(A letter to international students)
Dear students, you are probably having the time of your lives in Jönköping, making friends, patching up your overalls, ordering coronas, beating deadlines, wondering what this article is about and getting exclusive access to every party in town. Well I am here to welcome you once again and pour my heart in this article with some truths about apples, fika, and Autumn. Any of you who has not yet witnessed the kind act of displaying apples on the street, has probably been staring at their phones forever, has missed a few fikas, and complains about the leaves falling from the trees. You are probably also an international student who has had their first autumn and you are definitely a ‘tea type’ of person who needs to get used to coffee. Hang in there, same here.
Standing at a bus station is usually not as fun as it looks and definitely always the same, except for this one interesting day. It all started with a heap of good-looking apples a few meters from the bus station where I stood. I did not know that they were free until another student came out from a bus, walked over to the stock and picked as many apples as she could carry, then walked up to me and informed me that I should follow her lead. “Pick apples and risk missing my bus to a “dance session” or continue on?” I thought to myself. The decision was simple of course, take as many apples as I could and walk with them in my bag for the rest of the evening. Which is a decision I did not take because I am a student, we dance very much and make bad decisions. It is part of the learning process.
Speaking of learning that is far from free apples, I have come to understand that fika, which I thought was an optional activity, turns out is compulsory, at least for me. For those of you who do not know what fika is, it is a “social cup of coffee” that you will never find in any other country worldwide. You will probably find other cups of coffee but not fika. It is a Swedish thing. My dear readers, international as you are, please attend every invite for fika and have fun while you’re at it. That Netflix Series can wait a little bit longer. The society we live in values this hangout time because it is the only chance you will get to sit and laugh with your Swedish peers aside from schoolwork. Take my word for it, it is either now or possibly later but better now. So get to business.
Judging from how clear the skies look and how littered the streets are, it is the fall season or autumn. The season that prepares us for winter, the holiday season, and a possible visit to the northern lights. All I can say is that it gets colder from here on, so instead of complaining of the falling leaves, you should definitely be doing some winter shopping. Frankly if you are going to experience your first winter, it is better to keep a sound mind and be excited for that time in January where you will be wondering where the sun is.
And finally, my dear fellow students as I conclude my letter, learning a new language will not hurt and reach out to your peers. The information you get will surprise you. This is not the last you will hear from me, I will definitely be back. Nothing ever ends in 2020. Stay hydrated, sanitize and keep your distance whenever you can.