Since I moved to Sweden in September 2015, I’ve had to learn to get used to a lot of different aspects of life. I’m in another country on the other side of the world from my native country after all.
Aside from the obvious like the language difference, there are some aspects of Swedish life that I’m still getting used to. Here are two of them:
It seems to be very common to have to book laundry times. If you live in an apartment, chances are, you need to book laundry times each week. You share a laundry room with other people and book the room. This can be done in various ways, these include:
- Digitally (have heard of this, never done it)
- Writing your apartment number in the spreadsheet in the bulletin board
- Using your apartment peg and moving it to the time slot you want
The need to book laundry means that evenings can be taken up by doing laundry – so “Sorry, I can’t go out tonight – I’ve got laundry” is a legit excuse.
This is the big one for me. And there are a few reasons why the apartment living situation here still really sticks out to me.
We live in an apartment block and are surrounded by heaps of apartment blocks (I don’t know how far away exactly the nearest house is – I doubt it’s within walking distance though). So I find it strange that we seem to have so many dogs who live with their owners in apartments. I see some owners come out of apartments with dogs that are the same size as labradors.
Second: renting vs buying an apartment
I remember back in NZ it seemed to be a really big deal if you get on the property ladder (manage to buy a house or apartment). For example: When I had friends buy a house or apartment, they’d make an announcement on Facebook and then get a bunch of likes and comments saying “Congratulations”.
In Sweden, it’s a bit different. Finding an apartment to rent is bloody hard, even if you raise your budget and try to live further from the city, you really need to just be lucky in my opinion. It seems that if you’re looking for an apartment to rent in Sweden (at least in the main cities), people’s version of advice is “why don’t you buy an apartment?”
Third: Interest in size
Here’s a common situation:
New visitor enters apartment
New visitor: How big is your apartment?
Owner/renter: XX square metres
(If the person is renting their apartment) New visitor: How much do you pay in rent?
Owner/renter: XXX kronor
This situation has started to become normal to me – but I can’t remember anything similar to this ever happening back in NZ.