Third Year Reflection*

As the year-end is approaching, I would like to use this blog post as a medium of reflection. A look back to where it all started three years ago. This month in 2016, I moved to Sweden from my home country. Time has passed by and many things have happened ever since, including having an additional member in the family. So it just feels right to see how it was and how it has been as a newbie living in Sweden.

And here are some random facts about Sweden that I learnt during my first three years of living in the country:

Sweden is a good place to raise kid

From free education to nearly free healthcare, Sweden is one of a few places I can think of when it comes to a “family friendly” country. Yes, the system is bit frustrating sometimes and requires lots of things to do—filling out forms, queuing, making calls to name a few. But once you got in, the safety net is always there.

Sweden also seems to care about and is willing to take part in children development. One tiny example is when my baby turned 6 months old, she received a free choice book from Lund’s state library. From what I understand, it’s a part of the program to encourage reading and literacy (such important skills for kids to have indeed).

Apart from those, generous parental leave, celebrated equality and recognition of universal values are the things that Sweden offers. And those are the list I would love to tick as a parent. Anyway, read more about the rights as parents in Sweden here.

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Swedish Sayings I Wish I Knew Before Moving to Sweden*

Like many other countries, Sweden has plenty of expressions, idioms and sayings rooted in history and tradition. Some of them can be found in other languages, or at least share similar meaning like “Beat around the bush” and “Gå som katten kring het gröt” (English: walks like the cat around hot porridge). Some others are quite exceptional.

Despite its hilarious literal meanings, these sayings are actually relatable to everyday life in Sweden. Personally, I found some sayings are helpful in understanding Swedish values, and for that reason I wish I knew them earlier 😀

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The writing that helped Hayu re-find herself*

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The move to Sweden became a major transition for Hayu Rahmitasari. In order not to feel idle, she took up writing. Now she has released her first novel – which may be adapted into series.

December 2016, Hayu Rahmitasari moved from Yogyakarta, Indonesia with her then six-year-old daughter. Her husband, Zaki, had received a doctoral position in Lund and they first thought of a long-distance marriage. But after eight months, the distance became too large so she resigned from her job as lecturer at the university in her hometown and moved afterward.

The couple are both media and communication scholars and in fact they were also “competitors” for a while.

“We applied for the same doctoral position, but at that time we did not understand that it was only one position available in Lund. He was the one who was eventually hired.”

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Embracing the Typically Swedish habits*

Living in a new country brings its own excitement and challenges. The first years are usually dubbed as the honeymoon phase. This is the moment when everything seems so bright, fresh and exciting.

Then soon, things become routine and less fascinating than before. In a matter of time, we started to settle and eventually adopted the new habits, including the habits in eating. Either we consciously do it on purpose, or it just comes naturally, we’ll find ourselves embrace the new habit, no matter how strange we thought it was.

This is actually a good sign as you’ve had become part of another culture, and it has changed the way you look at people, life, and even yourself.

After living in Sweden for almost three years, here are the things that I found unusual at the beginning but now I got used to them:

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Moving to Lund Evokes the Passion to Write*

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Hayu Rahmitasari writes about life in Lund for a website called The Newbie Guide to Sweden. Recently, she published her first novel in Indonesia.

I always try to see the golden edge.

Hayu Rahmitasari left a good job in Indonesia to start a new life in Lund. The move was  a challenge but at the same time it opened the opportunity to write about life in Sweden and also fiction. Recently, she released her first novel published by an Indonesian publisher.

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Kali Kelima

Kami pindah rumah lagi!

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Ya, awal April lalu kami pindah rumah lagi. Dan ini adalah kepindahan saya yang keempat, serta kelima untuk suami. Sewaktu mengunggah foto terakhir di Stångby beberapa waktu yang lalu, sejumlah kawan mengira kepindahan kami adalah back for good. Bahwa program S3 suami sudah selesai dan kami pulang ke Indonesia.

Itu hoax. Hehe.

Tidak terbukti valid dengan metode apapun 😄

Faktanya, kami masih di Swedia. Program suami baru menjelang seminar ketiga (dari total empat). Jadi masih separuh jalan lebih sedikit. Doakan saja semoga bisa selesai di waktu yang baik untuk semua 🙏🏼

Anyway, kami memang pergi dari Stångby. Tapi ”cuma” pindah rumah. Soal pindah-pindah rumah ini sudah pernah saya singgung sekilas di unggahan saya yang ini, tapi lebih lengkapnya akan saya bahas di sini. Siapa tahu bisa mengalihkan kepenatan dari ingar bingar Pemilu 😄

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Where to shop second-hand stuff in Lund?*

As a country that is eager to create a zero waste society, second-hand items are highly valued in Sweden. It goes beyond lifestyle and has become an essential part of Swedish everyday life. Swedes have been said to have a deeply rooted habit of selling and donating old things, which means there are plenty of second-hand items to buy throughout the country. Where to find them in Lund?

Erikshjälpen

Erikshjälpen is one of the most popular second-hand shops in Lund. It has two branches: one in Stora Södergatan 25, not too far from Botulfsplatsen bus station and the other one is located in Öresundsvägen 16, a little bit outside the city centrum. Selling almost everything you need for your home, Erikshjälpen is like the second-hand version of IKEA and even better because it sells other brands too.

Here you can find various items, from a set of antique spoons to books in English to bulky furniture.

The Öresundsvägen branch is bigger than the one in Lund city. However, it has limited opening hours. It only opens on Tuesday, Thursday (11.00-18.00) and Saturday (10.00-16.00). Expect a large crowd when you come on Saturday, as it seems to be the favourite day for the customer. Here in the Öresundsvägen branch, you can also treat yourself with fika because it has a mini café inside the store.

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