Hospitality? Come to Sweden!
Yes, you heard that right! It’s amazing how the first experience of anything is probably the most distinct and unforgettable, despite the fact that you keep doing it for the rest of your life perhaps. Anyways, this experience of mine goes around three months back when I first stepped in Sweden or more precisely, my first ever day in this beautiful land.
Before leaving Dhaka, I received a notification saying that I won’t be getting my new room keys until after the day I landed. This put me in a state of confusion as to where then am I supposed to spend the night at? So I started looking for some cheap hotels or popularly known in Sweden as ‘bed & breakfast’, which were located around the Växjö Central station (‘Resecentrum’ in Swedish). But it ended in not much of a success.
At that very point in time, while discussing this matter with an admission officer at my university through e-mail, I was given a first-hand epitome of Swedish courtesy which pretty much solved this issue for me. The officer invited me to spend the night with her family at her house! I was surprised to receive such a courteous gesture, despite she not knowing me and it really shot up my amazement and respect for Swedish people and their society. Owing to this, deep inside me I realized that my decision to come to Sweden was the right one and it will be paying off big time. I definitely have lots to learn and experience of the beautiful Swedish culture during my stay there.
So after having landed at Copenhagen, I took a train straight to Växjö and then a cab to her house. It was in a beautiful suburb area surrounded with lush green environemnt. I was warmly welcomed and got to meet her family with two sweet kids. At first, the kids were a little bit shy to reply when I asked ‘Vad heter du?” (What is your name?) but hey, a packet of cookies can solve everything! And then you can guess what happened – we became good friends!
Following that day, I was offered a local Swedish delicacy dinner. Even though I was not used to having Nordic food, but it tasted brilliant. And as you can guess, it had salmon – one fish I love having and a habit that developed during my stay in Dubai. Anyways, so it was all conversations that night about life and studies in Sweden as she advised me on various other topics like travelling, language, food etc. It had been an extremely informative stay as I got a head start and knew what to look out for.
The next day I was supposed to get my keys and move in to my apartment. Therefore my short yet amazing stay with them ended. However, I decided to pay her visits when I had time and maybe also get some cookies for my very young new friends!
It’s amazing how trust and friendliness form strong pillars of the Swedish society. I can assure you will definitely experience the same once you all visit Sweden someday!