EPISODE 014: THE SWEDISH PERSPECTIVE
WE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THE SWEDISH OUTLOOK ON LIFE – AND BOOT-THROWING? YEAH, THAT TOO.
Every episode we drink a different libation – so what are we drinking this episode?
Tom’s Drink – Tullibardine Highland Scotch
– A scotch whiskey with caramel overtones
– A delightful, single-grain whiskey
David’s Drink – Rumhaven
– A very sweet, sugary rum drink
*Visit our “Tasting Room“
Ian Robertson: Welcome back to drinking with Tom. So we have a special guest on today, Tom, actually our very first guest, we’ve never had a guest before.
Tom Kubiak: It’s our first guest. Our first time we’ve had somebody other than just the two of us.
David Nyman: I feel honored.
Ian Robertson: I know and we wasted it on David.
Tom Kubiak: And we wasted it on David. But when you find out the theme of our discussion, we’ll know why we invited them.
Ian Robertson: Well, the theme of our discussion is the Swedish perspective. So we have David “The Swede” Nyman on with us. How are you, David?
David Nyman: Doing Well, how are you guys doing?
Ian Robertson: Good. Thanks for being on.
Tom Kubiak: Very good.
David Nyman: Loving it.
Ian Robertson: So you’re Swedish.
David Nyman: Yeah, sure I am. Always been.
Ian Robertson: Nice.
Tom Kubiak: How long have you been Swedish?
David Nyman: That’s funny. So I mean, I lived in Sweden until I was 25. But I mean, I’ve been almost as long in the US now as I have in Sweden.
Ian Robertson: I mean; you speak English? Very well. Hang on. You speak English. Very well, David.
David Nyman: Yeah. You know, my wife, Catherine always complains, that I don’t have enough of an accent and I tried to make her happy and fake a Swedish accent. And she’s like, that’s the worst Swedish accent I’ve ever heard. I can’t even do that right.
Tom Kubiak: You can’t even fake the Swedish accent anymore.
Ian Robertson: Just so everybody knows why I’m teasing so David hard, we actually work together. So I figured it just kind of spilled over from the workday into this.
David Nyman: Yeah, I’m offended but I have to put up with it.
Ian Robertson: Yeah, otherwise, you’re fired.
David Nyman: Exactly.
Ian Robertson: So before we get into our topic, because it’s basically a cultural discussion kind of interests me anyway, you know, what is the perspective of somebody who’s been in this culture for as long as another culture? What are the differences? What are some of the similarities, you know, moving over here versus going back now? kind of interested in that, but since you’re the guest, we’d love to hear what you’re drinking first. Yeah, and he told me not to make fun of it.
David Nyman: Yeah, exactly.
Ian Robertson: So I’m probably going to make fun of it.
David Nyman: Yeah, so I gave it some thought, you know, should I drink? You know, the adult beverages that you guys drink? I’m like, I don’t really care for whiskey, bourbon, all those I don’t.
Tom Kubiak: What?
Ian Robertson: Sacrilege.
David Nyman: I know.
Ian Robertson: This is literally drinking with Tom.
David Nyman: So I went with my personal favorite.
Tom Kubiak: Rum!
David Nyman: RumHaven.
Ian Robertson: What is it?
Tom Kubiak: Oh, that’s the coconut rum.
David Nyman: Oh, it’s the best coconut rum out there. And you know why? It’s one of those bottles that when you open it up get the crunchy sound because there’s so much sugar sitting.
Tom Kubiak: My sister-in-law brought me a bottle of that when she visited one time.
David Nyman: It’s delightful.
Tom Kubiak: But she proceeded to drink it all.
Ian Robertson: I see guys with man buns walking around farmer’s markets drinking that.
David Nyman: Now the thing is, like, I mean, I was pretty late into the alcohol game. Basically, until I was 26 and 27. I didn’t drink anything.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah, that’s like 20 years after us.
David Nyman: Exactly. So after that, it’s like anything with an umbrella? That works for me. Yeah, I’ll take a sip on you know.
Ian Robertson: Okay.
David Nyman: On the tough stuff.
Ian Robertson: Okay.
Tom Kubiak: So do you that rum that coconut rum, do you drink it straight? Or do you mix it like in Coke or Yeah, some people like put it in Tang or you drink it straight? No ice. Wow!
Ian Robertson: Like a real man!
David Nyman: It is. Let me see here, it is 42 Proof.
Ian Robertson: Okay, so, and what’s it called again?
Tom Kubiak: RumHaven
David Nyman: RumHaven,
Ian Robertson: RumHaven, okay, but your wife though. Your wife though, actually drinks like a good bourbon or whiskey.
David Nyman: And it’s been more than once where we’re in a restaurant and she gets my drink and I get hers. I will not lie. And she liked beer. She likes whiskey bourbon.
Ian Robertson: Okay.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah, we should have had,
Ian Robertson: Maybe we should have her on the show.
Tom Kubiak: We should have had her on the show, that would’ve been better.
