Thursday, January 24, 2008

Second Day

Joe It's the morning of day three (Sv+3 maybe?), and after a good and fairly productive day two, this morning we are bedeviled by jet lag. I woke up at midnight last night and didn't get back to sleep until after three, about when Jennifer woke up—I don't think she got back to sleep until about 20 minutes ago. So for now I've retired to the lounge to admire the view of the cathedral and catch up on this.

Now, bearing in mind Jennifer's first axiom of blogging, i.e. "No one cares what you ate for lunch today," I will endeavor not to leave a long string of posts regarding days in which nothing happened. In the future, that is. For now, even the most mind-numbing of mundanities is   shiny, so please forgive the following somewhat self-indulgent recap of a not-very-eventful Wednesday:
We managed to get up for breakfast without too much of a struggle. It was pretty typical Scandinavian hotel fare: fixings for open-faced sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, mueslix, yogurt, and of course, rye crisp. Packed a lunch of sandwich and fruit—it's hard to justify spending another ten dollars on lunch when the hotel already costs $120 a night. Then Jennifer was off to have lunch with her new boss (she'll tell you about her day herself, once she regains a semblance of consciousness) and I set off to wander a bit and get my bearings. The cathedral is just around the corner (I already went on at length about it in the Uppsala section of our 2006 trip travelogue, so I won't repeat it all here), and it seemed like a natural first stop. Remembered to visit the unassuming tomb of Olof Rudbek this time. Then I tried to find my way to the bus information office from memory, and failed miserably. Took the wrong bridge, overshot by blocks, got totally turned around and had to backtrack quite a bit once I got my bearings again. Ah well, it'll come with time, I'm sure. The bus station was a bust, anyway, as all I really wanted was a printed route map, and while they have a nice one posted they don't appear to distribute it except electronically. Dropped into a bookstore on route back to the hotel, mostly to reaffirm that there won't be much book buying for the next couple of years—$20 for a mass market paperback? Ouch.—then made my way back for lunch. Spent the afternoon researching our next steps regarding civil registration, insurance, housing, etc., while browsing through afternoon television (and discovering that Days of Our Lives is rendered no less painful to watch by the addition of Swedish subtitles).
Having finally found a street address for the local Skatteverket (the Tax Office, where we must go to get registered), I set off to find it. It was a bit further away than I had anticipated, but not too bad. On the way back I tried to find the local SFI office, where we should be able to register for Swedish lessons, and briefly checked out two public libraries on the way.
By the time I got back it was four o'clock, and I was in need of a hot chocolate from the lounge to warm up.  Caught the end of a tense handball match on the tele (imagine playing soccer on a hardwood court inside, but dribbling like basketball instead, and you've pretty much got it) in which Sweden managed to pull off a one point win over some former Soviet republic, and then Jennifer got back from her afternoon at work. We grabbed a table in the breakfast room to look over all the materials they had given her and to do some more online housing research, which failed to turn up any actual leads, but did perhaps reveal a couple of new places to try.
We caught the news at 19:30, which revealed that everyone is worried about the US economy, and that some Swedes had held a ceremony to give Bill Gates a funny hat (I'll presume that these two stories were unrelated). For dinner we decided to try the little kitchen on our floor of the hotel. It has a little oven and stove, but either it's been switched off or I'm an idiot, because I couldn't get the stovetop to turn on. We were therefore reduced to microwaving a couple of packets of freeze-dried chicken soup mix (blecch!) and eating a clementine for dessert. Hmm, I think some other options will have to be explored there. And then it was off to bed, for the worst night's sleep ever.
Well, the morning is wasting away, and it looks like the rain has stopped. Better go wake Jennifer and set off to experience the best that northern bureaucracy has to offer—the Skatteverket!


  1. Greetings! So good to read the first couple posts. Sorry you are bedeviled. Jennifer, hope you're feeling better and the initial colleague meetings have gone well!
    I beg to differ: I, for one, often want to know what you have eaten for lunch. But I think you already knew that. :)

  2. I don't have anything particular to add — just that I've been enjoying the blog very much.