Why do I feel afraid of moving?

Hello fellow Expats,

I'm new to expat.com and heavily considering moving to Sweden with my wife and 6 month old son. We currently live in San Diego, California and I absolutely love it, except its getting expensive without any family assistance and my wife wants to raise our family in Sweden for all the benefits they offer.

So, I'm not a fan of cold weather as I grew up in Detroit, Michigan for 20 years and I've had my fair share of cold weather in my life. Besides the cold weather. I am a very active person and get bored very easy. I've been to Sweden many times and I was bored more times than not.

I'm afraid of moving to Sweden and getting bored and depressed. I've heard people that live in Sweden already have a hard time with that.

Did anybody feel the same way when moving into Sweden?
What was your experience moving into Sweden from the day you arrived up until now?
What was most difficult adjusting to Sweden? 

Thank you for your help!

-Sam

If it feels wrong, there's a better than average chance it is.
Have you considered Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, or some other way different place?

Every place has its own challenges and so does Sweden. And its easy to get bored in Sweden specially due to weather so that is true. Language is another issue. People tend to look at the benefits when they think of Sweden but kind of ignore the high tax rates. The cost of living and availability of opportunities in various aspects of life get ignored. I suggest you have an open discussion with your spouse over the pros and the cons.

Fred- my wife's family lives in Sweden. Moving to another country would not quite solve the problem since she wants to have family around.

I've only ever been to Sweden on business trips; the first time I had a toothache, the second time, the aircraft got a puncture on take-off from the UK, which made the landing in Sweden kind of exciting.  But it was a good trip, the only non-business related aspect which sticks out was how almost everything in Scandinavia that is dairy related tastes of fish, which I can't stand (apparently lots of farmers feed their animals on fish-meal).  I couldn't live there - sorry.

Thank you for your feedback. As I am lactose intolerant, the milk is not a deciding factor. I'm more concerned with my overall well being and the adjustment to Scandinavia living. I'm a very friendly person and do not do very well with racism and discrimination. I understand that is prevalent across Europe in various countries.

You should not feel afraid, you should feel excited. Think of all of the new experiences you will have, all the funny stories you will have to tell when you get thinks a bti wrong, nobody will mimnd if you do it politely and with a smile in your mouzth. Don't be afraid. I have lived in four different countries, it is fun. It is a nuisance to have to learn a new language or have half a dozen different currencies in your piggy bank, but it is part of the fun of it. Don't be afrraid, don't be scared, enjoy it!

SimonTrew :

You should not feel afraid, you should feel excited. Think of all of the new experiences you will have, all the funny stories you will have to tell when you get thinks a bti wrong, nobody will mimnd if you do it politely and with a smile in your mouzth. Don't be afraid. I have lived in four different countries, it is fun. It is a nuisance to have to learn a new language or have half a dozen different currencies in your piggy bank, but it is part of the fun of it. Don't be afrraid, don't be scared, enjoy it!

Thank you for sharing SimonTrew. I respect your approach towards moving to a new country. If you've ever been to San Diego, you would understand what I'm leaving. San Diego is paradise. However I have a family now and moving to where I can receive love and family support may be a little more valuable than the ocean and palm trees. I would love to make it happen in San Diego, however, the cost of living here is very expensive with childcare costs upwards of $1400 per month. Its a bit difficult to sustain a balanced lifestyle with inflated costs. I am leaning towards moving...

SamInSweden :
SimonTrew :

You should not feel afraid, you should feel excited. Think of all of the new experiences you will have, all the funny stories you will have to tell when you get thinks a bti wrong, nobody will mimnd if you do it politely and with a smile in your mouzth. Don't be afraid. I have lived in four different countries, it is fun. It is a nuisance to have to learn a new language or have half a dozen different currencies in your piggy bank, but it is part of the fun of it. Don't be afrraid, don't be scared, enjoy it!

Thank you for sharing SimonTrew. I respect your approach towards moving to a new country. If you've ever been to San Diego, you would understand what I'm leaving. ..

My company was half American amd half British and had its headquarters in San Diego. Yes, it is difficult to leave the things you love, I am just saying be optimistic and think of all the new experiences you will have. If you are that scared of movnig, then just don't move.... nobody is forcing you. I have lived in Egypt, in the US, in Hungary, and in the UK of course, and each time I have tried to absorb all the experiences and culture that I can from each country, and it has only made my life richer. I really don't know what you are afraid about. The whole world is not the Untied States.

