I can’t count the amount of times when I told people that I l’m living and studying in Sweden and they start saying:
- Oh, they make the world’s finest chocolate, please bring us some!
- Great watches, eh?
- Which part? The French or German speaking?
It’s really funny because I use both English and Arabic to communicate with my friends in many parts of the world and it doesn’t make any difference. Both Arabic and English speaking friends usually conclude that I’m living in Switzerland and not Sweden. Honestly, I have no idea why they tend to do that. Maybe because more people go to study or work in Switzerland than Sweden? I still have no answer to this question, but I’m rather sharing something that happens quite often (not only to me), but to many people who move to Sweden.
The more interesting thing is, it’s almost never the opposite! I mean, I haven’t heard that people living in Switzerland experienced the same (others thinking that they live in Sweden).
You just have to be one step ahead to be able to face the fact that your friends are programmed to think that you’re moving/already living in Switzerland and just smile saying “Sweden, the country in the North, not Switzerland”.
The most common reply (after they understand it’s Sweden, not Switzerland) would probably be “Oh, it’s too cold there!” (As if it’s Spring all year long in Switzerland!), but that’s another story that I and some of my colleagues talked about in previous posts.
Finally, the problem seems to be very common to the extent that I found a whole website dedicated to clarifying that Sweden and Switzerland are not the same country. Maybe it’s worth checking out