Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Italy has rules, but nobody cares about them. Holland has rules, but to a certain extend breaking them is tolerated. Germany has a lot of rules and everybody lives up to them. That's why everybody thinks Germany is a 'rules-country'.

Well, think again. Sweden has much more rules. Official rules, but also decency rules. Here you have to draw a number to buy a train ticket or to change money. Or everybody stands on the right side of the escalator to let the people that are in a hurry pass. Landlords have very strict rules varying from keeping the house spic and spam to not talking after 22.00 (that's really true, it's a rule in an appartment of one of my classmates!). It's really decent here.

It's getting warmer in Stockholm and that means everybody is going outside to party. There was a big barbecue-party in a park this Saturday. Groups of young people danced, ate, drank beer and listened to 90's style rave music. Unfortunately, the police stopped the music at 22.00 sharp. Afterwards you aren't allowed to walk on the street with beer and drinking in the subway is even worse: you get a fine of 80 euro.

Sweden is one of the safest countries in the world. If you look at the countries with the less homocide rates, Sweden ranks number 3. Could it be that these rules helped making Sweden such a safe country? Or is it the peaceful nature of the Swedes that makes it so safe?

Really, they take no risk whatsoever. Yesterday, I was looking outside of the window when I was working at the house of Andres. A group of schoolkids walked by. They actually wore reflective safety jackets. In broad daylight! What's next: schoolkids wearing lifebelts? But even though a lot of rules look a bit exaggerated to me, I have to be honest: concerning safety they do something really good here in Sweden. I'd suggest that whoever is in charge of public safety in Brussels takes a really good look here.


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