Hello Sam!
I think that your fear is normal, you are going to some new place which already didnt wow you.
Let me share my experience, i consider myself as an urban woman, travelling a lot both profesionally and privately. And I was supposed to move to Malmö from capitol city of Serbia with 2.5 mil ppl to the city less than 0.5 mil ppl.
My home city has much more to offer in terms of everything, and at the beggining i was really negative about Malmö. But after this summer I changed my mind a bit. The city is not that big, but has very vibrant atmosphere, you can see happy faces around, there are nice restaurants and bars. And there is a beach. Certainly not like in California, but you can smeel the sea and the sun :)
Housing prices are affordable especially in comparison with some other European destination, there is a fresh air, not that polluted, ppl are overall nice and willing to help, not that it is easy to make a friensdhip with Swedes easily, but there are so many supporting groups and networks for expats.
The good thing about Malmö is that it is really international city and it is mix of so many different countries and cultures.
Uff, i just realized that you are maybe not moving to Malmö, you wrote just Sweden if I am right.
And my friends with kids, love it, due to so many benefits children related, from tax exemptions, to reasonable prices of kindergarten and all benefits from long mother/father parental leave.
If you have some questions, pls feel free.
I wish you all the best and remember, you will never know did you make the right call unless you try it ;)
Bojana

Bojana Medic :

Hello Sam!
I think that your fear is normal, you are going to some new place which already didnt wow you.
Let me share my experience, i consider myself as an urban woman, travelling a lot both profesionally and privately. And I was supposed to move to Malmö from capitol city of Serbia with 2.5 mil ppl to the city less than 0.5 mil ppl.
My home city has much more to offer in terms of everything, and at the beggining i was really negative about Malmö. But after this summer I changed my mind a bit. The city is not that big, but has very vibrant atmosphere, you can see happy faces around, there are nice restaurants and bars. And there is a beach. Certainly not like in California, but you can smeel the sea and the sun :)
Housing prices are affordable especially in comparison with some other European destination, there is a fresh air, not that polluted, ppl are overall nice and willing to help, not that it is easy to make a friensdhip with Swedes easily, but there are so many supporting groups and networks for expats.
The good thing about Malmö is that it is really international city and it is mix of so many different countries and cultures.
Uff, i just realized that you are maybe not moving to Malmö, you wrote just Sweden if I am right.
And my friends with kids, love it, due to so many benefits children related, from tax exemptions, to reasonable prices of kindergarten and all benefits from long mother/father parental leave.
If you have some questions, pls feel free.
I wish you all the best and remember, you will never know did you make the right call unless you try it ;)
Bojana

Living in Hungary I get very confused with languages. Not only Hungarian or English, but because of history you will get Serbian or Croatian or Czech or German so I am constantly switching languages and it really confuses e sometimes, which language is this? I think Serbian is in Cyrillc script which I can't type on this KB though I can read it... so you have this constant battle, not with the language but with the transcription. My wife qnd I at home tend to speak Englih, yet in daily life I speak Hungarian, so I am constantly  "switching", one of my few talents is that they play Retro Radio at the corner shop which is not on the corner, and that because is mostly in 70 or 80s songs I am then singing them, translatning them, either into Hungarian or French... My "Lune Bleu" (Blue moon) I am quite pleased with, but most of them come out awful, which is my intention, to make them deliberately awful. If you try translating a song on the fly while also trying to sing it, something has to give, either the words, the timing, or the tune. often all three. Lune bleu, tu m'a laisser seul (Blue moon, you have left me alone), I am quite pleased withm sans un réve dans ma coeur (without a dream in my heart),. sams un.... and then I run out... without a love of my own? sans un amour chez-moi? That isn't going to work

SimonTrew :
Bojana Medic :

Hello Sam!
I think that your fear is normal, you are going to some new place which already didnt wow you.
Let me share my experience, i consider myself as an urban woman, travelling a lot both profesionally and privately. And I was supposed to move to Malmö from capitol city of Serbia with 2.5 mil ppl to the city less than 0.5 mil ppl.
My home city has much more to offer in terms of everything, and at the beggining i was really negative about Malmö. But after this summer I changed my mind a bit. The city is not that big, but has very vibrant atmosphere, you can see happy faces around, there are nice restaurants and bars. And there is a beach. Certainly not like in California, but you can smeel the sea and the sun :)
Housing prices are affordable especially in comparison with some other European destination, there is a fresh air, not that polluted, ppl are overall nice and willing to help, not that it is easy to make a friensdhip with Swedes easily, but there are so many supporting groups and networks for expats.
The good thing about Malmö is that it is really international city and it is mix of so many different countries and cultures.
Uff, i just realized that you are maybe not moving to Malmö, you wrote just Sweden if I am right.
And my friends with kids, love it, due to so many benefits children related, from tax exemptions, to reasonable prices of kindergarten and all benefits from long mother/father parental leave.
If you have some questions, pls feel free.
I wish you all the best and remember, you will never know did you make the right call unless you try it ;)
Bojana

