Sorry for the lack of updates; we’re still waiting for our Internet connection to be hooked up. Apparently it takes 2-4 weeks to get anything done here! It’s kind of frustrating because there is some NGRAIN contract work waiting for me that I could be doing but I need to have an Internet connection to do it. The other options were to sit at a coffee shop and use their wireless or go the library and use theirs. Unfortunately the few coffee shops here don’t seem to have wireless (not a big cafe culture in this part of Europe) and the library requires you to have a member card which requires you to have a personnummer which requires you to of course wait 2-4 weeks…
Since I wasn’t working I spent the week being the house husband which entailed a lot of cooking (I even made soup), some cleaning, furniture assembling and lighting installation. When Catherine showed me the lights she wanted at IKEA and asked if I could install them I said: “no problem, I’ve a Electrical Engineer you know”. The first two fixtures went smoothly but the third was a little different. I ended up having to buy some extra hardware and because I’m cheap and didn’t want to buy more wire I ended up pilfering the wire from the original hardware and fashioning two wires from a single piece. Of course I had to do this without the normal tools – stripping wires with crap kitchen scissors ended up working out fine in the end. After only a few sparks I got everything working and we have nice halogen lights throughout the apartment.
Now that I’ve got a PIN for my credit card (thanks Elizabeth) I’ve been buying lots of groceries and household items. I’m now pretty familiar with the local Clas Ohlson which is pretty much a Swedish version of Canadian Tire without the tires. Our fridge and pantry are getting full which as anyone who has spent time at our place is the way we like it!
After a couple weeks of limited activity it was time to get back on the fitness routine. It turns out that I’m allowed to use the staff gym in Catherine’s building at work. It’s a pretty small gym and kind of a dungeon with no windows (which suits me just fine), but it seems to have few users in the mornings and since the price is right ($0/month) I think I’ll be spending a decent amount of time there over the fall and winter.
I also went for a couple of runs which is nice since the weather is still decent. One of them turned out to be almost an hour which was a bit longer than I was planning. I decided I wanted to see the ocean after a few failed attempts due to dead end trails and industrial parks. I knew more or less where I should be able to get access and I followed some trails and was able to make it down to the bay. It was quite nice, but the layout of the town makes the ocean quite inaccessible to the public. Much of the coastline is taken up by heavy industry and the rest is nice parkland but is quite swampy with limited access. Definitely makes me appreciate how lucky we are in Vancouver to be able to get out and enjoy the water so easily.
In the 10 days that we’ve been in Sweden I’ve been able to finish reading 3 books. I’m pretty sure I didn’t finish that many in the previous 6 months due to time commitments for paddling, work and the like. Doing more reading is something I was hoping to be able to do this year so I’m happy that is going well. The unfortunate thing is that I’ve pretty much run out of English-language books. The bookstore has far fewer English options that I had imagined although Catherine thinks she can get some from the school library and I should be able to get some from the public libary as soon as I’m able to get a card. I’ve also downloaded some literary classics that I can read on the computer so I’m probably good for now.
We had a nice relaxing weekend; on Saturday we went to the Farmer’s Market which is just a couple minutes from our apartment and Sunday we went berry picking.