When Sweden Tells You "No"
I’ve been living in Sweden for a little over two months now and it has been so incredibly beautiful and I’m feeling more and more at home or whatever you’re supposed to feel.
Sweden has a lot of really great stuff going for it. But just like everywhere else it has it’s shit that doesn’t make sense. Something I’ve been running into a lot recently.
I really am constantly in awe of how complicated it is to get anything done here. When I say ‘anything’ I mean bank accounts, phone plans, government ID, paying rent, etc. It seems that with everything that needs to be completed from a legal standpoint I am met with a “no” and then a list of other things that they want me to do in order to do the first thing. No one warns you about this and from what I understand from other international students this. is. not. normal. Like the sheer amount of stuff that needs to happen mixed with the insane wait times is not a common thing here in Europe (thank god) but it seems that I’ve somehow chosen the most complicated country to try to get my shit together in. (for reference, you need a Swedish personal number/ID card to do ANYTHING and that took about 2 months to make happen). Cheers to that.
My venture thus far with the Swedish system has clearly been less than simple, it’s been complicated, senseless at times (most times) and seemingly directionless. I also take into account the privilege that I carry here by speaking English, by having the means to be here financially and also by the way that I look.
I’ve had a lot of moments of "fuck, if only I’d gone to school 3 hours south or west I probably wouldn’t be dealing with this shit I don’t understand" but alas, here we are. Telling yourself that “it’s part of the experience” only works for so long and I’m starting to figure that out.
Sweden is good though. More than good, I’m fascinated by it and the culture that surrounds it. Perhaps even more so, I love how accessible it is to go anywhere in Europe (especially northern obviously). Last weekend I had an extra day off and decided to take a 3 hour train ride down to Copenhagen just “cuz” and it was SO easy (post up about that soon). That flexibility is all I wanted when I moved here. It’s just as simple to get to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo (plus a few hours but still) as it was for me to get from Bard to New York and I just LOVE it. Eventually I want to check out the northern parts of Sweden. From what I hear few people live there (wonder why..) and I’m sure that my waiting until winter to check it out might be regrettable later but maybe not.
Still getting my bearings here but slowly figuring it out and learning to stand my ground when told “no”. Sweden has been a big lesson in patience and waiting and I absolutely have not learned either yet but maybe at the end of this I will have. Stay tuned as always kiddos and thank you for reading.