Living in Hungary I get very confused with languages. Not only Hungarian or English, but because of history you will get Serbian or Croatian or Czech or German so I am constantly switching languages and it really confuses e sometimes, which language is this? I think Serbian is in Cyrillc script which I can't type on this KB though I can read it... so you have this constant battle, not with the language but with the transcription. My wife qnd I at home tend to speak Englih, yet in daily life I speak Hungarian, so I am constantly  "switching", one of my few talents is that they play Retro Radio at the corner shop which is not on the corner, and that because is mostly in 70 or 80s songs I am then singing them, translatning them, either into Hungarian or French... My "Lune Bleu" (Blue moon) I am quite pleased with, but most of them come out awful, which is my intention, to make them deliberately awful. If you try translating a song on the fly while also trying to sing it, something has to give, either the words, the timing, or the tune. often all three. Lune bleu, tu m'a laisser seul (Blue moon, you have left me alone), I am quite pleased withm sans un réve dans ma coeur (without a dream in my heart),. sams un.... and then I run out... without a love of my own? sans un amour chez-moi? That isn't going to work

I was singing "Penny Lane" by the Beatles in Hungarian yesterday and that is a toughie. let"s take the exchange rate as one to three hundred, now, I am doing "huz forint utca" but lost it after that, I got as far as my szem (eyes) but thought what is blue suburban, nemtom, kék but there is not really a translation for suburban, kerulet is the nearst you will get I guess, and that will fit.  On the corner is a banker with a motorcar, that is easy, az OTP az auto, that fits oK, but he never wears a mac.... now how the helll do I translate mac or mackintosh into Hungarian, while singing it, pacamac, anorak, probably anorakk would fit. In the pouring rain, very strange, nagyon hulye----- so i sing or translate songs from English to Hungarian on the fly with ridiculously stupid results

SimonTrew :
SamInSweden :
SimonTrew :

You should not feel afraid, you should feel excited. Think of all of the new experiences you will have, all the funny stories you will have to tell when you get thinks a bti wrong, nobody will mimnd if you do it politely and with a smile in your mouzth. Don't be afraid. I have lived in four different countries, it is fun. It is a nuisance to have to learn a new language or have half a dozen different currencies in your piggy bank, but it is part of the fun of it. Don't be afrraid, don't be scared, enjoy it!

Thank you for sharing SimonTrew. I respect your approach towards moving to a new country. If you've ever been to San Diego, you would understand what I'm leaving. ..

My company was half American amd half British and had its headquarters in San Diego. Yes, it is difficult to leave the things you love, I am just saying be optimistic and think of all the new experiences you will have. If you are that scared of movnig, then just don't move.... nobody is forcing you. I have lived in Egypt, in the US, in Hungary, and in the UK of course, and each time I have tried to absorb all the experiences and culture that I can from each country, and it has only made my life richer. I really don't know what you are afraid about. The whole world is not the Untied States.

Heheh the "Untied States", that was a typo of course or Google correcting me, but is quite a funny one, how would you untie them? Some kind of constitutional procedure I imagine... I think Texas still has a veto if that is a right word on leaving the Union, that it can leave the United States any time it chooses, at least so I was told when I lived in Texas, but that is still, not a bad typo, but a funny one.

They had ABBA onn Retro Radio this evening, I forget which song, but I was singing along to ABBA who of course are from Sweden but sing in English, and then I am trying to translate it (as I go along) into Hungarian. This NEVER works. Dancing queen, right queen is kiralyné but now I have to find dancing out of my memory, young (gyemerk will do) and keen (no idea) only seenteen, most tiz-en-hét. How can you translate "you can dance, you can jive"? Probably there is no translation for "jive", it is probably  just "jive", but then in Hungarian the J is pronounced as Y so they may or may not have transliterated it, I would have to look it up in my dictionary, could be dszive or something, having the time of your life, and of course then I slipped into French... les temps de sa vie... so now I am singing ABBA in French to a Hungarian. This really does not work very well except it is quite amusing, to try, to translate it as you go along, trying to keep time and you just have to think of words on the fly, you haven't time to translate the whole lyric.

