Category: Scandinavia

Jeff in Sweden – Part 3

Jeff in Sweden – Part 3

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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.

It’s Expensive

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.

The Personnummer

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

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.


Leave a comment if you have any opinions on this or whatever!
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Jeff in Sweden – Part 1

Jeff in Sweden – Part 1
BingoLotto, Drinking Soup, First Day at DICE, Jetlag, etc

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Since they lost my suitcase (again), I went for a little walk including shopping to buy clothes on Sunday. Didn’t wanted to go to my first day of work with dirty clothes y’know.

I walked around Södermalm, the neighborhood I’m currently living in. Pretty sweet place I must say.

Residential roads are super duper quiet, I love that.
There are awesome looking restaurant all around the place. It’ll probably take me a year to go check all of them.
Also pretty interesting for me, compared to when I was living in Malmö, when I was working on The Division, there are way more slopes in Stockholm. This adds a lot of awesome view points around its countless islands.

When I came back from the sunny walk I decided to open the TV. Things I’ve probably done 5 times in my adult life.
I never watch TV.

First thing I see is a show called BingoLotto.

YO, Swedes are not messing around with Bingo! WOW.

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Super well dressed people.
A crowd in the back to see the show,
Lots of prizes (it made me think of The Price is Right),
Guest stars,
A band playing songs and ambient music for all the people there when they mark their Bingo sheets as the numbers flow using Swedes names. Bertil, Ivar, Niklas, Gustav, Olaf.

Amazing. Really. It was so relaxing I checked the whole freaking show without any shame!

Then I went to bed early.

Woke up at 230am again. Great.
Took me 4 hours to sleep again then, quickly my alarm rang. It was time for my first day at DICE.

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Morning routine then a sweet 8 minutes walks to the office under a cold sunny/windy day. Thanks to the Nordic Relocation Group, my appartment is super close to work.

Got a tour of the office from my line manager (the office is a real labyrinth), got the access keycard and got information about this awesome next Battlefield game.

When for lunch with my leads.
As an entré I got a soup with no spoon. Then, seeing the guys with me I remembered that Swedes drink their soup. I forgot about that. It’s a small detail yes, but hey, it’s unusual for me ok!

Read a lot of documentation about Level Design philosophie at DICE, and even touched Frostbite a bite before leaving because I would have fell asleep on my desk, thanks to my awesome jetlag.
From now on, I’ll never be able to work without 3 screens. Dawn you DICE and your awesome desks. Standup desks by the way.

On, and they have a few trophies at the reception. Not bad at all.

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I’m still not getting over the fact that I’m living in Sweden.

First day DONE.
GG


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Jeff in Sweden – Part 0

Jeff in Sweden – Part 0

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So I moved to Sweden.

Pretty crazy isn’t it?

Spent 32 years of my like living in cold Quebec then I decided to move to cold Sweden. Even though it’s not really cold here. At least not in Stockholm.

I worked at Massive, in Malmö 5 years ago and since I came back, there’s a part of me that always wanted to go back to Sweden. I fell in love with the country. I didn’t knew when or how I would be back but I knew I would, at some point, go back.

I was not really thinking about working there though. But here I am. Moved to Sweden and starting to work for EA DICE tomorrow.

But this is PART 0 of I don’t know many parts. I’ll write about this crazy adventure as I see fit.
Before moving, I had to say farewell to a lot of people and good bye to close ones.

So I threw a party. One hell of an evening at my favorite medieval restaurant in Quebec, La Chope Gobeline. Lots of people came. People always told me that others like me. But you never know. I threw a party without really knowing who would come. I even invited some people I haven’t seen for years.
The vast majority of them came.

People I love.

Here you can see a part of the people who came.
Long time friends, coworker and ex-coworker from the video game industry.

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It was really awesome to be surrounded by so many people I care about and care about me.

Lots of emotion, amplified by booze, was in the air. Saying farewell to so many people was not easy.

Then, a few days later I got my visa so everything was set.

I was in this process since October.
Phone interviews.
On site interviews.
Dozens and dozens of emails.

It took five months of intense stress for me to get here in Sweden but thanks to EA DICE. Many people helped me.
When you think about it, it costs thousands and thousands of dollars for a company to bring someone over.

They paid for my visa.
They paid for my on site interview.
They paid for my move.
They are paying for my 2 months temporary gorgeous appartment.
They are paying people to help me with every details.

Adding to that is the crazy good conditions DICE is giving me as an employee too!

So here I am, in the beautiful capital of Sweden surrounded by this old and new Swedish architecture and dozens of islands covered in a bit of snow as I write this.

What’s next?
My first day at DICE.
I’m looking forward to this.

After that, we’ll see!


Leave a comment if you have any opinions on this or whatever!
Don’t hesitate to click on the little blue follow button on the top right of this page.
Also, if you want follow me on Twitter 🙂 https://twitter.com/JFGnorD