Well, I’ve never done a blog post in my life so if I’m terrible at it don’t tell me and read it anyway.
My name is Jeremy Jones and I am in Stockholm this summer working for the law firm Advokatfirman Urban Olson AB. I arrived in Stockholm this past Friday (5/17/12).
The airport for Stockholm is about a 40 minute bus ride North of the actual city so I got a chance to see some of the Swedish country side as I rode in. By country side I mean suburbs. By suburbs I mean, area that looks pretty much like the United States. The Swedes drive on the “right” side of the road, there are shopping malls and corporate buildings on either side of the road, etc. The drivers who drove Audis, BMW, and Mercedes Benz could be seen in the left lane flying past the buses, 18-wheelers, and slow drivers in the right lane. Honestly, due to my sever jet lag(I left Atlanta at 2:30 pm, gained 6 hours on the plane, and arrived in Stockholm at 7:30 AM, so needless to say, my body/mind was confused), I swore I was still in the US. That is until I reached the city.
The city of Stockholm is unbelievably beautiful. Obviously I did not take this picture, but this give you a general idea of how the city looks.
Basically the city is a connection of Islands and Mainland all connected by various bridges. I’ll talk more about it in some other post, but and just move on to my personal experiences so far.
It is very difficult and expensive to get an apartment here, but I was lucky and found a place to stay, but it was not ready until Monday. Therefore, I stayed in the cheapest hotel possible, which happened to be this little place called the Alexandra Hotel and my room did not even have a window. I won’t go into the details of that phenomenon, but I will say different time zone + no natural lighting = disaster, and we’ll leave it at that.
Moving on to the relevant parts of my experience thus far, I took Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to walk endlessly around the city and try to figure it out. In interest of brevity I’ll summarize my good and bad experiences.
– This place is absolutely beautiful. I haven’t taken many pictures yet, but here’s a random one of the church I walk by every day.
-All(most) Swedes know English. I’ve only encountered one person who I couldn’t talk to.
-The Swedish people as a whole are extremely good looking.
-Everyone I have talked to in stores or otherwise has been extremely nice and helpful and when I apologize for speaking English many of them tell me they prefer to do it. People’s faces literally light up whenever I start speaking english. (further explanation on that phenomenon here: http://www.thelocal.se/40778/20120511/).
-The people at the law firm are extremely nice and helpful. They treat me like I am one of their employees and they always explain the differences in Swedish and American law when an issue arises (and they buy me lunch). I’ll discuss more on them in a later post.
– The weather here is perfect. It stays around 70 degrees all day.
– There are other good things, but I need to get to the bad, or funny experiences.
– Unlike Athens, the crosswalk signals are actually linked to the buttons. Numerous times I have stood at a crosswalk waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and then people join me in waiting, and waiting, and then they walk over and push the button that I am standing by and the signal turns green. Then the scowl at me and walk away.
– Just because most people speak English, does not mean that the restaurants have English menus. My pepperoni pizza ended up being a shrimp, mushroom, pineapple, onion, and salami pizza. I threw it away when I left the store.
– Future advice: Always carry a map. Karlavägen and Kungsgaten may look alike, but one will take you home, the other will lead you to a waaaay different island.
– Further advice: look at signals before walking into a bathroom because it looks like it should be a guys bathroom.
– Everything here is really expensive here. Ex. $20 for a terrible “Texas” hamburger that I will never eat again.
– There is only about 3-4 hours of actual darkness at night which kind of throws me off sometimes.
– That’s really it though.
Sorry the post was so long. I just have had a great experience here so far and wanted to fill everyone in. I’ll post again at a later date. Thanks for reading!
P.S. I didn’t edit this so if there’s errors…too bad.