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-- Me at the harbor of Hanö Island (Sep 24, 2018) --

LEON|世界另一頭 The Other Side of The World

 原文出處:https://leonwulife.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/first-month/

 

2018年9月,我從台灣搭乘14小時多的飛機,來到世界的另一頭 — 瑞典,並正式開始了我人生中第一次的留學生涯。目前在這邊已經生活了兩個多月,不得不說其實飲食、起居、還有種種的習慣,都比起當初在台灣有蠻大的改變,因為這裡的文化、步調都與台灣有著明顯的不同。而在這篇文章中,我不僅止是想跟大家分享我在瑞典的生活,期間因為生活上也遇過的一些大小問題,所以想藉由這篇文章一併告訴你們。假若哪一天你/妳也有幸來到瑞典留學,或是突發奇想的想規劃到瑞典旅遊,希望本文底下的資訊都能多少幫助到各位喔!

In September 2018, I took the plane for more than 14 hours from Taiwan and arrived in the other side of the world - Sweden. Here, I started the career as an exchange student for the first time. As I have now lived in Kristianstad, Sweden for more than two months already, everything has just changed a lot from how it was in Taiwan. My diet, my living, and all kinds of habit have changed since the culture and pace of life in Sweden is so different from those of Taiwan. In the following, I will not only share the experience of life in Sweden to you, but also the problems that I had encountered. Well, just in case that you also have a chance to study abroad in Sweden, or you plan to travel here someday, the experience and information below may help you know Sweden more in advance!

 

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-- My exchange university - Kristianstad University (Aug 28, 2018) --

一、物價很高.. 這是真的!

其實在我來到瑞典以前,就已經從很多人口中得知這樣的訊息,就連我瑞典斯德哥爾摩當地的朋友也是這麼覺得。然而,沒有真正在這邊生活以前,是很難有這麼直接的感受。我先舉咖啡店的例子為例,同樣一杯大杯的熱拿鐵,在台灣本土品牌路易莎可能只要價85元台幣,但在瑞典最普遍的咖啡連鎖品牌Esspresso House 折合台幣卻要快155元 (45 SEK),重點是!並沒有比較好喝.. 因為考量到價格的因素,原本每天習慣出外喝咖啡的我,現在反而都自己買咖啡豆回宿舍泡了。

更不用說是一般的餐廳,同樣一份美式起士漢堡,在台灣預期200~300元台幣就能吃到很不錯的了,對吧?靠!我告訴大家,來瑞典如果不花個500、600元,漢堡就只能去像麥當勞或是漢堡王這樣的速食店吃了欸!一點都不誇張,瑞典的物價不是人身在台灣可以感受得到的..

因此,現在的我幾乎餐餐都是自己買食材回宿舍料理,花費可能會與在台灣當外食族相同,但在瑞典,我可以省下將近一半的錢!不僅如此,因為要親自採買食材並選擇調理的方式,原本在台灣完全不會做菜也沒有做菜習慣的我,現在學會了做菜,甚至愛上了做菜!每次到超市採買食材,我總是抱持著一顆愉悅又期待的心情,眼睛一邊瀏覽著食材,腦中一邊預演著整個料理的過程,實在很有趣!

 

1. Price is HIGH in Sweden. I'm not joking!

Before I came to Sweden, a lot of people, including one of my friends from Stockholm, had already informed me about this situation. However, I hadn't had such direct feelings until I actually started to live here. I'll take the comparison of price of a large coffee latte first. As the most popular Taiwanese local brand, Louisa Cafe sell their latte at a price of nearly 2.4 EUR (85 TWD). On the other hand, as the most popular cafe in Sweden, Esspresso House sell their latte at a price of nearly 4.35 EUR (45 SEK), which is nearly double the price of the latte sold in Taiwan! OMG.. And the thing is that, latte doesn't even taste better in Sweden lol~ Considering the high price of coffee in Sweden, I would now rather buy coffee beans and make coffee myself at the dorm than drink out at a cafe.

Not to mention the difference of price at a common restaurant, if we take cheese burger for instance, we can expect to have some really nice ones in Taiwan at the price around 5.6 ~ 8.4 EUR (200 ~ 300 TWD). However, the nice ones in Sweden would normally cost around 16.9 ~ 19.3 EUR (175 ~ 200 SEK), which is even more than double the price in Taiwan this time!!! The reason why I wrote "nice" here is because, of course, you can choose to have an ordinary burger at fast food restaurants, such as McDonald's and Burger King, and wouldn't cost you so much. Nevertheless, that wouldn't be a nice burger at all then, right?

