We made it! I’ve been a bit slow to set up this blog, but I will make up for it by posting some thoughts I’ve archived (okay, journaled).
We landed at Arlanda, rented a car (Volvo s60), and started our Swedish adventure. almost immediately, we encountered our first language barrier – inside the car. The emergency brake was on and we couldn’t figure out how to release it. Either press or pull a knob. Chris pressed. Nothing. Chris pulled. Nothing. Finally, Chris touched it while I was looking at the dash. The instructions appeared – in Swedish. Luckilly, I like Pictionary, and I figured out the diagram. Away we went! We dropped our suitcases at our apartment and headed off to purchase some necessities. Where did we go? Well, Ikea, of course! You know how Ikea has Swedish sounding names for all their products with written explanations of each on the tag? Well, remember we are in Sweden. So the tags have no English. None! That left us wondering if certain items could actually go in the oven or not, how big they were, etc. Well, we made it through and purchased all sort of necessary items: extra towels, napkins, kitchen utensils, etc.
Then we buzzed right to the Ica-Maxi. Picture a giant grocery store that sells household items, clothing, and shoes in addition to groceries. And it’s all labeled in (wait for it) Swedish. Many items have photos on the labels, so it is easy to figure out what is inside of those. Like the juice carton with a photo of oranges on is orange juice, even though the name (apelsin) makes me think apple juice. I definitely celebrated the little successes at the grocery store. I figured out that bikarbonat was baking soda and bakpulver was baking powder all because the Swedish names resemble the English names. Woo hoo. Seriously made my day. Remember, I was going on verrrry little sleep. Anyway, I totally ran out of energy somewhere near the cheese aisle. Time to head home.
We unpacked and settled in. This was October 10th, so it was time to get online to wish Rachel a happy 21st b’day. 21! I can’t believe it! Well, turns out when our landlord told us that our apt would have internet, she meant with an ethernet cable, not wireless. No internets tonight. This is the final straw for me. How can Rachel have her birthday without all the greetings I can offer? May sound silly to you, but it was killing me. I know I called her and even texted her, (and Max, too) but I felt really sad that I couldn’t finish what I wanted to do. Chris saved the day by enabling the data on his phone so I could at least put a greeting on Facebook. Well, then, we could call it a day.