Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Another Tuesday Post

Sorry it has taken so long to post again, but this 'going to the library or mall' thing gets old. As you may guess, there is still no internet at home. They now say it will be installed in a few more weeks...ugh. So here is a quick recap of the past week (for me, at least):

Wednesday - went to lunch with the Americans I met online. They are both really nice and were so helpful in answering all my dumb questions. We met at the subway and then walked over to TGI Fridays. Apparently it is one of the few places that serves a decent burger (other than McDonalds!). After that, we strolled around downtown Stockholm and into the Old Town (mom and dad should remember this area - it is were our hotel was located). It was really great just to hang out and get to know them better.

Thursday - went to the Migration Board and received my permanent resident stamp in my passport. It went so smoothly. We arrived shortly before 9am and immediately plopped ourselves in front of window #5. Anders understood the lady behind the glass (everything is like this here) that she was to sit there as she was told 2 people would be coming in to finish their appointment from Monday. Lucky us - we were the first ones! She took my mug shot (HORRIBLE) and within 10 minutes I was a legal resident of Sweden!!! YIPEE!!! Of course, that still doesn't mean I can apply for a job or start my Swedish classes. I have to have a Swedish SS# for that. And you know what that means, right???? Another freaking government building we have to go to. And of course they are no where near eachother. That evening Anders and I decided to have dinner out (a very un-Swedish thing to do...I might have to rethink my TexMex restaurant since no one eats out). We went to the local hotel in Taby (Taby Park Hotel) and had an excellent meal. It was so cozy and delicious. I was really happy to find such a nice restaurant so close (since we are car-less) that was pretty reasonable and really good. It will be an excellent place for visitors to stay too, if they so desire!

Friday - Today was take Reagan on the train day. We wanted to do a practice run together to see how she handled so many smells, people, etc.. We took the train from Taby to Stockholm Center and then from there we went into the southern part of Stockholm on subway. Reagan has an incredible desire to smell EVERYTHING and eat ANYTHING that is accesible to her and trains are filled with all sorts of goodies. We took her with us to the Tax Office so I could register in the country and receive my SS#. We also wanted to find the only dog park in the entire Stockholm area (funny, really. Dallas has a billion parks but most people live in homes with yards. Here, most people live in apartments and there is only one dog park to be found). It was a really drizzly, dreary day so the dog park was a bit too muddy to let her go in. Poor thing - she hasn't been off leash outside since Chicago. She did really good on the entire trip and even mastered the escalators (which run a light speed compared to Texas - maybe everything is slower in the south...ha!!). Once we got back, I made chili and cornbread. It was also laundry night. Anders and I felt pretty pathetic...doing laundry on a Friday night - how lame!

Saturday - today Anders worked all day. Nothing too exciting - he was a test moderator for the university - but it gave him something to do and a little pocket change. I got a haircut since the last two pictures I have taken have shown that my hair is just too long and ugly. Besides, all I kept doing was throwing in a ponytail or bun. Funny thing was, the girl spoke Swedish and Spanish perfectly, so we talked the entire time in Spanish...small world. That afternoon, Reagan and I met him in Stockholm and took the train to Nyköping (his home town). It's so nice to be able to travel ANYWHERE by train. We arrived to Reagan being showered with gifts. She received a brand new bed(s) (one for Tåby and one for Nyköping), pig ears, new food bowl and a raincoat!! She is too cute in her coat and it is even lined with shearing...it's nicer than my new coat, ha!

Sunday - hung out at the house and then went to Morton and Eva's to see there new baby girl, Sofie.

Monday - Anders' dad took us to buy some things for our apartment (coffee maker, food processor, toaster, mixer) and then we went on to Anders' mom's summer home. It was a nasty, drizzly day again, so we didn't stay long. We did however get to pick up fresh eggs from the 'happy hens*. Can wait to start eating these - they are so fresh and taste way different than grocery store eggs. Took the train home, but realized we would be arriving exactly at rush hour. We had two extra bags with our stuff in it so we knew it would be almost impossible to deal with that, Reagan and all those people on the trains. OOOHH, TAXI!!!!

So that's it in a nut shell. Anders met with another friend today about some job possibilities and is applying for a few other jobs he saw in the paper. We found out yesterday our stuff arrives in Gothenburg on Wednesday and will be trucked up to Stockholm and delivered on Monday. Thank goodness!!! Thanks to everyone who posts comments - I really appreciate you checking in on us.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday Already?!

Good news - I received my resident permit paperwork in the mail yesterday. We had friends up from Gothenberg, who offered to take me to the Migration building to get my person number (the Swedish version of the SS#). We were finally called after waiting over 2 hours, 10 minutes before they closed, and multiple times to the trash can looking for a call number that was better than #154 (we ended up with #108, the last number called for the day!). Once we got up there we were told the computer system and digital camera machine were not working and they would be unable to issue my number. My Irish friend Eilish nearly went through the glass. After a few firm words and some helpless looks, they gave me a pass for Thursday that will allow me to go straight to the window and get my number issued immediately. Once I have this, I can get my actual personbevis (like the actual SS card, but in letter form) which will allow me to apply for Swedish classes, bank accounts, etc.. YEAH!