Bojana Medic :

Hello Sam!
I think that your fear is normal, you are going to some new place which already didnt wow you.
Let me share my experience, i consider myself as an urban woman, travelling a lot both profesionally and privately. And I was supposed to move to Malmö from capitol city of Serbia with 2.5 mil ppl to the city less than 0.5 mil ppl.
My home city has much more to offer in terms of everything, and at the beggining i was really negative about Malmö. But after this summer I changed my mind a bit. The city is not that big, but has very vibrant atmosphere, you can see happy faces around, there are nice restaurants and bars. And there is a beach. Certainly not like in California, but you can smeel the sea and the sun :)
Housing prices are affordable especially in comparison with some other European destination, there is a fresh air, not that polluted, ppl are overall nice and willing to help, not that it is easy to make a friensdhip with Swedes easily, but there are so many supporting groups and networks for expats.
The good thing about Malmö is that it is really international city and it is mix of so many different countries and cultures.
Uff, i just realized that you are maybe not moving to Malmö, you wrote just Sweden if I am right.
And my friends with kids, love it, due to so many benefits children related, from tax exemptions, to reasonable prices of kindergarten and all benefits from long mother/father parental leave.
If you have some questions, pls feel free.
I wish you all the best and remember, you will never know did you make the right call unless you try it ;)
Bojana

Bojana, thank you for your detailed post. Matter of fact, I would be moving near Malmö. And talk about summer, Sweden experienced one of the hottest summer's on record. This past summer was most definitely one to remember. However, I'm concerned with obtaining a well paying job in the finance industry and continue to work on my retirement. But, you're absolutely right, I'll never know if I don't try.

Yes, housing prices in Hungary are very cheap by European standards but keep a careful eye, the property may not be up to standard so you will have to get that fixed, so you have to leave things set aside for fixing your boiler, your gas, your water, your electrics, etc etc. I can do that, except I won't touch gas, but know a man who can, but we moved in - it depends on how you count - to a seven room property in Budapest, with a garage and a jacuzzi I didn't count those, for 35 million forint. It is very much a fixer upper so I have spent a lot of time with a paintbrush and some higito (white spirit) and so on,but I knew what I was taking on. Outside of Budapest, you will get it a lot cheaper, but make sure you know what you are buying. You will have to pay land registry tax, at 4% it was when I paid it, and get all kinds of bits of paperwork and money will be flying out of your pocket in bits and pieces, it is very cheap but is a right hassle to buy a property in Hungary. The owners will take everthing with them, that is not nailed down, but there is a little swedish shop I know called IKEA that is useful for getting cupboards and things... just be certain that you nail down, ExacTLY what you are buying.  I knew what I was getting, a run down property at a bargain, but people fall into traps, make sure you know EXACTLY what yxou are getting. tHE OWNers from here took away light switches, door handles, anyxthing that was moveable. That is a it extreme but it is quite normal for them to take out all the kitchen furniture etc so don't expect there to be a cooker/stove or anything, fine for me as I am a qualified electrical engineer and just put my own in, but be CAREFUL what is actually being offered.

The missus and I were in town the other day and looked, I dunno why, in the window of an estate agent and the prices of little flats now in Budapest are astonishing. We live in the NotPoshDistrict, but exchange rates are really against the forint - never seen them so high - so if you are on krone or euro or sterling, you will get a right bargain, the exchange rates are very much against the forint at the moment. No problem for me, as all my bills are in forint and I don't have to exchange back, but for a 'foreigner' you will get a right bargain if you convert krone or euro into forint, right now.

Hang on, I am completely off topic, it says moving "TO" Sweden, for some reason I thought moving "FROM" Sweden. My advice is good, but this is probably the entirely wrong place to put it.

Does anyone know where I can submit my CV for career opportunities? In the United States, I worked as a Financial Advisor. I'm interested to continue my career in Finance. What opportunities are available with that type of experience? Any suggestions? Thank you all!

-Sam

Hi Sam,

You can start on the EURES website; this link will take you there.

You have to consider that Sweden is currently trying to help a lot of immigrants, so non-skilled work is almost certainly going to be in short supply.

