Monday, January 08, 2007

Discrimination in a simple soccer training game

I did not really understand why nobody passed on the ball to me during my first local soccer practise game in Sweden . I am an ardent lover of soccer and everything about it and has been playing this game from the time I was a kid. I really wanted to join a team and to connect with other soccer lovers here in my home town Västerås.

I had to go through a process like an interview before i was even called for practice. I did not really understand why they had to interview me. I know if somebody says he is good, give him the chance to prove himself. I do not know how to describe how good I am to control the ball or run with the ball. Soccer is just a game and let me prove myself i told him.

Finally the big day came and the weather was damn cold. I was almost freezing when i got to the big beautiful football pitch. I was told i will get equipment from them but to my greatest dismay i got just shoes and I had to play with the clothes i had on me. I was not the only African but i was the most African in my ways.

I did not understand any word in Swedish and the trainer did not even look at me but i simply followed what the others were doing. After a couple of physical exercises it was time to play a little game . I was in one group of only Swedish guys and they never passed the ball onto me, no matter the position i was standing or even if i was free in front of the goal. They shouted at me when i had the ball and when i missed it they became really angry. I also stopped passing the ball to them and the trainer warned me. When i tackled somebody i was bullied at by that stupid trainer. I did not know what to do. Before the end of the game and after running after the ball and being shouted at, i bowed out of the game. I moved toward our trainer and tanked him for encouraging bulling and discrimination towards me. He wanted to defend himself but i just left.

With my wet, soaked and sweaty clothes i took my old bicycle and started riding about 2km back home. I fell abused, bullied, disappointed and my body was freezing because of my wet clothes on that day. I asked myself if this is really a developed society? How can somebody be discriminated in a simple training session of soccer? Is this really how Sweden is?What a beautiful game!!!

I think a developed society should also have developed morals regarding sociability and acquaintance of human behavior and not only industrial development. I also think that those who discriminate against others because of their sex, age, colour, race etc are all cowards, frustrated, low self-esteem and miss the joy of living and knowing other people.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Shopping for Groceries and basic items in Sweden

The first day i went to a glocery shop in Sweden i got scared of prices and ran out of the shop,took a deep breath and went back inside. You might think i saw something scary but that was not the case. After looking at prices of various items in the shop, I immediately converted them to my local currency . I could not believe those were the prices because they were, way to expensive for me and i did not think of gloceries as being so expensive in Sweden. I ask myself if i was at the wrong place.I kept on multiplying all prices of articles by seventy(exchange rate of my Cameroonian currency to the Swedish kronor). After my mathematical calculations and brain storming in the shop i got tired and ran out.

You might guess what happened next. I told some guy we lived in the same corridor and he advised me not to convert anything to my local currency and he kindly took me to a cheaper shop in town. I did not do any more brain storming that day and bought the things i needed. I mistakenly got cat food that day, thinking i wanted to try somethng new and because it was cheap.

My tip to every one who will like to move to Sweden or has just arrived in Sweden is that, stop converting prices to your local currency while in Sweden and instead seek advise by asking your neighbours the location of low- priced glocery shops. Do not expect much for there is no really big difference between them. Nothing is really cheap in Sweden and it is an expensive country to live in. Buy what you need and avoid subscribing for unnecesarry things that will not help you.

