Yesterday I went to a job meeting. Basically in the job, once a week you come to their office and sort out ads for yourself, then on the weekend you go to town, find a ”wagon” that has the ads in it and deliver the same ads to houses in your designated area. My wife’s dad said he also had a similar first job, and so did my wife’s aunt.
I was really scared to go there! I don’t know why I always get this way. And I was scared throughout the meeting too. It’s part that I have to speak Swedish, part that after every time I mess up in Swedish I get more scared, and then just plain part ”talking to strangers about important subjects like jobs where you’re supposed to try and look smart”. In America, I never got any job, I even went to McDonald’s and grocery stores and they wouldn’t hire me…. In Iceland, the conversation was done entirely over Email, I never even saw my boss! I never have much self-confidence but it’s always at a low when it’s in some kind of situation like this.
Anyway, half of their building is warehouse and the other half is an office. The entrance is through the warehouse, then as I went through I saw there were some tables with papers on them (I just glanced at them so I forgot what they said), I think there was a microwave and some cups. Then there was a room with a copy-machine (which was running without anyone being in there), possibly one room with the door closed, a room with the door open and a guy at his desk (who I asked about where to go), another bigger probably-a-meeting-room with another desk and a huge table (which was where we had the discussion). In the hallway was a couch with an endtable that had some pamphlets on it about what’s seemingly the other half of their job - half they deliver ads, half they cater to people wanting to get their ads made or delivered ; D
Anyway. The lady seemed really nice and normal over Email. Though that eased my fears initially, when you actually get there the fear crops up again… even though I made lots of mistakes and my brain froze quite a few times and I generally seemed really strange, nervous and probably stupid, I still get to try doing the job! (She asked me if it was difficult to find, and I didn’t know how to describe that right as you get off the bus there’s a sign that says the building name and points, literally at the bus stop… there was some big brain-freeze there… that was also the only point where I said something that she/anyone that day didn’t understand, I don’t know if it’s my fault or that she just doesn’t know there’s a sign at the bus stop, though it’s most likely mine lol).
But she was really patient and didn’t make fun of me or anything ;_; Even though I know even to myself that I came across as a weird crazy person. Sigh! But the whole thing was done in Swedish, that was good. She started out by talking slowly and sort of repeating herself a lot, but as I seemed to understand everything, she slowly turned into normal speech. I know she must deal with foreigners a lot, I mean you can even do the job if you only know English and no Swedish.
The only thing I actually didn’t understand was ”portkod” - I always forget that ”port” is a word for door (i only ever remember dörr). I understood it perfectly when she said it in a sentence, but then later it was just listed as one of the address lines on the paper I had to fill out and I forgot what it was… Anyway, it’s when you live in a dorm or apartment complex and you need a keycode to enter or call the person on the PA or whatever it’s called.
So anyway, when you go to any job interview, your ID is probably not even necessary (mine wasn’t, apparently that’s fairly normal) but make sure you know your address, personal number, bank name and bank code including ”confirmation number” (ex. my wife, her bank code is her personal number plus the ”confirmation number”). Well I anticipated needing to know the bank number but I planned from the beginning to ask if we can just use my wife’s bank account (since i don’t have a bank account and you get monthly fees with an account), turns out that’s completely okay. They’ll basically be sending me messages via SMS every so often, ex. to let me know where the wagon with the ads is in town, so I have to make sure my phone is always charged.
I’m going back on Thursday to sort ads for the first time, then Saturday/Sunday I’m going into town to deliver them (my wife will tag along on the weekend to help me a bit, I get lost around town since I never go there by myself). The first week is a trial period but you still get paid for that week. For me it’s much less about the payment (though that’s still nice of course!!) but way more about how I’ll finally have some kind of job experience in Sweden with references. The example salary was 200-300kr, but as they say, you can take more delivery areas and get more money later on if you want. Anyway, these guys even deliver stuff like voting info so they’re not strictly delivering ads exactly.