In general, our experience on the Forum is that unless you have a key skill that is either in shortage or great demand (i.e. doctor, engineer, scientist etc), that long-range job hunting is problematic, mainly because the recruiter tends to lose interest the moment they realise you don't speak the local language and can't start work tomorrow morning.  For the same reason, speculative CV's tend to end up in the trashcan, mainly because the agents get paid by placing people; while they get people walking in the door that can speak Swedish and start tomorrow morning, then they get paid tomorrow, not in 3 months time when you arrive.  The end result is you get fed-up, stressed, start to stalk the postman etc.  If you're going to move to Sweden regardless of your employment status, then perhaps it's not worth the stress; wait till you get there.  If getting a job is absolutely vital to you, then you (and your wife) need to be realistic about your prospects.

You also need to check whether a Financial Advisor is a regulated profession in Sweden (it certainly is in the UK), which means you would need to re-qualify.  I just did a quick Internet search that seems to suggest that Sweden is the same as the UK.  You could get your wife to make some calls for you to confirm yes/no.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

I do not agree with you, racism is much more important in the United States than in Europe. The fact that an individual like Trump is elected president is an example.

Elie Olivier Richard :

I do not agree with you, racism is much more important in the United States than in Europe. The fact that an individual like Trump is elected president is an example.

There is a lot of racism in Europe, but it is in different ways. Here in Hungary, there is a lot of racism against the Roma (Gypsy) community. Now I have a Roma living opposite me who is the nicest man in the world, lends me his lawnmower. I also have one around the corner who is an absolute pillock, so it is not about race, it is just how people are. Some people are nice, some are nasty.

The Roma community in Hungary get treated very badly by the government, get very little education, so to nobody's surprise they don't get jobs. It is a viscious circle.

On the other hand, there are very few black people in Hungary, so when I see a black person I do a double-take. Now, is that racist? I would say not, that it is just, this is an unusual sight. In England I would not blink an eye, know so many black people in England, but our brains are wired to spot the unusual, I cannot help it. Would you call that racist? It is not as if I have hit the man on the head, indeed I would introduce if it were appropriate but he has only just got on the bus like everyone else, I notice because it is unusual in Hungary and there is no point denying that I notice.

Is that racist? I would not say so. I might notice someone's hair is brown or their eyes are blue or that they wear spectacles or have a stick indicating they are deaf-blind, I cannot "notice" and "not notice" at the same time. Of course I am going to notice the colour of someone's skin. Doesn't make a blind bit of difference to me what colour your skin is, but I am going to notice.

What happens less maybe in Europe is that if you have some "weird" accent (like my English accent trying to speak in Hungarian) people are much more forgiving, I find it very hard to pronounce some Hungarian vowels üóöáűé as in my English every vowel is a diphthong, slurred. Yet I still managed to buy a white junction box yesterday at the local electricians, even though I wrote it down in case and took the old one.

There are ways and means. Learning a new language is hard. It is not the everyday words, but suddenly you realise you don't know the word for junction box or metric mandrill or whatever.

My wife is Hungarian and has the same problem, that she knows lots of words in English, having lived in England, but does not know them in Hungarian. So it is not a matter of race :)

Elie Olivier Richard :

I do not agree with you, racism is much more important in the United States than in Europe. The fact that an individual like Trump is elected president is an example.

Mind you, when I lived in Houston, we did used to slip and any menial job would say, "oh, get a Spaniard to do it". You can get into bad habits like that.

Cynic :

the second time, the aircraft got a puncture on take-off from the UK, which made the landing in Sweden kind of exciting

My Hungarian relatives took a trip to the UK, I think twice, to visit us, and Istvan was kinda scared of flying so I gave him a drop of whisky and we got some kinda tablets, to calm him. Coming back to Budapest, they landed and did a "go-around", the pilot decided he hadn't the room, or a plane was in the way, or whatever, and so the pilot (and it his or her choice) did a "go around" so up they went and back they came, and he LOVED that, and now he is not scared of flying.

I am not sure why I am in the Sweden forum but apparently I am subscribed to it. Apart from learning most of my cooking from the Swedish Chef, I have absolutely no connection to Sweden.

Mind you there are tools that will help you "Encheferize" computer text into Swedish Chef...

A question here. I think it is called "Mock Swedish". It is a bit unflattering really to the Swedes but is quite funny in English, and fortunately the Swedes can take it.

You know what Sweden has that Norway doesn't? Good neighbours :)

You take Hungary as an example to achieve a generalization of Europe. I'm sorry, it's very close minded. It's sound like an immigrant living in Brazil who is going to describe Canada ... It's so absurd I don´t  know what to say ...

Elie Olivier Richard :

You take Hungary as an example to achieve a generalization of Europe. I'm sorry, it's very close minded. It's sound like an immigrant living in Brazil who is going to describe Canada ... It's so absurd I don´t  know what to say ...

