This is my final post as Work blogger for Sweden.se. It’s been a great experience for me. I began writing in October, 2011 while I prepared to move to Sweden and waited for my work visa. I moved to Uppsala and began working as a technical writer in Stockholm in late November. That was nearly six months ago. The gift of writing a blog was that it made me really pay attention to the little things in my transition from American life to Swedish life.
I’ve come a long way, baby.
- I learned to drive in Swedish roundabouts and reacquainted myself with the manual transmission.
- I navigated the complicated waters of being a foreign citizen in Sweden; learned how to work with the Migration Board and the Tax Agency.
- I convinced a Swedish bank to let me open an account so that I could get receive paychecks from my employer; then waited the months it took to get registered in Sweden so that I could have an account with more benefits, such as the ability to send money owed and to pay for things online.
- I learned to ride the commuter train to work and complain about the delays like a real Swede
- • I watched wacky cartoons and film clips on Christmas and New Year’s eves. Crazy old lady and her butler, anyone? (Who knew about these hidden Swedish customs?)
- I basked in the amazing gluten-free alternatives readily available in Sweden. Wow, gluten-free bread can actually taste good!
- I discovered that Swedes love candles and there are even lit candles at my workplace, outside restaurants and in the airport.
- I discovered what the Swedish ice claw is (not a horror film!)
- I found out that offices in Sweden can be highly mobile. In my office, there aren’t even any landlines.
- I worked on having a Sweden-friendly CV and cover letter. They didn’t have to be in Swedish but they had to have the right tone.
- I went to my first social and professional networking meetings in Stockholm. that took all my courage for some reason.
- I got my work permit extended, obtained a personal number and a Swedish ID—keys to accessing the benefits of Swedish society and moving freely in and out of the country.
- I learned about feathers and witches at Easter and bonfires and rafting at Walpurgis.
I learned that, in Sweden, sometimes you dance around the Christmas tree or the May Pole singing about frogs. And sometimes there are frogs in the road.
You can read my own blog at http://3menandaswede.blogspot.se/
Thanks for reading!