Spring term…it doesn’t have too much of spring right? But believe it or not this is one of the hottest winters according with the Swedes, is half of January and we didn’t go that much below cero degrees and the snow…where is the snow? Anyways this season is the one in which a lot of new students come to study. As I stated in my last blog the first time that I came to Gothenburg I was pretty much lost with some words or concepts that people used to use, but I wasn’t the only one (Thanks god!), so this time I present you the ultimate dictionary for international upcoming students!
1. After Work
Every Friday you and your friends have to get ready for going out early because is Afterwork Friday! A lot of bars offer food to accompany your drink. For example, you get a beer in a bar and together with the beer you can pick food from a buffet, yes it sounds awesome! Don’t be picky if you see that the food is not the best quality or the most varied, it is food and it is good! J Take this as an opportunity to be with your friends hang out and welcome the weekend. Why don’t you try different Afterworks every Friday? It can become a tradition for you and your group of friends, think about it 😉
Västraffik is an agency that regulates the public transport services in Gothenburg. You can recognize the institutional colors blue and white that characterizes the institution. Once you arrive here one of the first things that you have to do is to buy a card for the public transport (if you are under 26 years old you will have a discount 😉 ). The card will allow you to take the tram, bus or ferry inside the city during one month, three months or one year. They are a lot of plans to buy a card so pick the one more suitable for you. Sometimes people of Västraffik jump on the tram or bus to check your card and if you don’t have it they will give you a high fee. So the best thing is to go with the rules, buy the card and travel safe.
I have to confess that when I got to Sweden I didn’t have a sweet tooth but now I get grumpy if I don’t have a coffee and something sweet in the middle of the afternoon. The Fika is this: coffee+something sweet (cupcake, cake or cookies). So whenever you heard the word Fika! Be prepared to have some spare time with a good coffee.
Fika time! mmm delicious, but if you are new in town remember to accompany your coffee with a delicious kanelbullar! You have to try this cinnamon bun which is a Swedish specialty J. You can find it in almost all the supermarkets in town and also in bakeries or small shops like 7eleven.
Did you make some research about traditional Swedish dishes? Well, one of the most popular dishes in Sweden are the meatballs. This dish is normally accompanied with smashed potatoes or French fries and a delicious cranberry sauce. You can find this dish in some restaurants but a common place to eat it is in IKEA ;).
Are you looking for a blanket? Maybe you need candles? Or for some reason do you need a stuffed teddy bear? Then IKEA is the place to be! IKEA is an international chain of shops with household items (Don’t get confused, it is international but it was created in Sweden!), in this you can find whatever you can imagine to furnish and decorate your place. Besides the nice design it is also cheap and you can find stuff for set from top to bottom your kitchen, bathroom and room. Have a look to your closest IKEA, call some friends and go! You don´’t really need to buy things, you can go to explore IKEA and have a Kötbullar lunch.
In some specific seasons of the year you will walk on the streets and see once and once again the word REA. When you see this it mean something: Sales! So if you are looking for something specific and you see the sign REA on it is your lucky day 😉 .
The systembolaget is the state liquor store of Sweden. In this you can find alcohol from all the nationalities! I tried to find Bolivia but at least I found Argentina and some other Latin American drinks. The schedule for buying liquor in the Systembolaget is not that flexible so if you want to go to a party take a look to the schedule of the closest systembolaget, they are all around Gothenburg so don’t worry.
Nordstan is the biggest shopping center in Gothenburg. Inside you can find a variety of brands of clothes, shoes, food, sweets, bakery, supermarkets, electronics and more! If you have a free afternoon go with your friends, walk around, have a Fika and enjoy it! Take the tram or bus to Brunnsparken and you are there.
10. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
He is Zlatan, he is a football player and he is from Sweden. Don’t you ever tell that he is French and you’ll be safe with the Swedes, that’s it.