I am no longer homeless! Somehow I have managed to find a temporary flat in Gothenburg (even if blindly so, of sorts, because all I have seen of it is pictures). Blocket.se was my lifeline because it has so many second hand flats advertised, although the idea of starting to negotiate taking over a flat in Swedish was pretty daunting. (I can read the adverts no problem, but replying to them is a whole other thing…) Eventually I replied to an advertisement written in English (by a foreign grad student who was sub-letting his student flat over the summer), which made the negotiations a lot easier. I only have the flat until the middle of August, but it will be ideal to start off with – all bills included, not pricey, on a student campus and in walking distance from both work and the city. I guess I will have to start looking for a new flat as soon as I arrive, but at least I’ll be in a position to go and view places then!
So that is one weight off my shoulders.
Something else that I have finally sorted is to buy my one-way ticket to Gothenburg. (“Buy” = use the company travel account and have work pay for it). So as of June 28th, I am officially no longer a Londoner. I now reserve the right to come back as a tourist every two months or so, and become the photographing, slow walking nuisance that all Londoners love to hate!
My “right of residence” letter from Migrationsverket arrived at my new office earlier this week (only a week to process – that was fast!) so I have pretty much completed all the paperwork I can do before I arrive and the paperwork continues with my quest for a personnummer and a bank account. I still haven’t seen my contract or any mention of a salary from my new company, but I still have time for the fog to clear there too…
So the pre-panic is now pretty much centred around my flat, and my never-ending stuff. I have spent the whole weekend packing things into boxes (no emigration can make me sell my Calvin & Hobbes collection), carrying things to the charity store (goodbye jumpers that I haven’t worn in three years) and throwing things away (as nice as it is to have an unidentified stone from the Sahara, but…) – and still, my flat looks as if I have hardly touched it. Seeing that I have to “move into” my storage space next Saturday, the next week will be fun…
My landlord has started to write me emails pressuring me to get the flat professionally cleaned before I move out (which is a touch cheeky as I still have vivid memories of picking the previous tenants’ cigarette butts and crusty food bowls out of the flat when I moved in! Where were the professional cleaners then?), so if I want to see my deposit again I’ll have to squeeze those cleaners into the next couple of weeks too.
But all in all, things are becoming clearer. I have also had some unexpected but really welcomed help coming my way: when I spoke to my Swedish teacher/friend in Gothenburg yesterday and told her that I had booked my flight, she said immediately that she would come and pick me up at the airport. So this means that I will have someone there to help me when I try to find my new flat on arrival and when I try to locate the guy who is supposed to give me the keys… which will make a huge difference. That offer was so unexpected but so nice. There really are some lovely people in the world!