Well, after that we went to the hospital because my wife is volunteering to take part in a research study. I waited out in one of the hallways, which had an old (fancy) couch and a table with some lace on it and stuff. I just read “Little House on the Prairie” in Icelandic, and even though a bunch of staff members went back and forth (I was sitting across the hall from the door to their meeting room), only one person ever asked me what I was doing there. Most of the staff members I saw looked like they were young, male nurses, and every one I heard was -swedishswedish-, as in they seemed like they were raised here and had perfect, accentless, normal Swedish. As for the Icelandic, to my surprise I was understanding 90% of the book - sure, it’s written in simple language, but I definitely couldn’t understand that much of it a year ago… and this is even though I haven’t been even looking at or listening to Icelandic. It’s just through my Swedish improving.
dunno if i can do a bastu/sauna though… plus we’re poor so maybe we can only go if we apply for the travel stipend… i only saw this now, so i’ll ask my wife about it when she wakes up (as usual, i only managed to sleep like five hours, sob). but it sounds really awesome otherwise. and you can do real swedish things like “mushroom excursions”! ;_; even though i hate mushrooms i still want to do it!!
in general it seems like things like this are pretty common in sweden. like my wife went to a “writing camp” that was basically the same as this, one summer.
I think the most confusing of it all is when you go to say “I think/believe that…” and then you have to choose between tycker and tror. Since we don’t always use them in exactly the same way, or so it seems.
This is completely unrelated but I heard there’s a new Scandinavian version of some part of the Bible, that translates everything more like “If god had a son, and if he went to earth, then he could have been impaled” or whatever. Instead of stating it as fact, I mean. I already knew that’s how most Nordics view religion in general (“it’s not literal!”) but I thought it was funny when I heard that.
But we should bring back runes! Just imagine if China got a new religion forced on them and then they stopped using Chinese characters to write with. Geeze!! I keep thinking about this whenever I see graffiti for some reason.
a weekend-only job where you put ads in mailboxes. they asked if i can come in to meet with them today, but i said i can’t and so i hope i can come tomorrow or something.
i don’t know how it will go… well, it seems they’re used to english-speakers too. when i had that temporary job in iceland, it was really nice. when you’re out working you have lots of time to just think. you know, i wouldn’t mind counting the people who get on and off the bus forever. i guess i’m easily satisfied with some things. instead of thinking “i want a great job”, i think “i want to live in a great town or country” or “i want to have enough money to eat out twice a month” or something like that. putting up with rude customers or bad bosses, i think growing up in america gives you really good skills with that, that’s one thing i can say. though i still wouldn’t want to work at a grease joint, or with garbage or sewage or puke.
anyway, i hope it goes well… ahhh i’d better practice my pronunciation all day!! ;_; i wish i could work at a fish gutting factory. i saw a mink factory on tv and that looked interesting too, i would try working there if it didn’t mean LIVING there… i’m just a commoner who’ll never get anywhere, no need to pretend i’m anything else…
in other news, i ate “shrimp-crepes” for the first time. it’s shrimp with dill and some sort of sauce (i think it’s just like thickened cream, basically), wrapped up in a pancake. we just bought them frozen but they were good so now i want to make them too. the box claims they’re from france but i’ve seen so-called american stuff that’s definitely not american… (american-inspired, maybe)
"Professor Christer Kiselman at Uppsala University in Sweden has taught mathematics at a Chinese University in Esperanto"
what, really?! i want to meet this guy… does he still work there i wonder… c-could i go to china and learn in esperanto?
on that note, i’m finding a LOT of swedes who have to do with esperanto. i mean that i’m going on random esperanto websites and i just happen to notice the site was created by a swede, or the article was written by a swede. i know that it fits in with swedish culture really well, but i’m still surprised.
there was an icelandic documentary about iceland called “andraland” (or that was the swedish title anyway), it was something like seven parts and showed here in sweden so i downloaded it to watch later.
i only looked at a little so far (probably 3 minutes total) but i already saw FOUR of my old “friends” in there, i was rather shocked. so while i want to watch it, i also don’t want to see their faces since it makes me feel angry at them : l
these are the guys who either told lies to get me in trouble / to get people to hate me, the people who believed their lies and stopped talking to me due to it (i imagine), the people who in general constantly pretended like they didn’t have time for me but had time for all their native friends, that kind of stuff. When suddenly on the screen appears the face someone who was involved with all that, it’s really like… out of all the people in the capital, why’d you have to film THEM?
