Before we left the States, we put together half a dozen boxes of stuff to ship to ourselves once we got settled in over here. Of course, it took us a little longer than expected to find an apartment, and we didn't want to have to drag another 110 kg of stuff from hotel to hotel, so for a few months our shipment wasn't a shipment so much as a pile of stuff in the middle of Jennifer's parents' dining room (sorry about that!).
Well, when we moved to Flogsta I started trying to get the shipment mobile, and by mid-April it was on the way. It came by freighter, so it was mid-May before it got to Göteborg. Then the delays started. It sat in the harbor for a few days while the receiving company wondered what was in the boxes and who they belonged to (fortunately I called to check on it, and was able to e-mail them an inventory). Once that was taken care of, they had to get it through customs, which should take another day, they said. Except that we wanted to claim the household goods exemption so that we didn't have to pay 25% of the total value in taxes, so there was two more days of e-mails and phone calls, resulting in a form to print, sign, and mail to them. By the beginning of this week, it was through customs, and ready for shipment to Uppsala, Wednesday it actually got put on a truck, and yesterday it arrived!
So today, for the first time in four months, we actually had new clothes to choose from (after doing 6 loads of laundry yesterday afternoon—stinky boat!). Sharp knives, a pressure cooker, English measuring cups (1 dl just is not half a cup, and assuming that it is leads to messed up brownies), a non-stick skillet, mixing bowls… nearly a whole kitchen, and don't think I haven't had to physically restrain myself from buying some of that stuff in the interim. We had assumed that we'd get this by the time Swedish lessons started (hah!), so our grammar books were in it. The external hard drive is certainly welcome, as is the computer stand—those MacBooks sure do heat up fast.
Most anticipated item: Summer clothes and shoes—tramping around in jeans and boots was starting to be faintly ridiculous.
Thought we packed, but didn't: Tableware. Jennifer's harmonica. Jeans without holes in them.
Probably could have lived without: A cocktail shaker—can't afford vodka, unless we do like everyone else does here: buy it in Finland.
What were we thinking? An iPod car charger—odds of that being useful are about a gazillion to one.
What would we pack if we were doing it now? Hanging file folders (can't find them anywhere); H.M.S. Surprise (the local library has most of the Patrick O'Brian books in English, but not the best one).
Could have been useful in February: Down comforter, down jacket, extra scarves, etc. It was supposed to be cold here, right?
Welcome reminders of home: Mule shoe from the Grand Canyon. Little iron Japanese bell. Ukulele. Scrabble Board (and dictionary, of course).