David Nyman: Living with a Swede, how to deal with the shame? I have to say, I mean, I’m not a typical Swede. I don’t drink coffee. Swedes love coffee. You know, all my adult friends like the real drinks. I’m an outlier.
Ian Robertson: Well, we’re going to ask you about that because sometimes the outliers you guys have the best perspective on things because of your objective but Tom, what are you drinking first, before we get into that
Tom Kubiak: I’m back. I’m drinking a single malt scotch Tullibardine 228 It’s a specific bottling of Tullibardine Distillery. So I’ll tell you I haven’t had it yet. It’s got a good smell too.
Ian Robertson: There’s the sniff.
David Nyman: Another episode of sniffing with Tom.
Tom Kubiak: It’s good. Yeah, it’s got the caramel overtones that I like but it’s a little bit more stringent than what I normally would like and I get a new, a good dose to it, but not as good as some of the other ones that I’ve had. So,
Ian Robertson: Yeah, you don’t seem too excited about it.
Tom Kubiak: No. Not as much as a couple of other ones that we’ve had recently. What are you drinking?
Ian Robertson: So I actually went out and got a bottle. I’ve been trying, this is a local place to me. It’s New Scotland Spirits. It’s held in Albany County. Yeah. Okay. So this is a winter wheat whiskey field, the flask single barrel, but a whiskey is not really overly popular with a lot of people because it has almost like, a bready kind of aftertaste. Yeah, like the first sip. You have to like, be prepared. That’s not going to be bourbon or rye or scotch. It’s going to have a bready kind of taste, but I got to say, I Like. This is good really, yep. Helderberg so it’s New Scotland Spirits Helderberg Winter wheat whiskey, really clean. It doesn’t have a lot of that bready aftertaste but it doesn’t sacrifice the wheat flavor.
Tom Kubiak: You get the wheat flavor.
Ian Robertson: I get the wheat and this isn’t like their flagship. They had another bottle which I can’t remember what it was. I want to say it was a ray. But the winter wheat kind of kind of intrigued me. This is a five-year-old bottle.
Tom Kubiak: Cool. Let’s it’s local. That’s cool. Yeah, you know,
Ian Robertson: We talk about big names. Tell them more or you know Lagavulin or something. Let’s have something local. I think next time I have a local beer on here too but new Scotland spirits if you’re ever in upstate New York get a bottle it’s kind of hard to find a liquor store but you can find them every once in a while.
Tom Kubiak: Did you go right to the distillery or did you get it from a liquor store?
Ian Robertson: No, I found it in a liquor store by accident. I’m like, oh my goodness, they have the stuff, saves me a trip driving all the way out to the distillery
Tom Kubiak: We should do that in future episodes. We should just focus on local stuff.
David Nyman: Or live stream from a local brewery.
Tom Kubiak: Or livestream from a distillery, we can do that.
Ian Robertson: Hey, Helderberg if you’re listening to New Scotland spirits we’d love to livestream from the back room and tell corny dad jokes.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah, taste a couple of your other. What else did they do? They said they had a ride. They do like vodka or anything else?
Ian Robertson: No, I think it’s mostly whiskies I’d have to spend some time looking at their selection but it’s mostly whiskies and it’s surprisingly good. Like, I get whiskies from all over and I would get this again over like a percent of the ones that I’ve gotten.
Tom Kubiak: Oh, wow, that’s pretty cool. Nice.
Ian Robertson: So there we are. So, David, I want to get back to your Swedish, non-Swedishness. So you were 25 when you moved over here?
David Nyman: Yeah, I always missed the data. Can’t trust me, Catherine always has to correct me. Yeah, 25 because we got married over there in Sweden, in 2000, which would be two years later we moved over here, a year and a half.
Ian Robertson: Okay, so let me ask you, the Swedish culture seems very different from the US culture in a lot of ways, but very similar in others, you know, you don’t want to go by generalizations but you have like, a lot of people talk about how polite the Swedes are, fun going, and they have tried to look up all these Swedish words, but I couldn’t pronounce any of them.
Tom Kubiak: The language is even trying to pronounce because they use the Latin characters, right David?
David Nyman: We got three extra vowels.
Ian Robertson: Yep, but as the Germanic languages, North German, Germanic, and we’re Western Germanic because of English. So there are similarities. How was it for you being a Swedish person? Come on over to the US? Was it weird? Was there any culture shock? Or there’s some things that you could really laugh at when you came over?
David Nyman: Yeah. I mean, I got to say that, a lot of Europeans, you met them? Probably they have a preconceived notion of America and some of them are wrong and some are right.
Ian Robertson: Yeah, cowboy hats and overweight.
David Nyman: So I think I came in a little bit biased, but in the end, I’ve adapted way too much to the American way. Like just a simple example. For like first time I went to a Price Chopper, store chain, or food store chain, they have one in Amsterdam, New York. We parked in the parking lot, and they had something to pick up at Walmart, which was the store next to it and I’m like, where are you guys going? It’s right there. They got to move the car. So I grew up, you know, unless you’re driving somewhere far away, you’re walking and that I think was probably one of the biggest changes but now I find myself doing the same thing. Americans are not built for walking.
