what life is like if you have not grown up in your country of residence. Work is amazingly ineffective and badly organised? Surely you have heard about those relationship cultures.

And then you come home. To your own people, into the society that you have grown up in. Suddenly you cannot blame it on the Swede anymore. And unfortunately, things are not always as expected, some are downright shocking (I have had longer ineffective meetings at work here than in Sweden!) Since a few weeks, I have to constantly ask myself: Is this our culture? When did Germany become like this? Maybe this is a Hamburg thing? Or is it me?

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