I’ve been struggling for inspiration as to what to write this week, and cycling back from my 0800 lecture today, through what I’m convinced is sleet, I decided to bow to the English stereotype of talking about the weather. I do apologise!
Therefore, I present a few pros and cons of living in Sweden during the colder months.
It’s warm inside!
My girlfriend has been regaling me with tales of the coldness within her student accommodation in Southampton. Indeed, I remember how cold it was in my student house last year, and in student halls the year before that!
However, here in Sweden, it is hard for architects and building engineers to forget that it gets quite cold in the winter, and so all Swedish buildings cope very well with the cold. I bought an extra duvet when I arrived in Sweden for the winter time, and have not yet removed it from it’s packaging! I am reliably informed that, had I been in the UK, I would have needed the extra duvet and more at least three weeks ago.
Local authorities know how to deal with the weather
I talked before about gritting of cycle paths, roads and pavements before. I think it’s worth mentioning again. In the UK, gritting only occurs once the ice has already formed on the streets, and grit only tends to appear on the road and not on the pavements.
Gritting started as the cold started to bite here, and I am very grateful for it. I mean, I still have to avoid the puddles, but I did that anyway!
Public transport hasn’t suffered at all, and relying on buses has so far not been a problem at all. I’m certain that if the weather was similar in the UK, our already shoddy public transport system would simply not cope with it.
It’s actually quite pleasant
Maybe it’s just because this is the start of my first Scandinavian winter, but I’m enjoying watching the changing of the season. I can’t really remember when I’ve done that before, if ever.
The UK is always drizzly at this time of year, whereas here the rain has only really just started. Before that, the cold was really quite pleasant, almost refreshing! There is none of the persistent dampness I associate with the end of autumn and beginning of winter.
Ok, so maybe this is a bit of a silly thing to say but, due to the fact that Swedish buildings have actually been insulated properly, you constantly have to get dressed and undressed in order to go outside and then return inside.
This is not so much of a problem when going from Ryd to the University, but if you’re at Uni all day, it get’s a little tedious. Combined with the fact that I packed for Sweden like I’d pack to go skiing: I brought lots of thin(ish) layers, which means that for me, taking off layers and then putting them on again is even more tedious!
Ice and Snow
Though we haven’t had any snow yet, the ice is already forming overnight and not really thawing!
I’m actually getting a little apprehensive of the arrival of proper weather, since I am yet to acquire suitable footwear for such an eventuality. I have just started browsing shops and the web for suitable footwear, but of course, I have no idea what it really needed!
I will be consulting with some Swedes before I make the investment.
Another thing is that, so I’ve been told, if the snow gets really bad, then walking is the only way to get anywhere… I’m hoping that Sweden will wait until late January before that sort of weather is unleashed!