Tom Kubiak: Americans are not built for walking.
Ian Robertson: You go to a store now with anybody and we’re all like, man, we park so far away, and it’s like three rows out.
Tom Kubiak: Can we take a shuttle to our car?
David Nyman: Get the electric shopping cart.
Tom Kubiak: How often do you guys go back to Sweden?
David Nyman: We used to try to do it every two years. We had you know my family used to come home every two years. We’d go there every two years. So we got together every year. My sister had a nice two years ago. time since I kind of skewed things that pull.
Ian Robertson: Does your family like to tease you about any Americanisms when you go back?
David Nyman: So much, yeah.
Ian Robertson: Like what? Give us an example.
David Nyman: Yep. They imitate me. Like my brother-in-law just the other day. He’s like, I’m going to start my sentences like, like so. So, like, you don’t do that in Swedish. Yeah, I actually have a bit of an accent in Swedish today when I speak it. I don’t have an accent.
Tom Kubiak: Since you left.
David Nyman: Yeah, I have more of an accent in Swedish than I do in English. I think that’s a problem.
Ian Robertson: You know, it’s interesting, is the US government ranks people, they do aptitude tests on language, because like foreign diplomats, and people they send into countries will like deep cover even, they will eventually forget their own language. So they actually give them rankings, and very, very few people would never forget their own language and those are usually very high officials that can learn lots of multiple languages. So any one of us 99.9% of the population, not that you’re forgetting your language, am I saying that would vote would start to not remember things, right? Like, all three of us, we, you know, we were part of a group that learned Russian, and I spoke Russian so much that sometimes my friends in English would talk to me and I had to stop and think about the words, or look up how to spell potato. Like, how do you spell potato? I’m like, I don’t know.
Tom Kubiak: You know, it’s Yeah, unless you’re really good with languages your mind has so much. You push one language out to fit the other language in, it seems like sometimes. I don’t know if that’s really true or not.
Ian Robertson: Yeah.
David Nyman: I mean. I think something that kind of helped me out was some fourth-grade. I think it was, yeah, when they started teaching English. So I think the sooner you start learning a second language, the more flexible your brain is.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah, that’s a good point.
David Nyman: I mean; I do have to look for words sometimes in Swedish more than I do in English. That’s the sad part.
Ian Robertson: Well, I mean, you’re conversing and working in English for the most part. So I mean, that makes sense.
Tom Kubiak: When you go back to Sweden, what’s the first thing you look forward to getting food-wise?
David Nyman: Food-wise, there’s a lot.
Ian Robertson: Is it that fish and the toothpaste tube?
David Nyman: That I can get over here, unfortunately.
Ian Robertson: It just looks wrong.
David Nyman: It’s caviar.
Ian Robertson: Looks like brown toothpaste.
David Nyman: No, pink toothpaste.
Ian Robertson: Oh pink.
David Nyman: With small little bulbs or globes, and so it is smoked roe with tomato paste in it.
Tom Kubiak: That’s what’s in the tubes. Okay,
Ian Robertson: Because that description made it sound more appetizing.
David Nyman: And I have it on bread with Tar cheese.
Tom Kubiak: That sounds even worse.
David Nyman: It’s actually so this company makes this caviar. They called it and they have a series of commercials you can find on YouTube Kalles, and they went around the world, you know, letting people try this stuff for crackers and just showing their reactions just to show it’s a very Swedish thing, because everybody hated it. Except for the one clip they did in New York City, and there was a bunch of Swedes that came up and tried to say, Oh, I love this I haven’t had it in weeks.
So you can get that here though. Like Tom asked, what have you eaten when you go back, like what’s your mom making you?
David Nyman: My mom, I always have her make me a lasagna.
Tom Kubiak: Lasagna.
David Nyman: So? Yeah, a very Swedish dish, right?
Ian Robertson: Like an American lasagna. I have my mom make me a penne pasta.
David Nyman: Penne pasta from Sweden. Yeah, lasagna is different though in Sweden. My mom uses a béchamel sauce.
Tom Kubiak: Okay.
David Nyman: Oh wait, can I say that’s a white sauce that you make, you know, just with flour, butter, and nutmeg in it. Yeah, no ricotta cheese. I love that. I don’t care too much for the American lasagna but my Swedish lasagna I always want when I get there.
Tom Kubiak: Okay.
Ian Robertson: Interesting. All right. So I got some questions for you though because I’ve been seeing Swedish stuff pop up everywhere. I mean, in America we’ve been watching Swedish stuff pop up everywhere for like the better part of five decades.
Tom Kubiak: Because of Ikea.
David Nyman: Ikea and Volvo.
Ian Robertson: Well IKEA, ABA. You know, half the music industry is from Sweden. They actually say music and musicians is Sweden’s major export.
Tom Kubiak: Believe it.
