As my time in Sweden is drawing to a rapid close (where has all the time gone?!), I thought I’d write a blog about some of the things I think are wonderful about the country, and that I’m going to miss.
- The smaller gap between rich and poor, giving the place a greater feeling of equality (one of the things I first noticed about Malmö was how happy the bus drivers are, in comparison to Adelaide bus drivers, who are generally among the grumpiest people you could ever meet).
- The greater gender equality (a Swedish toy company released the first gender-free toy catalogue for this Christmas).
- Equal marriage.
- The view towards refugees, asylum seekers, and even immigrants in general – viewing them as commodities rather than as burdens, and seeking ways to help them rather than to warn them off.
- The student choir, they’re simply amazing and I wish I could take them all home with me.
- Swedish Christmas carols – they are so pretty! Check out Himlen Hänger Stjärnsvart, Nar Det Lider Mot Jul, or Jul, Jul, Strålande Jul.
- The general feel of Christmas – it finally feels like a real Christmas, like the ones you see in the movies and on television, with snow, and mulled wine, hot chocolate with real chocolate in it, adorable little winter markets, and lights set up in trees and up lampposts all around the city.
- Just the general attractiveness of Malmö – I feel like they put so much more effort into making public spaces beautiful, such as parks, cemeteries, and footpaths. I know by European standards this probably isn’t a particularly special looking city, but compared to Adelaide, it’s beautiful to be able to drive past gorgeous old buildings and European architecture every day.
- Living with international students – on my floor of ten, each person is from a different country, and it’s wonderful.
- Hearing different languages in class every day, or on the bus, or in our kitchen.
And so much more! Although I am looking forward to going home, and seeing my friends, family, and the sun, I really am going to miss Sweden.