So I’m here at last! The trip over here went quite well despite the 3 hours sleep the night before (I was still sitting in my living room at 2.30am wondering how to fit two laptops into one bag), a work emergency, a stressing landlady (seriously, if someone had made the same effort before I moved in that would have been fantastic) and a delayed flight. My (only) friend in Gothenburg picked me up at the airport which was so nice of her, and drove me to my temporary home where I managed to find the guy who was supposed to give me the keys. Result!
The flat I live in is definitely OK for the start, but it is very clearly somebody else’s student flat – all his stuff is here, so where I am supposed to put my stuff I haven’t completely figured out yet! (At the moment it’s in the suitcases and on chairs). But I really can’t complain, it’s cheap, I have internet, it’s clean, and it’s close to everything – and I have a roof over my head (which is a good thing seeing how much it rained yesterday).
So yesterday was my first full day as a trainee Swede. And the first thing I did was go to Skatteverket to (hopefully) get my hands on a personnummer. In my endless enthusiasm for practising the Swedish language I scoffed at the English language forms, filled in the Swedish forms instead and ran into a question I didn’t understand whatsoever. When I got to a desk clerk, they explained to me that I had to write down how many years I intend to stay in Sweden. Huh? How on earth am I supposed to know that when I have a permanent job and I only just got here yesterday? So the following conversation happened –
Clerk: “Just put down how long you intend to stay. One year? 5 years?”
Me: “Tillsvidare” (I nicked the word off my job certificate)
Clerk (laughing): “No, you can’t put that, you have to put a clear indication”
Me: “But I don’t know how long I’ll stay, could be 5 years, could be 20, could be forever…”
Clerk: “But right now, how long do you want to stay?”
Me: “Well, I have a permanent job, and I don’t have intentions to move anywhere else in the future”
Clerk: “You can also put ‘forever’ on the form”
So I wrote “alltid” (“för evigt” seemed a touch too dramatic). I’ve been stressing since then that somebody will read my form, think “oh god, another person who wants a pension one day” and put a big REJECT stamp on it. But then I have a lot of tax years ahead of me, so maybe not… I still don’t really understand the question though. I’m sure lots of people have intended to stay one year and ended up staying 20, and just as many may have intended to stay 20 years and ended up staying one…
In the afternoon I decided to pay my new office a quick visit to pick up the bag that a colleague left for me, and just to say hello (as I know that most people there will be on vacation by Monday). I was unbelievably nervous when pressing the doorbell (as I don’t really work there yet), but it was good that I did it as I was correct – both of my main contacts (the office manager and the development manager) are on vacation on Monday! I chatted to both of them and now I know where my temporary desk is and where my permanent desk will be in future, I know that I don’t have a computer yet (thank god I took my old knackered one), where I’ll get my keys from, and I have my bag. So that’s a few less things to worry about on the weekend.
Today I’m planning to enjoy the sun (how did it go from clouds and misery to blue cloudless sky in the course of an hour?! Yay!) and to go for my first laundry room experience. And tomorrow afternoon I will be going round my friend’s house for dinner… then on Monday it’s all go with my “new” job!