I'm Wilma. Girl. No dragon tattoo. I love theatre, fashion, music that makes me orgasm and taking pictures. I have split myself between three places (London-Stockholm-Tallinn), but my current hub is Tallinn. Wherever my circus goes, there's always a party. If the party does end, I watch cat videos and blog about it all. Check out my yearly summaries below to get to know me a bit better. Header: Mandel Photography

If you have any questions: hemafruu@gmail.com.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sweden vs. Estonia (Don't hate, celebrate or at least tolerate.)

I've lived in Sweden year and a half all together now (Erasmus time + present) and I have visited this Nordic heaven a lot before moving here (after they stopped stamping passports, I lost count, but I guess 30+ times) , thus I wanted to write down some observations and thoughts I have about Sweden. Before you send me hate-mail, please note that the following is a generalisation and I am not trying to state that Estonia and Sweden are dichotomous, bad vs. good (read: I am the smartest and my opinion is the only truth).
WARNING! This is a tl;dr post.
Let's start in a random order:

1. Handsfree is not a new invention, but people here are really not afraid to use it. If you didn't know better, you would think that all Swedes are crazy, talking with themselves. For example a lady on metro can look me in the eye and ask me: "Does this foundation suit me?".  And I'm like "Damn, woman, I don't even know you!", although she was just on a phone. Awkward...

To add more randomness, this post is illustrated by photos of me in Sweden. 
Here I am 13 spending my summer holiday on Djurö, my grandfather's place. 
I kissed a boy that summer, that was neat. 
I found out that my camera has a timer and that was pretty neat too:

2. When Swedes ask you how you are doing, then they actually are interested in what's up today. It does not mean we have to talk about sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, but you can be polite without actually reaching the private sphere. On the other hand, Estonians will shit their pants and run away when you even say hello to them.

Luckily or sadly my archive hard drive is in Estonia, so I cannot share a lot from blast from the past.
However here I am 16, just graduated from 9th grade and took my two besties with me to Sweden. 
My grandfather had three teenagers to handle that time, but we had more fun that should be allowed:

Life was good in 2007, picnic every day and party every evening:

3. FEMINISM! My vagina salutes that there is a political Feminist party here, I love that gender equality is so important, I feel like Beyoncé. When you're on a date, it does go without saying that both parts share the bill. Paternal leave. Gay rights. Don't hate, celebrate or at least tolerate. Menstruate with pride! (now it seems that in Estonia girls live in a dungeon).

Word "stoned" had another meaning back then:

4.  In Estonia everything is opened 24/7. Yes, rather nice when you are a customer, but rather jävla kukhora helvete how it sucks, when you work in customer service. Trust me, I'm a professional, I'm a girl, who works in retail. OK, you need condoms/tampons/painkillers middle of the night, pharmacy and gas-stations should be open. But do you really need a cute little sparkling top that says "Meow" 9PM? NO! GO HOME AND BE WITH YOUR FAMILY, OR BE ALONE AND WATCH AK ON TV! ...oh, well this was aggressive. 
In Sweden clothes stores close at 7-8PM. Saturday is shortened and Sunday is like 4 hour work day. Also in Sweden there are "uncomfortable hours" where you get paid extra, like mornings, evenings and weekends. In Estonia all hours are very much comfortable...

Year 2008, I had begun to learn little Swedish, like 30 words max.
Felt like a retard, but grandfather was oh-so-happy and patient with me:

5. As I am on a roll, I shall continue with working environment. Love and hugs to H&M group, since its values don't mind country borders. In addition not being force to work 7AM on Sunday, you have to take out your holiday during June to August. A whole month! Summer warmth is holy. Also if you work 10h/20h/30h per week, you get lesser paid time off. In Estonia a store manager, who works in blood, sweat and tears has as long holiday as 10h chill-piller.

Every school holiday I spent in Sweden.
2009 and shopping until dropping, like always:

I was all alone with my pocket money and monthly ticket that took me to Stockholm every day:

6. Estonians work hard. Estonians always want to show that they are no slackers. They come to work despite falling down from a cliff day earlier or despite being in a train accident. They will come, they will work their asses off and they will not say not a single word about being in pain. In Sweden, you sneeze, you go home without any guilt, you get well and you come back without the world falling apart.

Still year 2009 and cruising between the islands:

7. Thanks to sick people being at home I haven't been infected at all, only a little cold after a little trip to Estonia.

2010. I was single and ready too mingle. 
Drank too much alcohol, wore too much silliness and wasn't that happy inside.
I discovered the second hand stores in Stockholm:

8. Swedes are really neutral and will rather avoid conflict. It seems rather lovely, but then small problems grown bigger and bigger, since they are not handled in time. Estonians are really good at giving critique, yet we really have to work on positive feedback.

Year 2010 I took Fred to Sweden and little did I know that soon he will become my boyfriend and husband material.
How can you resist the boy with sexy pants:

9. Yes for Sweden alcohol policy! Country monopoly. Opened form 10 to 17 and 11 - 15 on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. I've felt the most Swedish when I'm in a 1km queue to buy Champagne for New year's eve. Yes for limiting alcohol sales and commercials in Estonia. No for drunk driving, no for traffic deaths. Estonians have dumber ways of dying.

2010 Fred, Vilja and I came to Stockholm to see a Delphic concert. 
We were 18 and ignored the 20 age limit so much as we could:

10. Everybody works out! I feel ashamed not taking up sports. My fat ass cries chocolate.
I should...I could...I won't...

Later in 2010 Reggie, Fred, Ott and I took the booze cruise to Stockholm.
Then I first noticed Fred...
Also I tried to be a kitty cat:

11. I am the only one at work, who does not have allergies (or not that I know of), where are they hiding?

Year 2010 was a busy year. Before moving to England I took a little Stockholm trip 
and visited my favourite amusement park Gröna Lund:
12. Every third Swede has been to USA, yet every tenth one has been to Estonia.

13. There are so many grammar-nazis is Estonia (õieti vs õigesti; peale vs pärast) and overall we have very strict language rules,  but there are like one hundred different correct ways to speak Swedish. And it is so hard for me to choose the one for me. Det är så så så svårt!

14. So many beggars! So so so many beggars.

I have spent most of my summers in Gröna Lund.
I am not sure, when this is taken, but I am sure that Kalle was not Vilja's boyfriend then:

15. I earn more money than I have ever earned, but I have never been so poor.

Year 2013. My birthday. Yet again in Gröna Lund.
That time Ott lost his Gröna virginity:

16. Love it here and love it there. Two homes.

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