Ian Robertson: Well hang on. I was going to say this later but famous Swedish bands and singers. The list was too long, but here are the ones that I recognized right off the bat. Abba, Of course, Eagle-Eye Cherry. Remember that guy?
Tom Kubiak: No.
Ian Robertson: Save tonight. Ace of Base. Oh, I saw the sign. Yeah, everybody loves my singing.
Tom Kubiak: They’re Swedish?
Ian Robertson: They’re Swedish.
Tom Kubiak: Oh, I didn’t know that.
Ian Robertson: The Cardigans, remember Lovefool from the 90s?
David Nyman: Love me, love me say that you love me.
Tom Kubiak: Oh, okay. I remember the song but I don’t know the name.
Ian Robertson: I always thought that was Sixpence None the Richer but it was it was cardigans.
David Nyman: No.
Ian Robertson: No, Cardigans are Swedish.
David Nyman: I think they’re British, aren’t they?
Ian Robertson: Oh yeah.
David Nyman: No, Sixpence None the Richer.
Ian Robertson: Yeah, British! and The Hives. That’s a more recent one over the past what, like 20 years for The Hives, they have songs that are still on the radio quite often but some of the biggest bands of the ’90s and early 2000s were Swedish, and even now, lots and lots of Swedish people dominate the charts.
Tom Kubiak: Interesting.
Ian Robertson: Is that like part of your culture over there, Is everybody musical?
David Nyman: Don’t forget Europe.
Ian Robertson: Europe
David Nyman: The Final Countdown.
Ian Robertson: Oh, nice. They’re Swedish.
David Nyman: Yep.
Ian Robertson: Oh, I didn’t know, from Arrested Development.
Tom Kubiak: Oh, from Arrested Development.
David Nyman: People do love music growing up. Like, it was funny. Every time you were by the campfire, someone brought a guitar out.
Ian Robertson: In the US when somebody does that we throw stuff at them.
David Nyman: They do that there too, but not as much as here I guess.
Tom Kubiak: Is Sweden, do they have laws similar to Norway, where there are no boundaries to where people can go like you can go on to private land, and you know, forage basically and camp?
David Nyman: Yeah, they have a law called Every Man’s Right. So it’s every man’s right to enjoy the country. So as long as you know, you can’t disturb people’s livestock, let them out of their fields and you can’t start you know, like ruining other people’s property. You’re allowed to walk through fields, whatever you want to close gates behind you. Growing up, we used to pick berries every summer, my dad dragged us out in the woods, just you know, a lot of times we drove out on logging roads with a regular car. It was a bouncy ride but yeah, you know, Dad used to have these sites, they knew they were you know, a lot of blueberries growing. We’d drive out there, pick berries, sell some, make jam or something.
Ian Robertson: So you can actually just go on someone’s property like that, that kind of, that’s so non-American like. I’ll get upset if somebody pulls down one of my posted signs.
David Nyman: Yeah, you won’t see any posted signs in Sweden.
Ian Robertson: So what’s the point of owning land? If anybody can use it?
David Nyman: That’s interesting. Yeah.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah.
David Nyman: It’s the capitalistic mindset in you, Ian.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah.
Ian Robertson: Oh well.
Tom Kubiak: That’s very European.
David Nyman: Yeah.
Tom Kubiak: I mean, very American. Is the is the concept of this is my land and no, come on.
Ian Robertson: That’s why that’s such an interesting point to me because that’s, like, what’s the point of, if you have 100 acres, what’s the point of that 100 acres of how you use it doesn’t change and somebody’s camping next to you.
David Nyman: No, you can’t go camping in someone’s backyard. You can’t just go build a house in their backyard.
Ian Robertson: Well, I didn’t think he could build a house but like, what if you’re there? You can’t go camping in the woods of somebody’s property?
David Nyman: No, I mean, I don’t know what the law is exactly. So I can’t tell you for sure. But you do, you have to give people basically like base. So if you’re inside of someone’s backyard you’re basically taking advantage of this thing, the law. So I probably have to look it up just to tell you exactly what the law is in that case, but we didn’t have people camping in our backyard and all that much.
Ian Robertson: Well, and you guys are outdoorsy people in Sweden and the vast majority of Sweden. I thought this was interesting that Sweden was founded in a 950 ad or 970 ad. So it’s one of the oldest countries in the world but still, the vast majority of Swedish land is wood, like Forest.
David Nyman: So I grew up in the north of Sweden, and you can drive like half an hour through the woods before you get to see a single house.
Tom Kubiak: Wow. Another major change difference between Sweden and the United States to Sweden has a socialist health insurance system. Right? I mean, do you remember anything about that from when you were there or the differences between what we have here in the United States?
David Nyman: I mean, it is cheaper. There’s still some cost involved, you know when you go to the doctor, but it’s a lot cheaper, but instead, you do have like waiting lines. So you know, if you have something that is non-life-threatening, a hernia operation, for example, just take a random example.
Ian Robertson: Just random.
David Nyman: Yeah.
Ian Robertson: You wouldn’t know anything about that.
