Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We're Officially Götar

Götar meaning people who live in Göteborg, aka Gothenburg.

Just a quick update. Moving takes its toll, and just because you're finally in your new place doesn't at all mean you're done! There is still much to do setting up the entire apartment. On Sunday evening we went to IKEA and bought several pieces of furniture that we deemed necessary. Downsizing from a 73 sq. meter apartment to a 50 sq. meter apartment means that you need more storage space than what the smaller apartment can offer. So we bought a couple of pieces of that nature.

As for the job update: it seems that the company's boss and managers have decided in reality that they need an HR person to cover their needs, not another administrator. It appears that I am not to be hired in Vara as an administrative assistant. Part of me is frustrated, yet another part relieved because I was never all that keen on traveling at least 3 hours a day for a job I never actually applied for. Back to square one.

I'll try and get some pictures up here within the near future. It's exciting to live in a city once again! We got some driving experience over the weekend, I will admit driving in a city with trams and cable cars is much more stressful and difficult than a sprawling Midwestern city in the US. Not to mention the fact that Gothenburg is much older and more dense than my hometown. But one of these days I'll go exploring by foot and hopefully get some shots to put up.

That's the skinny of it! Have a good week!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Much Done, Much to Think About

What a week, and weekend! Where do I start? As I was speaking with my good friend M earlier I told her that this weekend really has been no rest from the week, the way a weekend should be! Everything is coming down to the final details before the move. We plan to pack up the big truck we're going to use on Friday afternoon, and then on Saturday morning we make the migration to Göteborg!

Because of this I've told my teachers at Korta Vägen that my last day of school will be this Wednesday. Only 3 more days! I need all of Thursday and then part of Friday to finish up what needs done around here, cleaning especially, and last minute laundry. Yesterday J's parents came and helped us with several larger pieces of furniture. We're downsizing from a "3:a," three roomer, or 2 bedroom apartment to a "2:a," two roomer, or one bedroom apartment. That means we can't at all take everything with us! My computer desk we decided to donate to Gengåvan, which is a second hand store where whatever money they make goes to helping the needy. It's basically like what I did with all of my clothes a couple of weeks ago, but that was with a different organization.

We had two pieces of bedroom furniture, a chest or bureau you could say, and a taller shelf type thing, I really am bad at naming furniture apparently. But both pieces J has had since he began university several years ago, we hardly used them, don't have really any space for them, and if anything I'd rather just buy a new chest/bureau for our new bedroom that would match. So! We gave those two pieces to J's parents, his mother wanted them. There was another chest/bureau in our entry hall that was kind of breaking, and it definitely broke when we tried to get it down and out of our highrise apartment, so that ended up just being tossed. Lastly, we won't be able to fit our beloved futon in the new apartment, so that is being held by J's parents for safekeeping until we move (hopefully not too far in the future) to a larger apartment again. As said, we accomplished a lot yesterday!

Not only did we do all of that, but we cleaned and prepared for our final party with friends in celebration of moving to Gothenburg. Nothing wrong with some good company, food, and drinks. This time we had just Swedish friends (mostly J's to begin with but they're mine now, too) over. I kind of see interacting with some of them as almost a game, now, because I see certain people perhaps only twice a year (a couple lives in Stockholm) and they are always so surprised at how my Swedish is coming along. When I speak they're surprised every time because it's usually 5 or 6 months in between, which is plenty of time to make a huge difference in one's language abilities! So of course we were up for a good while last night, and I'm somewhat surprised I didn't sleep in any later than I did! J, however, is still snoozing away.

The big news earlier this week though, takes a bit of explanation and set up. As we're moving to Gothenburg and I've decided to stop attending Korta Vägen, I have opted to start searching for jobs immediately. J ended up realizing that I could actually help him out with his work (don't ask me to go into it, I could explain what he does but it would take another few paragraphs, probably) and so we decided to have a meeting with his boss and two other women at his company's main office in Vara (45 min drive from Skövde, 1 hr 15 min drive from Gothenburg). The boss is a person to go off on his own track, so when we got there the two administrative women who work there thought that I was coming in for a meeting about how to help them out around the office. It seems that J's boss has offered me a job working full time at the office in Vara. The only thing is, as said, it's quite a distance from either place we're living at (Skövde and Gothenburg). What is more, I would probably have to take the train to Vara from Göteborg, so it would take about 2 hours on the way there, and 2 hours on the way back (gotta love those train switches at towns in the middle of nowhere!). So I have a lot on my plate to think about. I'm going back tomorrow afternoon to discuss more concretely what I've decided I think I can live with. I, of course, am ecstatic to have been offered a job (especially since I've been applying for about a month now, with no luck), but at the same time if I accept full time there I will be gone for 12 hours of the day. I may have to go in bargaining with them on a few things. As always, I'll keep you all posted on the proceedings!

