city man people woman

SFI In Täby – First Lesson Of Swedish

Truth be told, my first encounter with the Swedish language was possibly when faced with a new keyboard layout. If it is similar in most aspects to the English one, it does have a few intruders, namely ä, å, and ö. I couldn’t help but stare at this part of the keyboard where the 3 keys lived, cozily nestled between the letter L, and the key where the backslash would normally reside on a US keyboard, just to the left of the return key. WONDERS OF A NORDIC ALPHABET: FROM A TO Ö My second – equally surprising – encounter was with the Swedish alphabet. In my twenty-odd years of written and spoken life (thus discounting the mute diaper years), […]

Irish bar, draft beer dispensing

Getting The Swedish Personnummer And A Round Of Irish Beers

With my hair freshly conditioned, I was ready to take on the latter part of the week with the resolute decision to blend into the local culture. With this objective set firmly in my mind, I decided to head to the Central Tax Office to register myself and get a ‘personnummer‘, not unlike the NI number over in the UK but in a friendlier format since it is composed of 12 numbers of which the first 8 represent your date of birth e.g. 19730321 for someone born on March 21st, 1973. And so, as 4 p.m. came on Thursday, I headed to Kista T-Bana, the local underground station (although it is set some 15m above street level) and hopped on […]

two brown houses covered with snow

First Impressions Of Snowy Sweden – Part I: Travel Cards, Shopping, And Shampoo

It has now been a week since I relocated East and North of my former homestead, Sleepy Suffolk, to the unforgiving, snow-capped lands of Sweden where temperatures give a fresh and crisp new meaning to Jack Frost’s doings. The last few days have been times of new discoveries, astonishments, surprises, and early mornings one could do without. Here are a few recollections of the past week. SUNDAY JANUARY 17TH – SNOW, AMERICAN HOMES, AND CANDLES I don’t frankly know what I expected but I was surprised to see the entire countryside was covered in snow as Ryanair’s flight FR052 initiated its descent on Skavsta. Naïvely, I thought that if snow had melted in Ipswich, it would have also given way in […]

Close-up of vintage leather suitcase

The Move – Four Years, Three Months, Twenty-nine Days, And Two Hours ½ On

When I first got to Ipswich, my move was hectic and massively organized altogether. On the one hand, I had just returned to France quite laid back and relaxed with only a fortnight before my departure for Sleepy Suffolk. On the other, my dear mother, my very own Queen Mum, was breathing down my neck making sure I sorted out my suitcases and boxes. I eventually filled a trunk up with books, clothing, bed covers, and other items which I cannot think why I would ever want to bring them over to Ipswich. In my current move, I recently found the list of items I’d originally shipped and their weight. It is interesting to compare that with what I am […]