Sebagai generasi yang lahir pertengahan 1980an, saya adalah generasi MTV yang masa pembentukan karakternya dihiasi dengan menonton boyband lalu lalang di televisi. NSync, Westlife, Backstreet Boys, Boyzone adalah sederet grup yang wajah para personilnya menghiasi dinding kamar saya, berdampingan dengan poster para pemain sepak bola.
Namun, selain sebagai generasi MTV, saya juga adalah generasi 90an yang tumbuh dengan menonton film India di salah satu stasiun televisi yang (waktu itu) mengklaim dirinya sebagai televisi pendidikan 😅. Inspektur Vijay, Nandini si Siluman Ular, dan Tuan Takur adalah nama-nama yang tidak asing di telinga saya. Sewaktu SD, merekalah yang kerap saya lihat siang-siang sepulang sekolah (secara tidak utuh karena pasti ceritanya sudah hampir selesai ketika saya sampai di rumah).
Pengalaman menonton film India yang tidak utuh itu belakangan ternyata memberikan satu memori khusus bagi saya. Terutama ketika salah seorang teman sekelas saya di masa SMP mengajak saya menonton “Kuch-kuch Hota Hai“, drama romantis ala India yang ceritanya berputar di persoalan cinta dan persahabatan (iya klise iya, ga usah dibahas 😀 ). Saya yang sedang di masa puber, seketika langsung terpesona pada film itu (juga pada Shahrukh Khan, ahem!), dan mulai berpikir bahwa jatuh cinta lalu tiba-tiba menari dan bernyanyi mengelilingi pohon di kala hujan itu seru juga 😅 . Sebegitu tersihirnya saya dengan film tersebut, sampai-sampai saya menabung untuk membeli kaset berisi lagu-lagunya. #semuaorangpernahalaydimasanya 😀
People say the first year of everything is actually the hardest. What about the first year living in Sweden? Well, it’s not easy, I must say. But, if you know what to expect, you will know how to deal with that.
Welcome to Sweden!
First thing first: get your personnumer and your Swedish ID as soon as possible. These two things are essential for your new life in Sweden. Brace yourself during these times, as Skatteverket will be your number one office to visit. Expect a long queue so come to the office early. Make sure you provide every document they need and double check no document is missed. Then, whenever you are in doubt, ask!
I know that coming to Skatteverket office over and over can be really exhausting (and boring!), but it is unquestionably important to keep your eyes on the whole process. I personally had quite an experience with Skatteverket when my personnumer application was rejected but I didn’t know it sooner because for some reasons I didn’t receive the rejection letter. Later I knew it was because my residence permit was almost expired at that time so I needed to renew it first to be able to apply for personnumer. Thus, if you found something suspicious with your application, like the duration of the process or no reply after two weeks, do not hesitate to check it in nearby Skatteverket office. Continue reading “What to Expect the First Year (in Sweden)*”
I can still remember, vividly, the first moment when I got off from Öresundtåg at Lund’s Central Station. The cold winter air was slapping on my face like waking me up from a long dream, and I whispered excitedly to myself: “Okay, this is real.” But then, I stepped out outside the station and that was when my new kid on the block moment began.
My first days in Sweden were a combination of anxiety and excitement. Everything was just so different from my home country or any other places I have visited: the weather app seems to never predict correctly since the weather changes almost all the times, the shops close quite early, and everyone seems too busy to have small talks with stranger. I felt lonely and detached. I felt like everybody was looking at me as if there was something wrong with my face. I also felt completely lost in translation, literally and figuratively. I remember going to the nearest shop worrying about what the shopkeeper might say in Swedish.
Then, I realised that most of the times, those were all just my own uneasiness. I mean nobody said moving to a new place would be easy. But, it is actually a choice, to drown into hassle that I create myself, or to start embrace every moment and get familiar with the Swedish ways of life. I chose the latter and made some changes.
On the last week of December 2017, we had an unplanned trip to Gothenburg. It was a simultaneous one which needed less than a week to prepare. This is new as usually we plan a trip way too far from the D day 😅. We were previously uncertain about having a trip for the year end. Mostly because we were kinda broke after the long trip on August-October. Haha. Also because we were about to move to a new place by the end of the month. We thought that even if we wanted to go somewhere, it was gonna be on early January when things would already be settled.
But then, Zaki said he desperately needed a break from his work, Hayya was having a winter break already, and every one I know was traveling 😄 so we thought the time couldn’t be more perfect. Soon I started to calculate this and that to make itinerary in a short time. Zaki said he wanted an easy trip. The one that didn’t require so much adventure like we normally had :D. He just wanted to relax and escape from his routine. I came up with some ideas. I proposed Prague (because we heard that it’s so beautiful), Jordan (because we have good friends whose families live there), Aarhus (because we wanted to pay a visit to some friends) and somewhere in Sweden (because it’s easier, cheaper, and less hassle). Continue reading “Four Days and Three Nights in Gothenburg”