Thursday, April 10, 2014

I ~ Ice, Ice Baby #atozchallenge


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.

***

I remember visiting the US when I was six, which was three years before we moved here, and seeing these set at the table.




I whispered to The Nutritionist, since it was a dinner party with non-family guests, "What's in those glasses, and why are the glasses so big, and why are they on the table?"

I was told it was water, there were cubes of ice floating in it to keep it cold, and that people drank it with their dinner when they got thirsty.  I was in shock.  I was used to small glasses, filled with either fruit juice, or for special occasions, sparkling cider, or if it was at home for dinner, then milk.

Why would anyone drink water?  It was for washing stuff.  I mean, I'd certainly had it before, like when I was pukey sick, but that was it.  In Sweden, water with dinner isn't normal.

Oh, how I came to regret those thoughts.  I soon acclimated to a giant glass of thirst-quenching goodness.  Then when it was time to visit Sweden for the summer, I'd sit there parched at whatever food occasion it was. Ice cubes? I don't think they even have the removable, fill them up yourselves and dump version.  Certainly not a luxury such as this:



Having an ice-maker is like flying first class. Once you've had the chance, you know what you're missing, and going back to coach stinks.  So does going back to making your own ice after living in a luxury apartment equipped with the magic machine.

Here in arid Colorado, I have no idea how I'd survive without ice water.  Please meet my constant companion:



I always carry my water bottle.  I probably fill it five times a day.  Yes, it's glass. I like to put peppermint extract in there, and the essential oils eat plastic.

To my friends in Europe: Unless times have changed drastically since last time I was home, it's still hard to find an ice-cube across the pond.  Please correct me, and educate my readers, if that has changed.

~Tina, drinking water, and soon celebrating the taxes being done with a dinner out with The Engineer!

©2014 All Rights Reserved
All pictures taken by me

39 comments:

Marie A. Abanga said...

Good post Tina.

Yes you are right, ice cubes in belgium are to be blogged in the freezer or bought at the supermarket for all I know.

Marie: http://myeverydaypersonal.blogspot.be/

Agnes Ong said...

Lover of ice water, have you visited Malaysia before? You will need lots of ice water to survive here. It's super hot in this tropical country. I don't like to go out if I can in the day and I've lived here all my life, hahaha. But it's a nice place if you enjoy the sun. Do drop by my blog at www.angiecreativeink.com/blog for a taste of Malaysian writing :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I drink at least a hundred ounces of water a day - I can't imagine not having it. Or drinking anything out of a glass without ice cubes.

Pinky Poinker said...

I live in thirsty North Queensland in Australia but still drink room temperature water. Icy water makes my teeth hurt and my stomach freeze. No one else here agrees with me though :)

Andrea said...

So interesting! The things that you don't think for a second would be unique.

klahanie said...

Hi human, Tina,

Great pawst! Thanks for sharing! Following! Arf! Arf! :)

It's very easy to get ice cubes in Europe. And they sell fridges with the ice-makers. Of course, I would have ice cubes in my dog dish.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

Brian Miller said...

how interesting on not drinking water....i def need my ice cubes as well...hmmm....something to think about if i go overseas eh? smiles.

JoJo said...

I wish I could like plain water but I have to have crystal lite ice tea mixed in. I've tried that fruit infused water thing and it's a pain in the butt. It never occurred to me that ice water was a North American thing.

Romi C said...

It is interesting to read about American and Swedish cultures.
I live in Japan, and I like drinking iced water or iced barley tea in summer, but in other seasons, I usually drink something hot.

Huntress said...

I love hearing about traditions and customs around the world. Like chips in England is known as French fries in the US. LOL

Thanks for hosting A to Z this year!

Jo said...

I am not a water drinker by choice, I have to drink a fair amount for medical reasons, flushing out the system and all that, otherwise I probably wouldn't touch the stuff. The water I do drink is definitely not iced. Teeth don't like it.

I drink lots of decaf coffee though and of course I drink wine at the weekends with my dinner. Don't drink wine during the week usually.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I love my water -in fact have a glass here ... but never with ice - but I do have an ice tray ...

Different characteristics for different countries ... without ice please is always my plea!

Cheers Hils

Christy@SweetandSavoring said...

The lack of ice, and water immediately placed on the table, was one of the first things I noticed when I started traveling a lot. I drink water all the time, too, but I did get used to not needing ice.

Kathe W. said...

All the many years (over 50)I lived in soggy Oregon near Portland I always requested "No ice please" as it just made me more cold and shivery. However, since moving to arid and dry upper Northern California I have come to appreciate ice and ice makers!
I am sure enjoying your blog and thanks for co-hosting! Cheers!

Elsie Amata said...

I had the same reaction in reverse when I moved to Germany. I was baffled that they served soda warm. When we asked for ice, we were told we better get used to drinking it that way while we lived there. Funny thing, we did get used to it. Just like mayo with fries. =P

Elsie
AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

Andrew Leon said...

