Tag Archives: sweden

Grumpy Swede at IKEA

Today was spent shopping at IKEA and enjoying a lunch consisting of disappointing mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry jam that cost £0.5. It’s not quite the same without the meatballs, I guess the meal is more exciting for meateaters.  Bought some stuff, like a clock that we will have to return because it doesn’t appear to be working. At least I got a jar of lingonberry jam (I can spot two or three lingonberries floating around in that red sugar jelly so I guess it counts as jam). I know some Swedes living abroad go to IKEA to feel at home, but it just reminds me that I’m away to be honest. Small stuff as a misspelled sign in Swedish, the traditional gravy not being quite right and the lingonberry being served in a pump. 

I don’t miss Sweden that much yet, but I wish I was able to find the following items here: Big packages of low-fat strawberry yoghurt (1 litre or more), my favorite ramen noodles, prescription-free 20mg Omeprezol, Marabou chocolate and fresh/wet yeast.

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Yesterday was my last day at my summer job. I worked for 9 weeks straight, showed up on an average 10 minutes before my shift started, worked double shifts occasionally, often worked overtime and never requested to be compensated, covered other people’s shifts when they couldn’t work their days, never took any sick days and the only time I took a day off was when my mum was in the hospital. I offered to help out with coworker’s workload when they were stressed and I spent time on my spare time putting together an aid for one of the residents I worked with. I guess what matters in the end is if the residents I worked with thought I did a good job when working with them, which I think they did (at least a lot of them were very appreciative).

I never thought I would grow up to be someone who cared about work ethics.

But work is over and as I was biking home through the rain yesterday, it gradually hit me. The only thing that was keeping me in Sweden is gone. I could leave to London today, I have no obligations here anymore (although it would be silly to do so, as Tom is visiting in a week’s time). I have very little money and I have no idea what kind of jobs I can hope to get (if any) but like a wise old lady said at work, “The time is now”. Stockholm doesn’t offer me much anymore. I spent years in Linköping longing to get ‘home’ to Stockholm once I was done with my education and I don’t know why.  I think gradually I developed closer friendships at university and found someone I could really trust and share everything and at the same time became jaded and cynical about everyone left in Stockholm. It’s like I was seeing my life there through rose colored glasses and then someone punched me in the face. I want to and will live in Stockholm eventually, I like the city and I like being near (most) of my family, but if I do end up here permanently I will wipe the slate clean, make new friends, find new hobbies and live in another flat. Life is too short to keep doing the same thing, living in the same place and hanging out with the same people, not because you enjoy it but because of tradition and fear.

I need a break from Sweden for a while.  For once in a long while I like that my immediate future is unpredictable. Circumstances could be better but they might never be better. The time is now (or at least in 2-3 weeks 😉 ).

Home is where I rest my head

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For the first time this summer, I have managed to dress too cold. I was heading downtown today to get art supplies and I was wearing a dress with no tights because I’ve been sweating all summer. Looked good but it was far too cold and I feel like I’m in general coming down with something.

An odd thing that happened today when I was walking downtown was that on my way to the art supply store I walked past a beggar with a very distinctive handicap. We were walking in opposite directions, crossed paths and I kept walking for another 15 minutes and went inside a store. Then when I got out I see the same beggar coming in the opposite direction to me again. Either he’s much quicker than me and ran past me while I was in the store and started walking down the street again, or it was two different people with exactly the same handicap. I didn’t pay much attention the first time so I couldn’t tell if it was two different people or just one. Maybe one guy had a real handicap and the other started copying him to get money? It’s hard to explain but he has a very distinctive and painful-looking limp that simply can’t be that common.

Another weird thing is that Stockholm has the world’s laziest street performers. There are some REALLY good living statues, but then there’s people who you aren’t really sure what they’re doing and why you’re supposed to give them money. There’s especially this one guy who walks up and down the most crowded street of Stockholm wearing a white dress, white facepaint and a white wig, all of which looks like they have been bought in a very budget novelty shop. He doesn’t do ANYTHING, he just walks up and down the street wearing that and rattling a can where you’re supposed to put money. I wonder if he considers himself a beggar or a street performer? He’s been doing it for a while now so I guess it pays off… There’s a woman who does pretty much the same thing, although her outfit looks a bit better. It’s just really confusing. If we started giving money to everyone that dressed weird, I would know some cybergoths that would be really happy.  😛

I ended up getting a bunch of Faber-Castell pencils at the art shop. It’s my mums birthday in little over a week and she wished for some art from me, so I used that as justification to blow 450kr ($70?) on pencils. Now that I have good materials to work with, that’s also one excuse less on why I haven’t started some projects that I’ve been meaning to start.

Walking down the streets of Stockholm

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Some photos from “touristing” my home city Stockholm in between work and sleep.


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