Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weather-god or Murphy

First of all I need to stress, that I like snow and I like winter. What I don't like on the contrary is to dig for my car. Especially not at 3.15am! It took me 35 minutes to discover my car, remove all the snow and trying to get it out the parking lot. A lovely taxi driver, that passed me by helped me with a shovel and a lot of pushing. The snow plough, that passed by in the middle of the night put about half a meter of snow next to my car which made it nearly impossible for me to get out again. Tons of ice under my tired did not really make it easier either.

Now I am wondering: How is it possible, that those massive amounts of snow always occur when I am about to use my car? Does one of the weather gods has it in for me or is it simply Murphy's law?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Living in a foreign country can be tricky in many different aspects. Foremost of course the language barrier has to be named. In Sweden of course everyone speaks English, no matter the age. This also means, that most Swedish people wonder why you even bother to learn their language. Apparently it hasn't occurred to some of them, that it is first of all exciting to learn a language and that it is also a sign of respect towards the country you decided to live in.

I sometimes get the feeling, that some Swedish people believe, just because I am not particularly eloquent I am some sort of a retard. I am, on the other hand, quite happy to finally have reached the point, where I just talk and not bother too much about the mistakes I make but rather follow the rule "learning by doing". After 4 years of learning Swedish I finally start to get a feeling for the language, for idioms, choice of words and so on. However I still make a lot of mistakes and often realize how uncertain I am with specific grammatical questions. Still I have improved in comparison to for example one year ago.

Unfortunately it does not really help if you are talking to someone, who corrects your mistakes all the time. Don't get me wrong, I want to improve and I am deeply grateful for those friends of mine that find my constant mistakes and correct them. But being interrupted after every single (!!!) sentence doesn't help at all but rather takes away all my self-confidence so I don't dare to even finish my sentences anymore. This is of course due to a recent situation I was in. I am convinced that this person had good intentions only, but it just did not help at all.

Another problem with languages of course occurs when you want to find a job. Even if the job sometimes just requires English and the office language is also just English, some employers demand perfect Swedish skills which kind of implies that they wish to employ Swedish people only. A close friend of mine found the lovely quote "Efter 20 år i Sverige har man samma chans att hitta jobb som infödda svenskar" (After 20 years living in Sweden you have the same chance to find a job as a Swedish person) and he commented it cynically with "... 16,5 years to go..." Well that would make about the same amount of years for me. I don't know where he got this quote from and to whom this is referring, but it sounds unpleasant.

In the end it comes down yet again to luck: if the person reading your CV likes your background and your skills, small language mistakes won't matter so much. If someone else however is focused on finding a Swedish person in particular I don't have a chance even if my application is error-free. But oh well, it was my own decision to come here and to try to find job!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

All about timing?

Things are slowly falling into place. My apartment is becoming more cozy, starting to work again(not work-work, but tiny-job-work-wise) and this week training finally started again. And this is more than necessary. I need my routine again: it is 1.30pm and I am still in bed...

I started reading the fashion blog of Elin Kling, who is a Swedish fashion journalist for channel 4 ( She is a year older than me, worked as a model, another year in finance, as a stylist for Idol 2009, she opened her own VIP room at Sturecompagniet, fahion journalist for Expressen, and this year she will be one of the candidates in Let`s dance. Well, and I am unemployed and happy enough to not be homeless.

This got me started thinking: is it all about the right timing? Being at the right place in the right time? Elin Kling's career started when she was discovered at a hotelreception and got a model contract. Sure, she is a very pretty woman, but still, does it all come down to luck? What is the best education worth if you don't find a job and on the contrary some people, who never got any kind of job education have a steep career? Of course Stockholm is simply the perfect city to chat about fashion, designers and the outfit of the upcoming evening. Though if you wanna change the world this is certainly not the way to do it. However, she belongs to the category of B- or C-prominence in Stockholm and especially now is quite popular as a stylist all over the internet and TV. I somehow still have the goal to do something meaningful yet fun. But who doesn't?

So the question is, if everything comes down to the right timing and a good portion of luck, do I just need to be patient? Wait until everything magically falls into place? Mmmh seriously, I don't think so, I cannot sit and wait: I wanna DO stuff! Ok, maybe not on a Sunday noon after a hard weekend ;-)

Perfect song for me to savour the lovely sleepiness and tardiness of Sundays:

Oh and yesterday evening during pre-party we had a lot of fun with a crazy witch-like lady: Kate Bush. Certainly not party-party music but seriously, what a voice, what a dance, what a face expression! Oj!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The woman living in her shoes...

