When in Sweden…

It’s not too good to sweat the small things. Moving to a different country for a few months is difficult, and there are a lot of large reasons for that. But today I want to dedicate a blog post to the little things. The small things that are different.

1. Lots of elevators are tiny, or at the very least, rather thin. It can be difficult to fit a large group of people inside. And by large, I mean 4 people. Add to that stuffed backpacks and puffy winter coats, and you’ve got a padded tetris going on.

Is this a NY apartment?

2. Many doors are automatic. That’s not to say that they have sensors though. There have been many times I’ve walked to a door, pushed on it, and looked like a fool because the door won’t budge.

At the Royal College of Music, where DIS is located, the doors have an unlock button and an open button. Alternatively, you can push down on the giant lever on the actual door.

3. The dairy. Oh, the dairy. There’s one major dairy producer in Sweden: Arla. But the sheer amount of products they put out can be overwhelming when you go to your local ICA for the first time. There’s an entire spectrum of milk, milk-yogurt, yogurt, butter, sour cream, cream, cream cheese, and cheese. And of course they all come with different fat contents, from 0.5% to 1.5% to 3%.

These yogurt-like substances not only are different, but taste different. Even I, a homestay student, struggle with our limited selection in the fridge. All I know is that the right-most one is the worst, although my host mom seems to love it.

4. Here, we have a nuisance common to the study abroad experience. Adaptors. Large, clunky, easy to forget. Because every country must have a different outlet. Don’t forget them.

This little pal could not be more unforgiving. My poor senile 2015 MacBook Pro is draining ever so quickly nowadays, and the adaptor’s the only thing that can bring it life. The two have been spending a lot of time with each other, and yet they can’t seem to stay together when it matters.

5. Where are the veggies?! Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been eating meat. Vegetables do exist here; they’re just tougher and more expensive. Because Sweden is a cold country. And lots of things don’t grow in cold, icy ground. Including vegetables. Animals, though, don’t grow out of the ground.

It’s more pasta, sausages, potatoes, meatballs than I’m used to. But that’s not to say that it can’t be good food. It can be good food. (By the way, that’s a stock image if you couldn’t already tell. I have had it though, and it was delicious. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of it. Hence the stock photo.)
I looked in the freezer the other day and saw a box of 5-year-old frozen strawberries (it’d be the middle sibling of the 4 kids in my host family!). So needless to say, this goes for fruits as well.

So in other words, take note when in Sweden.

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