The 29-Day Blogging Challenge: T is for The Local
This may seem like pandering flattery to the wise and benevolent folks at The Local who made this blog possible, but I assure you it’s not. This site was my first real exposure to Sweden, and has made my time here that much easier.
When Jill first accepted a job here I was still living in Dubai, but planned to move here once she was settled in. Not really knowing much about Sweden, or Stockholm specifically, I browsed around a few sites and landed on The Local. I was able to read the latest news, event listings, debates, weather reports, just about everything going on in the country at the time. It gave me a sense of the culture, the social environment, the attitudes of the people. In a way, it made moving here easier because I knew what to expect.
When I moved to Dubai, on the other hand, I had no such prior knowledge. I packed my bags and jetted off to the Middle East without knowing really anything about where I would end up. I intentionally didn’t do much research because I wanted to arrive with no expectations, no preconceived notions; I wanted to step off the plane and experience Dubai first-hand, day to day, and just take it as it comes. For months there were daily learning experiences, which served to prolong the novelty and continuously provide little moments of discovery.
Moving to Sweden, however, was a different story. For one thing, Jill was already living here and so was a great source of information, like where to buy phone credits and which bus routes to take and kitschy little neighbourhoods and currency conversion and how to order a coffee in Swedish. It made the transition and integration into Stockholm life much easier, like having my own personal tour guide. But outside of the procedural details, I had already been reading The Local for a few months and had developed a distinct sense of the Swedish mindset. In many ways I find the Swedish and Canadian cultures very similar, so it wasn’t a difficult adaptation to my new home.
Once I was living here I continued to read The Local on a daily basis. I started browsing through the user forums, and got to know some of the other readers on a personal level. Being mostly expats themselves, there were a great source of information and advice on getting by in Stockholm, as they had been in the same boat themselves. I even got to meet many of them at one of The Local’s reader events, finally putting faces to names and sharing stories about moving and living here.
Last year The Local set up a blogging function, just around the time I was leaving Canada and moving back here. When I was in Dubai I ran my own blog, mostly as a way of keeping people up to date on life over there, and wanted to do something similar with my time in Stockholm. Conveniently, The Local provided a perfect outlet for my ramblings, and fitting that it’s hosted on the very site that was my first foray into understanding Swedish life. So thanks to them for that.
(As a complete aside, I must say this 29-Day Blogging Challenge was a better idea than the reality. I’m getting what I call ‘blogger’s fatigue’ – a lack of enthusiasm for these daily posts. But I press on, determined not to be outdone, and will complete the task I set out for myself what seems like eons ago. But once this textual marathon is done, I’m taking a much deserved break.)
Previous posts: Introducing the 29-Day Blogging Challenge; A is for Anonymity; B is for Busses; C is for Canada; D is for Dogs;E is for Expatriate; F is for Failure;G is for Google; H is for Hedgehog; I is for Indian food; J is for Jill, obviously; K is for Kurt Cobain; L is for Listerine; M is for Mac&Cheez; N is for Night; O if for Olfactory Dysfunction; P is for Photography; Q if for Quest For Fire; R is for Religion; S is for Stockholm