10 things I learned in the first month

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:

  1. Almost everyone speaks English so you will be fine without learning Swedish, but it’s always better to know the basic phrases or words.
  2. Time is king – the earlier you plan your journeys (e.g. with the train), the less they will cost.
  3. 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
  4. Being on time means being 10 minutes early.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Filter coffee is everywhere, if you want a real espresso you will have to go to a regular coffee shop.
  9. 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!
  10. 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.

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