Tomorrow I am having lunch with some Americans I met via various people, blogs and Amerikanska website. It should be fun and a challenge for me to get there. I told Anders last night that I understand how the train system works, it's just figuring out what the other signs say that is frustrating.

Our computer is working and we are have our internet and landline phone installed this week. I promise to post lots of pictures as soon as it is up.

Anders is having an informative job lunch today and should hear from the other job possibility this week. Keep your fingers crossed that something will move forward this week. We both will meet with the Unemployment office this week so he can start receiving benefits as well as use that office as a job resource too (although we hear it's pretty much crap!).

Till Next Time!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Legal Alien

Well, we are still getting settled and really trying to get our computer up and running. Right now I am sitting in the middle of Taby Centrum (a Galleria type mall), smelling asian fast food, and guarding the computer screen from shoppers. It's not a very private feeling so I'll keep this post short.

Good news - the Migration Board signed my resident permit paperwork today!! Once we get the letter in the mail, I will be able to sign up for Swedish classes and start looking for a job. Anders is going on another interview next week and also meets with the Government employment group (have no idea what their name is) to discuss unemployment wages while he looks.

Our container is scheduled to arrive around Oct. 24th, we will start working on plans to get our stuff and store it somewhere. Hopefully by then we will have some idea on where we want to live a little more permanently and start looking for a house.

Tomorrow we will be going to the Stockholm Open to watch tennis. Johan, my bro-n-law, was able to get tickets for us so we are really excited. I also did my first load of laundry the other day (don't laugh - it's in celsius so you don't have the usually cold/warm/hot choices) so I am starting to feel a little more like I live here and not on vacation.

Sorry for such a brief post - lots of love to everyone!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Finally, We've Arrived!

Quick Update - we are here! No kidding, right? The last 4 days have been one whirlwind. First, after all my worrying about the animals, we got through customs without even a hiss from Kissel. We arrived to our apartment and after a quick trip to the grocery store and a bite to eat we crashed. My cell phone died pretty much right after we arrived. It had given me trouble on the way from Dallas to Chicago, but the TMobile people were able to fix it. This time, not so lucky. Apparently my 6 year SIM card is DEAD. Poor little thing - I guess it was what couldn't take any more moves! HA!

We've been trying to set things up ever since. Thursday was a complete waste since we lost an entire night's sleep and Friday was mostly spent unpacking and Anders' having his interview. He still doesn't know anything as they will have another group/panel interview/lunch with the office if they like him. Sweden is a bit like Cayman - everything shuts down by mid-afternoon on Saturday. Today will be spent finding the government offices Anders needs to go to register as well as contacting the Migration Board to let them know I am in the country.

Kissel, the cat, is on a hunger strike (he is so damn picky with his food, so I am mixing it with a little tuna). Reagan is getting used to the apartment (which is actually quite roomy) and LOVES the fact we have to walk everytime she has to go to the bathroom. I try and take her on at least one 30 minute walk a day. Taby is absolutely gorgeous and the back of our apartment backs ups to forest and the front overlooks a common area field with trees. There are soooooo many walking paths, trails, etc. and all the leaves are turning. It's already a bit cold (for this Texas girl) and I use my suede Timberlands every day (thanks Mom & Dad). Once we get out computer set up, I'll be able to upload pictures. Right now we are in the library using the internet here.

Thanks for everyone checking in and now that we know the library hours, we will post more frequently.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Waiting to board the plane.

Sweden or Bust

The day has arrived! In just 7 short hours we will be taking off for Sweden and in less than 16 hours we will be landing in Stockholm. To say I am nervous, sad, sick and excited all rolled into one is a very accurate description. If it was only me, I don't think I would be 1/2 as anxious, but we have our "children" and I want them to be OK. In hindsight, it may not have been as ideal to have almost 2 weeks of "new" homes in addition to a 15 hour car ride. But I felt this was the right thing to do. Maybe it really isn't them that is having the hard time...maybe it is me - the worry bug (as our friend Jonas calls me now). I know, I know - shocker to my family that I am worrying about our impending trip! HA!

This morning will be spent repacking everything as we have to fit it all into a set number of suitcases. Luckily my bro-n-law and father both offered to fed/ex anything we couldn't fit to us in Sweden - thanks guys!!

So now, I sign off. My next post will be after we arrive in Sweden. Hopefully I will relax a little bit once we are on the plane. At least the car ride to Chicago put me at ease that Kissel and Reagan both are excellent travels - it must be their Momma who needs to be sedated!

Love you all!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Getting closer!

We didn't get to catch rolls but at least we got more mexican food.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Changing drivers, we are about halfway we hope.


Eating on the run. Thanks mandy for the sandwiches. They'll tide us over until the roll throwers!



Breakfast in sulphur springs