Moving to Sweden part 2

 

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We landed in Stockholm Arlanda at approximately 4pm in the afternoon. It was already dark and the only thing lighting up the streets were the white packed snow. There were not many people around in comparison to the bustling Munich Airport.

After eating an early dinner at Max Burger place we made our way to our new place we would come to call home. After driving for hours through the Swedish landscape which was filled with endless woods and stunning views we made it.

I had rented a temporary 2 bedroom flat and it was empty apart from a kitchen table left in the corner of the kitchen. Time has passed beyond the regular bedtime for my two sleepy daughters…
… to be continued

6 ways moving to Sweden changed me

1. Fika

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.

3. Lagom

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.

4. Patience

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.

6. Compassion
Growing up what now a days can be called conservative, I have always been taught to help the elders, stand up to offer my seat, great them and carry their shopping. Yet we are quick to judge others and even too long hair on a men can be seen as undeacend. Swedes have compassion is built within the society. They treat every human equal and never judge anyone.

Moving to Sweden part 1

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My story

I was born and bread in Bavaria (Germany). As a little boy I use to think of Sweden as this fascinating Viking land, far up north. I didn’t really know anything beyond what I saw depicted in those Astrid Lindgren series such as Pippi Longstocking. Some of my best childhood memories were with my grandparents (Oma & Opa), eating breakfast and watching cartoons together. My grandpa often expressed his deep love for Sweden and the fact that if he could live in any other country beside Germany, it would have been Sweden. That has always stayed with me, but I never thought I would move and live here, in best case scenario visiting Sweden seemed more realistic.

Living like a nomad

After living in England , making a move back to Germany, packing our belogings only to move away to Egypt for the second time in my life. Only to, ones again return back to Germany few months later. We were nomads to say the least, searching for sanctuary, a place where we could call home and settle down for ones. I realize now, whatever I was searching for, I had yet to find in any of those places. Don’t get me wrong, every where we moved to had many great benefits but it always seemed to be outwaited by whatever it lacked.

Sweden

We moved to Sweden on the coldest And darkest month of the year. Life was nothing but easy, it’s hard not to be enthusiastic when you have children who are happy and content with whatever situation they might be in. With that, our journey to settle down in Sweden began.

To be continued…

 

 

 

5 Differences between Germans and Swedes – funny –

Hey friends, i was thinking of creating a fun fact article and i hope you all like it! =)

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Drinking
Germans can have a beer for lunch & a glass of wine after Diner. Many of us have one (or more) beer every day. Coming from Bavaria i grew up drinking Radler (a beer mixed with a soft drink) from the age of 12 at special occasions.
Prost!
Swedes think kind this is alcoholism. Which is why they drink almost nothing during the week, but do their best to catch up on during the weekends. Let’s keep it short: Swedes are like a bottle of vodka: from the outside they look unexcited, calm, pure like water, colorless. But once they open up…
… you will probably detect a slight smell of alcohol.
Skål!

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Bortzeit – Smorging
Germans use a “normal” knife to spread butter on a slice of bread. In Germany, bread is more than just food – it is a part of the German culture we have 300 different bread varieties.
Swedes have come up with a genius idea. They invented the smörkniv, a wooden butter knife, whose sole purpose is to spread butter on things. Loving their Crisp bread -Knäckebröd – it is served at breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Football
Germans are very proud of our world cup wins in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014.
Swedes can talk for hours about the friendly match vs. England in 2012 and the outrageous Zlatan Ibrahimovic overhead kick from 35 yards.


Swedes are peaceful
Germans lets just say we have contributed to the last few wars the world has seen.
Swedes live in peace for more than 200 years. They stayed in their red wooden houses, thinking, “njää, let the others do.”


