Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Living in Lund

I have been living in Lund for a little over 2 and a half months now and think it might be helpful to write a little about what I have been up to. Despite the time, I have yet to do any really touristy things. I have mostly been saving those activities for when friends visit since (hopefully) we will have enough guests that I will get to see most of the touristy sites in good time anyway.

So many bikes.
Lund is a pretty compact place. From the central area of Lund most of the places I tend to go to are within a half hour walk. Not only that but Lund is very bike friendly, there are bikes and bike paths pretty much everywhere and vehicles are really considerate, they make sure that they will only pass you if they can give you plenty of space.

This means that I really have not needed a car or even to use public transport very often. In general it is simply faster to walk than to catch a bus, definitely faster to ride.

I can understand why there is a different attitude regarding distances and locations here. Lund is located in Skåne county in Sweden, this county is about 1000km² smaller than the greater Sydney region. It contains a bunch of cities and towns, all of which are distinct locations, in that they have fields and more rural areas surrounding them. Travelling between Lund and Malmö definitely feels more like travelling between 2 cities than going from say Seaforth to Croydon Park, despite the distances being about the same.

Lund is also old, it was founded somewhere around 1000AD, and it shows it. Not only are lots of old buildings and cobblestone streets around the town, but there are also fountains, statues and runestones just lying around the town. It makes walking around the central area of Lund just a little bit cooler.
Runestones, just sitting there like they are unremarkable!

Day to day I haven't been doing much of interest. Mostly looking at jobs, doing some household chores, grocery shopping and playing some games. The morning is the best time to be online for me, as that is when friends and family are online in Australia. Which is great in terms of contact, less great in terms of getting work done, since the people I am talking to have all finished their work for the day and are relaxing in the evening.

Afternoons are spent on job searching or personal projects. My current project is an exploration of the Steam Trading Web API, which is sadly much more limited than I expected.

Evenings are spent either on Swedish (I go to a course 2 nights a week), Karate or games. My partner and I joined a gaming society here called DMF, which has a play space on the southern side of the town and a lot of regular events. I mostly go to a savage worlds RPG on Monday nights but will probably start going to boardgames on Thursdays again once the Swedish course finishes.

During my first month and a bit here, I was slowly navigating my way into the Swedish system. I had to get my biometric details read so they could make my residency card. Then I needed to wait for it to be delivered. Then I had to find out why it was not being delivered. Then once I finally had it I had to apply for a personnummer, and once I had that I could do little things like make a bank account and register with Arbetsförmedlingen. Now I have a bank account I can do all sorts of things, like add credit to my phone online, join Lund's car pool organisation and order furniture from IKEA.

Right now my partner is in Australia on a trip leaving me to my own devices here in Lund. Just before she took off we got our keys to our new apartment, so while she is away I have been moving. Fortunately a friend from DMF helped out and we carried most of our stuff between the two apartments; fortunately as both places are at least semi-furnished apartments it was mostly clothing, small gadgets and devices. There is still some bits and pieces left at the old place, waiting for me to receive my car pool membership card so I can move them by car. The only other remaining step is receiving and assembling the rest of the furniture we need.

The furnishings in our new place don't include a bed for the master bedroom so we have put in an order with IKEA for that along with a few other useful pieces of furniture, they should arrive sometime on Thursday and on Friday a friend and I will put them together, so that when my partner arrives on Friday one of us won't have to be sleeping on the couch.

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