OK. So I have been super quiet for ages. I do still exist, even if only as electrical impulses.
Yesterday marked the forth year since I left Vancouver for Stockholm. I posted this fact on Facebook, which prompted me to review old posts and quotes about my first few months living in Stockholm.
During the first months, adjusting to a new country can be both interesting and frustrating. I found some good stuff, so this is part I of what might be three posts.
The First Three Months: Random Amanda Quotes
There really are a lot of real blondes in Sweden
Uncivilized! 2 not be able 2 buy wine after 1900!
It is both comforting and disturbing to know that tv sucks everywhere.
Windows Vista is a pain in the butt both in English and Swedish. That is a fact.
Marcus just asked his dad for a credit card. I am glad I have cats.
Processes and procedures. As a technical writer, and as someone who has worked in Canadian government, these things should not have surprised me. But obviously they did.
This country is freaky sometimes. I had to buy a book online and when I filled in my personnummer (like the SIN #) it auto populated with my address…even though I have never gone to this website before….can you say 1970s socialist government?
Things you learn in new countries: I can’t have a phone contract until I’ve lived here 8 months. Strange numerical choice, but that is the scoop. Don’t know yet if this is the rule for other things…don’t receive junk mail for 8 months, can’t go to jail until you are here for 8 months, no taxes for 8 months… me don’t think so
Swedish law means that your employer actually gives you extra money when you are on vacation. But when you are sick, you don’t get paid the first day and then you get 80% for subsequent sick days. Not sure what this implies, but I find it odd.
Editor’s note: So, basically your employer rewards you to take vacation, and punishes you when you are sick, encouraging your colleagues to stumble to work to spread their germs just before your vacation. Then the extra money they give you has to be spent on medication.
Broken Brain Machinery
Silly me log #12: Ninni is reading Crime and Punishment for a class and doing a performance. What is the class for? I asked. “Swedish”. “No, I mean what class, you know, like math, art, biology…” “Yeah, Swedish”. It took me a second, and then the light went on. “Duh! Silly me! Like English class where you read literature!” In my defense, it was Sunday morning, and I had only had 1/3 cup of coffee.
Things you learn in a new country 2: Foreign language films have Swedish subtitles.
But Swedish is a foreign language…oh yeah. Not here.
Everyday things are more difficult because you cannot read instructions, and even a simple, familiar task, can stress you out.
ummmm, thought I would blow a fuse in Sweden…ya know, to learn how to change it? Just testing their electrical systems…
A weekend filled with Swedish words that I don’t understand…even trying to do washing and drying is hard. I keep forgetting what each setting means.
Editor’s note: I still have trouble with these things. Biggest problem? My voice mail. Do not ever leave me a message.
Coming next… fun with the Swedish Language and more.