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This is a question Guilty Pleasures, part 2

It's been a while since we last asked this question and CaptainFellatioNelson's confession that he likes "to fart under the duvet, creep in and see how long I can last only on the fart air contained within" reminded us just how good it was last time.

What are the little things you do for fun when nobody else is around?

(, Thu 13 Mar 2008, 11:48)
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I live in Sweden...
Guilty Pleasure: Explaining to Americans how we get LOTS of holiday... Paid for.
(and trains that are on time AND do more than 50mph and busses that work and society that doesn't shoot itself and good education in schools, and cars that have coil springs, and a free heath service etc... (all while managing to only pay about 10% more tax than they do)

I digress...

Here we have the subtle art of the "holiday"

A long time ago - about 2-300 years after it happened - someone wrote a few notes down about someone getting crucified. This became a best-selling novel. Hundreds of years later, after stealing bits from other novels, adding weird caveats and slightly less believable bits to it, Its still in print and going strong.

Sweden is a country where the Norse Gods (and Godesses) once ruled (My favourite is Odin's Wife "Frigg" and VĂ¡li, (Odin's Son and get this: God of revenge) This strangely changed at some point... though I have mates who every midsummer cut the palms of their hands with flint and offer their blood to the Gods.

Anyway... Swedish society Still manages to celebrate The crucifiction and subsequent resurrection (Otherwise known as "people taking gthe body somewhere else, and *saying* they didn't... and oh.... yeah... erm.... he went up on a cloud).... So, we get fully paid days off on monday and Friday.


Oh Soddit.... there's more.

We're also masters of the "Squeeze Day" ... This is the result of a National day, or other vaguely religion-based holiday falling on a Tuesday or a Thursday. This would give a solitary Monday or Friday... So Sweden has developed the "Squeeze Day" ... A day where you just don't work, because working on one day alone would suck.

MORE 4-Day weekends.

Oh.. and I get 6 weeks of fully paid holiday ON TOP of that. This isn't standard though: everyone else has to settle for 5 weeks.

Paternity and Maternity leave? 18 months to share as the couple see fit, on 80% pay funded by the government: NOT the company you work for... so they hold no grudge if you want to start pumping out babies.

Anyway. That's the tip of the "Sorry... you were saying how America is the greatest country in the world" Iceberg. I can keep on going for hours.

It makes me happy, even though I walk away feeling like a boastful ass.
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 7:43, 15 replies)
I plan to move to Sweden in a couple of years...
...when I finish my PhD. People always ask me why, and from now on I'll just point them to your post.
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 8:14, closed)

*sticks two fingers up to England*
*starts packing*
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 8:53, closed)
So, Happy. For. You.
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 8:57, closed)
The UK's OK
In the academic sector at least. I get 39 days paid annual leave. Except for 7 or 8 days over Christmas & New Year when the university's closed, I can take the others whenever I want. I'll be working this coming Friday and Monday, because I don't want to be on holiday when everyone else is, and prefer to have a longer break in summer.

Sweden has fitter birds though... :-)

**Ducks to avoid backlash from British female b3tards**
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 9:01, closed)
*ignores British birds comment due to having an Irish passport*

...plus, the added benefit of academia is you just say you're doing 'research' and no one gives a shit if you turn up or not.

(Note to self: you do actually have to do research, woman!)
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 9:37, closed)
Re British Lasses Vs Scandinavian Lasses
True... Scandinavian Lasses are very cute... but I have found a precious few who have the same sharp wit and mind of their British counterparts.

I favour brain over looks for the long term... Looks fade fast... Brains tend not to.

Downside to Sweden... Chronicly expensive beer, and it's too far away from the QOTW B3ta London meets... Damn you PJM, JamesTW, Chickenlady and the like... (you too Ceilidh girl)
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 9:42, closed)
Seven weeks holiday. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 9:45, closed)
the same sharp wit and mind of their British counterparts.

Ah, you must mean Jade Goody!
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 9:57, closed)
Ah, yes I forgot that extra bonus. My working hours are "those which are reasonably required to fulfil the duties of the post".

Which means that if I need to stay here until 11pm to finish something urgent (not a common occurrence, but it does happen occasionally) I don't get any overtime, but also if I want to skive off early to go to play at a gig (like I'm doing today) I can just go and no-one gives a toss.

In theory, provided I actually turn up for work for a few minutes on a given day, it counts as a day's work. I only need to take a day's leave if I don't actually show up.

It's a system ripe for abuse, yet nearly everyone is sensible and plays fair. I am usually here for longer than a nominal working day (although I do spend a disproportionately large part of it on b3ta!)
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 10:00, closed)
More on Swedish women
I remember a good few years back when Dundee Utd played Gothenburg in the UEFA cup, the local paper (the Dundee Courier) sent a reporter over with the fans. He wrote that a group of fans had been walking the streets of Gothenburg playing a game of 'spot the ugly woman'.

Nobody won.
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 10:05, closed)
Don't wish to spoil it for you but...
...in Sweden, the tax burden is about 198% of that of the USA (in terms of proportion of GDP at least). Unfortunately, when it comes to public services, you do get what you pay for (or, rather, you pay for what you get).
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 10:15, closed)
Don't worry, You're not spoiling it at all =)
You're simply highlighting the ignorance that causes people to make claims that they can't support.

GDP is utterly irrelevant: You're showing the dangers of using wikipedia without understanding *exactly* what you're looking for..

The majority of people working within the US are, according to the NBER (US) pay around 40%

I pay around 42%

I have discussed the tax issue at great length with US-based counterparts who are on roughly the same wage as me. They totalled the taxes that they pay, and they were pretty accurate after spending a week stressing over it... And I simply checked my automatically pre-prepared "can be confirmed by text, phonecall, on the internet, or by good old mail" tax form... (It takes about 20 seconds to do tax-returns in Sweden).

We were only marginally higher: as previously stated.

I contend that you Silene are infact:
c)...by a long long way
d)a newbie who needs to post something before your opinion counts.

Maybe.. must maybe the US should sort a few things out... zfacts.com/p/461.html
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 11:43, closed)
Here's a thing...
Sweden spends a large amount on public services, welfare etc. So presumably the benefits system supports unempolyed Swedes pretty well.

But is there the same number of dole bludgers, spongers etc as we have in the UK?

I don't know, but I suspect not. It's more of a cultural problem here I reckon. But I'm guessing, in the absence of hard data.
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 11:54, closed)
In short... No.
Unemployed people have "A-Kassa", the "dole" if you will. It will give you 80% of the wage you had before you became unemployed. ... This obviously has a ceiling... but you can afford to life in a fairly decent flat and run a car on it.

Education is the next step: If you fail to get work, you get free education to make yourself more desirable to employers.

However.. there isn't the same culture of people who don't bother to work because they get money for free. The vast majority of people without work are seeking employment.

The vast majority of Swedes attain high levels of education, with many staying in Uni until they're 26 or so.

Most "McJob" employees here have degrees... It's all rather humbling.
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 12:02, closed)
We do the same in Spain
But we call it "the bridge" instead of "squeezy day".

Differences: our trains are never on time but we pay much less taxes!!!
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 12:10, closed)

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