Reading Beijing Confidential made me think about what Sweden might be like seen from the outside. Via a webpage of a friend I rediscovered this funny list of "Things That Are Different in Sweden". Some of the things I don't recognize or understand (Front doors on the back of houses shaped like barns?), and some are very specific (not all apartments have two doors), but in general it's exactly the kind things you would notice if you go there. For us it's funny, because we don't notice those things when we are at home, but after a year abroad it's easy to see that it might seem a bit different.
For the more serious, go to the CIA World Factbook.