Sunday, August 29, 2004

Back to reality

I'm sitting on the flight home from my vacation back in Sweden and as usual there isn't really anything to do so I thought I'd write an email summing up what has happened lately.

First of all let's start with what happened before I left. Around 12 hours before my flight left for Sweden I signed a lease for a new apartment. I'll be moving in sometime between the 15:th of September and the 1:st of October. As I've described it to most of my friends back home I'm "moving down to the beach". That's not exactly accurate, but I will have about 5 minutes walking distance to the beach. And also more important for me I will have even shorter to most of the nice pubs, restaurants and clubs in downtown Laguna Beach.

So basically when I get off the flight now I will start packing my pack boxes again so this will be done by the time I get access to the new apartment. I'll hopefully get help by a few of my friends (Who most of them live around 2-3 blocks from where I'm going to move). This will otherwise be the first time I actually need to make most of the move myself and wont have the help of my parents or a moving firm. Also, around 1-2 weeks after I move Henrik Johansson and Maria Häggman will come over to visit for two weeks. I've already told Maria that I would be very grateful if she would help me decorating my new place, and she seemed very excited about that prospect

That is pretty much the big news that happened before I went on vacation. After signing the lease I was in a really good mood and went out partying with my friends for a few hours until around 11 when I thought it was about time to go home and start packing (The cab would pick me up in the morning at 4:30 to go to LAX). After packing though I thought, what's the point of going to sleep now when I have to get up again in just a few hours so I took a cab down to the club again and continued until they closed and when I got home I just took a shower, changed clothes, brushed my teeth in perfect timing to catch the cab. The beauty of down this is that you can then sleep the entire flight and land in Stockholm at 7am in the morning the next day rested and fairly in sync with the new timezone... At least that's the theory, and it works pretty well. I've done this before with at least some success. I managed to upgrade my flight to business class so I got the comfy chair and also a new feature which was a real power outlet in the seat to run my laptop. This means that you can just pop on my jukebox, change it to slow soothing music only. Close your eyes and drift away, much better than that crap they play in the airplane headphones.

At first I started my trip in Sweden by visiting my parents in Karlskoga for 2 days and also managed to cram in a crayfish party on the first day with all the people I know that still lives in Karlskoga. I was still a bit jet lagged though so it was a pretty still some affair (Most of my Karlskoga friends have small children too so we couldn't get too wild and crazy even if we wanted too). I went back to Stockholm on Monday though and then the party started. True to my habit I didn't even get a chance to go home and leave my bags, but went straight for the pub on Monday evening. That night we kept partying until 8:30am I think and that was the first evening of 7 days of straight partying (We are talking Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday). On the next Monday I rested, but then went back at it on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday the second week too (Thursday I spent i Karlskoga). It's going to be good to come home and be able to recuperate from my vacation.

On Saturday was Henrik Johansson:s 30:th birthday party. He also held at Berns and everyone seemed to agree that it was a great success. I also managed to get into a VIP section for the first time in my life. Upstairs there is a patio that we wanted go out on and get some fresh air, but in the door a guard stood and said VIP clients only. It so happens that I payd for the party on my AmEx card (Just to get the bonus points for flight upgrades in the future, I'm not actually paying for it) and could whip out a $6000 receipt for that same night, the guard just looked at it and asked how many people I wanted to bring. Well, that was probably the first and last time I could do something like that.

I have also managed to buy most of the stuff I was planning to bring back home which include the following (Just a hint of what you might miss if you leave):

  • 3kg mixed candy.
  • Roasted shredded onions (The kind you have on hotdogs).
  • American Hamburger Dressing (I'm not kidding, you can't get this in the US as far as I know).
  • A large Höegarden glass (It's a long story for another letter).
  • Bearneiss sauce powder.
  • Some more Swedish branded clothes (I definitely have become more patriotic since I left Sweden than before).

I also bought some new clothes, because believe it or not finding good clothes stores is very hard in the states. I'm going to get some help from a colleague for this sometime when we both have the time though, it's not just to go to the biggest mall and try to get lucky though.

Furthermore I got a box to connect a regular phone for my VoIP service so now I will be able to answer the phone when you call on my Stockholm phone number even if my computer isn't booted.

It was definitely with mixed feelings that I boarded the plane to go home. I have always had a pretty strong feeling of home sickness as long as I am away for more than a few days. But on the other hand Stockholm is still where all of my best and oldest friends live and also where I know where everything is, so even if I don't have any of my stuff there anymore it is still the place I know best as soon as I actually leave where ever I am staying. Also these two weeks have been really great in that all you people have really put in the time to make my stay as fun as possible and I thank you all for making the effort. Even the weather wasn't half bad. It is a bit dangerous though since you go home for vacations like this and it is always going to be way better than it ever was when I actually lived there, and now I'm going home to where I live now and will remember how great Sweden is after all.

That said, the last couple of weeks before I left I have for the first time started to fell like I am actually starting to fit in over here. Not quite like Stockholm yet off course, but I know a lot of places to go and I have a couple of people that I know and like that I can call when the weekend comes to see what's up. So to sum it all up, I definitely don't regret moving and as I am finally starting to get settled I am sure it's just going to get easier the longer I have lived here. I am also really looking forward to moving down to Laguna in two weeks (Even though I wont have any pool anymore, but the beach is right there though so I am sure whoever is visiting will not be disappointed).

Well, that's about all I can think of now the food is on the way in and I'm going to relax to a couple of episodes of 24 season 3. Don't know if I'd mentioned I made a second visit to San Francisco before I went home to Sweden to visit Linux World for my work, I really like that city and especially there is a lot of good food there if you know where to go (This time I had a local guide to show me). Anyway, take care and you all need to get better at replying to me, I hardly get any replies to these emails even though when I talk to you most people seem to read and appreciate them (Although there has been some grumbling about the lengths of some of them).

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