And how are things in Stockholm?

Welcome to the Venice of the North, Stockholm! With these words I was welcomed by the guide who was about to show us the most beautiful places of the capital of Sweden.

This nickname thanks Stockholm on all the bridges which connect the fourteen islands of which the city exists. Despite you are in a capital, there is still some kind of peace in the city. This peace is a true characteristic for whole Sweden: respect for the nature, respect for each other, and respect for drinking coffee.

That coffee drinking (or at least taking a break) is part of the culture which can be seen from the fact that Swedes have a special word for it: fika. You can’t (luckily) avoid to take a break twice a day with a nice cup of coffee and often something sweet on the side.     

One other remarkable phenomenon I discovered when I was about to follow my first lessons at the KTH (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan), as part of my master Human-Technology Interaction. Good student as I am, I was in the classroom five minutes before the class would start. Remarkable was that only a few other internationals were there and also the teacher didn’t made his appearance yet. When fifteen minutes later the teacher and most of the students started dropping in, I was doubting if I might have made a mistake while reading my schedule.

That was not the case, it turns out that they were using the academic quarter here, a phenomenon where the classes start fifteen minutes later than scheduled (and even thirty minutes for evening classes). This tradition was formed in the time that students didn’t own (pocket)watches and in that way where dependent on the church. As soon as the church bell rang, the students knew they had fifteen minutes to get into their classes. 

Furthermore, Sweden is quite what it is famous for. The nature is beautiful and pristine, it can snow like hell (on the 9th of November, more than thirty centimeters fell), living here is expensive (especially alcohol), the people are friendly and speak English well, and, especially for the guys: absolutely, the women are gorgeous!

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