Catalonia might not have political independence, but it is culturally self-standing. As a sweltering September in which political divisions fired up simmered down into a mild but dark autumn, I tried to keep my senses open to what richness this region has to offer.
Denmark feels like a close possible world of Sweden. Squint, and much is the same. Look elsewhere, and they are worlds apart.
That Spain would be a world away from Sweden is something I knew beforehand, but hadn’t realised until I’d made the move from Stockholm to Barcelona.
Like pretty much anything that exists, my year in Sweden mostly revolved around the sun.
A society which promotes free access to education this way lets academic disciplines like philosophy down from their ivory tower. Your research need not exist in an echo chamber if its entrance is open to all. On the contrary, it can spread its wings in the most ordinary of places.
It’s a first-world problem for sure, but the struggle is real. Not that it is hard for people to buy a place in Stockholm…but that often they have to, because they have found the rental market impenetrable.
My worry is that in letting Stockholm make me more innovative – whatever that means – I will compromise on some of my dearly-held socialist values.
I have a personummer and ID card with it on, and am therefore invincible. I exist in Sweden. I am part of the system.