Aspirin and co.
Germans work even if they are sick. We take two Aspirin and carry on. If we really get sick, we go to see a Doctor (Yes in Germany you can see a Doctor whenever YOU want)
Swedes panic when they hear someone sneezing. They take Alvedon or Ipren whenever they (believe they) have any kind of illness. This is mostly due to the fact, that if they call a Doctor, a nurse will answer and say: “If Alvedon or Ipren didn’t help, please call us again in four weeks…”

How to have the greatest 24 hours in Stockholm

Experience Stockholm in 24 hours

Upplev Stockholm i 24 timmar

Many of you have asked me: I am going to be in Stockholm for one day, what do you recommend me to do ? while there are plenty of beautiful places to visit and nice activities to do in Stockholm. I figured, I have to create – how to have an amazing 24 hours in Stockholm guide.
Många av er har frågat mig: Jag ska vara i Stockholm för en dag, vad rekommenderar du mig att göra och se? Medan det finns gott om vackra ställen att besöka och trevliga aktiviteter att göra i Stockholm. Jag tänkte, jag måste skapa – hur man får en fantastisk 24 timmar i Stockholm guide.

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Brunch – To get the most out of your day, start the day of with a great breakfast/brunch in the city centre, for that I recommend Greasy spoon located in Odenplan, which is also one of my favorite brunch places in Stockholm. Its a British/ American style breakfast/brunch spot, they offer weekly specials and the last time I was there, I had the Mexican special roasted vegetables topped with guacamole and 2 poached eggs served with spicy suace. When I’m craving something more sweet, I usually go for their home made French toasts served with nuts, berries topped of with mable syrup
Brunch – För en grym start på dagen, börja dagen med att äta frukost / brunch i stan, för det rekommenderar jag Greasy spoon i Odenplan, som också är en av mina favorit brunch platser i Stockholm. Det har inslag av brittisk / amerikansk brunch. De erbjuder veckovisa specialerbjudanden och sista gången jag var där, hade jag mexikanska speciella rostade grönsaker toppade med guacamole och två poached ägg som serveras med kryddig suace. När jag har suget efter något mer sött, brukar jag beställa deras hemgjorda franska toasts som serveras med nötter, bär toppad med mable sirap.

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From there you can take a lovely walk trough town heading towards (Slussen) continuing your journey by fetching a boat towards Djurgården. Discover the island Djurgården, beloved by both stockholmers and visitors. It is the home of many of the city’s museums and cultural attractions such as (Vasa Museum, Gröna Lund, The Abba museum and Skansen which is Europe’s biggest outdoor zoo to name a few).
Därefter kan du ta en härlig promenad genom staden mot (Slussen) fortsätt din resa genom att åka en båt mot Djurgården. Upptäck ön Djurgården, älskad av både stockholmare och besökare. Det är hemmet för många av stadens museer och kulturella sevärdheter som (Vasamuseet, Gröna Lund, Abba-museet och Skansen som är Europas största utomhus zoo för att nämna några).

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Lunch – since you’re still in Djurgården take a short walk to Josefina restaurant/Bar, they have amazing pizzas and if the weather is right, why not lounge at the poolside. Tired? Just take a nap at lounge area suited for relaxing, have a bevarage and put your feet up after all that walking and sightseeing.
Lunch – Om du fortfarande är i Djurgården, ta en kort promenad till Josefina restaurang / Bar, de har fantastiska pizzor att välja mellan och om vädret är rätt, varför inte chilla vid poolen. Trött? Ta bara en tupplur vid poolen som är lämpligt för avkoppling, beställ något att dricka och lägg upp dina fötter efter alla promenad och sevärdheter.

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After your recovery, continue your adventure by catching the boat, this time get off at the stop called (Riddarholmen) here in (Kungsholmen) you can visit stockholms iconic Stadshus and meanwhile have a (Fika) coffee and something sweet for a bite right next to the water with a beautiful view over Stockholm.
Efter din återhämtning, fortsätt ditt äventyr genom att ta båten till Riddarholmen väl i (Kungsholmen) kan du besöka Stockholms ikoniska Stadshus och under tiden ta en fika precis intill vattnet med vacker utsikt över stockholm.

