My house here in London has a very unique combination. It is an authentic Latin-Scandinavian house, and it is as crazy as this combination sounds. I am the 100% Latin element (Brazilian), and I flatshare with two other girls and a guy. One of the girls is Argentinian/Finnish, and the other is Panamanian/Swedish. The guy is the 100% Scandinavian element, Finnish.
It is definitely an interesting combination with, of course, cultural clashes. After almost 3 months, I can point out some peculiar things about living with Scandinavians.
1. This is how it looks
They NEVER wear shoes inside the house, so there is this collection under the stairs. I think it is particularly good, so you don’t spread the dirty from the outside in the place you live in. Also, I don’t like wearing shoes so much — I am the kind of person who heard “put some shoes, girl!” from my mom every single day. Never obeyed, of course.
2. Milk is a drink like any other
In Brazil, milk is something you have in the morning, during breakfast, with perhaps chocolate or coffee. Maybe some kids have it before going to sleep. Well, Scandinavians drink A LOT OF MILK, and they don’t mind having it with like, a pasta dish for dinner. Spaghetti and milk? Urght. Sounds weird.
3. Coffee, please
You think you drink a lot of coffee? Rethink. Despite some journalists — who just can’t refuse the free espresso machine in their work, as an excuse for a chat or maybe even to talk to some sources –, Scandinavians go crazy without coffee. It was the first thing the girls bought when they arrived.
4. Ah, it is not so cold…
C’mon, guys. I am Brazilian. Even being from Sao Paulo (where we have to admit that once in while there is a cold winter), there is no way to classify a temperature below 10°C other than cold. However, they say it is just chill. Sometimes it is like, 5°C, my chin is shaking, and Scandinavians are like: meh…
5. They can tell how cold it is by looking at the sky
This is the coolest. Imagine this: kitchen, morning, breakfast. “oh, you better wrap up, Gabi. It is cold outside, we can tell because of the way the sky is today”.
(obviously, they mean cold for my standards, but still chill if they would classify it for another Scandinavian, maybe?)
6. There is no “ice skating”
Skating means ice skating for Scandinavians.
Roller skating = here you go.
I love those cultural differences. We are a nice gang, and I feel so lucky. There is always a tension about how people you are going to flatshare with will be, but I can tell for sure that I have a home. A crazy one. But a real home.