granted, some of them were not bad people at all, a couple were truly too busy for anything including their other friends, etc. but you still get miffed, like “i remember what it was like trying to be friends with you, and here the tv is praising you or whatever”. “why is it that when i was around, you only managed to meet me once a year - i even met friends who lived in other towns more often than you who lived down the street - and here you are, smiling at the camera” “i remember how you managed to get another american a job in a week, but you never helped me out”. all those memories come back…
of course, reykjavík wasn’t good for many reasons. i had a lot, lot of bad luck there. i really wonder how it would have turned out, if only i had better luck. i’ve met people who’ve had/are having a great time there, except none of their friends were actually from the capital, or they didn’t even live in the capital at all, or they were only there for a single year…
in part, i wish i could go back to how it was before i lived in iceland. i could watch tv programmes and study icelandic all day. but now it just reminds me of a ton of shit i don’t want to deal with in my head. if i randomly met an icelander, who was nice and sane, from selfoss or something maybe, that would be great and i could erase all these bad feelings. but it just doesn’t happen, icelanders are so rare you know?
that doesn’t mean i don’t like icelandic, or i don’t like iceland as a whole, or i would never live there again - i still like them. but it’s tied in with other stuff. for example, when i study icelandic, i’m reminded of how it was studying at the university there, which wasn’t particularly fun.
https://www.flashback.org/t2002958 i'm reading this thread
i'll read it too, my parents keep saying he was gay but i never learnt about it in school
lol someone wrote gayday instead gaydar
gayday can replace saturday since we don't wash ourselves [merely] once a week anymore
how do you say TLDR in swedish
well you just say tldr in english but you could translate to "för långt, orkar inte läsa" or something [too long, don't have the energy to read]
i would write "för att sammanfatta" or something that's less internet and more normal [in order to summarize]
yäääähh "summan av kardemumman" [the sum of the cardemom]
"orkar inte läsa"
"pallade inte läsa den där jävligt långa tråden" [can't be bothered to read that there damned long thread]
"ids inte läsa, vad handlar den om?" [can't be bothered to read, what's it about?]
sweden thinks “rich, american, university-going black person” fashion is really cool. they’re selling it at the grocery store, among other things like hoodies with random american place-names or english on them (like “Montana” and “property of such-and-such’s [whatever the official name for gym class is]). the “american-style clothing stores” sell what’s essentially a fancier-looking version of hiphop clothes.
and yes, i’ve seen people on the street wearing these things (i’ve also heard teenaged swedes trying to fake having an american accent in swedish, and swedes singing in swedish on the radio - but trying to sound like they’re an american with a southern dialect).
pulled pork has been getting super popular here, but not just pork, “pulled chicken” and “pulled beef” etc too (and yes, they always write it in english). we’re also slowly getting more and more Oreo rip-offs, chocolate chip cookies, marshmallows, brownies, cupcakes, “rocky road”-flavoured things (ex… rocky-road brownies) and American-style ice cream (like coffee flavour and Ben&Jerry’s - despite normal Swedish ice cream actually being higher quality).
what’s that word that’s something like “cultural aprobation” and on tumblr means “they’re stealing and thus demeaning other cultures!!” lol can’t i tag this entry with that : PP
speaking of such on the other side - my wife watched “frozen" and "how to train your dragon" and while both of them had nordic runes, they were:
1. only in BOOKS and not carved anywhere (and guess what was the main use of runes?), and 2. were complete gibberish - the runes were real but they didn’t even spell anything in English. By the way, even elementary school kids here learn how to read runes so it’s not just something an adult would notice. (we have runic fridge magnets so we might know them better than most people lol) 3. pretty sure there were horned “viking” hats somewhere and everyone will tell you, vikings didn’t wear those.
This is a blog for an unemployed, married American, living in Sweden and sometimes learning Swedish. I moved to Sweden on 5th June 2012. Help me by forcing me to use Swedish with you, thanks.
i also know a bit of faroese, icelandic, and japanese but my swedish is more advanced. i'm also into fandom and other things that i most likely won't talk about here. anyway, i'm a bit apathetic about this blog and tumblr in general.