The following three things you won't find in Sweden and probably the rest of Europe.
1. Self cleaning ovens
2. Self defrosting freezers
3. Ice Makers
Had a little mishap with the freezer last night. It turns out someone didn't completely shut it and it defrosted. Which wasn't entirely bad because it was looking like it needed defrosting and I really had no burning desire to proactively defrost it, even if I knew how.
In the meantime, my entire stash of ice melted. I don't understand the lack of ice use in the rest of the world. I mean, it's ice--an important component to any respectable drink. And I promise you, as an American, you won't know how important it is to you until you are faced with living a life without it.
Imagine your Big Gulp with no ice. Well, really imagine no Big Gulp. Imagine a 4 Ounce Gulp with no ice. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I don't even drink Big Gulps. But, I like knowing I have the option to get one--anytime, day or night.
A German woman once told me that they didn't use ice because it was bad for your digestion. I don't know how true that is. I think the same person told me they didn't shower often in the winter because it was bad for your immune system.
Basically, this puts me back to cracking ice cube trays circa 1978.
In Germany, we inherited an extra freezer from one of the ex-pats who was being repatriated back the the US. I used it solely for ice, because by that time I had developed an odd obsession with ice. The entire freezer became my ice stockpile. I was cracking ice cube trays as fast as I could freeze them.
I would implore the cashier at McDonalds to give me lots of ice. "Viel ice" I would emphatically state. Each time I would get four ice cubes instead of the usual two. I've given up on begging for ice at restaurants, it's just too depressing. But, many times I'll notice that if the waiter knows we are Americans, he will add ice to our drinks. I think they are amused by our use of it.
I am faring better with the ice thing this go around. I am still hoarding it. But, I've come to accept it's just the way it's done.