Haani is a Swedish citizen who grew up in Södertälje, Sweden. Haani has also lived on the Åland islands and spent most of his school holidays in Finland, but moved to England 24 years ago. Having lived in England all my life, I was interested on the perspective of someone from Europe.

Q: What was your first impression of the UK?

A: I thought it was like travelling back in time - everything felt old-fashioned and old, for example having 2 taps in the bathroom sink instead of having one that has both hot and cold water. Why do you have to have 2 separate taps, why couldn't one tap have both cold and warm water?

Q: What are some of the main differences you have seen between life in Sweden and life in the UK?

A: Compared to Sweden, the UK is a lot more crowded, there's less space and more people. I wasn't prepared for the humidity in England - 20 years ago, Sweden got snow every winter, and England did not. That has, of course, now changed and even Stockholm isn't guaranteed to get snow at Christmas any more. In England more people own their property, it's often more expensive in the long-term to rent than it is to buy, but in Sweden renting is more common. Also,  when I came to England, there weren't many coffee shops or Kafeteria/Konditorias(cafes) but now we have Costa, Nero and Starbucks, as well as many independent cafes. I was used to filter coffee, which was hard to find for  a while when cafes started up in England - it was all espresso-based coffees.

Q: Why did you decide to move to England?

A: It was easy to get work here - I was just going to try it out for a bit and ended up staying.

Q: What do you think of the food in England?

A: The first time I tried fish and chips I found it very odd to have vinegar on chips, and I didn't like Indian food for at least 10 years, but now I really like it.

Q: What were some difficulties in moving to a new country?

A: It was more difficult to stay in touch with people and events in Sweden, because phone calls were very expensive and internet as we know it today was just beginning, but now it's a lot easier - I can read, watch and listen to Swedish news and programs. I also missed certain foods in Sweden, many things that I was used to I couldn’t get here. However, now there are Scandinavian shops that sell Swedish foods, such as Scandinavian Kitchen, in London. Even IKEA nowadays stocks some of the basics, such as Kalles kaviar, pickled herring and my favourite, princess tårta.