Jeff in Sweden – Part 3
So I’ve been in Sweden for six and a half weeks now and I wanted to share what it’s like to live here, for now! For example, I still haven’t went to the full loop of looking for an apartment by myself . Which I know, it’s one crazy thing that gives headache.
But anyway, he are some “bullet points” in random order.
So if Sweden would be a sword in Dungeon & Dragon it would probably be called something like Sword of Expensiveness and Stockholm would be Sword of Expensiveness +1. I know it’s not as expensive as L.A. or like Norway but for me, coming from small Quebec City, it’s worlds apart. Having a burger and fries for $31 and a beer for $13, for me, it’s crazy!
Lagom is Great
Lagom is a swedish word basically meaning “just the right amount”. It’s a way of living mentality. Living the lagom way. Obviously, like everything, it comes from the Vikings. How it translates in the day to day is that Swedes are a really helping community. It’s all about teamwork. For example, let’s say you have a cake and there are 10 people, the lagom way would be to cut the cake in 10. Same thing if there was 100 people. It’s all about team and equality. It’s really hard to describe but I felt the team and equality after like two days.
Fika is Also Great
Fika is probably the most sacred thing in Sweden. It’s basically a “mandatory” coffee break but since Swedes really REALLY like to drink coffee it has to be a thing. This is also interesting because, Swedes don’t like to small talk. Nobody talks to nobody for random reasons, it’s probably a reason why non-Swedes find them so “cold” but they are not really. Anyway, going back to Fika, it’s interesting because THIS is when the Swedes small talk. Fika is all about drinking coffee and talking about whatever. A proper Fika coffee is usually also accompanied with a Kanelbullar (a cinnamon bun).
Swedes Crazy Driving
This is something I saw on my first day here and I still see that a lot every time I go for a walk around town. It looks like, for me, that they usually drive pretty well all around except for one thing.
They U-turn literally everywhere and especially on intersection. I don’t know if it’s legal or not but it doesn’t matter they just go for it.
Stockholm is Beautiful
From Gamla Stan (Old City) to all the island archipelagos here. There is a crazy amount of stuff to see. With all the museums and the old buildings, the statues everywhere, all the parks, the new eco-friendly neighborhoods, the marinas, etc. Seriously, it may be expensive but that’s one hell of a beautiful city.
It’s Over 9000 Restaurants
Well, not 9000 and it’s probably a normal thing in big cities but where I’m from, around the office where I used to work for like 12 years, in a month you could probably get a taste of all restaurants. Here, I don’t think I’ll even be able to test them all. There are just way too many. Also, compared to Quebec, there are foods from everywhere here at walking distance. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, French, name it!
It’s Public Transport Heaven
There are literally all kind of transportation here, trains, subways, buses, trams and even boats. You can travel a really big distance really quickly here and it’s pretty cheap. Also, the cool thing is that the SL card works will all of the above. No need to think about what to use where. They all work with the same card. The distance I had to cover in a bus that took me one and a half hour in Quebec is taking me 10 minutes here. Except if you want to go far from the city, you don’t need a car at all.
In Canada we have the SIN (social insurance number). It’s useless. Seriously, it’s a 9 digit number that you pretty much never use and nobody except the government uses it. In Sweden they have the Personnummer, it’s the same thing, a X digit number on a card BUT it’s used everywhere. If you go get a cellphone contract for example, you don’t give your personal data or whatever, you give them your Personnummer. Your address and whatever is related to it. Same thing for your bank account and whatever else. The “downside” (for me it’s not, really) is that all your info are available. Where you live, your phone number, where you work, etc.
Phone Contracts & Internet
This is the things that are cheap here. I was paying $85 a month for a 2GB data in Canada. Here, you can have a 40GB data in ALL of Europe for $35. Same thing with Internet and it goes freaking fast. They had to have something cheaper right?
They Bike a LOT
It’s less apparent than when I was in Malmö but still, Swedes bike a lot. There are bike lanes on pretty much every single street so it’s really easy to bike around the city, sure, again, compared to Malmö there are slopes (Malmö is so flat you don’t even have to change gear) but it’s still really bike friendly.
They Don’t Use Money
Don’t ask a Swede if he can lend you money, it won’t happen. I just saw an article talking about it on the web. Sweden is the fastest country heading for a digital currency only. There are a lot of shops/restaurants/bar that don’t even accept cash anymore. Everything is paid with cards. It goes so much quicker. Even when I was in Quebec I was never carrying cash and I was sometimes missing on street stuff but here, you really don’t have too anyway. Even for street stuff because of:
Swish is a mobile payment service and it’s the greatest invention ever concerning money. You link your bank account with a app on your cellphone then you can transfer money to however with a simple digits code. No need to use a card reading machine if you have a food truck, simply ask people to Swish you the money.
So, I think that’s it for now! I probably forgot stuff but on the other hand I’ve been in Sweden for only a month. More to come for sure.
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