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Dinner – From Riddarholmen catch the last boat of the day and get off at slussen, there you can take a short 10 min walk to Gamla Stan (Old Town) By now you have probably worked up an appetite and if you don’t want to look around for a place to dine, I highly recommend Mister French, a restaurant that specialises in French cuisine such seafood, fish, and steak and best of all, it has 1920 Great Gatsby vibe with stunning outdoor sea view over town.
Middag – Från Riddarholmen kan du gå på din sista båtresa för dagen och gå av i slussen, där kan du ta en kort 10 minuters promenad till Gamla Stan. Jag antar att du är hungrig och om du inte vill leta efter ett ställe att äta på, så rekommenderar jag starkt Mister French, en fransk restaurang med specialitet inom skaldjur, fisk och biff och bäst av allt, stället har 1920 tals Great Gatsby-vibe med fantastisk havsutsikt över staden.

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Before the day comes to an end, have a walk around Gamla Stan, there are colourful historical buildings to walk through, stop by one the many ice cream shops and indulge your craving while you take it all in.
Innan dagen går mot sitt slut, ta en promenad runt Gamla Stan, det finns färgglada historiska byggnader att promenera igenom, stanna till i en av de många glassaffärerna och njut av en glass medans du tar in all historia och skönhet runt om.

There you have it friends. You have now lived your best 24 hours in Stockholm. I know it won’t be enough and your love for Stockholm has just began,
thank you come again and until next time, Good seeing you!
Där har ni mina vänner. Du har nu levt ditt bästa 24 timmar i Stockholm. Jag vet att det inte är tillräckligt och din kärlek till Stockholm har just börjat,
tack för att du kom på besök till denna underbara stad, hoppas att du gör en återbesök.
Tills nästa gång, Trevlig resa!

5 things that surprised me about Sweden

Hej allihop! Jag reflekterade över de saker som förvånade mig mest om Sverige när jag flyttade hit för nästan 3 år sedan. Vill gärna veta vad ni tycker om den listan jag skrev? Finns det saker jag glömde nämna? Lämna gärna era synpunkter.
Hello friends! I have been reflecting about the things that surprised me the most about Sweden, when I moved here almost 3 years ago. Let me know what you guys think about the list I wrote, and if there are things I forgot to mention.

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1.Vi tar inte pengar !!!!
Till skillnad från Sverige, så kan man inte anta att varje restaurang accepterar betalning med kreditkort i Tyskland . Väldigt få tyska livsmedelsbutiker, vanligtvis i täta turistmål, accepterar kreditkort betalning (leta efter ett tecken med vanliga logotyper). Om du kommer ur turistorter och befinner dig vanliga städer runt om i Tyskland behöver du förmodligen pengar för att betala för tjänster eller när du äter ute. Tvärt emot är det här i Sverige där kreditkort är det vanliga sättet att betala för allt, oavsett om du köper kaffe, möbler eller betalar för aktiviteter. Chansen är att om du planerar att besöka Sverige, se till att du har ditt bankkort på dig.
1.We don’t take cash!!!!
Unlike in Sweden, in Germany dont assume that every restaurant will accept credit card payment. Very few German grocery stores, usually in high tourism spots, will accept credit cards (look for a sign with the usual logos). If you get out of tourist places and visit regular cities, you will most likely need money to pay for services or when eating out. On the other hand in Sweden paying with your credit card is the standard way of making a transaction whether you’re buying a coffee, furniture or paying for activities. Chances are if you’re planning on moving about in Sweden, make sure you got your bank card on you.

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2.Vad är Systembolaget?
I Tyskland kan du köpa vin, öl och sprit i vanliga mataffär. I Sverige är alkoholhaltiga drycker statskontrollerade och säljs inte i vanliga butiker.
Sverige har ett system där, vanliga livsmedelbutiker kan endast sälja alkoholhaltig dryck med låg alkohol halt, så som lätt öl m.m “Systembolaget har reglerade öppettider och är stängt på helger och helgdagar. Den delen påverkar mig inte alls, för jag dricker inte alls. Men alkohol fri öl, ja tack 😊
2.What is Systembolaget?
In Germany, you can buy wine, beer and hard liquor at any grocery store.
Sweden has an alcoholic beverage control system that allows only state-owned liquor stores to sell any alcoholic beverage other than the low-alcohol “near-beer” sold in grocery stores. “Systembolaget” stores sell normal beer, wine, and hard liquor and are only open during normal business hours, and are closed on weekends and holidays. Avoid Systembolaget store on a Friday afternoon! There will be crowds stocking up for the weekend. Im not a drinker so this doesn’t really effect me.

