Today is exactly one month since I arrived here in Lulea. By now I can safely say this is the longest I’ve been away from home. Though it really doesn’t feel like one month. I’ve been quite busy last 4 weeks with all the trips, exploration, parties and school. It’s really nice up here and now I’m kind of sorry I’m not able to stay up here for whole year. The only thing that would make everything even better is if Veronika would be able to come here and live with me. Then, it would be perfect!
So far I’ve gotten used to the colder climate. Although I’m really happy that I bought winter jacked yesterday. Mornings are getting really cold, especially if it’s cloudy in the morning. Days have gotten really short (compared to when I arrived), sunset is around 19.30, sunrise around 5.30. I don’t remember saying this before, but the only deciduous here is birch and the leaves on them have started to turn yellow and red. Now I can finally say Winter is coming! (haha I’ve been waiting months to say this!).
People up here are noticeably different than in Slovenia. The first thing you notice is that 4 out of 5 people are blond. The populous is in general fit and tall. You rarely see an obese person up here. The second thing I noticed is that clichés about Swedes are surprisingly accurate. They really are shyer (at least that’s how I’d described them). They love standing in lines (not a joke!). I’m sure they get double kicks when going to amusement parks, first one when they are waiting in line for ride to start, the second one when they ride the ride. When standing in line they are calm and no one tries to cut in front or jostling forward. I don’t remember if I’ve shown this photo before, but here it is (again), how swedes wait for bus:
In general people are really nice and helpful and everyone speaks English very well. I was really surprised when saleswomen/men talk to me in perfect English. And this is tested in multiple shops, restaurants, kiosks …
The prices here are quite higher compared to Slovenia, but so are the salaries. I talk to a student doing a PHD here and he told me that here he gets around 3000€ monthly salary. For comparison PHD student in Slovenia gets 800€, professor around 2400€… The food costs I would say around 20-30% more than in Slovenia, the really expensive things are different kind of services like barber for example. Here it costs around 50€ for men. Oh ye, almost forgot about gasoline: little below 2€/l.
Thus be it for now, I shall describe more wonders of north in months to come.