With only 25.75 km² area, Lund is indeed small compare to other cities in Sweden. You can explore the city in three days and you would have literally been everywhere 😄. The city is also bit quiet as the population is just around 90.000 inhabitants and much lesser on July to August, because most of them are student and they leave for summer vacation during those months. Haha.
But, as the second oldest city in Sweden, Lund is rich with history and has remarkable landmarks. I’ve never bored of the idea to stroll around its cobblestone’s streets and enjoy its colourful houses. Besides, there are other things that make me more than just happy for being a Lundensian.
When it comes to technology, Sweden is among the top countries to make the most of it. No wonder the country is getting more and more tech savvy every day. Therefore, acting like the real millennial generation (who relies on mobile application quite a lot) is one of the reasonable options when living in Sweden. Here is the list of mobile apps you should have to help you catch up with the Swedish millennial wave 🙂 .
It is unarguably important to have language apps when you live in a country in which English is not the first language (and you don’t speak the language either). There are plenty options for these kind of apps, ranging from translation based apps like Google Translate and SayHi, to learning based apps like Duolingo and Babbel. So far, I am happy with Google Translate (although sometimes it translate words way too literally) and Duolingo (because it’s fun and gives me sense of accomplishment) but you can always make comparison, take the trials if necessary then decide which one meets your preference.
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.
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.
Hari Jumat kemarin (1/12), sekolah anak saya, Lund International School (LIS) mengadakan Winter Fair, acara sosial tahunan untuk menyambut musim dingin, di mana pihak sekolah dan keluarga saling berkumpul untuk mengenal satu sama lain sekaligus mengumpulkan dana untuk keperluan siswa (fundraising). Event ini juga merupakan momen untuk memamerkan karya-karya siswa, pasar murah, pertunjukan seni dan tak ketinggalan pojok internasional (international corner). Yang saya sebut terakhir merupakan kesempatan bagi semua orang untuk mengenal negara-negara asal siswa yang bersekolah di LIS sekaligus sebagai medium pembelajaran bagi para siswa sendiri.
Awalnya, saya tak berminat mendaftarkan diri untuk membuat Indonesian Corner karena beberapa alasan. Pertama, saya tak membawa banyak barang dari Indonesia untuk dipamerkan (saya bahkan tidak punya bendera Indonesia di sini :D). Kedua, saya tak bisa menari daerah atau memiliki baju daerah sehingga saya tak mungkin unjuk kebolehan di panggung (duh, bahasanya 😀 ). Ketiga, anak saya adalah satu-satunya orang Indonesia di sekolahnya sehingga praktis saya tidak punya rekan yang bisa diajak berkolaborasi untuk merepresentasikan Indonesia di acara Winter Fair tersebut. Membayangkan mengurus semuanya sendirian sudah membuat saya keder duluan. Saya pun berencana untuk membuat makanan Indonesia saja lalu menjualnya sebagai bagian dari usaha penggalangan dana.