Sweden, the Land of Germany Tomorrow

Everybody knowing even a bit about me knows that I live in Germany and I’d rather live in Sweden. One of the reasons is that Sweden feels like future (i.e. improved) version of Germany, and here I finally explain why.

Railways. While railway system in Germany is mostly fine it still can have some improvements: train carriages should have an electric outlet per seat. Now it’s fulfilled only in ICE 1st class seats without neighbouring seats. Also hassle-free (or simply free) WiFi onboard. Also it would be nice to have tilting trains like X2000 because it’s all fine and good when you have dedicated high-speed line but quite often you don’t and it would benefit more to have higher speed there (quick example: route Mannheim–Saarbrücken takes 1:32 by Regional Express with its 6 stops or 1:19 by ICE/TGV with only one intermediate stop). And Sweden is more liberal in a sense that now you have line Stockholm–Göteborg serviced by both SJ and MTR expresses (compared to that France where they mark every railway station as belonging to SNCF feels like Ukraine).

Service. Sweden has supermarkets open every day (shorter opening hours on holidays of course) and they also contain local post office too (here post offices are usually selling stationery and some goods from local supermarket instead and share the space with Postbank instead). In Germany almost everything is closed on Sundays. Also it’s funny how in Sweden Lidl can be considered low-tier supermarket (Hemköp/Willy:s, ICA and Coop are much better), in Germany Lidl is considered middle-tier supermarket and in Czech Republic it’s considered one of the best. And there’s much better recycling: all plastic bottles are accepted by the same machine (here you bottles that should be recycled elsewhere and bottles that are not recycled at all), there’s printing on packaging where it should sort to (i.e. hard/soft plastic, paper, metal etc) and water quality is way higher too.

Religion. Sweden definitely doesn’t bother with Christianity that much (and that’s why I enjoy visiting Swedish churches). And as a nice touch even in the centre of Stockholm you have squares named after Odin and Thor and a street called “way to Valhalla”. In Germany they still cannot admit that Wednesday is Wotan’s (or Odin’s) day.

Government offices. Sweden has got it right—census matters are handled by the tax office. Germany is yet to realize that idea. One can point out that in the USA citizenship and taxpaying are the same thing (since you have to file a declaration in any case and pay taxes even if you live and work abroad) but the execution in this case is botched.

P.S. I blame lu_zero for not giving reasons to blame him in this post in the usual way.

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