Oddities in Sweden:
1. A lot of things are made of wood – like your hotel room key, coffee spoons, ice buckets for the room, clothes hangars, and more. It’s environmentally understandable – better to use wood than plastic, especially for anything disposable, but it’s still odd at times.
2. Leather elevator. I kid you not, the walls of the elevator were paneled with leather.
3. One night stands on the menu. I kid you not – we asked about this at the restaurant, what dubbelrum was, since it was 10 times the price of anything else on the menu. The waitress said, yes, that’s exactly what you think it is. It’s a hotel room upstairs if your date and dinner is going very well.
4. Exceptionally clean. Chris Brogan joked that the city was so clean he could lay down and sleep in the gutters.
5. Not an SUV in sight. Plenty of SMART cars, BMWs, Volvos, Mercedes sedans, a few Toyota Prius cards, but no SUVs at all.
6. English transliteration cannot be phoenticized. For example, PodCamp Europe was held at a town called Alvsjo. It’s pronounced “Elve-koi-ya”.
7. No chlorine in the warm water bathing pool. This was odd to me, but the water was sparkling and clean, not a bit of dirt or other pool critters in sight.
Despite these little idiosyncrasies, Sweden is a beautiful country, and Stockholm seems like a wonderful city to visit and live in. Night life is lively, crime is low, and the city is waking up to new media.