Wow! Time is flying fast and my first month in Borlänge is over!
The first months in a foreign country are full of new discoveries and unknown situations. Therefore, I decided to put down a list of few things that I have come across in Sweden in my first month living here and found different or important to know:
- Almost everyone speaks English so you will be fine without learning Swedish, but it’s always better to know the basic phrases or words.
- Time is king – the earlier you plan your journeys (e.g. with the train), the less they will cost.
- If you live outside of Borlänge, you might have to order the buses 2 hours ahead even if they are written in the schedule (you would see a phone next to the time). Sometimes a taxi would come instead
- Being on time means being 10 minutes early.
- Buying your alcohol beforehand is the key to a good evening! Since the alcohol with more than 3,5‰ can only be bought in special shops called Systembolaget, you should remember to go there in advance when planning a party since it is only opened Mon-Fri 10-19 and Saturday 10-15. Also, there are only two Systembolagets in Borlänge – one in the centre and one next to Ikea.
- Nightlife ends at 2 a.m. latest and if you go to one of the clubs in the centre, you will notice many stands with coffee and food appearing after midnight.
- There are picnic tables everywhere (beside the lakes, in the woods…), also with places to barbeque. Apparently, Swedes like to barbeque in every weather and at every occasion.
- Filter coffee is everywhere, if you want a real espresso you will have to go to a regular coffee shop.
- In every kebab place they make pizzas, also with kebab meat on it. Also, you must not forget to put the kebab sauce on top of every pizza!
- Swedes avoid conflicts – they would rather call the police or appropriate authority than telling you in person that you are doing something they disagree with.