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Jim On Sweden – Been Here A Week, All Is Good

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I’ve been here in Haninge about a week, and I am getting a little more acclimated to the way that living here might go.  The city of Stockholm is beautiful – more beautiful than it has ever appeared in pictures I’ve seen – and the town of Haninge (where I am living) is less than beautiful.  I’ve found places here to shop for groceries (Coop and ICA), and I found a store that is a lot like a Big Lots (Oob) – comparatively, everything is a little more expensive than back home, especially red meat and chicken.  I was surprised to see that even salmon is a bit more expensive here, but crawfish and shrimps are much cheaper than in the United States.

I am meeting so many great people here – my dorm mates are from Iran, Sweden, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, India, Canada, Sri Lanka, France, China, Thailand, Chile, and a fellow American.  The kitchen is the most excellent place to converse, and it seems like every time I go in there, I leave after having some kind of great discussion.  This weekend I went in for coffee, and left 45 minutes later after talking about OLEDs.

One of the weirdest things that I have noticed is that my listening skills have exponentially grown in a matter of days – having people from so many different countries with so many different inflections on English is one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had with people.

I enjoy traveling with people to common places like the grocery and the city, and I am sure that we’ll be traveling in groups to other countries and cities around Sweden.  I’ve had my camera in my bag nearly everywhere I’ve gone so far, and I probably look like a tourist white guy, but I could care less.  This country is beautiful, and these people I am spending time with and getting ready to learn with are great.

Some things I’ve learned in the last week:

  • red meat is expensive here.
  • in Russian, you say “kind morning” instead of “good morning”
  • people in several languages say “pardon my French” before they swear
  • yogurt is not sweet everywhere
  • I have muscles in my legs and back that haven’t had exercise in years from walking so much
  • public transit is awesome

Anyone interested in seeing some pics?  I’m uploading everything to my Flickr account, and I’ll be posting random images here and there on the blog.  Check out these latest pics:

Waiting on the bus back from ICA grocery – we missed the first one…

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Our group at the flagship Ikea!  Francisca, Kunal, me, Tatiana, Uthayan, Saghi, and Orquidea:

trip to ikea

Me, Tatiana, Francisca, and Kunal waiting for Saghi and Orquidea to get to the train station back to Haninge:

waiting at Ikea station

A sight we don’t often see in Dallas:

SL train

Ikea and flags – the only difference between American Ikea and Swedish Ikea is language:

Ikea flagship

This one is for my dad – everywhere I go, I take a picture of my feet in that country:

sweden_feet