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3.Water is for free?
If you want a glass of water in a German restaurant, you have to order (and pay for) a bottle of Sprudelwasser (carbonated water) or stilles Wasser (plain water). Swedish restaurants, on the other hand, are more like those in America. You get a bottle of tap water with drink glasses, usually set at your table. Of course, you can order something else to drink, but the water is free. That’s not the case in Germany in my experience.
3.Vatten är gratis?
Om du vill ha ett glas vatten i en tysk restaurang måste du beställa (och betala för) en flaska Sprudelwasser (kolsyrade vatten) eller stilles Wasser (vanligt vatten). Svenska restauranger, å andra sidan så får man en flaska kranvatten med drinkglas, vanligtvis vid bordet. Naturligtvis kan du beställa något annat att dricka, men vattnet är gratis. Det kan låta som något lite men det är väldigt najs att inte behöva betala för vatten varje gång man går ut för att äta.

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4.Likheter i språk
Som tysk talande, känner jag igen många ord och uttryck på svenska. Tyska Ausgang (utgång) är utgång på svenska. Eingang (entré) är ingång, men också entré på svenska. Tyska Königliches Schloss (Royal Palace) heter på Svenska kungliga slottet, Platz (torg, plaza) är plats, och så vidare. Det finns några liknande ord som inte delar samma mening alls. På tyska är Öl olja; öl på svenska är betydligt närmare engelska “ale” än germansk bier / öl. Ja är ja på båda språken, men nein (nej) är nej (nej) på svenska. Guten Tag (hej god dag) är god dag och guten Morgen = god morgon (god morron). Som du kan se är många saker liknade i skriftlig form. Vad jag försöker säga är att om du vill lära dig svenska, kan dina kunskaper i tyska vara till hjälp.
4.Germanic Languages
As a german speaker I recognize many words and expressions in Swedish. German Ausgang (exit) is utgång in Swedish. Eingang (entrance) is ingång, but also entré in Swedish. German königliches Schloss (royal palace) is called in Swedish kungliga slottet, Platz (square, plaza) is plats, and so on. There are some similar words that don’t share the same meaning at all. In german Öl is oil; in swedish öl means beer, closer to English “ale” than Germanic Bier/beer. Yes is ja in both languages, but nein (no) is nej (nay) in Swedish. Guten Tag (hello, good day) is god dag (pron. good daag); guten Morgen = god morgon (good morron). As you can see many things are similar in written form. My point is, if you want to learn Swedish, knowing German may be helpful.

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5.Stockholm är dyrt!
Jag gör inte en detaljerad jämförelse, men mitt personliga intryck är att Stockholm är mycket dyrare än Regensburg, en stad i Bavaria. Restauranger, matvaror, hotell, taxibilar och andra föremål kostar mer i Stockholm än i Tyskland. När det gäller livsmedelsbutiker har tyskland mer låga budged livsmedelsbutiker tillgängliga. Lidl, Norma, Aldi, Pennymarkt är bara några av de mest kända. I Sverige är valet av lågbudade butiker få och inte lika tillgängliga. Vilket bidrar till är det blir dyrare att handla mat i Sverige.

5.Stockholm is expensive!
I did not conduct a detailed comparison, but my personal impression is that Stockholm is far more expensive than Regensburg. Restaurants, groceries, hotels, taxis and other items cost more in Stockholm than in Germany. When it comes to grocery shopping germany has far more low budged grocery shops available. Lidl, Norma, Aldi, Pennymarkt are just some of the most known. I Sweden the choice of low budged shops are few and not as accessible.
Hej allihop!