Monday, November 29, 2010

Car talk

We had that chapter before: my car. I believe after 21 years even a Volvo gets tired (although my Swedish friends keep on disagreeing with me on this matter). However, I brought it to the shop a couple of weeks ago just to have some weird sounds checked out. There was squeaking, rattling and a problem with servo steering. Well and of course my windshield wiper went missing on the motorway (ooops). I told the car mechanic to not fix anything but to give me some estimates before taking care of anything. Well, the number came and I would have been very thankful if he would have told me to sit down first: 800 Euros! The breaks are apparently fucked up and get stuck all the time, the windshield wiper motor broken and a hole in the exhauster. Great! I asked him about the squeaking noise and the difficulties with the steering. He didn't check that. And my assumption, that it could have something to do with the v-belt and the hydraulic pump just made him look at me as if I was annoying him. Well I decided to not have anything fixed after all, since 800 Euros would exceed the actual worth of the car. 

This weekend I visited a very capable engineering friend who took a look at my car. First thing he found: a 1 meter long rusty piece of pipe, just lying around in the motor compartment. It belonged to my air filter. Second thing he saw: the loose v-belt and the hydraulic pump are in each other's way as soon as I am steering causing that annoying noise and making steering the car as difficult as pushing a tank. Thanks, my car mechanic, for not even having a look into the motor compartment!
Instead of paying 800 Euros we got a new pipe for 24 euros and by this got rid of noises and difficulties. The breaks can indeed be loosened with cobbled stones. And who needs a back windshield wiper?

But cars seem to be a man's world and the only way for girls to be allowed in it is to wash it.

C'est la vie

It always happens towards the end of the year, that pretty much everyone of us starts reminiscing about the past year. It is also time to evaluate achievements of the year, all the ups and downs, our friendships and so on. It is also often the time when we start getting back in touch with people, at least I tend to do that. Today I heard some really really good news from the other end of the world, but also some sad news from loved ones. It often seems like good news are accompanied by bad ones, just to keep the universe in balance.

2010 hasn't exactly been my year. Most of the things went down the drains in pretty much all parts of my life. After half a year of searching the only job I found was working as marketing assistant, which is not my thing really. The "company" was crushing my spirits within a matter of days, which made me quit something for the first time in my life. And I really tried hard to get along with it. The fact that EVERYONE I worked with has also quit by now says something about the quality of this work place. Then there was trouble in apartment-heaven of Stockholm, which resulted in me being kicked out of the apartment thanks to a stupid little mistake of my landlady. Then there was the third break-in into my car since I am in Stockholm. Before that the back windshield wiper was bend down and the valve of one tire was kicked off. The only thing the thief could get from my empty car was the user manual of Volvo in German. Congrats! Packing up my stuff, leaving Sweden. Packing the car I also ended up with a parking ticket for standing in front of the house two minutes too long. That pretty much closed the deal of me leaving for good. (btw: never paid that ticket!) I simply had no idea anymore what would hold me in Stockholm. Most of my friends wanted to leave soon anyway and besides the fashion industry and the daily styling inspiration on random people there was nothing to keep me from leaving Stockholm for good.
The fact that I really don't miss Stockholm besides the good shops and the few friends left there tells me that it was the right decision to leave.
Since two months I am back home, living in my home village and it just happened last week, that something finally happened. I got offered a job at a fantastic company and I will start next Monday. I am so grateful to finally get something to do again. The bonus is that I will start before the years ends which will give me the chance to start 2011 with a brighter outlook. And I will also start exactly one month before my birthday, which I also take as a good omen.

In the meantime I kept myself busy with language courses, visits of job fairs, going to the gym, visiting friends and relatives and taking care of bureaucratic work. Admittedly I had to get used to doing everything a little slower. It was good to slow down for once. The hectic will come back faster than I wish for.

I had made so many plans for going traveling in South America but sometimes unforeseen factors enter the calculation with the result: change of plans. I was really looking forward to taking half a year for traveling, learning new languages, enjoying the company of many different people but also the luxury of being completely on my own. Change of plans does not mean, and that is for sure, that I will not take that journey someday. Just for now I need to be reasonable, start working for real, get experience, enter a new city and save up some money for the one big trip, which will come for sure! I already had the chance to meet so many fantastic people, that I want to visit: Brasil, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Scotland, China. The travelbug has bitten me a long time ago and I am convinced that this bite is incurable!

Until I indulge my travel passion again I will be happy about my new job and the new beginning!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to fix a car

Recently I had to realize that 21 years are a high age for a car. Last year I had a few things fixed to get it through car inspection once more. Exactly one year later I had to see the shop again because the car started to make funny noises. Turns out that the exhauster has a hole, the breaks got kind of stuck so they make a squeaking sound and on top of that my back windshield wiper first got bent down by an idiot (by this the motor of the wiper also got damaged) and afterwards I lost the dangling wiper on the motorway. Ooops! All in all: it would have been expensive. The costs would have exceeded the actual value of the car.

Yesterday I could actually fix the breaks: A street of cobblestone. No squeaking sounds anymore, woop woop.

Maybe I can fix the hole in the exhauster with chewing gum or gaffa tape, who knows :-)