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First steps in Sweden

Vojtěch Ešner

Högskolan Kristianstad


31. říjen 2011

Ročník studia

1. ročník

Studijní obor

NMgr., Učitelství pro 2. stupeň ZŠ a střední školy, AJ - IF

Termín výjezdu

Zimní semestr 2011

Vyučované předměty

Language and Cognition, , Sweden: Past and Present, Fundamental programming in C#

First impression? Where is everybody? I know it was Saturday morning but still I expected some life. Helsinborg invited us as a ghost town. The first person we ran into was a janitor at the train station whom I asked for directions how to get to Kristianstad. This guy only spoke Swedish or German. Nice. I really had to dust some brain cells to get at least two words together: 'How go to Kristianstad?' My German teacher (who taught me for 5 years) would fail me from the class and ban me for life from school, city and maybe even from the Czech Republic. After these minor setbacks we managed to get to Kristianstad and get to the dorms where my new home for 5 months awaited...

2 beds, 2 lamps, 4 chairs and 1 desk. Hmm, something doesn't add up. I was crazy enough to bring my desktop computer from home and didn't really want to occupy the only desk at the room so my roommate would be left with nothing. So my first quest in Sweden was to look for a desk. IKEA? Local stores? Online second-hand? There were many opportunities and after checking the prices at local stores I knew that IKEA or second-hand furniture is my only option. This was also the first time I encountered the beautiful warm and welcoming character of Swedish people from whom I at the end bought the desk. They were not only kind enough to bring me the desk to the dorms, they also insisted of helping me to assemble it together and carry to my room. And this was also the time I fell in love with Sweden and Swedish people. But what about the Swedish language?

My first encounter with Swedish happened in the ICA supermarket near the campus. My sister taught me only small (really small) amount of vocabulary I could use. So equipped with 'hej' and 'tack' I went shopping. Not only confused by the Swedish names of food but also by lack of some ingredients we commonly have in the Czech Republic. After spending 20 minutes looking for butter near the cheeses (where it is normal to have it) I was like: "Ok, it's Sweden. They either have it somewhere else or maybe they have special shops only with butter." Surprise, surprise! Not sure why the butter, milk and yoghurts are located on the opposite side than the cheese but at least I found it.

Another thing that did amaze me about the Swedish people is their enthusiasm. While paying for my huge purchase the lovely shop assistant started asking me something in Swedish. All I could do was smile silly and explain in English that 'Jag talar inte svenska.' She immediately switched to perfect English, welcomed me to Sweden and asked me other questions about me, school etc. This was most definitely the most incredible experience I had with a shop assistant at the registers. I am used to dull and bored faces back in central Europe. No matter how bad I feel the 'Hejhej' I hear at ICA always brightens my day.

So as far as I can tell I can summarize my first moments in Sweden in these words: "So far, so good!"

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