Sweden is in Switzerland – right?

Wow! Never have so many commented on my post when I had so little to say to so few …. or something like that. And lots of people think that Sweden is romantic and exotic! I guess that’s one way of looking at it.

Now – let me ask you a question: how many of you know where Sweden is? Be truthful now. Look at the map and then put a Post-it or sticky note on the right part of the world. OK – a sticky note is a bit too big, so just point to the general area.

continents_map_sm

The reason I’m asking is that over the years I’ve had numerous conversations about the location of Sweden. They tend to go something like this – and usually take part in taxis when being driven to an airport. For the sake of dramatic interest, let’s call the taxi driver, Ron.

Ron: So, where ya’ll flying off to then?

Me: Sweden.

Ron: Oh, yeah – Sweden. That’s where chocolate comes from.

Me: Um … no … You’re probably thinking of Switzerland.

Ron: No, Sweden. Where the cheese with holes comes from.

Me: Er.. you’re still thinking of Switzerland.

Ron: I’ve got it! Sweden is where cuckoo clocks come from.

Me: Switzerland again.

Ron: That’s what I said – they make really accurate watches there.

Me: Still Switzerland.

Ron: You got the Alps there too.

Me: S.W.I.T.Z.E.R.L.A.ND.!!!!!!!!!!

Ron: Everything is very efficient and the trains always run on time.

Me: Well, you’re getting a bit closer now…

Ron: Told ya! Sweden .. That’s where you get polar bears wandering on the streets. Right?

Me: Yes, that’s right. You meet them all the time. (The irony seems to be lost on Ron.)

Ron (dropping me off at Departures): You have a good flight back to Switzerland  now, ya hear!

***************************************************

Drum roll please! Here comes the answer. Sweden is the largish green country on the map.

locationswedenineuropeHow close did you get?

And if you pointed to the middle of Europe – yes, you got Switzerland spot on!

funny-polar-bear-pic-img121

43 thoughts on “Sweden is in Switzerland – right?

  1. I’m pleased to say that i was in the right area! 🙂 I always find people’s misconceptions about a country amusing. I was at the airport in Toronto once in AUGUST and saw someone leaving with skis. Not waterskis. Actual skis. In august. Ever curious, i asked him if he was moving here and needed them for the coming winter. No, he was planning on going skiing later that week. This was canada after all where it’s always cold and snowy and we live in igloos. (ok he didn’t say the igloo thing but i could tell he was thinking it.) *shakes head*

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  2. Hahahahaha I never saw a polar bear in Switzerland! I feel ripped off!

    I got it right too, but I am always a bit hazy between Sweden and Norway.

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  3. Whenever I get into a conversation like that it usually goes something like this:

    .
    .
    .
    Ron: Oh, yeah – Sweden. That’s where chocolate comes from.

    Me: Um … no … We’re much better known for Abba, IKEA, Volvo, and for the fact that we kill ourselves all the time because we’re so depressed.

    Ron: Ah…
    <Silence… >

    Me: 😉

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  4. Ha ha folks! And well done for pinpointing Scandinavia…

    Po: Before Norway got their independence they were once part of Sweden, so it’s OK to be a bit hazy… (But don’t tell the Norwegians I said so! ;-))

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  5. HAHAHAHA, your writing is really hillarious! Again, I’ve experienced the same thing, I’ve had people who think Norway and Sweden are one and the same also! Almost want to cry at the idiocracy sometimes but you just end up laughing…or was that crying/laughing???? hmmmm….by the way I love that polar bear photo, I have actually done that move myself several times through the winters I’ve lived here- so it hits home…

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  6. That polar bear looks like I did back in February 2007. I spent 10 weeks with my leg in a cast, and it’s still not completely better 😦

    So I’m not a huge fan of slippery footpaths, in other words!

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  7. Maybe I tagged Norway? I thought Sweden was the country to the right of where it actually is. I had no idea that Norway and Sweden used to be one country. Now I’m actually wondering is I’ve ever taken a world history or geography class. Evidently not …

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  8. I’ve been a geography nut in the past (it comes and goes, really), so I did know where Sweden was (okay, I get it mixed up with Finland, but same dif, right? My ancestors are Danish!). Anyway, Sweden’s where they have the little horse thingies, right? Haha. There’s a Swedish town near where I grew up so we had one of those horses with our family name on it. That’s about all I know about Sweden.

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  9. Been there! Sweden is the coffee, Switzerland is the chocolate. That, my lovelies, is how you remember them 🙂
    Thanks for your comment love, Ladyfi 🙂

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  10. Living in Canada is a little like living in Sweden. We have had too many conversations with other people who really feel that we live in igloos. Or maybe even teepees.

    Ah geography…..

    Jen

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  11. Caution: The country to the right is Finland. And yes, Finland used to be under Swedish rule to – and parts of Denmark (Skåne) and the Baltic and parts of Russia… Ages ago mind, hundreds infact.

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  12. Visiting a day late for BATW! I loved this post, I can just imagine how frustrating that must be for you. I live in Baltimore but grew up in Kansas, still in the same country, and yet most people can’t quite locate it on a map or tell me anything about it. It’s “somewhere in the middle.” Capitol? Hmm, Kansas City?

