I have been in Lund for almost 2 months now and a question that understandably pops up a lot from both locals and people at home is "How are you finding Sweden?" It is a question I find difficult to answer properly, mostly because the main content of my answer seems so obvious. Sweden is cold and everything is in Swedish.
When I arrived in Lund there was snow on the ground and the temperature was around the 0-2 degree range. Now it is officially spring in Skåne and it has really warmed up. We are seeing high temperatures of 8-10 degrees and lows in the 3-4 range, to give some perspective this means it is almost as warm as the coldest month in Sydney. This isn't a complaint, obviously the climates are different and I am not exactly a stranger to colder climates, but this is the first time I have been living in one rather than been on holiday.
The climate a huge range of things, buildings are constructed differently, homes contain places to hang your coat and put your shoes, bathrooms are heated, curtains and blinds seem more important and outside doors all open inwards. Fashions are obviously different, scarves, gloves and beanies are clearly a much bigger thing this time of year, but it would seem there is a wider range of clothing and styles which fortunately as a man I can remain mostly ignorant of.
Now it is spring the flowers are blooming and you can see the buds of leaves growing in the trees, which is heartening, but I will be happier when they have actual leaves and not buds. Most of the trees simply read as dead to me.
Pretty much everything is written in Swedish, certainly all the official correspondence. This is not technically a surprise, I mean Swedish is the official language but was hard to anticipate how it would impact me.
It clearly isn't as problematic as it could be since pretty much everyone here speaks English well enough that I am never worried that I can't be understood. But it also means that in a supermarket or department store, not only is the layout not quite what I would expect, but I can't use the navigation signs as easily.
It means when I opened my bank account or signed up for my phone plan I received some fairly weighty documents that I cannot read. Ultimately it makes pretty much every little breakdown in a system much more frustrating as I simply don't know where the issue lies or even where to start. I don't know if it was my mistake, or a mistake in someone else's hands. I don't know where to start to mitigate problems nor necessarily what the expected behaviour is.
I expect the frustrating to go away with familiarity, both with Swedish and the systems in play.