Back from Europe

Here are some things I learned in Sweden, Germany and Denmark.

  • If you are an airplane pilot, you should avoid communicating on the emergency frequency unless you have an actual emergency.
  • In Sweden, marmalade comes in a flexible tube that looks like a really fat sausage.
  • Swedes can't handle spicy-hot food.
  • Road warning signs are blue-and-yellow in Sweden, but red-and-white in Denmark.
  • You can drive really, really fast on the Autobahn.
  • Never drive in the left lane of the Autobahn unless you are actively passing somebody.
  • When you ask at the cafeteria, "Gibt's Fleisch dabei?", and the guy says, "Nein, s'gibt kein Schweinfleisch", don't assume that he understood your question.
  • If somebody at Oktoberfest challenges you to drink your one-liter Maßbier in twenty seconds, you should decline.
  • If you vomit at Oktoberfest, they charge €25 to clean it up.
  • You really don't need to know that much information about lignite mining.
  • Parking in Copenhagen is free on Sunday. Putting money into the machine is a waste.

Comments (6)
  1. Andi says:

    I assume American books about Europe lack the same kind of important information like European books about America.
    Actually it doesn’t sound like you enjoied your trip.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Try reading a guidebook for the local city. You’d be amazed at the rubbish they put in. Maybe its different for cities like London, NY or Paris, but the stuff I’ve read about Dublin would leave you in stitches (especially the German guidebooks). In Ireland of course, we like telling tall tales, and seeing just how gullible the tourist really is.

    As to the Fleisch/Schweinfleisch issue, unless you know the vegetarian underculture in Germany, it can be hard avoiding meat especially pork. Also, never eat the potato salad in Germany: I always thought it looked like an attempt at recouping the loss of 25€ at the Oktoberfest.

  3. Kjell-Åke Andersson says:

    In Sweden we do have marmalade in glass jars as well. The "sausage" if for re-filling the glass jars. It’s an attempt to be more environmentally concius.
    And our road warning signs are red-and-yellow, it’s our flag that is blue-and-yellow! :-)
    We like spicy-hot food in Sweden, but if it is vindaloo you mean it can be a little bit too hot for us!

    Welcome back to Sweden anytime and I’ll show you our polar bears! :-)

  4. Serge says:

    Yes, driving on the left lane is reserved to passing other vehicles. It’s not only the use, it’s also the law ! One amongst many differences in our respective cultures (US vs Europe) : What the hell is that yellow school bus doing on the fifth (left) lane !!!??? We don’t even imagine that possible on a 3-lane highway.

  5. Sam says:

    You are allowed to drive any speed on the autobahn, but if you have an accident at a speed higher then 130kph your insurance might decline payment.
    It might be a law that you should only drive on the left lane to overtake, but I never saw or heard it being enforced, even not in rumors. The only thing you usually get in the left lane is cars hanging at your bumper wanting to overtake you, usually flashing their lights like they want to ask ‘what the hell are you doing on *MY* side of the road’ (this will get considerable less at 250kph)
    Oh, and a lot of germans drive on the left side, or plain forget to make room for faster cars, there really is no need to worry about that.
    There even was added a law to allow overtaking on the right lane in some special strange cases (not that most cared what’s allowed and what not).

    Greetings from the end of the autobahn and the end of the drivers license from Flensburg!

  6. Minerva says:

    I studied in Sweden for a fall semester and then went back the next summer (had a Swedish boyfriend). I really loved it, Swedish people are so smart in general and very environmentally conscious…I could go everywhere with my bike safely. And yeah I do remember their tube obsession…did you ever try the tubed caviar they use for spread…it’s really good.

    -Minerva (

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