    For the record, I located Sweden on the map. 🙂

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  13. Woo hoo…surprisingly I got pretty dang close! And I don’t even do that well pointing out states in the US! But it does seem very exotic and cool to live somewhere like that!

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  14. I knew it! You confused me a bit because for a moment there I thought I was one who thought that they were one in the same. But nope, I’ve also known them to be seperate countries and I know where Sweden is. It’s Switzerland that I don’t know. Haha. Thanks for the tour, I’ve visiting from BATW. Late I know, life happens and I had to catch a different flight. Have a great weekend!

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  15. Hahaha…I’ve lived in Switzerland and have had the near same conversations with taxi-drivers – only the other way round.

    I’m a Dane, though, and for some obscure reason 99% of all the Americans I’ve met confuses Denmark with the Netherlands.

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  16. I’m geographically challenged, but I’m glad to know where you you “are” and it’s nice to meet you. My name’s Chris and I came via Jennifer at “My Chaotic Peace”.

    Your posts are nice. I’m sorry you’ve had so many diseases (your “about” page”), and I’ve read many of the same books. I’ll be back…wherever you are.

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  17. Perhaps it’s because I’m the “Anywhere but here” girl, but I always got 100s in geography. I was always first to get the pink piece of pie in Trivial Pursuit too.
    These days, I’m not 100% confident on Africa because there’s been so much change. However I am confident Sweden is still in right where we left it, churning out cool furniture, safe cars, meatballs and lingonberries.

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  18. Considering I spend a couple of weeks a year in the ignorant part of the world I was pretty stunned when most people in Florida actually KNEW where Sweden was, and instantly said Volvo (and for some reason still Björn Borg).

    When I go upstate NY…eh…what can I say…I’ll just put a sock in it for now ;o)

    I do love the US. For real. For lots of reasons. But too many people just don’t leave the country, or heck…not even the state.

    The % of americans who actually has a passport is ridiculously low.

    And why bother learning geography? Is there really a world outside the US? ;o)

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  19. same thing happened to me in the US when people heard I was moving to Denmark…
    I got questions about speaking DUTCH, wooden shoes and the Red light district….

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  20. Sirpe you crack me up! I was close..but in Norway! A great lesson Lady Fi ! Well ever since Little House on the Prairie was on TV everyone thinks we have mountains here in Minnesota! I could never be a world traveller..no passport ..yet:)

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  21. Oh I forgot. The best question I got so far. From an american with english parents and he had been to England several times (at least he said he had).

    He said “Sweden…what language do you speak? Euro right? Or is it Dutch?”

    Eh?

    Yeah…and swedish is our currency…or something…

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  22. HAHA! This reminds me of all the conversations I’ve had with people about Denmark. Not many people know where that country is on the map, either, and a lot of people actually get it confused with with Holland. People thing that they speak either German or Dutch (Dutch….Danish….). It’s hilarious!

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  23. This post really cracks me up and raises a question. Do they really teach geography in US schools btw? Because although people from my country are quite poor and can’t afford to travel abroad, I’m sure they have no trouble pinpointing any country in the world in a map. We had a geography lesson where the name translates to “blind map”. We were each armed with a pin, a world map without the country name and a question where to stick the pin in the map. Voila. We were drilled that way from 4th grade to 9th grade. The result? Nobody mixes Denmark with Netherlands nor Switzerland with Sweden.

    Surprise surprise

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  24. Got it right. But then I am from India, and I grew up on a staple diet of the Non-Aligned Movement, so it is a country rather hard to get wrong.

    Incidentally, one of my closest friends is Norwegian, and she posted about her country the other day. And she asked me not to tell you what her country thinks of Norway.

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  25. The most famous monologue in movie history is probably Orson Welles’ monologue outside the Ferris wheel in Carol Reed’s “The Third Man”. It ends with the celebrated lines: “In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock …”

    When the movie was released and became a worldwide superhit, Orson Welles received a very irritated letter from the Swiss government, stating that in Switzerland they produce extremely accurate, superb watches. The cuckoo clock, however, comes from Bavaria.

    So I’m afraid both you and Ron were wrong on that count. 🙂

    All the best,
    Bellis

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  26. All I wanted to google was what ‘Switzerland’ was in Swedish. Instead this came up which I couldn’t resist reading. I’ve been living in Switzerland for over 10 years and some of my friends still think I live in Sweden. That’s actually my sister who lived in Stockholm for 5 years.

    Switzerland: Small, borders with Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein (don’t get me started) and Austria. Home of Lindt chocolate and Tag Heuer watches. Banks hoard gold from questionable acquisitions.

    Sweden: Supposedly one of the seven largest countries in the world, part of Scandinavia and borders with Finland and Norway. Home of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Absolut vodka and Ikea.

    I so chose the wrong country to live in.

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  27. Came across this older post by concidence – funny:) My experience is that whenever I tell people I am from Norway I get ‘That’s in Sweden, right?’. 🙂

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  28. hahah hilarious 🙂 reminds me, an experience at a cafe when I got tea instead of coffee and I said the waitress . . . there is tea in my coffee.The waitress very efficiently took it away and replaced it with a new cup saying “this time I made it myself to make sure its not coffee” 🙂 🙂 When I got the bill, it said: One coffee (with a price of coffee) 🙂

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