It's a beautiful sunny Sunday, and later today we're invited over to J's parents' for lunch/dinner (what would you call eating at 3pm?). But for now, I think I'll work on cleaning up around here from our get together last night.

Friday, February 3, 2012

There's a First Time for Everything

So I've had some skin problems, I thought it might just be dry skin from the winter but have had some spots that were definitely strange on my arm/back. J finally made me go to the vårdcentral for the first time since I've come to Sweden(it's basically your local clinic where you see the district nurse). Everyone is assigned to a vårdcentral so that one clinic isn't packed and the other empty. It's pretty smart, really.

I had an appointment at 10 this morning, and how much did I have to pay? 50 Swedish crowns. That equates to about $7.50. Pretty neat, huh? The nurse was so nice and actually kind of funny, not condescending at all. I'm also not really one to take my shirt off for some random stranger to look at my skin, but she made me completely comfortable just because of her personality. In the end she said to go to the apotek (pharmacy) and pick up one kind of cream that needs no prescription, and another cream she prescribed for me. The smartest thing about this? She writes it up in her computer, and all you have to do is go to the apotek about 10 minutes later and they have the prescription in their system. I just had to give my Swedish I.D. at the apotek and they took care of the rest. How cool is that? No old school prescription on a piece of paper that you have to not lose on the way to the pharmacy and then wait an hour until they have the time to fill your prescription. And how much did the two creams cost? 134 kronor, aka $20. $27.50 for the day, I think I can live with that!

And let me just reiterate my glee at having a Swedish I.D. (in the form of a körkort, aka driver's license). As I was on my way home from all of this I thought back to just how easy it was for me to show my I.D. at the vårdcentral and at the apotek. No hassle with a passport or personnummer paper! I'm still happy that I got that license back in October. By the way, happy Friday!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day! It would seem that Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania saw his shadow today, meaning that 6 more weeks of winter will ensue across the US. Other groundhogs across the country, however, didn't see their shadow and so predict the coming of spring soon. Predicting weather based on the actions of an animal seems a bit...inaccurate at best. But it's all in good fun.

Unfortunate news to report: Volvo sent me an email earlier in the week saying that I wasn't chosen for a second interview. As I said, it wouldn't be surprising, but I was holding out hope. I've kept my chin up and have viewed it as a positive experience. Besides, I consider myself no longer in "limbo" and can continue with my job search in full force, now.

I was a good girl and packed up more books and did some cleaning around the apartment today. Any little bit, done each day, helps towards the move that's coming up, this month! It's so strange to think about how this apartment I've grown attached to won't be my home for much longer. I've been trying to squeeze all the love I have out of it (which, among other things, means using the dishwasher as soon as it gets full, as I will sorely miss it). I shall also miss having a balcony as an extra refrigerator/freezer during the winter months. I will admit to a enjoying guilty pleasure while packing and cleaning: listening to 90s hits! (yes, including N*Sync and Brittney Spears; oh come on, I was a preteen ripe for the picking when those two were huge!)

Although I've enjoyed the snow that fell from the sky today, as well as the cold temperatures, it suddenly hit me earlier that it is indeed February. That means, technically, the final month of winter. I feel like the winter months are flying by (I won't hold out for spring arriving any time soon, that would be far too optimistic for one living this far north). But there is light outside until nearly 5pm, which is wonderful compared to it being dark by 3pm back in early December.

Fettisdagen (or Fat Tuesday) is coming up on the 21st of February. Semlor have already shown their cheery, tasty faces around the stores. On Fat Tuesday, Swedes eat these tasty delicious treats (generally as fika). Speaking J about it, he seemed not to know exactly what Fettisdagen really meant or stood for. I directly translated for him that it was Fat Tuesday, or the day before the beginning of Lent, which I also needed to explain. Even after living in Sweden for 15 months, I still forget sometimes just how unaffected by religion most of the younger to mid-generations are. What I mean there is that it is quite common for Swedes to have red days, or holidays, off from work and still have no clue as to what the meaning actually is behind the day (many of them being religiously tied). One example would be the 6th of January, Trettondedagjul (Thirteenth Day Christmas). In Christianity it's basically a celebration of Jesus as the son of God. Swedes, however, simply enjoy it as a day off work. But I digress; what I really wanted to get at is my appreciation for semlor. I find it endearing that Swedes love their fika so much they even have special treats for special days, although not very commonly. Just wait until Waffle Day rolls around later in the spring. =)