David Nyman: No, I wouldn’t know anything. But you would have to actually stand in line. And depending on the workload, you might be like, Yeah, you know, there’s not going to be anything for two months, at least, it might be longer. So that’s, you know, that’s the downside of it, but if it is something urgent, you know, you get pumped up in line, basically.
Ian Robertson: So it’s kind of like the capitalistic version of health care here in the US where people just go to the doctor when they, you know, are a little gassy or we have friends that kind of do that. They’re like, Oh, my pinky hurts. I’m going to go get a CAT scan. You know, it’s like, yeah, you don’t just casually go to the doctor there.
David Nyman: People don’t go to the doctor as you know for nothing as much as they do here I think, but at the same time you have a better safety net? I guess you’d say because that is available for everyone and especially like my sister during her pregnancy, you know, she had everything she needed to make sure everything went well and no need to shell out large amounts of money for it.
Tom Kubiak: But you pay a higher tax rate higher. Yeah. So that’s one of the things that is included but there’s also a retirement connection to that, too. I think where there’s as similar to what we have in here, in the United States with Social Security, but I think it’s more, it’s better.
David Nyman: Yeah. I mean, you’d probably appreciate this, too. There’s not much need for tax preparers.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah. That’s why a lot of European countries are like that. Actually, the government does it for you.
David Nyman: Well, it’s funny, because even here, it could happen because the government knows. I mean, for the most part, the government knows how much money you’re making. In Sweden, the government sends you a paper saying this is how much we have on record that you made last year sign here, and you’re done.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah.
Ian Robertson: That’s interesting.
Tom Kubiak: There have been some, in the United States, there have been some proposals to go that direction but the, you know, the challenge is that there’s a lot of self-employment in the United States and obviously that’s not reported. If there’s a lot of under-the-table income to which the government’s giving you a voluntary in the United States a voluntary chance to report it, but many people don’t know. But yeah, you’re right.
Ian Robertson: What’s the tax rate in Sweden?
David Nyman: I don’t know what it is now. I remember it was in the mid-30s When I lived there.
Ian Robertson: The mid-30s. Yeah, I’d like okay, it’s the mid-30s for tax rate, not the timeframe because you look good for being 92 years old.
David Nyman: Yeah. Like when you go to this store, I think there’s a 25% like food tax or what you call it.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah VAT V-A-T.
David Nyman: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah, value-added tax is what it sounds.
David Nyman: But then gas has crazy taxes.
Ian Robertson: Tom’s dropping knowledge bombs.
David Nyman: Sounds like, I know more about Sweden than this guy. Let’s cut him out.
Tom Kubiak: No, I don’t.
Ian Robertson: Tom’s like, let me tell you about your culture now. Value Added Tax. Okay. So it’s not cheap to live there at first glance, because it sounds like a lot of it.
David Nyman: It’s not, Yeah. And they call it like they have a term for it in Sweden, välfärdsstat which means like the welfare state, I guess, which sounds really bad to an American, but to Sweden is like, oh, that’s what we you know, a lot of Swedes anyways wanted that way because they like, you know, there is a much smaller, narrower gap between you know, the high-income people and the low-income people in Sweden. It was actually funny I watched talking about music people. There’s a Swedish artist that she’s, you know, pretty big net huge. They were doing a version of cribs but in Sweden and she’s got a regular apartment. She’s like, Oh, this is where I do my, you know, my recycling. She had like these different recycling bins. That’s all like the comments on YouTube. They were like she has sold how many albums?
Tom Kubiak: I think that’s true with other Scandinavian countries, too, Is that the way the governmental system and the taxation system are set up? It’s designed to try to even out so that there aren’t super rich and there aren’t poor. There are advantages to that but there are disadvantages. In some cases, some of those countries have very high unemployment rates, because there’s less incentive to work when the government is going to provide so much sustenance.
David Nyman: Yeah, it sounds like a good system until they find out that people aren’t honest. That’s a surprise.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah.
Ian Robertson: Well, have you ever read the book Freakonomics? Or watch the documentary that they did when The documentary, it was just a show they did on Netflix years ago or some other station but he used the example of potty training his daughter, and he said, Every time you use the potty, I’ll give you an M&M. So she said, okay, and gave her an M&M. She was really proud and she figured out that if she went to the bathroom more and held it a little bit, as long as something went in the potty she’d get an M&M’s. He was like, “She was going to the bathroom way more than I thought humanly possible and she was just getting all the M&M’s”.
David Nyman: Just pooping M&M’s.
Tom Kubiak: That’s true.
Ian Robertson: Yeah, exactly. Well, his point was, that if there’s a hole in a system, people will take advantage of it. That’s exactly what happens to any system. Somebody’s going to find a hole and abuse it.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah.
