All Aboard! "It's Very Swedish..." a train on a cultural journey through Sweden, exploring the differences big and small between American and Swedish culture.
Swedes think of their cars differently than Americans do. I remember asking The Swede (my dad) why Volvos didn't have cup holders. His answer was, "Europeans don't treat their cars like a living room."
We've always driven Volvos, since he worked for the company since 1975. That's probably one of our first cars we're washing in that other picture. That's me, styling, my little brother DataBoy to my right, and a friend of ours (sorry, forgot who..) to my left.
(Hey - I learned how to make a background behind the words! I just need to learn how to make it lighter...but you can watch the evolution of my picmonkey skills as you learn about Sweden! Double your money!)
Sweden, as most of Europe, has fantastic public transportation (which will we will get to at "P") therefore not every household has a car. Even fewer have two cars. Then there's the fact that even IF they have a car, they don't run around in them like we Americans do.
"Walking distance" has a completely different meaning there. Communities are smaller, amenities are closer. Some people even WALK to the grocery store to pick up a few items. (Not me, I send The Transporter...)
Of course, the newer Volvos DO have cup holders. In fact, oodles of them in convenient places, and hidden pop-out places. They are adjustable, expandable and can accommodate your Big Gulp or your Nalgene. It's just that our youngest Volvo is a 1991, and has not a single place to put a cup, unless a passenger will hold it for you.
I would also venture to say that most Swedes keep their cars in a more clean state than we as Americans do. I've ridden in a lot of minivans with friends with kids, and they look just like my car. The floor is a trash can, and they put small things like lollipop sticks in the slot where the door handle is supposed to slide open. They mean well - they'll "pick up the trash on their way out", but somehow that never happens.
The Swede's car (as in my dad, not the general population for which I really can't speak) is always immaculate. He has tried to influence me. I think though that our car's interior reflects our general "housekeeping" state, as in are we messy and cluttered or do we belong to the "everything in it's place crowd". I would venture to say though, that since Swede's cars aren't living rooms, they don't have a chance to get as messy as mine.
How about you? How many cup holders does your vehicle have? Are you a "Messy Bessy like me, or a "Neat and Tidy Heidi" like The Swede and my Swissie and her husband? At least some of the Swedish neatness rubbed off on SOMEONE in the family...
~Tina, who should go clean her car after this post...