You can ask people around you to tell you the cheapest shops in town for groceries and other articles you want. They are also second hand shops and you can visit blocket or your local newspaper pages to buy or look for furniture or whatever you might need for housing equipment. You just need to somebody to be shown them. There are also many shopping centers in the bigger towns and you can be lucky to make good deals that suit you. Here are estimated prices of certain basic items you will need:-
(1 Euro = approx. 9 SEK )or ( I dollar =approx 6 SEK:)
  • Milk-(Mjölk) SEK 8/litre
  • Bread- (Bröd) SEK 10-20/loaf
  • Cornflakes box: SEK10- 30
  • Margarine/Butter: SEK 20 /500g tub
  • Cheese – (Ost) 30 to 50SEK 30-50/kg
  • Lamb: SEK 60-90/kg
  • Beef: SEK 70-140/kg
  • Pork: SEK 50-100/kg
  • Chicken:(Kyckling) SEK 30-50/kg
  • Chicken Legs(Kyckling klubbor)SEK 20-30/kg
  • Eggs: SEK 2 each
  • Rice: SEK 30-35/kg
  • Pasta: SEK 12/kg
  • Soda: SEK 5/33 cl
  • Cigarettes: SEK 35.50/packet
  • Beer: SEK 6-10/33 cl, 2.8 to 3% alcohol at a Grocery shop
    Beer: SEK 10-20/33 cl , 5.2 to 7% alcohol at Systembolaget - the Swedish alcohol retailing monopoly(Opens Mondays to Satudays) The cheapest beer is 33cl, 5.2%alcohol and cost 9kr.
    Wine: SEK from 55 /75 cl bottle ( Systembolaget - the Swedish alcohol retailing monooly
  • Newspaper: SEK 12Cinema: SEK 85Theatre: SEK 50-200
  • City-centre bus ticket: 16 to 20 Kr
  • Dinner with wine or beer:200 to 300kr
  • Pizza: 55 to 65 kr
  • McBurger:20 to 58 kr
  • Bananas:14 to 19kr(kg)
  • Apples:12 to 16kr (kg)
  • Dinner is an average resturant with wine cost about 250 kr

I hope you do not buy cat food mistakenly like i did or get items and because you read the prices wrongly and be forced to give it back to the cashier because you cannot afford for it. Take all your time in the world if you have it to look for the best deals.Finally it is very expensive to get drunk in Sweden.

Monday, January 01, 2007

When you have lived in Sweden for a long time

After living in Sweden for about a year, i noticed that i had changed in certain ways of looking at various aspects of life, doing things and reacting to people. It is quite interesting when one thinks about it. I collected a couple of this Swedish behavioral patterns of thinking , doing things and also got some of them from friends.

Here are some of the behavioral patterns that will be linked to you after living in Sweden for a certain period of time. It is part of the culture here. It is subjective and there are common things one sees everyday. Here are some of them :-

  • You get extremely annoyed when the bus is two minutes late.
  • You become a punctuality freak and dump your friends for being late more than once.
  • When offered a bottle of beer the first thing you look at is the alcoholic percentage .
  • You use the alcohol percentage-per-kroner standard for measuring the quality of beer and wine.
  • You get extremely annoyed when somebody is five to ten minutes minutes late.
  • The first thing you do upon entering a bank/post office/chemist etc. is to look for the queue number machine.
  • You think it is normal EVERYTHING is regulated and you obey the rules voluntarily.
  • When a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume that he is either drunk, insane or is he's an American .
  • When someone asks you for "sex" you assume they mean half-a-dozen.
  • You no longer fold your paper money. You always put your money in your wallet
  • Silence is fun.
  • You think that riding a bicycle in the snow is a perfectly sensible thing to do
  • You become extremely skilled at assembling prepackaged furniture kits
  • You always thinking about of changing ques in a grocery store.
  • Your idea of unforgivable behaviour now includes walking across the street when the light is red and there is no WALK symbol, even though there are no cars in sight.
  • It no longer seems excessive to spend 1,000kr or 100 euro on alcohol in a single night
  • You regard it as sensible to eat ice cream when it is –15C.
  • Paying $6 for a cup of coffee seems reasonable.
  • You start to differentiate between types of snow.
  • You accept you must walk 2 kilometres to collect your book/tape from the Post Office, because they don't deliver small packages (or large ones)
  • You own a pocket calendar.
  • You start avoiding your neighbour.
  • It's normal to have an entire pizza just for yourself.

You

I hope you are enjoying Sweden and i hope you have a good time when you are in Sweden. You will joins us in looking at the percentage content of alcohol of a beer can or bottle when you are offered one.