A Travellerspoint blog

Sweden

And so, *sigh*, back to the daily grind

I've now been back pretending to be a real human being for a couple of weeks.

I love being back at work, the stability, normality, effort and office life is brilliant. I have now totally got the travelling bug out of me, and intend to now buy a house and even some furniture, find a girl, have a bunch of kids and settle down for gooo.... Aw heck. Who am I kidding. Don't be stupid. Sorry, boss, but of course i'm not over it. The problem with travelling (for many of us) is that instead of ticking places off your list, you with each journey you might loose one or two, but you'll gain a whole chunk of new places. I miss the life. The travel. The meetings and incidental occurences. The people. The food. So many great people, memories, and experiences. I've had time to reflect on everything that has been, and also attempt to rejoin the productive (well not really, but it's possible that my boss is reading this) work force. It's very strange being back. Certain things I really shouldn't still recall or know, I do. Some things I still seem to know better than some of my colleagues, even though I haven't looked at it in 15months. Other really simple things I have no idea what to do.

It will be a steep (re)learning curve.

It could be worse. I have returned in the middle of what is so far (and looks like continuing to be) is a glorious Swedish summer, and for those of you who all believe Sweden to be a cold miserable place most of the year, I can inform you that there are very few things better than good Swedish summers. The town is alive (for 10months each year, you see livelier ghost towns), there are people everywhere and the feeling is good. As is traditional, 80% of the population is off work at the same time, and all are taking 4 or 5 consecutive weeks. Work isn't piled as high as when i left right now, so i have time to readjust, whilst the beer is flowing, the beach is not far away, and the girls are all stunning and scantily clad, as is the way of summer.

I'm still homeless. In 2 weeks, i've stayed at 6 different places. And that will surely rise (thank you all) as immediate prospects aren't looking amazing. If anybody knows of somewhere (small-ish apartment or room in a house) in Kristianstad or NE Skåne, please let me know!

Kristianstadsdagener are also now over for another year. For those unfamiliar with the custom, basically for a week (read: 9 days) each town in Sweden has a summer festival, whereby booze is easy to get everywhere, and they sell it on the streets. Hoards of people descend on the town to enjoy the revelries, whilst numerous events and concerts keep people entertained. It's a great week in some ways, astonishing in others (you really can't believe that it is the same place in autumn, winter or spring), scary in yet more (Scandinavian prices again. Holy cow. A conservative and easy going week cost almost as much as a months travel!). And now it's back to the grind.

Almost.

As a way of dropping in slowly, and taking advantage of summer and certain offers, I'm wandering around a bit, and trying to avoid sitting here glumly all the time. I've already met glorious TP leader Pete and his lovely wife Janelle in Copenhagen, and have trips planned to Lund, Varberg, Ven, Ystad, Helsingborg, Gothenburg and Åhus in Sweden, plus Bornholm and Copenhagen (again) in Denmark in the next few weeks. Plus a trip to Norway, Stockholm, one to Poland, and a longer trip back to the UK and Ireland. So many people to see, places to visit and things to do. And some work stuff and trips as well. And of course I'm pondering the next big one, the when, where and how of which is still formulating.

For that, you'll just have to wait and see.

But It isn't the end. Oh no. It's just a break between books. And the next one will be the most exciting, complex and longest yet.

See you in 2007.

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Me with my pack, back in the office in Kristianstad, Sweden.

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My famous possessed MP3 player, a Creative Zen 40gb, as previously noted with it's own sense of humour, irony and brilliant timing. Without it, I doubt I'd have survived the trip

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And Clive even made it back to! Yes, I am aware that a good 99%+ of readers will have no idea who the heck Clive is, or what is such an achievement. In fairness, I should probably have introduced him last year from Hong Kong, instead of waiting until I got back and it was all over. But I didn't.

Posted by Gelli 06:45 Archived in Sweden Comments (2)

A boring bit about being back in Kristianstad

Returning home after any trip is strange, but having been away for over a year, it felt even stranger than normal. I was dropped off on the edge of town and walked into the centre, right past my old home. The weird feeling of familiarity hit me quickly as I wandered towards he bus centre, whilst the lack of virtually any obvious changes on my route made it feel like I had never left. The sun was out, and you could tell that it was summer by the sheer number of Swedes wearing shorts. Doesn't matter if it's hot or cold, in summer all Swedes will wear shorts as it is summer... The only obvious changes I encountered was that the ATM now also dispenses Euros as well as Krona (the later of which i had a desperate need to acquire), and that half of the bus station is closed for resurfacing, causing momentary confusion as to where the heck my bus left from. Stora Torg, which had been ravaged by a large fire shortly before I had left, I left for a later visit, whilst my old music bar, Banken (also destroyed by fire, shortly after i left - Kristianstad having been in the middle of a fairly long and sustained pyromaniac attack) looked the same as before.

I utterly confused everybody at work by just randomly appearing without any forewarning at all, with one or two going in to major shock at my appearance. I don't think anybody actually expected me to return at all, and even now, many still doubt it. Do I really give the impression that I want to leave that badly?? If it was strange to be back in Kristianstad, it was even stranger to be back in work. Not a huge amount had changed, although two of the old hands had left (one for 6months, the other permanently), Matthew had finally gained a clone and good old Marky Ryan, an old colleague from the Aylesbury days where we were spent more or less our entire time scheming as to how the heck we could leave the office of doom and get out from under the cosh of the evil boss man, and who I had first encountered at University, had recently joined and was now settling into life in Sweden. Useful to have around, as he is (a) a crusader for mac's as well - of course I was only ever going to Conn TK into hiring Mac people and (b) has enough quirks that my habitual wandering around the office in odd coloured socked feet with numerous assorted holes probably won't attract as much comment as previously...

And the electronic store around the corner had gained a portable Thai food wagon.

Excitement knows no bounds, doesn't it?

But no, don't be daft. Of course i wasn't back properly and almost having to do real work again. That's one I'm really trying to avoid. I farted around for a couple of days, catching up with everybody - work colleagues and other friends - crashing at 3 different peoples places, and trying to work out what the future held for me and at work. Made a few small plans, and after spending an evening in Banken watching the opening two games (Germans don't look bad, Poles look pathetic) and then a good triple bill of watching the English start in customary style (doing not allot whilst trying to defend a 1-0 lead against inferior opposition), the Swede's somehow managing to fail to realise that the ball needs to go into the net if they were to beat Trinidad and Tobago (and that would have been a great party to be at, following the result) and the Argentinian and Ivorian teams putting on a good display of technical and mostly attacking football in the group of death, it was time to head off.

As you may have realised, It's World Cup time. It's in Germany. And i'm not. Yet. This must be rectified. Time to get there as quickly as possible.

Without flying, of course...

Posted by Gelli 08:31 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

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