In a previous post I wrote about being an Immigrant and how being Swedish is seen as (and possibly is) a privilege. In Sweden we have social classes but the differences aren’t that huge and a middle class Swede cannot be compared to a middle class Brazilian. Yes there are people sleeping on the streets in Sweden but majority are toxic dependent and alcoholics. Although, naturally, some have become addicts simply by living on the streets. Either way, it isn’t a problem anywhere near that in Brazil. But on the other hand, I feel like the rich in Sweden are not even close to the level of the rich in Brazil. I might be wrong, I haven’t done any proper research here and I think it is not about the amount of cash they have but rather a cultural difference. But holy crap, these guys have some serious cash.
It is Wednesday and Mr Sven, a successful banker who got up an hour early to shovel snow so he could get the car out of the garage, drove his awesome BMW to work at 7am. He arrives 20 minutes early to his office, as always, and he goes straight to the kitchenette to pour himself a coffee whilst talking to the maintenance guy. They know each other because their kids are friends. For lunch Mr Sven meets a friend at the lunch buffet around the corner. He drinks a sparkling water.
Mr Sven lives in a truly beautiful five million Euro villa. With his 11 rooms, it is cozy, very well decorated; it has nice art and some antiques. The garden is big, they have a pool and they have decorated one of their pine trees with christmas lights. They are white, they don’t flash and they are only on at night when the family is home and the light actually make a difference. The Sven family has a lady who cleans their home twice a week, a gardener and a nanny they call when they want to have some quality grown up time. Mr Sven hired a company rather than paying someone cash in hand for these services. It is just the correct way to do it and the cleaning lady probably takes home around €1000 per month for working 40 hours a week.
At the same time, Mr Antonio, another successful banker, wakes up in his freshly air-conditioned bedroom. He makes it to the breakfast room (because breakfast and dinner should not be mixed) where his maid serves breakfast which has been prepared by the kitchen staff. Mr Antonio then goes into the private elevator that takes him up to the roof top. He jumps into his helicopter and flies to work. A small swedish girls watches him from down below, wondering what it is like…
When Mr Antonio gets to the office a young lady serves him a drink. Their children will never meet. At lunch, his chauffeur takes him to a restaurant where he spends a few minimum salaries, they share a bottle of wine. He leaves a nice tip above the 10% service charge before being picked up again. Anonymous as he sometimes likes to be, nobody they pass will know he is inside this bulletproof BMW, as the windows are tinted and he is sat in the back seat.
Mr Antonio’s €20 million flat is so amazing! It has five living rooms full of stuff that don’t really match. But it is all expensive so that’s ok. There is a main kitchen that Mr Antonio has seen once, and another smaller one by the BBQ area. He has a cinema room which seats 15, a private pool and a private squash court. At the weekend Mr Antonio likes to take the family on a short holiday with the jet.
They have decorated the terrace with christmas lighting. They flash 24 hours a day in different colors, because the electricity bill isn’t a problem anyway. Mr Antonio is a very nice guy, he has bought new uniforms to his staff this Christmas. And although they live and eat in, they still have a salary of approximately €350 per month, with one day off per week.
Have I generalized? Of course. But it is still pretty true for many! What lifestyle would I have lived if I was a multi millionaire? Time will tell… ha, I hope!
As a side note: The most expensive home in Sweden was sold for just over €9m and it was purchased by, I believe, a Russian guy. Football player Zlatan bought one of the most expensive houses in Malmo, south of Sweden, for about €3m. The most expensive house in Brazil was owned by a banker until he was jailed for corruption (!), valued at over €52m.