As a result of the high price, I normally buy ingredients at the supermarket and cook them at the dorm now. Even though the cost would still be same as eating out in Taiwan, I could still save almost half of my spendings in Sweden! Moreover, because I must buy ingredients myself and always think about the most suitable way to cook and season, I have gradually learned how to cook and fell in love with cooking! Whenever I go to supermarkets, I am always excited about checking out the ingredients and brainstorming the way of cooking at the same time. Trust me, this is really interesting!

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-- Food that I am used to eating in Sweden  --

 

二、放心,瑞典人的英文程度普遍很好!

在我來瑞典以前,特別找了在台灣的瑞典語老師並希望能學個基礎的瑞典語,等真正到了瑞典才發現,其實根本沒有這個必要,因為瑞典人普遍英文程度超級好!在我遇到的所有瑞典人當中,包括任何店家的服務員、公交上的路人、學校的老師與學生,90%以上的人脫口而出就是一口流利的英文,幾乎不太需要擔心要用到比手畫腳或是溝通不順的情況(除非你/妳本身英文程度不夠,那當然另當別論 :P)而剩下的不到10%,大概就是遇到年紀稍長或是經濟狀況很差需要到路上行乞的人,才可能發生無法用英文溝通的情況。來到瑞典,也絲毫不必擔心當地人不願意用英文與你/妳溝通,他們對亞洲人不大會有種族歧視,畢竟這裡可以說是歐洲最講求自由平等的國家了!

 

2. Swedish people can generally speak fluent English!

When almost everybody in a country, other than those English-speaking countries such as the US and the UK, can speak fluent English, it's just amazing! And that's how Sweden is like. Before I arrive in Sweden, I was with my Swedish teacher and wished that I could learn at least the basic Swedish well. However, after arriving, I discovered that it isn't necessary at all to learn Swedish because Swedish people can generally speak fluent English! And this includes any staff at every store, any person on every public transportation, any teacher or student at the school, etc. By estimating those I have met in Sweden, I am confident to say that at least 90% of them can speak English fluently. It's incredible because you can always feel comfortable and wouldn't have to be worried while having a conversation with them! Unless, unless, your English ability isn't good enough! Then that will not be their problem at all.. haha..

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-- My exchange university - Kristianstad University (Sep 6, 2018) --

 

三、店家天黑前就關門!

瑞典人很重視生活品質,他們並不像台灣或者其他亞洲國家的人,花很多時間與心力在日常的工作上,反之,他們寧可花多一點的時間在家與家人、朋友們相處,因此很多大大小小的店家,都會很準時地在六點以前就關門休息。當然,並不是所有類型的店家都在這時候關門,一些像是餐廳、便利商店、或者超市的店家,可能會稍微延後營業至晚上7:00~10:00之間,但還是屬於少數。至於更晚的,就只剩下酒吧和夜店之類的地方了,但他們通常也只有在假日的時候會開門營業。平日的瑞典人們,大多都還是過著早睡早起的健康人生呀~

這點是讓我一開始來到瑞典最不習慣的地方,因為在台灣,很少店會選擇在天黑前就結束營業,能想到的大概也只有早餐店或下午茶店?畢竟晚上才是他們主要收入的來源啊哈哈!而且在台灣,即便已經來到了深夜,當肚子餓了想吃東西、口渴了想喝東西,至少還有個24小時的便利商店隨時Stand by,提供大家各式的食物飲料、滿足大家各種不同的需求。不過往好處想,正是因為瑞典這樣不便利的環境,我也才開始被逼著過起一個相對穩定且健康的生活,而在一個月過去之後,我發現自己也已漸漸習慣了這樣的生活!

 

3. Stores are closed before night!

Swedish people pay much attention on their quality of life. Unlike those in Taiwan or any other asian country who work long hours on a daily basis, Swedish people would rather spend more time with their families and friends than earn money. Therefore, a lot of stores are closed early before night. Of course, not all types of stores do the same thing. There are some like restaurants, convenience stores, and supermarkets which are closed later around 19:00~20:00, but that's still a minority. For stores that are closed even later, you can find only bars and nightclubs then. However, they are usually opened only on weekends. Most of the time, Swedish people still live on a healthier basis, lol~

At first, this was hard for me to get used to because most of the stores in Taiwan are usually opened until night between 21:00 and 23:00. After all, this is the only time when they can earn most of the money! Even when it comes to midnight in Taiwan, you can still find convenience stores standing by everywhere for 24 hours! Whenever you feel hungry or thirsty, it is always easy to look for something to eat or drink. However, after one month of living in Sweden, I think I've gradually got used to this whole new kind of lifestyle. Moreover, if we take a look at the advantages of this lifestyle, it had also allowed me to live on a steady and healthy basis which I never had before!

