Posting two days in a row? I think that's unheard of here on my little blog!
It seems like all of a sudden life has exploded here in the little town of Skövde for me! SFI now requires much more involvement, and I'm beginning to really love the little group we've formed in class. The five of us I mentioned in my previous post are so close knit, now! Just wanted to muse a bit more about that.
For the first time since October (when I was still in the U.S.), I met and spoke face to face with an American yesterday!! My new SFI class has an American!! She is only in class a couple days of the week because she has work to do. To keep her name short, I will refer to her as M. Not only did we chatter away in class yesterday when there was free time, but when we parted ways after class we both had errands to run. As it so happens about 10 minutes later as I was walking into the little mall in downtown Skövde, someone sharply said, "Jessica!" in the CORRECT pronunciation. I stopped dead in my tracks because 1) who in this town knows me? and 2) did I really just hear an American? Lo and behold, there was M again at the mall walking out of a store! She happened to be walking home after one more errand, and as I had a car at my disposal, I offered to take her home if we could run our errands together. Anyone who might have been listening in might have thought we were talking a million miles a minute! I can't explain simply just how nice it was to be in the presence of another American, talking about American things, and the funny things we've noticed about Swedes and Sweden in general. I'm really excited to have an American friend!! And what's more, she lives in my same neighborhood, literally a 3 min drive (or 15 min walk) down the street! =)
Today after class I went to the next town over, Tibro, to visit a Swedish friend of mine (I shall call him O). He recently bought an older Mercedes Benz van for super cheap as it has some significant body work that needs done and also had a few mechanical problems (that he's already fixed). I offered recently to help him out if he ever needed any, so he agreed to let me know whenever he would be taking a day off work so I could see if I'd like to come along and help! I used to help my dad with working on cars if we ever had anything go wrong with any of our cars, and I always really enjoyed it. Today, it's safe to say, was quite enjoyable! As I didn't bring any crappy clothes with me here to Sweden, he asked his mom if she could loan me some crappy work clothes, and she happened to have some that fit me pretty well. We went out to the garage and got to work! He's been doing some body work (removing rust) and I got to help out with this. He taught me how to use an angle grinder and he had a piece of metal trim he wanted some rust taken off of. I did all I could with this, and then after the fact he hooked up his air compressor to another hose into a sand bag; he sand blasted the bits that were more difficult to get to right off! I know I may be boring some of you, but for those of you even slightly interested, it was prett cool to see how some body work is done on cars. As I mentioned above, I've only really ever helped my dad with working on mechanical problems and fixing a car, not fixing up a car, ha ha.
Anyhoo, it was good to catch up with O, as I've known him just as long as I've known my J. Until today, I haven't been able to hang out with him one on one and spend some quality time together. I'm not one of those people who requires constant social integration (in fact I need my alone time, now and then), but it's wonderful to broaden my network of people. I'm enjoying getting to know people more and make more friends.
As the post title suggests, I'm a busy bee. Not only do I have more intense studying to do for Swedish now, but also my work will be picking up very quickly in the near future. I'm getting ready to post some job ads for my recruiting job, and with that I believe I'll need to start being the contact person that my boss has planned me to be all along. I've also got a quickly widening friend network, which means more socialization in the near future. To sum things up - I think I'm getting a normal (or as close as I can) life back! =)