What Difference Does It Make?

A lot, a heck of a lot.

Today I finally got a Swedish Bank Account! Yes its only taken nearly 2 months, I was beginning to think that this was going to be a real problem.

Getting my personnummer was like waving a magic wand! Previous visits to various banks felt like approaching the Stasi but this morning the nice chap at my local SEB invited me to sit down and ran through the options.

He even asked me about investing! Thats a big step from ‘do you have a person nummer’ and then being shown the door when I answer in the negative.

Only snag is I am unable to have my UK salary transferred to the Swedish one because then I will get hit twice by the tax man. My UK account actually want me to go in and sign off a transfer which is a pain.

The good news is that I can now get a subscription mobile phone, gym membership, buy books online and even rent a DVD.

I am off to the UK in the morning for five days so I probably wont blog now until after Easter.

So Todays Swedish Word of the Day is Påsk – Easter, very similar to the French word for Easter!

Ha en bra Påsk!

501 Must Read Books -My New Challenge

I was thinking this week that I although I read a lot I need to broaden my approach. For example I am currently reading Brian Tracy’s ‘Advanced Selling Strategies’, as well as Mike Huckabee’s ‘Quit Digging Your Grave With Your Own Knife and Fork’ .

I usually buy biographies and apart from the odd footballer its usually political or historical biographies. Not exactly light reading.

I came across a book today that I though would help me in choosing what books to buy. Its called ‘501 Must Read Books’ it covers genres such as Childrens Fiction, Classic Fiction, History, Memoirs, Modern Fiction, Science Fiction, Thrillers and Travel.

I don’t tend to read fiction at all so this will be hard going. I might stick up the odd review as I go along. The kids section does in fact include Pippi Longstocking and also the odious ( in my view) Harry Potter.  Yes I know Ms Rowling is a Morrissey fan but I don’t usually read books read by the masses, I remember swerving the Da Vinci Code for the same reason. I will let you know how I get on!

Not exactly Spielberg but…

This post heralds a new era…videoclips on Let Me Tell You About Sweden. The view from the top of Langholmen in glorious motion picture

Langholmen is amazing as its literally in the middle of Stockholm, an oasis of green. I need to go back and explore it thoroughly.

Overdue photos

Langholmen to Vasterbron 

Sorry all, I have been very lazy with my photos. Part of it is trying to understand how flickr works and to get the best out of it.

Anyway rather than give you all the photos from the walk mentioned in my ‘Green Green Grass of Langholm’ post. I have split them into sections of the walk depending on where the snaps were taken.

So the first section is my walk from:
Södermalm to Västerbron
Langholmen
View from the Western Bridge

I hope you enjoy, its probably best to view as slideshow.
Kungsholmen (including Stockholm Town Hall, Rådhuset)

Stockhome

I am currently enjoying a weekend, thats right on a Monday. Basically I worked the weekend so taking today and tomorrow morning off.

The big news is that my Person nummer has arrived at last. This means I can now get a bank account (fingers crossed) which means I can join a gym, get a subscription mobile phone and a whole host of other things such as renting DVDs.

I enjoyed the TUR trade fair, it was hard work but good professionally. Also good to get a chance to wander around the Swedish section and see what Sweden has to offer. Some interesting things on show from Astrid Lingren World (the author of Pippi and other characters) to Fun City. Sometimes it would be fun to have kids…sometimes I said before you spit your coffee over the floor. All the various tourist boards were there promoting their areas and Sweden is indeed a beautful country.

I like the look of Inlandsbanen, an internal train journey through some remote parts of Sweden. You can even come back via the Norwegian coast via Narvik and Hurtigruten. A colleague of mine took stunning photos of her trip of the Norwegian coast so I would like to see it for myself. It may have to be a trip for next year though as I am not sure I can squeeze it in this summer.

I am sorry the blog has been light of late. A lot of stuff going on in the office plus the trade fair. Am back in England on Thursday for 5 days to watch loads of football so am looking forward to that.

I might start posting just a few times a week. The longer I am here the more I am settling in and somedays nothing of any note really happens. Will see how we get on.

Todays Swedish Word of the Day is Frisor -hairdresser which is where I need to go soon as the barnet and sideburns are starting to getting a little unruly! Should I just go grade 3 all over?

Greetings from Goteborg

I do apologise for the lack of posts this week. I am sat in my hotel room ready to do battle once again at the TUR trade fair in Gothen..Goteborg as the Swedish call it.

I have been to this fair a few times and rarely get the chance to explore GBG. When I do go out there are travel professionals everywhere as this is THE big event. I think I need to come back and have a look around. In fact I cant wait for the summer and the chance to explore Sverige a bit more.

I think GBG has a vibrant nightlife but looks wise it just doesn’t compare with Stockholm. There is a big rivalry between the two but unless I am missing something Stockholm is winning hands down.

One thing that got me last night, quite funny really. We went to a club for a party hosted by KLM. I had had a couple of cheeky whiskies and went to the loo…I opened the door and there were 2 ladies washing their hands. I think I must have gone white as they both laughed at me and said something in rapid Swedish. Now this is awkward as my Swedish isnt great but I wasnt sure if they had really said ‘its ok, its for men and women’.

Yes it was a unisex loo…strange, there shouldnt be anything wrong with that but as I was relieving myself I couldnt help but think some burly security guard was going to come bursting in and dragging me down to the police station.

A Finnish friend of mine was telling me about a bar in Sweden with a very dodgy urinal…apparently in front of the urinal is a two way mirror so you can see people on the dance floor but they cant see you….hmmm not sure I entirely believe him but how surreal.

The Green Green Grass of Långholm

 

Blogging will be a bit light for the next few days I am afraid. I shall be going to Gothenburg later this week to the TUR trade fair this is a really busy trade fair in my game so I wont even have much time to get out and about to take some photos.

I took a lovely walk on Sunday. Its becoming a regular event now. I walked along the top of Södermalm to Kungsholmen and back. I crossed the infamous Västerbron  (Western Bridge) apparently a lot of people ‘top’ themselves by jumping off it. A nice view of Stockholm from there so I guess there are worse places to do it.

It crosses the small island of Långholmen, which is described as a ‘green oasis’ in the city. People go there for picnics and walks as well as to swim as there are beaches there. I strolled to the highest part of it and took some photos and a video clip! Very advanced. I shall post them soon.

It was only on reading the Wiki page on Långholmen that I realised that I had visited when I was 18. I was on a conference then and we were suppsoed to stay a hotel on the island. It was in fact a prison which they renovated but they kept it as prison cells.

The other notable thing about Långholmen is that the former prisoners covered the island with mud dredged from the waterways.  As a result it has some lush gardens and exotic fauna. I will have to take another look. 

Todays Swedish Word of the Day is actually a phrase that I have been saying a lot this week ‘Sjalv ar bäste dräng’ -basically if you want something doing properly, do it yourself.