What to Expect the First Year (in Sweden)*

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.

  1. Bureaucracy

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)*”

New Kid on The Block*

15871834_10158132364510094_4498883074623820572_nI 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.

How, exactly? Continue reading “New Kid on The Block*”

Milla and Mayana Series: The New Girl at School

img_7846Story and Illustration by Hayya Habibi

Editor: Hayu Hamemayu

Milla and Mayana were playing outside before school when few minutes later their parents said:

“C’mon girls, we got to go.”

It was time for school so they ran to the car and went to school.

When they arrived at school, it was still early so they had time to play before the line up. Milla and Mayana saw a new girl so they asked: “What’s your name?”

The new girl answered: “Alua”.

Then they all played together. Continue reading “Milla and Mayana Series: The New Girl at School”

10 Things You Should Know About Lund

IMG_6663
Sunrise over Lunds Domkyrka. Photo by Hayu Hamemayu

1. Lund is one of the oldest cities in Sweden, which can be traced back to Uppåkra settlement in around 100 BC.

2. Lund (and also other parts of Skåne) was once part of Denmark before the Treaty of Roskilde was signed in 1658.

3. Famous as a Christian town at that time, Lund used to have tens of churches scattered around the city, including the most prominent one: Lunds Domkyrka.

4. Lund was suffered from fires and on-and-off battles between Denmark and Sweden in the past. Luckily, the streets in Lund are still following the medieval layout until now. Continue reading “10 Things You Should Know About Lund”

Four Days and Three Nights in Gothenburg

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”