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First Swedish cultural shock

2007 August, a little boy flew almost the entire globe to meet all his unknown expectations. Filled with innocent thoughts, caring unrealistic hopes to see the world just as home. Until then, I was living with my family.

Anyone who saw me that day at Arlanda airport could come to a very obvious conclusion, first time in Europe!. I was fully packed with as much as warm cloths as I could put on myself. Fundamental outcome of learning about Sweden through the internet. Took the airport bus known as flygbussarna to come to the city center. Overwhelmed by breathing such fresh air, packed with enthusiasm;; went to a beautiful blond lady to ask, could you please tell me the way to go to Husby?. The immediate responses of that woman lead me to my first cultural shock in Stockholm.

The response of my gentle request was an animated known sound. One possible way to express that sound would be loudly inhale some wind (Uuussssh) with a synchronized jester of hand while lean backwards a little. Back at home, such a response would realize to a sign of scared or surprised with a bit of fear. Certainly that made me a bit nervous. Later, I learnt that its is a common Swedish way of telling affirmative!! I must say, the lady was helpful enough not just telling the way but also showing the way to the metro in person. Some memoirs are unforgettable, remains in our sub conscious mind. First cultural shock is perhaps one of those moments.

As it is told, morning shows the day! my day yet to go a long way. My cousin brother’s friends were supposed to host me. My first Swedish phone call using tele2 comvic brought thunder strike upon me. My hosts will not be able to provide me accommodation since adding me in their apartment would make their living crowded. Sweet, couldn’t know it earlier. Luckily, I meet a guy in front of Bangladeshi embassy in Dhaka who had couple of friends living in Stockholm. After some eventful phone calls and intense moments, finally I managed to arrange a seat for me at kista alléväg to stay few nights. I must admit, my cousin’s friends were polite enough to bring me to kista, I just needed to wait 6-7 hours.

kista alléväg student dorms, first thing that came in my mind was a great collection of shoe boxes yet couldn’t be more grateful to find a place to sleep. It was a small 26-27 KVM studio with open kitchen and already three were living. Felt the warmth of unconditional help from my fellow country man. Made me proud to be a Bengal; at the same time sad to see the misery of Bangladeshi students in abroad.

Not more than 2 days had passed, cruel reality hit me once again. Returning home sometime can be surprising. Specially if someone sees a big lock in front of the door and realizes he don’t have the keys. Calling my hosts (all 3) reviled two are not going to return at night and the other will return in 1.5 hours. It was already about 10:30 pm, so decided to go to Tcentralen, walk around the city a bit and then come home together. After walking about an hour started to freeze. Called my host again and was disappointing to hear that he will be about 1.5 hour more late. Confused as much as I could be, fall asleep on the bench at the station while waiting. Woke by a humble push of a security guard around 3:00 am, saying I am not allowed to sleep. They will seal the station for cleaning. Instant thoughts gave me an idea of taking a bus journey till morning. Had good fun, bus driver gave me quit some ride! a little high-speed 🙂

In a nutshell, thoughtful realizations hovered in my head; this city would have a lot to offer to me. Standing at where I am today, could it be wrong.

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