I like cold water, but I'm not a big fan of ice. When it melts it, you know, waters down the drink.
:P

Julekha Khatun said...

I drink lot of water and sometimes with No ice :)

CA Heaven said...

In Winterland, we're often more concerned about hot drinks tha cold drinks, at least in the winter. Also, since we drink tap water (the water is very good in most places), it's ice cold from the source. No ice cubes needed.

In the summer, we make ice cubes in the home-freezer to put into whatever drinks we want (soda, water, iced tea ...)

You get ice cubes with the soft-drinks in the burger shops. I can tell you that Max in Sweden makes better burgers than McDonalds and Burger King >:)

Cold As Heaven

DAVID WALSTON said...

My kids hate water, but I only buy soda as a treat.

Laura Clipson said...

I don't drink water very often - I mostly drink herbal tea. I don't really like cold drinks (I'm a little strange)

bemuzin.com said...

It hadn't changed when I was there in 2012. If you know ahead of time, you prepare yourself for cube deprivation, but Athens without ice was a tad unbearable!

bemuzin.com said...

It hadn't changed when I was there in 2012. If you know ahead of time, you prepare yourself for cube deprivation, but Athens without ice was a tad unbearable!

A Beer For The Shower said...

I drink 64 oz of ice water every day. Helps me through my work outs, keeps me hydrated, and is a great offset for the beer I otherwise slam down on a daily basis. Fun fact: if you don't want to get a hangover, just drink a ton of water. A hangover is just a way of your body saying that it's severely dehydrated.

Madhu said...

That is interesting that drinking in water is not common in Sweden, I was not aware of that. Nothing like the good old H20 I must say!

jenn said...

good thing you came to the states, then, eh?

Lynda Dietz said...

I drink a lot of water each day, and when I went to Turkey for a week, I felt like I spent my entire week in the search for enough water. Our hotel was supposed to provide us with bottled water, but they limited us to one bottle per day unless we wanted to purchase more at $8 USD per bottle (which was NOT the agreement we'd had for our group). By the time we flew back to the States, we were all so dehydrated it wasn't funny.

M. J. Joachim said...

Cultures are so darned interesting. I can't imagine not having ice water with dinner when I eat out. Well, if I ever make it to Sweden, they may look at me a bit odd, but you can bet I'm going to ask for some with my meals.

M. J. Joachim

A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Writing Tips
Effectively Human
Lots of Crochet Stitches




shelly said...

I've always got water.

Jean said...

Dear Tina, what a "cool" post! My curiosity about Sweden is not yet quite quenched, as I have a thirst for knowledge, but you made me reach for the water bottle sitting next to me as soon as I finished reading your entry...before I even commented here! :) thank you for the fun!

jean

Christine London said...

I know the Brits are slowly coming round to ice in water--even in restaurants. Not so much on the continent.

Try infusions for your cold water. No oil essence eating your containers. I adore mint leaves and lemon slices in mine, but there are as many variety as you have creativity to imagine. There are even Pinterest boards dedicated to water infusions.

I'm totally on the water page here in L.A. My constant companion as well.

Thanks for the great blog, Tina :)

Christine London
christinelondon.com

LD Masterson said...

Water is my cold beverage of choice but I can skip the ice. Refrigerated is good, cold from the tap is okay, too.

Leslie S. Rose said...

My daughter travelled around Europe after she graduated college last year. The first thing she grabbed for when she came home was a huge glass of ice water. It's what she missed the most from home.

Cathy Kennedy said...

I like ice water, but I don't drink it much unless it's summer. I chug half-gallon or more of H2O down me every day, and like many here already, I just can't imagine NOT drinking water regularly. It's essential, and refreshing! Gr8 post! Thanks for sharing. :)

Su-sieee! Mac said...

The Husband must have something to drink with his meal, whether it be water or juice, if not a beer. He finds it odd that I don't need a liquid. Perhaps it was just the way we grew up, so different habits.
The View from the Top of the Ladder

melaniegobledvm said...

I love ice water. I will often add a slice of lemon or lime, even berries on occasion. Then again, I have a need for water. There is never enough water when I go to Europe, at least not cold, not sparkling water. Oh well, it is still enjoyable to go.

Patricia Lynne said...

Wow. The idea of not having ice water on the table is a bit crazy sounding to me. I guess that's how much I'm used to it. Next time I go out to eat and I'm brought some ice water, I won't take it for granted!

~Patricia Lynne~
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, YA Author

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I had no idea it was uncommon to drink water! Funny!

TheCyborgMom said...

Wow! Not having ice cubes is strange enough to me, but not drinking water??? I can't even imagine. I'm a water drinker...it's what I drink about 95% of the time. The other 5% is hot tea or ICED tea :) Sometimes I'll splurge and have a small cup of juice.
~Katie
TheCyborgMom
Visual Proof

cleemckenzie said...

I don't see ice water in Europe. I got so used to drinking regular water while I was there that I still do, but I have to ask waiters not to put ice in my glass here.