For many Swedes, July is the most awaited month of the year, as the daylight and ‘high’ temperatures allow enjoying outdoors and beautiful nature. Personally, I love the warm climate, endless BBQs, and rooftop bars. However, there are a few things that are hard to get used to during this month. Hence, I decided to share with you 5 annoying things about July in Sweden.
Since the old days, Swedish laws had granted its citizens to take 4 consecutive weeks of vacation during summer months. It became so rooted in the culture, that now, every Swede takes advantage of it. Actually, some companies simply close down and ‘force’ their employees to go on paid leave. While I do agree that it is necessary to recharge your batteries for long winter months to come, it should be done without putting the whole country’s operations on hold.
Everyone is out of office
If you have a question or need someone’s signature to proceed with your own work – forget it. Swedish companies in July run on below-minimal resources. Not to mention, that the ones actually working are usually temporary staff with barely any deciding power. For instance, recently I have sent a group email to 12 of my colleagues and received 8 ‘out of office’ replies. Sometimes it seems that if one day you wouldn’t show up to an office, literally, no one would even notice.
Household reparations or proper renovation works are, in general, a rather sensitive topic in Sweden. This is because, in most cases, you are supposed to get permission from the house community. Yes, you got that right… Even if you own an apartment you cannot just do what you like with it. Not to mention, rental apartments. So, you got that green light to do some plumbing work and yet nothing gets done. You either can’t get in touch with a company that does such work or they keep on giving you fake deadlines. For example, if they say that something will be fixed in 3 weeks, in reality it means 3 months. Why you wonder? Because everyone is sipping their ‘Norrlands Guld’ somewhere in the countryside. While planned reparations can wait, it becomes really annoying if you have a leaking toilet or a broken washing machine.
Cafés and restaurants are closed
Another item that made it on my “most annoying things about July in Sweden” list is closed cafes. You could not imagine how many cafes, bakeries, and restaurants simply shut down during the warmest period of the year. While I do understand that lunch places located directly by office buildings cannot operate profitably, centrally located cafes should be able to. Even if Stockholmers leave the city, crowds of tourists definitely compensate for the traffic. So, if you stumble upon a note on your favorite coffee place, don’t worry. They haven’t gone bankrupt. They simply went on holiday.
If you think that summer is a good time to start some kind of exercise, I am afraid you will be disappointed. While private gyms or tennis clubs remain open, public sports facilities barely operate. This concerns swimming pools, indoor courts for team sports or athletics facilities. Basically, you will either have to adjust to significantly reduced opening hours or will need to engage in outdoor activities. But why would you want to be stuck indoors in July, you may ask. Well, in this part of the world, July could be as rainy as November elsewhere. Thus, having indoor facilities at your disposal is more than useful.
Public transport is a daily life aspect that causes the most frustration even when operating properly. However, in summer major metro tracks as well as the central station undergoes significant maintenance works. Hence, substantially reduced departures, completely closed stations, and an increased amount of transfers become an every-day thing. Rationally thinking, it makes sense to do such works in July, however, the ones still commuting to work should be thought of. Be it replacement buses, shuttles, or any other initiative, those working in July should be considered. Hence, if you can, jump on your bike or electric scooter and avoid the chaos.
⇒ We hope you have enjoyed this article! Please let us know what are the most annoying things when living in Sweden?!
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