Home > Life, Self-Improvement, Sweden > Things I learned in Sweden – part 2

Things I learned in Sweden – part 2

November 11, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

4) Drinking more coffee than ever before: To say coffee is big in Sweden is an understatement. I’d say it’s one of the irreplaceable threads in the social fabric there. Two folks can discuss anything, so long as coffee’s been offered and accepted 🙂 If you have a day full of meetings, my thought is to select the espresso shot from the machine. The smaller volume of liquid will save you from repeated bathroom trips.

5) Meaningful relaxation: Interestingly, when you go to a coffee shop over there, you don’t see people studying. No laptops. (Working all afternoon in a cafe while hunched over that single coffee you grudgingly paid for – a most American phenomenon!) I was never a study-in-cafe type in the U.S. but being over there certainly nurtured my love for going into places that serve cake and pie along with their coffee… in the company of friends… to have actual conversations.

6) Identifying ways to create value: I was extremely fortunate to complement my research work with a program on how to commercialize new technologies originating in research. During the program, I got to actually develop some new partnerships along the way of testing one of my ideas on graphene dispersions. (I won’t go into the details here; I did give a presentation about it in Stockholm last month – watch it if you’re interested.) The great thing about doing this program was (a) the new thought processes I absorbed and can implement for future ideas, and (b) discovering that I find this new area of work – related to technology transfer, not the same as basic research – super interesting, challenging, and worth pursuing further. And of course, (c) getting introduced to a fantastic mentor who wasn’t hesitant to share wisdom from his broad life and business experiences. Thanks, Sten.

I’m going to end here. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. For example, I learned plenty of other good and useful things from my colleagues at Uppsala University. But those are for only me to savor, right now.

The first part of my list is here.

[Picture: This cat lived at our house. She came to me for all her head-scratching needs. Yes, even in the bathroom sink.]

  1. November 12, 2011 at 1:48 am

    I’m moving to Sweden soon so love reading lists like this. Think I am going to have to work on my love of coffee though. Currently, I can’t stand it!

  2. Kari
    November 12, 2011 at 1:48 am

    The cat is cute! I’m thinking a trip to Sweden is in order, given my mutual interest of coffee and cute cats. Just recently I had to study at a Starbucks, and it was the worst experience at a coffee bar of my life. On my left, a chain smoker, on my right three noisy under ten year olds with parents who couldn’t care less.

    • November 12, 2011 at 1:58 am

      Smoking is allowed inside Starbucks??? Or he’s a chain smoker and the smell just persists wherever he goes?
      And, yes, you should totally go to Sweden! I forgot to mention, in case this is also your thing: tea is very big as well. My favorite indoor cafe there had something like 16 varieties in jars where you have to use the scooping tool to steep the tea. Pretty sweet.

  3. Kari
    November 12, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Oh…it was at the their outdoor seating area. Tea’s also my thing. My biggest pet peeves about the “tea” they sell in grocery stores is that whatever it says on the box is never actually an ingredient. For instance, Lipton White Tea with Island Mango and Peach: the ingredients include White tea, green tea, orange leaves, rose hips, lemon grass, licorice root, modified corn starch, natural flavor. Where is the mango and/or peach?! Lame, especially if they’re claiming that’s the “natural flavor”.

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