Ian Robertson: So it sounds like, in Sweden, people are doing that. Like they abused the system here in the US.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah,
David Nyman: Yeah. No, it happens, it is nicer. Like when my sister when she was when they just had had the baby. Basically, I think she got a whole year’s worth of paid leave to care for the baby. Her husband got like three months I think so. You know, things like that. It does. You know, like you said it gets abused, but it does have some great benefits too.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah. What about the typical drink in Sweden since we’re drinking, since you’re supposed to be drinking with me?
David Nyman: Well I mean the Quinsench Quinsington.
Ian Robertson: Quintessential
David Nyman: Quintessential, see, it’s my second language.
Ian Robertson: How do you say Quintessential in Swedish?
David Nyman: I have no idea. Quintessential
Ian Robertson: See, he can do that! I and Tom can’t. David can.
David Nyman: No one will be offended if you do that. Now if you played the Swedish Chef clip, that’s going to be offensive.
Tom Kubiak: You need to translate the Swedish Chef for us. That’s what it is.
Ian Robertson: No, he’s not speaking Swedish.
David Nyman: He’s not speaking Swedish. Anyway, they have something they call Hembränt and Akvavit. It’s like this basically, moonshine, paint thinner kind of stuff.
Tom Kubiak: Paint thinner.
David Nyman: You’ve probably heard about the, you know, the classic Swedish rotten fish that they eat.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah.
David Nyman: Sour herring. Yeah, Surströmming. So when they eat that they always have an ample supply of you know that stuff.
Ian Robertson: You probably need it to eat it.
David Nyman: Yeah, I’d say you need a couple of bottles before you start eating it because that stuff is disgusting. But some people
Tom Kubiak: Yeah, just the smell. It smells like it causes people to vomit.
Ian Robertson: Is it?
Tom Kubiak: It’s so bad. Yeah,
David Nyman: Yeah, you smell a block away if someone opens up a can, but there are people like Oh, can’t wait to next season where you can start eating it. I never liked that in Sweden, and I don’t like it now either.
Ian Robertson: Like a friend of mine was eating Gefilte fish. Anytime you have to decompose anything, it’s really kind of unappetizing. Is it actually decomposing?
David Nyman: Like basically, they put whole fishes in the can and when you pull them out, they like to disintegrate and fall off the bone. Head and all.
Tom Kubiak: What do they do, do they actually have the spoon in their mouth? Have they spread it on bread?
David Nyman: There are some people that will eat it plain other people would bury it. So they you know, they used to have a lot of toppings, like you know, like potato salad and eggs, I don’t know all kinds of stuff.
Tom Kubiak: Anything else to dilute it? Yeah,
Ian Robertson: That’s making it sound more appetizing. Hey, give me a rotten fish. Do you want to put some mayonnaise and some embryotic foul babies and just mush it all together?
Tom Kubiak: Grab Michael Scott’s potato salad. That has been left in the car all day?
Ian Robertson: Exactly. I don’t know how to make potato salad and I was in my car for hours. Okay, so off the fish thing, I have one for you. Stövelkastning.
David Nyman: Stövelkastning
Ian Robertson: Did I say that right?
David Nyman: Stövelkastning
Ian Robertson: This is the boot-throwing game that you guys play.
Tom Kubiak: Boot throwing?
Ian Robertson: They throw boots.
David Nyman: Yeah.
Ian Robertson: I want to hear about this.
David Nyman: I’ve never played it myself.
Ian Robertson: You’ve never played it
David Nyman: No. No. I’ve heard it. I heard the term. I’ve seen people do it. I never actually know how it works. There’s basically, I get the idea. It’s similar to bocce but use boots instead.
Ian Robertson: So you stand there, spread your legs, and you throw it between your legs backward, and whoever throws it the farthest wins.
David Nyman: Oh, that’s how it works. Thanks for explaining my culture to me.
Ian Robertson: You are welcome.
David Nyman: Mansplaining.
Ian Robertson: Let me explain this to you David. There’s a boot which is like a bocce
Tom Kubiak: Speak slowly, he’s foreign.
Ian Robertson: What other kinds of games are out there? Like, I guess you can look at American games. There’s like a cornhole and it’s like, okay, why do you call it cornhole? Why are you throwing sacks of beans in a hole at a board?
David Nyman: Because it’s Corn and the rice.
Tom Kubiak: I thought it was rice or beans.
David Nyman: I’m just making things up. Horseshoes. I mean, that’s very American because Sweden didn’t have horses. I’m pretty sure. Fact! I don’t think there are any horses in all of Sweden.
Ian Robertson: Quick fact, Sweden has no horses.
Tom Kubiak: Sweden didn’t have horses.
Ian Robertson: Snakes and the Beatles never played there.
David Nyman: Actually, there’s an island off the coast in the southern part of Sweden called Gotland. They have a very unique type of horse that only lives on the island. They like dogs and ice horses.
Tom Kubiak: It’s called goat land?
David Nyman: Gotland.
Tom Kubiak: Do they have goats?
No. The horses look like goats. Walk into that and they’d be like, that’s the biggest dog I’ve ever seen.
Tom Kubiak: They have animals that are small, with four legs.
David Nyman: It’s like the Icelandic. You’ve seen the Icelandic ponies?
