Picking up from where I left off…
When I arrived at Malmo Central, I was met by two genuine Swedes: One, the guy who’s apartment I’ll be subletting for the next 6 months and two, his friend and classmate who happens to own a car. (Not unlike Canada, it’s pretty uncommon for students in Sweden to own a vehicle, so those that do are often on deck for all sorts of errands.)
They drove me back to the apartment – which turned out to be even better than I expected – and gave me the low down on all those niggly bits one has to know when living in a new space (and culture).
This was the first in a long series of favors that people have done for me (and continue to do) since arriving. Stereotypically, Swedes are known for being cold and withdrawn, but this has been so far from my reality here in Malmö that it’s almost laughable. People have, on numerous occasions, went out of their way to help me and I’m eternally grateful for it.
At this point, I crashed. Having almost been up for 24 hours, I was feeling the jet lag hard and opted to have a bit of a (Swedish) power nap. Naively, before traveling I believed this wouldn’t be necessary. “I’ll sleep the whole way” I thought. I even bought a super soft, made-out-of-kittens type airplane pillow to allow this, but no such luck. Sleep required.
Later, I met up with the same folks for a genuine Swedish meal of burgers and fries. “It’s Swedish meat” they told me while fighting back laughter. The (North?) American influence is alive and well in Malmö.
Day 1 in Sweden complete.