Its not winter yet and there is yet to be a trace of snow. In fact, compared to back home it is almost balmy. The most notable difference is that with every week, the sun sets about twenty minutes earlier. Today I think it started to get dark by around 3:20 in the afternoon.
Its been a while since I have posted – my longest absence to date, I think. This “silence” can be attributed, I suppose, to the rather unremarkable routines that we have settled into, not that this is a bad thing. Quite the contrary. We are all enjoying the slower pace of life here. The kids are not over run with after school activities and instead run around with their friends in the neighbourhood or just chill out at home. Kirsten and I just quietly go about our work, alternating between our home offices and the one at the university with its massive coffee machine. Other than that, the familiar routines are in place – meals, shopping, homework (not much, mind you), riding lessons and half hearted attempts to get the kids to practice their piano.
A notable break in the routine is Kirsten’s research trip to Munich, which started yesterday and will continue until this coming weekend. So I’m home alone with the kids for the week. So far we have yet to get into any serious disagreements. Lets hope that lasts.
On Friday we went to Orebro to get our pictures taken for our residency permits. I had expected a rather Kafkaesque affair, which would have perhaps fueled a nicely sarcastic blog entry. But no such luck. The staff at the immigration centre were friendly, organized and amazingly punctual. I think they were a bit puzzled over our case, since we were clearly out of place with respect to their usual clientele. Given our circumstances we fit into the category of “members of the European Union with sufficient funds to support themselves while in Sweden,” which is clearly a privileged category. The ease with which we have been able to set up a home here certainly makes me aware of lucky we are.
After the picture taking we strolled through the charming city centre looking for Swedish Christmas decorations, which like everywhere else are all made in China. In the process I temporarily lost the car but managed to locate it just before the meter ran out.
And then we drove home and rustled up some meatballs.