For the past few months I’ve been living in a borrowed flat, a new, exciting experience, since I’ve lived in a detached house for many years. The flat is small but comfortable, with a pleasant view over a grassy area with trees and a play-corner for the children. Most people I meet smile and say hello.
If I’m struggling with a heavy bag of shopping, a young person can ask if I need help. There’s a bus stop a couple of hundred yards away, with buses in to town every ten minutes.
And where is this little oasis? No more than a couple of miles from the town centre – at Charlottesborg.
Charlottesborg is often named in the media, mostly in a none too positive connection. We usually say ”no news is good news” - If everything is as it should be, there’s nothing worth talking about, but if there is any trouble, everybody wants to know all the details. There have been some disturbances in the area, something the police take a serious view of and are working hard to put a stop to. Two surveillance cameras at Jacobs väg will increase security. As far as I’m concerned, I have never felt unsafe, neither here nor at home in my residential area.
Most people at ”Challan” are friendly and helpful. The people who live here come from all over the world. They have different habits and customs. The key words must be tolerance and acceptance. If I want to have the freedom to do things my way, I must be prepared to allow others the same freedom – within reasonable limits, of course.
My first home in Sweden was a flat at Sommarlust. The area was quiet, the neighbours pleasant. To begin with, we just said ”hello” to each other. Partly because I couldn’t say much more, and partly because the neighbours probably didn’t want to be too pushy. But after a while I plucked up courage to try to say something in Swedish – and hey presto, I suddenly had contact with my neghbours. Great!
I have never experienced anything unpleasant at ”Challan” – quite the opposite. Going out after dark is no problem – neither here nor at home. Only once have I been (slightly) disturbed. It was the school’s autumn holiday week. One evening there was a ring at the entry phone. I answered, but no-one came in. I went out to investigate and was just in time to see a couple of little rascals disappear like greased lightning into the darkness.
They were tall enough to reach up to the bell on the entry phone, but too small to reach the telephone. And then the penny dropped – it was the day before Halloween.