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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Observing Sweden – Culture Shock 2 Language


I’m sure there are many variations of the expatriate trip . . . this loss of place. There is a feeling of powerless, not oppressed, but not easy. A loss of control and understanding.

Language is such a big part of adjusting. I thought the language schools (12 weeks – free) would open for me this September. Wrong. The classes have been filled with Somalis. The Swedish government reversed its position requiring immigrants to have valid identification papers. Lots of Somalis don’t have papers. Now DNA tests are accepted – giving families the ability to import relatives. Hard to find out how many, have come so far. I think around 2000. Incomers have zero skills. We will support them, extra money for each kid (locals get credit for the first only), and hopefully teach them how to add and subtract. 


Then they can go out and learn how hard it is to find jobs in Borlänge . . . this small town of (40,000). After they get tired of being unemployed they can go to Stockholm and riot, demanding jobs. Seems like I see them everywhere, or maybe they just show up, stand out in a crowd – those brightly colored, flowing outfits. What a culture shock Sweden must be for them. It gets cold here. The city has asked for 15 million dollars (100,000 kronor) to help with expenses.


There is another, private language class that will begin soon—if the teacher attracts one more student. I will have to pay, of course. A good possibility, but I’m not holding my breath. Even the finding of a class is beyond my ken. When things get complicated, you need to be able to converse in Swedish. I have most of Rosetta Stone-Sweden, but no idea what happen to the missing disks. So many things have magically disappeared with this move. They often reappear shortly after we buy replacements. Other items long forgotten, and unseen for years appear unexpectedly, like Moby Dick.

My doctor speaks adequate English, but I’m not really sure she understands what I say. 



If you get seriously sick here, and or want help NOW, you go to a private doctor – expensive. You get to pay twice. Socialism is tricky. All political systems are tricky . . .  one thing in common, the working class always pays.

Socialism costs more than I thought.

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