Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting Lost Around Town All Over Again

We finally moved into the proper flat this week. I say this week because it has taken a few days and lots of public transport (neither Henrik or I drive) to make it with all our stuff. We are still living out of boxes and bags, but things are gradually making their way into their proper place. Life here is starting to feel more real, now that I can say I have an actual address. The novelty factor has started to wear off, but so far I am still very content with Swedish life. Malmö is a very beautiful city too, and the sun is still shining most days, although it's getting a lot colder as the days go by. This afternoon on my way home from work there were lots of golden and orange leaves falling from the trees, and with the bright yellow sun shining and uplifting tunes playing on my iPod I couldn't help but feel content. Content and a little over-whelmed.But in a good way, if that makes sense? It's true that I have always hoped I would live in an other country (or even more specifically, I have always hoped I would live in Scandinavia) for a while if I had the chance. I just never imagined the chance would appear so soon. No time like the present though!

Monday was a special day in the Swedish Calendar: Kanelbullens Dag (Cinnamon Bun Day). As I have mentioned before, the Swedish take their fika buns very seriously. I think if I were ever to write my memoirs from my time living in Sweden I would have to give it the title "Swedish Fika-Buns Ate My Waist-Line". I mean, come on. A national day dedicated to a cake? I think I'm in heaven...

I'm really enjoying working in the theatre school, I've covered another dance lesson since my last post and I had a lot more confidence the second time round. I'm most happy when leading the Singing lessons though, as I was this morning. The students seem to be having a great deal of fun too, which is really important as we hope the school will grow and more children will want to join, so when they see how much fun we have I'm certain many more children will sign up! My next goal is to find more work. Now that I am in a permanent location I can call my own, I am able to teach from home, which means I can start giving private lessons. Now it's time for some shameless self promoting to anyone and everyone, to see if I can fill some hours with private students and get back into a more full schedule.I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for any opportunity that comes my way, and I am now attacking the job front with all my energy.

I've really started to notice the difference in economy between England and Sweden. Sweden as a country is doing very well, the recession is a thing of the past (though not forgotten) and the Swedish Krona is rising in value. This is all good for Sweden, and therefore it is good for me, while I am here! However, my British need to find-a-bargain is not fulfilled here. Not in the way it should be. You see, I still have English prices and numbers ingrained in my psyche. I think the best way to explain this is with another of my lists:

Cost of cheap supermarket own brand loaf of bread in Britain: About 54p.
Swedish equivalent loaf of bread: 20sek

Cheapest available own brand Super Noodles in Britain: 9p
Swedish equivalent Super Noodles: 4sek

Only two examples but they make a good point. I should point out that 20sek is about 1pound 84p, and 4sek is about 38p. Now in Sweden this is a reasonable price when compared to the national wage, though some may argue it's a little pricey. But for my British-brain it's outrageous! I find it had enough with all the extra 0's on the numbers (eg 100sek is only about 9pounds 50p!) but on top of that I never feel like I'm getting a bargain! I don't think I'll ever adapt to this new way of thinking...

Finally, 3 little thoughts:

1) I found a really nice, big, shiny conker on the floor today near the Malmö Opera House, while walking home from work. I brought it home with me. Henrik thinks the word conker is funny.

2) My local supermarket is called Willy's. It's huge.

3) Now that I've moved to the other side of town I have to re-learn my way in and out of the city. Everything is in reverse.

2 photos from this Summer
TOP: Henrik and I next to the boat (our means of transport between islands) in the Archipelago.

BOTTOM: Me, feeling the heat on a hot summer afternoon, again in the Archipelago. We spent an afternoon at a war museum built into a small island. The island had basically been transformed into a defense point, with underground caverns and lots of guns hidden in the land-scape. It was a really good afternoon and I was fascinated with the design of the island. The base hasn't been in use since the 1930s, but it's a great museum now!