As Carrie Bradshaw once expressed her horror, so did I have to face my inner freak: I am going to become the woman living in a shoe! At the point when I started packing up my shoes into boxes, it seemed like my closet is neverending, like Santa's bag. More and more shoes came out of the closet. A male friend of mine asked me, what I am doing with all those shoes: I wear them! But to be honest, I am not too sure I really do need all of them.

Those are things I am going to take care of as soon as everything is in the new place and I unpack everything. I cannot wait to get rid of all the stuff that I did not remember I had and certainly don't need. Moving seriously has one big advantage: being forced to go through all your stuff and sorting out rubbish. Moving can be so incredibly relieving. I wonder what would have happened to my place if I wouldn't move every once in a while, well, eight times in the past 6.5 years. My sister already described me as a borderline-slob, but I believe she just said "borderline" to be nice. Every single time when I packed up my things I was swearing at myself why the hell I kept so many useless things. I love to call them "memories", but the best memories are not some stupid tickets of a concert but the pictures you take with your mind or memories that come up when looking at a photo or when listening to a song. The rest is simply going to flood your homes.

But why is it so damn difficult sometimes to let go of such small, unimportant things? Why are we sometimes keeping certain clothing items, although they are already tattered, discoloured and sometimes simply ugly?

One thing is for sure, I need to figure out a way to not flood my place again with stupid things, sorting things out before they end up just laying around. And another thing seems to be of major importance: before I go shopping again I need to sort out my closet. And for every new item that enters my closet, at least one old needs to go. That is my big fear of tomorrow: packing up my clothes, and I only have four boxes left. That is never going to work!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Welcome to a new decade

Unbelievable, we are writing a new decade. It has been 10 years since the computer panic due to the change from 1999 to 2000 and as it turned out it was unfounded. Now we can also ask ourselves, what was significant for the last decade. The 80s and 90s certainly had their specifics, but what made 2000 to 2009 special? And how should we call that decade? Eighties, nineties... all clear but what do we do with two zeros? Some suggestions are "Ohs" (00s), two-thousands (2000s), the noughties (derived from "nought", a word used for zero in many English-speaking countries)... mmmh they all don't sound too catchy.

What comes to my mind first of all when I think of the "noughties" are the big fear of terrorism attacks (Al-Qaeda), discussions about sustainability in particular of energy resources and the credit crunch. It was also the decade of natural disasters, in my opinion, thinking of the tsunami in Thailand and hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. When I look at this spontaneous list it looks like a pretty dark decade. However, it also had good outcome with the election of the first African American president in the US and the first female chancellor in Germany.

Doing some research I found out, that we also celebrated the first landing on Mars and we deprived Pluto of his title "planet" and replaced it by "dwarf planet". How sad is that after being known for a planet for 76 years?

The rise of social networks became also kind of important. Nearly everyone I know is either on facebook, studivz, myspace, twitter or has at least one own blog.
What else happened? Oh yeah, animal originated diseases spread: mad cows disease, bird flu and recently the swine flu. It seriously seems like this was the decade of disasters.

Looking back at a decade always means to sum up the fashion and trends. I could not come up with anything significant, but wikipedia can :-) Here the fashion is just a very short list of crocs, ugg boots, skinny jeans and Fauxhawk hairstyles. That is bad, very bad. Crocs, seriously??? They don't even belong anywhere close to fashion!
In a separate article about fashion it even says, that the 00s did not have one particular style like the decades from the '40s to '80s, but rather a recycling of styles from past decades as also the 90s had. Sad, we couldn't even come up with anything original. How uncreative did we become or has everything honestly already been there? On the upside this also means, that we could forage our parent's closets and reuse their old stuff. We also revived the leggings, an item that so many of us swore to never wear again, ever! Well so much to that. Right now I have more leggings than tights and lazy days are simply made for a big jumper and leggings, like in the good old time in elementary school in the 80s. Otherwise the summary of fashion is rather characterless. It seems like everything was allowed, especially stuff that we did not like at all in the 90s. Tattoos and piercings were popular all the time, although the tramp stamp is now rather something to be ashamed of. No offence against anyone with a lower back tattoo meant!

For me the new year starts with some changes: new apartment and continuing my job hunt. I am just getting started with packing my stuff into boxes and reminisce about the past 2,5 years that I have been living in this room. It really feels like I have a special year ahead of me, everything new like the new flat, new age (yuck! why?!), so excited to see where everything goes.

Now I should finally get moving and get things done. Last I have another music recommendation: Mumford&Sons, a brilliant folk rock band from London. Enjoy!