Last weekend J so kindly allowed me to get a Christmas tree (alas, a fake one). I don't think it occurred to him to get a tree at all, so we compromised on getting a fake one. I haven't had a real one since I was a smaller child, and would have liked to have one, but as J so logically pointed out - they make more of a mess and don't last nearly as long as fake ones. We were both excited to buy everything new - it had been so long since either of us had new decorations to put on a tree. One thing I'm sad about - they don't seem to have stars for the tops of trees that light up. Take what you can get, I suppose.
After we went shopping last Saturday for the tree and its decorations, we were in somewhat of a hurry to get moving and pick up a friend in Tibro, then drive down to Jönköping to pick up another friend and go to dinner/a hockey game for HV71. We were starving, however, before we ever got on the road, so J suggested going to a local gatukök - to look at the link you'll probably need Google translate, or use Google chrome to read what it has to say. Directly translated, the word means "street kitchen." They're kind of like a larger hot dog stand, where some of them you can go inside. They also offer things like burgers and fries. We both got a french hot dog. So good! This is one thing I think America misses out on - the street kitchens. They're great for a quick bite to eat.
Dinner and the hockey game followed by a pub after was a fun night - we had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant. I must say, I really do enjoy middle eastern food. There is so much flavor, in exactly a good kind of way! The three guys left it up to me where we should eat so I asked what was around and chose the Lebanese. We all enjoyed it very much! The hockey game right afterward was much more entertaining than the first hockey game I went to the day I arrived here back in November. A lot more happened and kept you on your toes, but alas, HV71 lost. Let's hope next time we go they win! The local pub was called Pipes of Scotland and the atmosphere there is great. It's a good imitation of what I would imagine walking into a Scottish pub would be like. I was the designated driver for the night, by the time we finally got home around 12:45am I was tired! The trip there is nearly an hour and a half, so I had driven there and back in one day. It's a good thing I enjoy driving so much!
Tuesday I had a meeting with the head teacher of SFI (Swedish for Immigrants). She basically filled me in on how the class works and when I would start - which is January 24th. The initial class is only three weeks long which is the basic intro. After three weeks they give a test and decide where to place you after that. There are three different levels, and she told me that since I have so much education already I would most likely be put into the most advanced class. Let's hope I catch on quick! Also, another sweet deal with SFI is that if I pass the course within 12 months of beginning it, I could apply for the SFI bonus which would be 12,000:- (which is SEK, Swedish crowns, approximately $1700). It would be lesser amounts if I would be placed in the middle class or the lowest class. She told me, however, that I should talk to Arbetsförmedlingen because they often place those with higher educations into Swedish classes at the university here in town. J and I went later in the day to speak with them, and I am currently waiting on my specific case handler to contact us. So we will see about that avenue.
This weekend we may travel to Göteborg to visit J's sister and her family, as well as visit Liseberg. They decorate it each year with Christmas stuff, so I hear, and is a real delight to see. I kind of get the idea of the zoo lights at home in the Columbus Zoo. We're just trying to figure out if we would go by train or car, and also whether we would go Saturday or Sunday. It's looking like Sunday may be the better choice since Saturday there is snow in the forecast. We will see!