I live in Solna, a suburb running just along the northern edge of Stockholm’s city center. The area is dotted with office buildings, malls and apartment complexes for the most part, where janitors live next door to businessmen. Today, its tree-lined streets are paved in an orangy gold from leaves fallen with the steady sprinkle that’s gone on since this morning. To the weather’s defense, it’s the first rainy day since I arrived.
Week 1 in Sverige
My new hometown
A long-awaited visa suddenly came through a couple of weeks ago, and was delivered to me via a FedEx envelope with an undistinguishable name and address. It’s a miracle the package arrived at all, much less only two days after I’d finally spoken to someone at the Swedish Migration Board, nearly begging them to take action after five endless months. They did, and I was on my way nine days later, 85 lbs of baggage in tow, bringing me to the point at which I am now: at the kitchen table of my new, cozy flat sipping on Moroccan Mint tea.
view out the front door of my apt bldg
There are two good things about the precise location of the flat I share with my Niklas:
1) It’s only about 5 stops on the metro system – the “tunnelbana” – from the city center. Walk 7 minutes through a lovely park, descend one of Europe’s l o n g e s t escalators, hop on the carriage, and 10 minutes later you’re SMACK in the middle of things.
2) There’s a pub with excellent kebabs on the ground floor of the apartment building. Which means that any given night when I …. er Nik doesn’t feel like cooking, we just head downstairs and order a delicious kebab (the biggest I’ve ever seen). This proved extremely convenient last weekend after our 6-hour trip to Ikea via bus-train-bus. Although on the way back, arms full with our newly purchased stuff for the apt, we couldn’t find the bus and had to walk the last leg of our journey – about 2k. The kebab and kebab pizza never tasted so good.
It’s certainly been a week of new experiences, and coming to the realization that I need to learn Swedish pronto. Which has become my new long-term goal. That and the small detail of finding a job to support myself in this ridiculously expensive place. Until then, I’ll just try not to convert to US$ and enjoy my new life in Sverige!