Deni: One step at a time
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Sweden, etc.
My name is Deni, the fourth child of a Balinese family. I am originally from Bali, Indonesia. I love to write and capture everything around me, especially nature because I often found that nature taught me lots of things about life and it still does to me. I moved to Sweden in 2008, after trying hard learning Swedish in the United Kingdom for 2 years.
My education and previous job as a waitress gave me chance to live in a couple of countries such as Singapore, Dubai and the United Kingdom. Living in these countries made my life richer in a way of experience and challenges that I’ve been through in life and for that I am so grateful!
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started from an early age but usually I wrote it as a poem in my mother tongue Bahasa Indonesia on a piece of paper. I have almost 1000 poems now and would love to make some more of it. Online blogging I start years ago when my husband and I lived in the United Kingdom, the site was called multiply. Unfortunately the multiply is closed and I decided last year to buy my own domain in Wordpress.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Yes, this is the one
Tell us about the ways your new life in Sweden differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Life in Sweden is off course completely and utterly different with the one that I had at home but for me it is the beauty of it. I have so many chances that I never had back home; I met new people, learn new language, understand culture and behavior and got to improve myself in many different ways. I have struggled a little bit, especially finding a job but the more I understand this country, the more I encourage myself not to give up and keep trying. I experienced culture shock but I am lucky to have my husband’s family who helped me along the way to adapt in this new place.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Sweden? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
No, I don’t think that I was fully prepared. My husband had warned me that the situation that I could face in Sweden will be completely different with the one when we lived in England but I guess it is kind of good having some shock so it made me push myself even more and learning how to become a survivor. If I could, I would not change anything but maybe would make some preparations before we moved to Sweden.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Yup, in the beginning of our relationship back in Dubai, my husband taught me sentence in Swedish and asked me to say it to our regular Swedish guests in the restaurant where I worked. Without knowing the meaning of the sentence, I was so proud to say it loud. The sentence was “Håll käften din fan!!” which means “Shout your mouth!!” Our Swedish guest were laughing and thought that it was funny to see my face said that sentence with smile :P I was shocked when I learned the meaning, they were not mad at me but they gave me good tips instead :D haha!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Sweden?
My tips would be:
- Read as much as information about Sweden as you can.
- Be prepared to learn something entirely new and don’t be shy or afraid of learning the language. Swedish is not our mother tongue so it is normal to make mistakes when we learn it.
- Never give up!
How is the expat community in Sweden? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
So far as I know, the expat community in Sweden is quite good. I did not have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats.
How would you summarize your expat life in Sweden in a single, catchy sentence?
A journey is not always beautiful but I can make it meaningful!