It is not closed-minded, my ex was from Ontario, Canada and I have been there many times. So you are pudding the carp before d"oeuvres hors. You are assuming, as people do, that I am some kinda racist living in Hungary. I have been with my Hungarian wife for over ten years, sometimes in Britain and sometimes in Hungary, and have lived in the US and speak Mexican Spanish and I speak French well, and lived in Cairo and can speak basic Arabic and can write in Arabic.

The topic is "why do I feel afraid of moving?" and I attempted to give an answer, my answer, my opinion, is not to feel afraid. I have lived and worked in four countries and to me it is both exciting and annoying, that you have to start all your life all over again, but what it is not, is terrifying.

My own experience is that to live and work in Hungary has been a struggle, a trial, and a pleasure. My wife, when she lived in England, was the same. What it is NOT is a terror.

Now, this topic is not about moving to Hungary, so I was just using my own experience as an example. But you should never be afraid. Carpe diem, seize the day, just go and do it.

The way to get started is to get started. You can't do everything at once, but you get started. Then eventually it gets finished.

I had two Australians staying with me for a week, they happen to be gay, no problem for me. Put them up for a week here and then explored Hungary, as his grandfather is Hungarian so he can become a Hungarian citizen. My wife just this morning said oh I heard from him, it wll take a year (nothing happens quickly in Hungary). At least he has got started. The way to get started, is to get started.

You keep your back foot moving, and eventually, you get to where you want to go, you just need to keep the back foot moving. That is all you need to do. Keep your back foot moving.

If you play cribbage, as my wife and I do many evenings for fun, you keep the back peg moving. I don't suppose many here know what a pegging board is but to keep score you have two pegs each, to mark score on a board with holes in it. Now, you keep that back peg moving. (You move the back peg over the front peg to mark the score). You keep that back peg moving.

And in life, all you do, is keep the back foot moving, keep the back peg moving. The rest will follow, I assure you, if you keep the back peg moving, keep your back foot moving. That is all you have to do, and the rest will follow. I don't care if you are Christian or Jewish or Muslim or what country you come from, you keep your back foot moving.

Well that is what I do, it works for me.

I am French, I left France at 20, I lived in Israel, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Danmark, Norway, China, Canada and Sweden. I also traveled a lot to the United States where I hardly ever met a mixed white-black couple, which is very common in Canada or Europe. If you think that Europeans are all racist, why come to us? Are you a masochist?

Elie Olivier Richard :

I am French, I left France at 20, I lived in Israel, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Danmark, Norway, China, Canada and Sweden. I also traveled a lot to the United States where I hardly ever met a mixed white-black couple, which is very common in Canada or Europe. If you think that Europeans are all racist, why come to us? Are you a masochist?

I can speak French reasonably well, comme une vache espanol, as well as Hungarian, a bit of Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, and even occasionally English. Today I was speaking German, Hungarian, and Roma with my good friend and neighbour who asked me a favour. I am white, my wife I guess you would say was white although Hungarians tend to have a somewhat darker complexion, she goes brown in the summer when I go pink, I start off blue :) but that is just chance, I have had in England lots of black and Indian friends, it is just not so common in Hungary, there is no point arguing against facts.

Britain has a multiracial history because of its Empire and so on, Hungary doesn't so much. You just have to accept that, although people seem very prejudiced against the Roma. (I am not gypsy myself.)

So it is very difficult to know what to do. I am going bald and wear spectacles, is someone not supposed to notice that? I also wear a poppy for remembrance day, is someone not supposed to notice that?

You can't notice, and not notice, at the same time, how do you do that? I am a nudist or naturist, you think they wouldn't notice if I would walk round the shop naked, although it would be tricky to put the change in my pocket :)  but we are human all of us and constantly, unconsciously or subconsciously, making value judgments against each other, we can't help it.

However hard we try, and self-correct, we cannot help doing it. It is part of being human.

Sweden seeems to have a very honourable history of taking in immigrants, I have never been there myself but always on the news when there is some incident, Sweden is the first to offer immigrants a welcome, and thank them for that.

There were a huge number of immigrants fleeing the war, I guess in Syria, and somehow ended up in Budapest, and stayed in the metro station. The Red Cross fed and watered them but they were very swiftly bussed out of Hungary, I have no idea where. That is the compassion you get in Hungary,

Although admittedly the Swedish also have a habit of exporting really cheap furniture that I have to repair all the time. But I think, on balance, I would say 1 point to Sweden :) Also the aquavit is quite nice but I prefer pálinka.

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