Before I arrived in Sweden I never had a cup coffee in my entire life!!! As a newbie to Sweden I quickly learned that fika (coffee breaks) is an important part of Swedish work culture. This is where you get to socialise with your colleagues and catch up on office news in an informal way. It is a great concept. The real challenge of office fika is gauging what is a “lagom” amount of time to spend at this compulsory activity.
2. Fewer the friends, the better
I was used to being surrounded by tens of ‘friends’ in Germany. Hanging out, talking, gossiping & helping if one is in trouble. Moving to Sweden not knowing many people, one learns to pick the ones that you gel with and not just anyone to hang out with. Spending quality time is more important than just being with random people you can’t connect with.
The Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right”. Lagom is also widely translated as “in moderation” or “in balance”. Lagom is a Swedish word meaning just the right amount. It’s also widely translated as in moderation, in balance and perfect-simple. It’s an important concept to understand as it is applied to just about every aspect of life in Sweden from dress sense to work performance. Lagom is the stamp of approval; too much or too little usually gets the thumbs down.
I used to get angry and impatient while standing in a queue and the people in front of me take their time to do take out their wallet when I arrived in Sweden, people staring, made me lose my cool. Maybe it has to do with the lifestyle, but since everybody here maintains patience while standing in a queue, crossing the road, at the tax office, almost everywhere that one goes, I am much more tolerant. Seeing all of this taught me a lesson or two and made me much calmer.
5. Enjoy your Summer, it won’t last long!
Coming from a country where you often have four seasons in one day and where snow is rare, proper winters and distinct seasons were both a novelty and a challenge. It is hard to beat the simple thrill of walking across frozen water or tobogganing or skiing down a hill at speed for the first time. Good weather days are few and far between and so is the sun. Since good weather is a blessing, I have learned to value its importance more than ever and relish it while it is around.