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Sweden: First Impressions

October 1989

Sweden is pretty expensive, particularly for alcohol. Teetotalers are heavy contributors to political parties, so a draft beer costs $7! Actually, there are 4 strengths of beer: Lattol, Folkol, Mellanol, and Starkol; the weakest draft "only" costs $2.50. Of course, it's less expensive in the "state stores," Systembolagets, where a bottle of Starkol can be purchased for "only" 1.50. The Systembolagets are really automated – when you go in you take a ticket and wait for your number to appear on a big display which also tells you which counter (there may be a dozen or more) to go to.

A Big Mac (or equivalent, e.g., a "Big Clock," at "the Clock") costs $4; however, you can get a transit pass for anyplace within 20 miles for $30 for a month. And it’s probably the only country in the world where you can take a hot air balloon ride over a capital city; the airport is far enough out in the country that they’re not a hazard. Also: not that many Swedes are blonde, but there are a lot more redheads than I expected.

© Copyright 2000 Jack Ludwick - All Rights Reserved

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