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-- Me at the university nearby - Lund University (Sep 17, 2018) --

 

四、上公交前一定要記得買票!

這是一個活生生血淋淋的例子,我差點因為沒事先付車票錢,被罰1000瑞典克朗(相當於3438台幣)!但請大家聽我解釋,並非我有意逃票,而是我當時對瑞典的公車系統實在一竅不通,好死不死,又是遇到一個不給外國人絲毫通融空間的查票員..

9月19日,我隻身來到了瑞典的第二大城馬爾默(Malmö),因為想前往的餐館有一段距離,我選擇搭上了當地的其中一班雙節公車。當時我從後節上了車,嘗試想要用我的儲值卡刷機,但因為看不懂瑞典語,不確定究竟是不是儲值卡不夠錢了,機器一直顯示紅色,我便一再嘗試,以為司機會等到我成功刷過後才開始行駛公車。哪知道,瑞典的司機跟台灣不一樣,好像也不會理會乘客有沒有刷過卡,很快就把車門關上,公車也開始行駛了起來。當下我很錯愕,知道卡刷不過,也沒有機會下車了,就匆匆找了個位子坐了下來。我也沒有意向前找公車司機買車票,因為我上一次來到馬爾默時就已經做過這件事,但當時的司機可是一點也沒有理會我,連看都沒看,讓我以為在馬爾默可能不能找司機買票。總之,把我整個人搞得很糊塗..

此時,公車逐漸駛進了第一站,當時心情交雜著錯愕的我,嘗試拿起手機中的App買票,但完全沒料到這時候查票員已經從第一站上了車準備查票,還來不及完成App購票程序的我,因為無法在第一時間向查票員秀出車票,就被開罰了1000瑞典克朗(這似乎是瑞典公交罰緩的公定價),即便我身為一個對公車系統完全不熟悉的外國人,也沒有被給予任何通融的空間,當下的心情也由錯愕變得奇差無比..

幸運的是,瑞典還算是個明理的國家,雖然被開罰,卻有8天的時間可以向他們的客服單位申訴,以防有任何不合理的情況發生 (期間包括非工作日)。因此在這8天內,我每天寫信去給他們的客服單位要求重審罰單,而他們也會確實一再審視過你提出的申訴並很快給予回覆。期間信件大約來回了三~四次、經歷幾次申訴被打槍的情況,我從自己當下對於瑞典公交系統的不熟悉,一直講到了之前與同校友人們搭車出遊時也遇過同樣沒買票卻沒被罰的情況,原本1000瑞典克朗的罰緩才最終改成了125瑞典克朗(相當於從3438台幣改為430台幣),雖然以坐公車來說仍是個不小的金額,但是還是少付了一大筆啊!原本奇差無比好幾天的心情,也頓時得到了安撫..

其實比起火車,公車查票的機會已經相對少很多,在火車上,查票員可是會每站都查的!所以我才說在瑞典啊,千萬不要想著要逃票,否則你就準備倒大楣囉~藉由我這個活生生血淋淋的例子,也希望可以幫到以後有意來這求學或是旅遊的朋友們,了解更多有關當地公交系統的資訊!

 

4. MUST pay before getting on any public transportation!

You should always keep this advice in mind, especially when you are from an Asian country, because the public transportation system may be so different from those of Asian countries that you may easily get in trouble for being fined nearly 100 EUR (1000 SEK) if you don't follow the rule.

I will take my personal experience for instance. I was once traveling by bus in Malmö, the second largest city in Sweden, and got fined 100 EUR because i didn't pay in advance of getting on the bus. However, I did not intentionally try to escape from paying but was just really confused with the bus system. I didn't even know that I will get an invoice for not paying beforehand because there isn't such rule in my country. Though I did try to explain to the inspector about everything and even proved that I was a foreigner who wasn't familiar with the system at all, I was still fined 100 EUR without any compromise. GREAT! This fantastic fine had really made my week!

Luckily, Sweden is a rather reasonable country. I got 8 days to contact the customer service center of the company and was able to explain my situation in details. After writing back and forth with the customer service center for about three to four times, the invoice was reduced from 1000 SEK to 125 SEK. Though it still seemed like a huge amount of money for taking a bus, I felt happy enough because I just saved 875 SEK from paying an unreasonable fee! Hurray!