Ian Robertson: No.
Tom Kubiak: No.
David Nyman: They’re like furry.
Tom Kubiak: Oh, okay. Yeah, I know. I know. What Yeah,
David Nyman: Fury ponies
Ian Robertson: Or like a highland cow.?
David Nyman They’re a bit similar in style. Gotland ponies.
Tom Kubiak: One thing on my bucket list to do is to see the northern lights. I know in especially northern Sweden, you must have seen them all the time.
David Nyman: I saw them. Yeah, I’ve seen them a lot. Actually. Just this past winter. My parents video-called me and they had some really spectacular northern lights going on there. So where I was living, I mean, it was not super frequent but yeah, further north, you get him especially when you get past the polar circle where you get the mid-summer sun and the winter darkness.
Tom Kubiak: Yeah, winter darkness. Yeah.
Ian Robertson: Where you were living did you have the midnight sun they call it?
David Nyman: No. So in the summertime though, it doesn’t get super dark at night, like 11 o’clock or 12 o’clock, you know, the sound goes down a bit below the horizon, but you still have you know, it doesn’t go far enough below to the horizon for you not to see pretty clearly still. So you don’t you don’t get pitch black at night during the summer.
Tom Kubiak: And how does that affect people in their personality? Like I would imagine if you’re if you’re never getting full darkness, like even in the United States with shorter days and the time change, it throws people’s you know, schedules off yeah,
David Nyman: Cycle. Yeah, no, I know that in the summertime you don’t get tired much like you got to stay up way later than you’re used to. It’s sometimes hard to stay on. stay asleep in the morning. Like you wake up like it’s bright enough outside and you can’t stay in bed. At least I know, growing up for me, it’s summertime, I mean, probably slept like five, six hours a night tops.
Tom Kubiak: In the winter, you slip, you know 18 19?
David Nyman: In the winter, In the winter I didn’t even get out of bed.
Ian Robertson: Interesting. So I have some Swedish facts for you to tell me if they’re true or false. This is our game. There are over 300,000 islands in Sweden. True or False?
David Nyman: That’s interesting. Are they talking about in lakes or in the ocean?
Ian Robertson: I’m not sure.
David Nyman: Yes, outside of Stockholm, we have a huge archipelago.
Ian Robertson: It’s a long way to get to true or false.
David Nyman: I’d say it’s true.
Ian Robertson: False.
David Nyman: Oh man.
Ian Robertson: There are over 200,000 but not over 300,000.
Tom Kubiak: Even so, that’s a lot.
Ian Robertson: That’s a lot of islands. It’s almost like.
Tom Kubiak: That’s a lot of islands
Ian Robertson: Like an island country.
David Nyman: It’s really neat to be outside of Stockholm there. Some people have this tiny little island just for themselves with their little house on it and a dock.
Ian Robertson: All right, well, I got another one for you. With a Swedish passport, you can enter 87 countries without a visa. True or false?
David Nyman: I can see you’re saying false. It’s 86 but you can go to all of the European Union. I know that, how many countries are in the European Union?
Ian Robertson: I’m not sure. That’s a good question.
David Nyman: Yeah, I think it’s true.
Ian Robertson: False, you can enter 124 countries without a visa.
Tom Kubiak: That was impossible to know that.
David Nyman: At least it wasn’t 86.
Ian Robertson: This is impossible for him to know.
David Nyman: I’m not going to ever know the exact numbers for any of these.
Ian Robertson: Wrong, you can enter 124.7 countries. Point three.
David Nyman: I’d like to see was that the late-night show host Jay Leno, when he was going on the street there.
Tom Kubiak: Oh, do that to Americans?
David Nyman: True or False? There are 50 states in the US.
Tom Kubiak: Because Americans are idiots.
Ian Robertson: I counted the stripes on the flag. There are only 13 of them.
David Nyman: Even though Katherine always picks on me or picks on Swedes in general, because we’re all saying that 52 states in the US really? What
Tom Kubiak: Do you say that?
David Nyman: I have no idea. I think part of the reason is because they’re thinking Hawaii and Alaska aren’t counted in the 50. I’m not sure. But for some reason, that’s like a common Swedish misnomer.
Ian Robertson: Okay, I got another one for you. You can stand in four countries in one spot and Sweden. True or False?
David Nyman: Nice. Three. You’re trying.
Ian Robertson: Ding ding ding. Oh, it’s called the Treriksröset.
David Nyman: Treriksröset.
Ian Robertson: Yeah. Hey, there you go. Perfect. Treriksröset what you said about the three Country Agreement, Cairn is the name of the monument that Mark Sweden’s northernmost point where the board where borders Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
David Nyman: It’s not a Karen, it’s a Cairn.
Ian Robertson: Karen. Cairn.
Tom Kubiak: Is that like a rock pile?
Ian Robertson: Cairn? Current? It’s like a monument. Right? Yeah.
David Nyman: It’s a monument that demands to see the manager.
