It’s now been 2 weeks and something I’m in Sweden, and to be honest, so far so good! Helsingborg, doesn’t look like a bit city, but it offers quite a lot, and as long as the weather is good, summer holidays ain’t too far.
I didn’t have proper “expectations” when coming here, because it’s so much fun to discover things by yourself rather than listening to those “who know”. The university actually some great 2 introduction weeks for internationals – so we got to know each others quickly after arriving and before classes started, but also what the city offers – and the cool places to go.
Some stuffs are still super weird to me, after some times here I still feel like ‘why/how are they doing that’, it’s very not like culture shock, I truely believe the French culture is not that different, but let’s just take a couple of examples:
- The queuing system. Yes, you read it properly! How is that possible?! Here they just take a ticket, go in line and nicely wait for their turn, to every single place they’re going… Hoooooow?! Back home we do have the ticket machines, but no one ever uses them, you just wait and maybe sometimes – on a misunderstanding of course – you can be more “active”.
- The ‘fika’ tradition. This is actually a good thing when living in Sweden, at any time during the afternoon, the fika excuse works – it’s basically the coffee (because people drink so much coffee) or afternoon tea that you take with some yummy pastries – just like a cinamon bun. And it’s insanely good.
- Biking. Everything here is made and pushes you to bike everywhere. Which is cool, since the weather is not too bad lately, there is no time wasting while waiting for the bus, it’s a way faster than walking, and you can find some bikes at a reasonnable price. For the Frenchies around here – it works just as “Le Bon Coin”. Buy the bike online, make some repairs if needed and you’re good to go!
- “Systembolaget”. This would be the most improbable place to go in France, because it’s just too weird to be real! The systembolaget is the “alcohol mecca” in Sweden, where you can find any kind of dinks with alcohol you want. Don’t even try to buy the usual 3€ wine in the supermarket, there’s no alcohol in there! The opening hours are not that easy to get, especially on Saturday, so make sure to have your shopping done before partying!
To be honest, I’m having the best time here, and even though it’s different than home, it’s so much fun! Just discovering new places, escaping the city for day trips (Kullaberg is being the first Swed experience), basically everything is made – so far- to enjoy as much as possible and even if the uni started last week and there is quite a lot to do, it’s always a pleasure to be abroad.
Plus, you guys can’t imagine as administration is super nicely organized compare to home! It’s clear, fast, you give your papers and you’re good to go – you basically don’t need 2 months and something for your French Social Security papers to be “maybe” done!
I’m looking forward some travels once all settled down here and discovering Sweden, meeting Scandinavian friends and just moving around! I’ll post some more later on, but I can’t procrastinate a lot more the uni stuffs, so stay tuned!