Moving to Sweden part 3

We made our way into the flat, even though the flat was barren it felt nice stepping into a warm place. I knew there and then that we made the right decision in moving to sweden. I also knew we had a long and hard journey ahead. We reached Gävle around 9 pm and by then my two daughters were exhausted, so I put the madrass we bought on the floor, made it as cosy as we could, got some of our essentials unpacked, got ready for bed and shortly after they were both sleeping. I don’t remember much of that night except realizing how internet connection is vital for survival specially in the winter months, and specially when you just moved to a new country, a new place you have yet to call home, you desperately want to watch something so you can lie your head down and feel comfortable and just rewind. And so our new journey began, the next morning we woke up to our girls checking out the new place. We all got dressed in layers of winter clothes and stepped out for the first time to buy some breakfast and lunch to bring home. We quickly realized we underestimated the snow and the below zero degree, it was cutting your skin cold and the snow came up to our knees. It was all overwhelming with two young children but we got thought it. Imagine how our breakfast tasted after coming home with it, we felt like real life Vikings. If we could survive this, we could survive anything.

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…

 

 

 

Gamla Stan series |End of Summer

 

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German Church – Gamla Stan

Hi friends,

As the summer nears it end, I can’t help but reflect on this summer and all the nice times I’ve had in Stockholm. I can honestly say I’ve had one of the best summer’s ever. I enjoy the simple things in life nowadays, the other day I took my kids out for some ice cream in old town (Gamla Stan) and walked around just being in the moment. Life with kids can be hectic and its nice to take time out to just be present, we often get lost in the high speed of life chasing it all, trying to be it all. Exhausting ourselves, not having enough energy left to enjoy our kids endless love and desire for our attention. Parenting is the hardest job you will ever do, and being more present is where is at😊 . 🎩 off to all the parents

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!