A Canadian In Sweden

A Canadian In Sweden

This post entitled A Canadian In Sweden is a compilation of seven posts that existed on a previous website.

A Canadian in Sweden – Part 1

I am a Canadian in Sweden. Back in December of 2012, I was anxiously awaiting the day I would say good-bye to my friends in Vancouver Canada and relocate to a little town in southern Sweden. I finished doing my dishes and cleaned the kitchen. Then I looked around at the apartment where I lived for the last 9 years wondering what it was going to be like in Sweden with my sweetie Swedie Pia.
A Canadian in Sweden
I had a large bachelor suite and was busy trying to either ship stuff to my sweetie in Sweden or give things away. I sold very few things. The best flight I could book to Sweden the previous month was with Alaska Airlines. The flight would have 2 stops and begin on Christmas morning 2012.

Two years was the initial length of time I was allowed to reside in Sweden. I applied again on November 8 as my time was running out. I made and kept an appointment at the Swedish Migration Verket to re-submit biometrics. My new Swedish UT card was issued on Thursday. I now have permanent resident status here in Sweden. The price was 1,500 but worth it. I don’t intend to apply for citizenship as I am a citizen of 2 other countries already. Here is an iPhone snap of the card I received via mail.

ut2


A Canadian in Sweden – Part 2

The alarm woke me up very early on Christmas morning 2012. After some last minute details, I left my apartment for the last time without saying good-bye to anyone. My building appeared deserted and the outside streets were like a ghost-town. I suppose most people were spending time with family and friends. It was only a seven-minute walk from my apartment to the station. The pic below shows the 2 small suitcases that contained everything I was carrying with me to Sweden. I was standing at the Vancouver Stadium Sky-train station en-route to the airport.
suitcases


A Canadian in Sweden – Part 3

The sky train ride from the station was too short was what I was thinking realizing it may be my last. I was in the process of permanently relocating to somewhere I have never even visited on this warm 2012 Christmas morning in Vancouver Canada. I was thinking that the destination in Sweden couldn’t possibly be too much worse than my favorite city in the entire world. My sweetie Pia re-enforced positive images in my mind regarding what I was to experience. I wasn’t worried but knew that I would miss Vancouver at some point. What I discovered when walking to my plane through the pouring rain was a surprise. It was a small 2 propeller plane that I would be trusting to get me to Seattle through a heavy downpour. After getting comfortable in my seat on the little plane, I quickly snapped the following pic of the right propeller,

plane


A Canadian in Sweden – Part 4

Making the decision to leave Vancouver was not difficult but I knew I was going to miss it anyway. I didn’t know what Sweden was would be like and I doubted that the weather and surroundings there could be anything as perfect as in my wonderful hometown. Nowhere else in Canada can I walk around in a t-shirt through a park surrounded by green leaves and grass in late December.
Alex in a Vancouver Park
I was willing to give it all up and start a new life with my sweetie Pia. After clearing Seattle, my plane was headed for Iceland. No sleep was possible and there was a lot to think about. No more would I have to have Skype open for several hours a day talking to my sweetie Pia or watching her sleep. It was difficult being 9 hours apart. We spent a lot of time together on Skype and even managed to sleep together. Being with her again was soon to become a reality. The plane flying from Seattle had a jet engine and not 2 propellers like the first one. This turned out to be the strangest Christmas ever. I was Pia’s Christmas present for 2012.


A Canadian in Sweden – Part 5

It was clear and warm afternoon when the plane landed in Seattle. It was the first hop on my journey to Sweden leaving Canada for possibly the last time. This time I felt sure that this trip to Sweden was what I really wanted to do. I don’t know why it was necessary to travel through the USA but I suppose it was because it was owned and operated by Alaska Airlines. I would have preferred a more direct route through Canada. Strangely, the American people looked very much like us Canadians. I couldn’t see too many differences. I never heard them say “eh” when they spoke even once. Our heads even functioned and looked the same unlike what I learned watching cartoons back in Canada. Maybe we weren’t that different after all. The Alaska Airlines plane looked clean as I snapped a few pics after landing.
plane 3

plane 5

Customs

The first thing leaving my mouth at customs was “I don’t intend to stay here in the USA. I’m just passing through to travel to Sweden.” After the customs guy made a phone call to someone and made me wait 10 minutes I was finally allowed to pass through and continue to the next airport. The next plane I was to board was very far away. I had to take a train from the present station to the next. It was difficult getting directions. The information signs weren’t much help. I realized it would be easier to follow someone else I knew was traveling the same route. There was barely enough time to connect. Although I rushed all the way, the next plane would be taking off in a few minutes. After much walking and a long train ride, I was ready to board the next plane.


A Canadian in Sweden – Part 6

It was a short flight from Keflavik to Copenhagen. I didn’t sleep at all and usually watched the flight details on the TV screen. The first pic of the screen shows the path, speed, altitude and distance. Landing in Copenhagen left me a little surprised.
flight plan from Iceland to Sweden
Feeling worried, I could not find Pia anywhere.  My phone had no service provider or Wifi so I couldn’t call her. Not sure how long I waited but I know it was a long time. I couldn’t find anyone that spoke English to help. I must have put down my backpack while trying to ask people questions. It contained my 17 inch MacBook Pro from Canada, my residency papers, ID and passport. Pia showed up about the same time my backpack was noticed missing. I was so angry at this point that I wasn’t interested in saying hello to anybody. We talked to security and they arranged for someone to escort us to the area where I thought I left my stuff. We waited a long time but were finally escorted upstairs where I found a woman sitting with my bag.  The woman did not reply when asked about the backpack. I took it and looked inside to verify it was mine. I was very happy to see it was. That pack contained all my important things. Pia snapped a pic of me just before we left the airport to take a train to Sweden.

Good News

We talked to security and they arranged for someone to escort us to the area where I thought I left my stuff. We waited a long time but were finally escorted upstairs where I found a woman sitting with my bag.  The woman did not reply when asked about the backpack. I took it and looked inside to verify it was mine. I was very happy to see it was. That pack contained all my important things. Pia snapped a pic of me just before we left the airport to take a train to Sweden.

Alexander Smoljanovic in Copenhagen


A Canadian in Sweden – Part 7

After experiencing Sweden for more than 2 years I can say that life here is generally not that much different than that in Canada. Living in a smaller town has probably biased my opinion slightly negative but I have not suffered to any appreciable degree. People seem to be a little colder but that doesn’t affect me adversely. I probably would not remain here in Sweden if not for my wife. I much prefer the life I had back in Canada. The scenery is beautiful here but doesn’t compare to the west coast of Vancouver Canada. Visiting the beach at the ocean here was a happy moment for me. It was much like the Pacific Ocean except for the lack of seaweed. Pia and I plan to make Vancouver a second home if possible. She has visited Vancouver twice. I married Pia during her second visit. We have visited Denmark and the Republic of

The scenery is beautiful here but doesn’t compare to the west coast of Vancouver Canada. Visiting the beach at the ocean here was a happy moment for me. It was much like the Pacific Ocean except for the lack of seaweed. Pia and I plan to make Vancouver a second home if possible. She has visited Vancouver twice. I married Pia during her second visit. We have visited Denmark and the Republic of Turkiet twice. Our next vacation destination is Thailand. We plan to visit Thailand during the winter months next year and also vacation in Turkiet during the summer. Visit and like my FaceBook page Canadian In Sweden.

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