Brunch with the Skantzes.
Wonderful dramatization of what we don’t put up with in real life but suffer constantly online by @google.
A presentation I recently gav at the @iabfrance Master Conference with @hyperisland.
I’m unsure if time has flown or if the last 4 weeks have been a dizzying array of new experiences, rituals, and movements. Perhaps both.
I’m happy to say that Mira and I have settled into our new apartment and while our stuff doesn’t arrive from the States for a few more weeks, it already feels like home. Morgan seems to have adjusted nicely to life in Stockholm, though she is a bit more barkey these days.
One the baby front, all is well. Our girl was 18 grams above average at her last scan … already an overachiever. Mira is getting bigger by the day and though she generally feels good, has an achy back.
I had originally thought that my year of living in London would be good preparation for life in Stockholm. I was wrong. For better or worse the culture in England is the origin for our American culture and though a little off still familiar. Here things are just different, not bad, but different.
Some random observations.
- I think Swedes have patented what I’ll call efficient bureaucracy. Nearly everything is digital, self-service, and clear. What sits behind it, however, is massively bureaucratic. Everything has a process. It takes the time it takes. That is that.
- Without a Swedish ID it’s damn near impossible to do things here. I was buying a TV a few days ago and had my Amex rejected by the store clerk even though I had my passport, Swedish social security number, and a wallet full of other proof of identity. It was infuriating.
- People take lunch. By 11:45 half of the office is gone. The remnants of my New York self remains shocked. My Stockholm self enjoys how civilized it is. I do subsequently get weird looks when I eat lunch at my desk.
- This is NOT a 24 hour town. I think there is 1 restaurant is all of Stockholm that is open 24 hours a day that mostly caters to cabbies.
- Being able to walk to work is a revelation.
- Swedes are not the most polite people. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good people, but some of the softer societal norms are absent here. Case in point, men don’t hold doors open for women. It’s a byproduct of a society that has truly embraced gender equality. I’ve experienced mean looks and critique from older women who think I’m being patronizing or chauvinistic. To me it’s not about gender, it’s just about being polite. I suspect I won’t ever stop doing this and I don’t care.
All of this is a wonderful adventure. I’m loving being in a new place and trying to figure out my way here. Hopefully I’ll get a hang of the language at some point in the next year, but until then I’ll remain happily illiterate.
And so it begins.
As far as significant life changes go, I’d guess that this is pretty high on the list. Since this past Friday I am now a resident of Stockholm, Sweden. It happened faster and surprisingly easier than I had expected.
For those of you how don’t know, Mira and I have our first child on the way. About 5 months ago we were in Stockholm to visit the family and unexpectedly to meet our new niece who decided to enter the world a full 11 weeks early (she is doing great!). We had been trying to have a baby for quite a while and 2 days after returning from Stockholm we found out that Mira was pregnant. She promptly informed me that she wanted to have the baby in Sweden.
This wasn’t a huge shock to me; we’d been discussing it for a while, but it was very real now. The timeline was set, call it 4-5 months, and there was tons to get done. Sell an apartment, find work, ship all of our belongings, health inspection for the dog, etc.
That’s all the boring stuff. Suffice it to say that it worked out. Most things took weeks longer than I would have liked, but it all fell into place quite nicely.
The trip here wasn’t great. Morgan, our Australian Shepard, flew with me and she isn’t the biggest fan of strangers. Parting with her at the airport is what I imagine having an injured child is like. Complete dispair and helplessness. I drank whiskey and slept uneasily.
In the end I had little to be worried about. She handled the trip like a champ and has settled in here perfectly. We’ve got some work to do getting her and the family dogs comfortable together in the house, but that will come with time.
In a few weeks, Mira and I will own a lovely apartment that is only a 5 minute walk from her parent’s place … yay help with the baby!
A few years ago, if you had asked me where I would be now I am positive the answer would have been New York. It’s been my home for a long time and I love it. Always will. But there was no arguing with the reasoning for this move. My job made it relatively easy to transition to Europe, we get to raise our daughter very close to Mira’s family, and the quality of life here is amazing.
So to a new chapter in what has been a crazy ride thus far. Can’t wait to see how this all goes.