Ian Robertson: This was just a random fact. Sweden imports waste from other countries. They’re so good at recycling, which I think it’s ironic because you mentioned that famous person recycling, that they actually import waste from other countries to recycle it.
David Nyman: Yeah, I’d show you a picture but I don’t have it pulled up right now. We went to McDonald’s in Sweden, which is actually pretty good food and they have like, Okay, put your cups in here, put your tray in here, put your food garbage in here, so that they can you know sort it when they dump their garbage.
Ian Robertson: I find a lot of Europe like that though. Like when I was in England and stuff like that. I had to stand at the garbage can for like four or five minutes just deciding and like one said cups and the other one said, paper cups so I’m like studying my cup. I’m like this is kind of foamy, but almost papery. Like, I don’t know where this one goes, but I find that’s a lot and you guys, I say you guys, Sweden wants to be completely free of fossil fuels by 2045.
David Nyman: Yeah, see how that works out for them.
Ian Robertson: I don’t know. It’s pretty cold up there. I mean,
David Nyman: They do have a lot of hydropower. Huge amount of rivers flowing through the swing.
Tom Kubiak: Any geothermal?
David Nyman: Geothermal too. It’s big. Yeah.
Tom Kubiak: Okay,
Ian Robertson: That’s interesting. You know that you’ve given us some things to think about. We’ve learned that we don’t walk enough in the United States. I have learned that I probably won’t eat the rotting fish, and you, what did you learn, Tom?
Tom Kubiak: I’ve learned that I like Sweden’s mentality. I like the concept of you know, open borders, basically, and everybody shares the land. I like that concept.
Ian Robertson: I’ve learned I don’t like that concept and you all better not be getting into my personal space.
Tom Kubiak: I plan to walk through your camp, in the middle of the night.
Ian Robertson: I do not like that. I do not like the thought of people walking into my land.
David Nyman: So possessive.
Ian Robertson: How do you get away from people in Sweden?
David Nyman: That’s the thing though. Like,
Tom Kubiak: Don’t tread on me.
David Nyman: Because there’s so much open land in Sweden, you can drive for two hours into the woods and just get out of your car and walk into the woods. No one will shoot you and you can be all by yourself.
Ian Robertson: No guns in Sweden?
Tom Kubiak: Was it Sweden where the mass murder mass shooting took place a few?
David Nyman: That was Norway
Tom Kubiak: Norway. Okay. It was Norway
David Nyman: On the island with the camp?
Tom Kubiak: Yeah. The interesting thing about that it is not like the United States which happens every week. You know, how many mass shootings do we have in the United States? It’s horrendous. Does it ever happen in those European countries?
David Nyman: Gun violence? It’s not too common in Sweden because I mean, for one thing, it’s hard to get a gun. Yeah. Like people have guns for hunting. You know, there’s a lot of moose hunters up in the north especially.
Tom Kubiak: But the concept of everyone owning a handgun or owning an AK 47 is foreign to those countries.
David Nyman: Yeah. On the other note, Moose is delicious. We didn’t talk about that yet.
Ian Robertson: I have had moose before in Alaska. It is delicious.
David Nyman: Yeah.
Ian Robertson: It’s almost like beefy venison.
Tom Kubiak: Is it very lean?
David Nyman: Yeah.
Ian Robertson: Yeah. Relatively
Tom Kubiak: Not gamey?
David Nyman: No. Not as gamey as venison.
Tom Kubiak: Cool.
David Nyman: Yeah.
Ian Robertson: Well, David, thank you very much for being on the show. It’s time for us to wrap up here in a little bit. Tom, do you have a joke to take us out? Or David? Do you have a Swedish joke?
Tom Kubiak: I do have a joke too. Unless David has a joke that he wants to share with us.
David Nyman: Why don’t you share yours first time I’ll see if I can think of one that’s translating well.
Tom Kubiak: What are you looking at? When you see two homeless dudes hitting each other with bits of cardboard?
Ian Robertson: The average American city?
David Nyman: A Walmart parking lot.
Tom Kubiak: No, a pillow fight. It’s pretty bad. I know.
Ian Robertson: We’re going to get some hate mail from this one, Tom.
Tom Kubiak: We will get it, definitely.
Ian Robertson: All right.
Tom Kubiak: That’s all I got.
Ian Robertson: Ready to go David or not?
David Nyman: Yeah, sure.
Ian Robertson: All right, go for it.
David Nyman: What color and then on last us advice edition.
Tom Kubiak: Yes.
Ian Robertson: On Tuesdays
David Nyman: A shampoo
Ian Robertson: This is a good episode.
Tom Kubiak: You have to see the short to understand that joke.
Ian Robertson: Yeah. Oh, that’s right. Yeah, you have to watch the short. We didn’t have the beginning of this episode. We’ll let you all use Google Translate. But David, thank you for being on. Tom. Thanks for being on your own show with your name in the title.
Tom Kubiak: Good to see you guys.
Ian Robertson: See everybody later.
Tom Kubiak: Bye bye.
David Nyman: Take care.