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-- View on a bridge in Malmo (Sep 19, 2018) --

 

五、做好火車會被延誤或取消的心理準備!

講到這裡,突然很想要萬嘆,出國留學的前期還真是多災多難!因為接下來,又準備告訴大家我自己一個活生生血淋淋的例子..

早在九月初的時候,我和我另一位台灣的朋友就已經規劃好要前往參加10月初的德國慕尼黑Oktoberfest盛會,然而,真的好巧不巧!就在我們準備好要出發的前幾個小時,我們開往機場的火車班次們竟然無預警取消營運了!!!說到這裡大家可能會覺得,火車壞了,搭巴士或計程車不就好了?因為,這裡可沒像台灣那麼方便又簡單。我們所住在的 Kristianstad 並不是什麼大城市,一切通往最近的國際機場 — 哥本哈根機場的交通,就只能靠火車抵達,偏偏又選在我們要出門的前夕,火車因為中轉站的纜線壞掉而無法行駛,簡直只能用衰到爆來形容!而我實在很不想再罵下去,因為這家公司明明前一天就知道中轉站的纜線發生了問題,卻絲毫沒有為隔天的營運想出任何有效的因應對策,會不會也太沒有效率?而當時,我們也只能在火車站苦等接駁的巴士司機睡醒後,前來車站載我們到指定的地點.. 當晚我們既沒有睡覺,又錯過了班機,甚至,拿不回任何賠償。此時無奈的我腦中只浮現了一位法國朋友曾向我說過的話:「亞洲要超越歐洲,已經是遲早的事了。」

 

5. Be prepared to delay or miss a train!

This is from my personal experience again.. Yep, everything has just been a mess in the beginning of my arrival. :(

In the early September, my friend and I planned to go on a trip in October to Munich, Germany for the well-known beer festival - Oktoberfest. When the day had finally arrived, however, the train system, which is the only way for us to head to CPH Airport, was partially shut down without any prior warning. We had no choice but to stay in Kristianstad until we are able to be transferred to Höör at midnight 4:00, and then be transferred to CPH Airport afterwards by bus. But while transferring from Höör to the airport, we have wasted SO MUCH time just waiting for the bus to arrive. I could say.. at least 1 hour or more! Hence, when we arrive at the airport, we just didn't manage to go on board because the time was already 1 hour later than the departure time of our plane! We were forced to book a new plane ticket right after since we had already organized everything so completely, and we couldn't even get any compensation back!

The thing is that, according to a Swedish man we met on the train, the train company had already realized the problem one day before this shit happened. I still don't understand why they'd rather let shit happen than come up with some useful solutions. Probably because they don't even care that much at all, even we're now in one of the most developed countries in the world. It was such a disastrous experience and I would never forget!

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-- The coolest German group we've met during Oktoberfest (Oct 6, 2018) --

 

第一個月小結

在瑞典的第一個月,很多事情好像看似那麼的不順遂,但我仍舊相信,一切都還是會漸漸步上軌道的。整體來說,我覺得瑞典仍然是一個值得前來留學、旅遊的國家,他們有很熱心的人、幾近零污染的自然環境,甚至,幾乎所有東西都能維持在超過平均的水準和品質,這是我後來到德國、奧地利、布拉格旅遊後,與瑞典相比較的最大心得之一!(待後續再來和大家分享更詳細的德奧捷歐洲之旅了,嘿嘿..)

最後,我想要感謝我在「監獄」認識的所有朋友 (我們現在住的宿舍曾是一座監獄),因為有了你們,才讓我的交換人生過得更為精彩!謝謝你們舉辦那麼多的活動、規劃那麼多的旅行,讓我能夠更加開拓我的視野,看到更多不同的文化以及事情種種不同的面向。期待將來,我們的交換人生都還是一樣那麼精彩!

「里昂的瑞典交換人生,未完待續!」

 

Conclusion for the first month

Sometimes, things could be so shitty in the beginning when you arrive in somewhere you're not familiar with. But generally speaking, Sweden is still worth visiting because they have really warm people, really natural environments without any pollution, and everything in such good quality.

Lastly, I want to thank all of my friends in the prison (We call our dorm prison because it used to be a prison) for making my exchange life even more splendid. Thank you for organizing all of those amazing events and planning those brilliant trips, so that I can have the chance to broaden my horizon to see different cultures and different aspects of everything. Hope the journey of our exchange life would be as splendid as it was!

" To be continued - Leon's exchange life in Sweden! "

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LEON|世界另一頭 The Other Side of The World

 原文出處:https://leonwulife.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/first-month/

 

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