Sweden: day one

Due to overwhelming demand for updates regarding my experiences living in Sweden, I figured I should maintain some sort of blog, at least until I get bored with it and abandon the project, leaving my followers worried and confused. Since I already have this semi-abandoned blog, it makes sense to not create another one. If you are only here to read about my life in Sweden, just bookmark http://blog.meshul.am/category/person/. You will then be spared my ramblings about Linux hacks, electronic music, baking, information design, and any other non-narcissistic topic I care to cover.

I just arrived in Stockholm about ten hours ago, so I haven’t had much time to unpack/explore/settle in yet. I went straight from the airport to my home for the next month: a studio apartment just a few minutes’ walk from my office. It’s laid out like a hotel room with a tiny kitchen in a closet-sized room.

apartment
This is my apartment

Even in my short amount of time here, I’ve managed to make a mess of the place

…and the kitchen:

kitchen
This is my kitchen. It's much bigger in real life

After dropping off my stuff, I caught the tail end of the lunch special at a tapas restaurant near my apartment. Then I headed to the office to set up my desk and say hi to people.  At the office I also got my Swedish residence card, which has more watermarks and security features than every other ID card I own combined. I guess the Swedes take that kind of stuff seriously.

After work I stopped by Coop, one of the bigger grocery store chains in Stockholm. Even though I could have spent hours browsing the aisles, trying to decipher ingredient lists and compare the best values in terms of Krona-per-kilogram, I opted to make it a quick trip and just grab a few necessities. After all, I’ve got all the time in the world to find the best brand of pickled herring.

groceries
I bought this food... in Sweden!

My haul consisted of olive oil, brown rice, potatoes, onions, cream cheese, tortellini, peanut butter (I am an American, after all), jam, yogurt, muesli, and of course a giant thing of Wasa crispbread.  Eating at restaurants is quite expensive here, so I was curious to see whether the cost of groceries was similarly high. All this cost 229 kr, or about $35. Probably a little more than this would cost in the US, but not all that outrageous. I guess I’ll be doing a lot of cooking here. Good thing I packed my cast iron skillet.

p.s. re: skillet: the TSA really doesn’t like it when you put a cast-iron skillet in your checked baggage. I opened up that suitcase to find a nice little note telling me that they searched the bag. I can only imagine what it looked like on the X-ray machine.