Reflections: A Month in Sweden

Passed it has, A month in Sweden. From being a lazy blob of fat, to-now doing almost everything by myself is quite a drastic change i never expected. But yes, life always has its own set of perks coming at a cost.

Meeting varied people from across borders, coming from various educational and cultural backgrounds is one of the most unique experience in the past one month. A more serious aspect of this I hope to take up in another post.

Food: One of the biggest change since coming here is the food. Food here is bland and lacks the various spices I am used to back in India. Though a foodie, I never tried cooking back home, here, I have no choice but to cook. Over the month raghu and I have got much better at cooking(atleast non-veg). It did take a while to find different spices and vegetables here. The best part about being a foodie and not experienced in cooking- is the various combinations you get to try instead of settling for the same old menu.

Culture: The whether here is quite different from most parts of the world. Summers have longer days and its the other way round in winter, Also a lot colder. I believe this to be one of the most important factors for the swedish society to have evolved such a culture. The importance given to nature is one of those things I admire here.

Importance is given not only to a job, but also equally to personal activities. I had heard of this work culture while working at Nokia Siemens but now to experience it first hand is totally a different feel.

Talking about culture there is one activity has to be mentioned: Almost every year in the months of august and September a fair is organized over weekends. People from across the city come to sell old goods at a low price. [[]]It wasn’t the low prices that made me like this, it was the sense that everyone had about recycling stuff. If he/she  did not find use of an article, instead of throwing it away they sell it to someone who finds the article useful. There was no discrimination in the people who came. Most of them came in cars :D

Travels within the city Traveling is something I have always loved. Travels within the city have mainly been on foot. Taking a new path to college everyday has made us discover more of the city than we could by looking up at the Internet and then visiting the place.

Slottsskogen:- One of the biggest parks in the city, it seems to cover about 147 hectares in area. The park has a zoo housing birds, land and water animals. The moose, seals and gotland ponies to name a few animals unique to this part of the world are housed in this zoo. The park is located on a hilly region, giving a complete panoramic view of the city from top. The park serves as a cultural meeting point. This park is at a 10 minute walk from where I live and happens to be enroute to the university. Situated on the top is a structure that resembles a castle tower and after a long time we finally found the route to this place. Though it is a peak it does not provide a complete view of the city cause of the tree cover along the slopes. 

Botanical garden: The university of gothenburg, maintains the botanical garden. The garden has a wide variety of plants and flowers. well maintained and its open to all.

These were the two big named places visited, apart from this we have walked through various parts of the city exploring and asusual hunting for food.

* Travels on the outskirts and intercity* Outside the main gothenburg city we traveled to the archipelagos, not very far. The ferry rides, sea breeze was again a totally new experience as I come from a landlocked region in India. So far we have visited 4 islands in the archipelagos. The trip to the farthest island stays most memorable. A bigger island, than the others but its houses very few people compared to the other islands. It houses a beautiful nature reservoir. As usual we explored the island on foot, hopping over boulders crossing smaller islands connected by a line of boulders.

Far from the city I had been to Stockholm for two days to meet relatives. Stockholm too is a very beautiful city. Though it is said to be around 500 years old, the infrastructure is brilliant. Almost the whole city is connected by rail and the service comes at a very affordable price. But as the capital it is quite crowded. From my experience, if  stockholm is the mumbai of sweden, then gothenburg is definately the bangalore of sweden.

Travels across borders On one of our exploratory walks across this place we happened to see a cruise ship. On some googleing it turned out that this ship goes to frederikshavn a small port in Denmark. It was a 3 hour journey. So we set out on a one day trip to Denmark on board a ship. It was quite a unique experience and one I shall not forget.


Over all-this first month here was quite adventurous and fun. Did start learning quite a number of new things. Yes, there are few things you miss out on. Like today is software freedom day and if I was there, i would be giving a talk to a bunch of enthusiastic students about freedom software and hardware. Or the crazzy work I would have done in impulses late in the night ;)