People have never in modern history been more eager to leave a year behind and start something new. But this year has started very strange. As the virus keeps holding the island by the neck and we have new restrictions hanging over us - No matter how good the intentions we had two weeks ago, we cannot continue as we expected. Its ok – its strange times, and the times will change again and the plans we made will still be there for later. We will get back on the horse again as soon as they let us.
January was never my best month – It is safe to say that January was one of the reasons I left Sweden some 25 years ago. The last winter at home was extra-long - Morning came around 11.00. The dark turned grey and at 15.00 the dark came back. I counted to 64 days in a row where we did not see the sun. Just grey, sad, and dark. It is so much better in Mallorca even a year like this.
I arrived in Mallorca and Cala d’Or in the middle of January. It was one of those mild winters, and as a true Swede I spent every evening in front of the TV to check the weather – Mallorca + 13 degrees sounded so much better than -24. If I had only known what to expect.
We rented an apartment from a Mallorcan family in one of the new houses in Calonge village just 10 minutes from the resort centre. I remember opening the front door and a wave of cold humidity came out. The house was absolutely freezing, and I asked my travel companion if they did not have any heating indoors, and he just shook his head like he had never thought of that before. I went to bed thinking everything will be ok as long as I get to see the sun tomorrow. You can imagen my shock when I opened my bedroom window the first morning and we had snow in the garden. What an adventure. I can’t say I have seen snow in that area of the island after that.
I am not the only Scandinavian that gave up my home country to move to Mallorca – No one can say exactly what percentage of the population in Mallorca is originally from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, or Finland. The Spanish statistics say one number – the consulate another. What is for sure is that every year more people decide to stay and try their luck. As we have both Swedish and Norwegian churches and a Swedish school there are a lot of families with children that move here.
The most unexpected thing in Mallorca for Scandinavians that decide to move here is the humid air and indoor environment. In Sweden for example we know everything about Black mould and how dangerous it is for health.
- A frequent question on the Scandinavian forums online is – I have black mould in my rented apartment, how can help me?
- And the answer would be - Welcome to Mallorca! This is totally normal and very common–no need to call anyone just clean with chlorine, paint with anti mould paint and buy a dehumifyer.
- I had never seen a dehumifyer before I moved here and now, I have one in every room.
On many occasions the older houses with thick stone walls have very limited alternatives to heat up and get decent temperatures during the cold winter months. Basic apartments can have challenges as well, as the prices for electricity here are ridiculous and the Mallorcans are brought up with the idea that one light at a time is enough. Every little light bulb on in an empty room that someone forgot to turn off can cause a small crisis in a Mallorcan home. No matter how you try to heat up a Mallorcan house – it is impossible to get the temperatures up to Scandinavian standard. Some are lucky and have modern floor heating, but many families must survive the winter with hot water bottles and electric blankets. One Swedish entrepreneur decided to start importing Swedish quality firewood last year and the demand is very high – one sack of excellent Swedish birchwood cost the same as the petrol station wood. Great business if you have an empty container to move anyway.