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livredor
No longer homeless
Sunday, 07 May 2006 at 08:55 pm
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There are few things more annoying than having a social event I really, really wanted to go to, and failing to make it, not because of any external circumstances, but because of my own sheer ineptitude. Basically, I spent a large part of yesterday afternoon getting lost, and therefore failed to attend a BBQ with a bunch of "the international community" from work, people I really need to get to get know socially. Besides the fact that I'd promised I would attend; I hope people won't hold my non-appearance against me.

Getting lost was not bad luck, it was my fault for being stupid in several ways: firstly having no sense of direction in the first place, secondly for just writing down directions and not bothering to take my map with me, thirdly for being too bloody stubborn to admit I was lost until I'd already been wandering in the wrong direction for several hours, fourthly for being embarrassed about my inability to speak Swedish and therefore not asking for directions. So generally, I sucked quite a lot yesterday.

The other thing that happened was that I moved out of the basement and into the flat. So the morning was spent shlepping and assembling furniture, with a lot of very kind help from my landlord (who also fed me lunch). And today was spent first acquiring cleaning things and then using them.

It occurs to me that this is a lot like starting college, in several ways. Because I've had a few months at home I do feel I'm leaving the nest all over again. And I'm again in the situation of wondering whether I'll make friends in a new place, whether I'll be up to the academic challenge I'm just starting out on...

It's also like college in that the kitchen is not finished yet. So I can't cook and have to rely on eating in the university cafeteria. And I am back to putting my milk in a sink with some cold water and a wet cloth over it to try to keep it cool. (Milk here is sold only in 1 litre Tetrapacks, which I can't really open very successfully and besides, that's too small a size, it means I need to buy milk more than once a day. But the milk carton redeemed itself a bit in my eyes by having a blurb on it about the history of some Swedish idioms.) Like college, the furniture is a bizarre mixture of really nice and, well, not. There are probably only about three people reading this who will understand why I find this so amusing, but another way it's like college is that despite lacking many basic amenities (curtains, for a start!) my flat has a fully functioning heated towel rail.

Another similarity: there are other people's pubes in the bathroom. However, unlike college, I am in a position to do something about this. The solution is large quantities of hot soapy water and a strong dose of not thinking too hard about what I'm doing. (And the not having a kitchen is only temporary too, it's supposed to be finished by the middle of next week.)

It will take some time and some effort and some money (the latter I don't really have just now) before the place is as I like it. But on the whole, it's good to have my own place. Yes.


Whereaboooots: Älvsjö, Sweden
Moooood: dirtydirty
Tuuuuune: Katisha's song "Ah, living I" from Mikado
Discussion: 10 contributions | Contribute something
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karen2205: default
From:karen2205
Date:May 7th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)
50 minutes after journal entry, 08:03 pm (karen2205's time)
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heated towel rail

*chuckles* - oh yes!
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livredor: Amelie
From:livredor
Date:May 8th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 04:28 pm (livredor's time)
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*grin* See, it was worth mentioning that obscure point in my post. Yay. There are three Mertonians on my flist, though I don't think Heenal is reading these days. And my Dad reads occasionally but I don't know if they had the heated towel rail obsession in his day.
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redbird: default
From:redbird
Date:May 7th, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 03:17 pm (redbird's time)
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Milk is sold only in one-litre packs?! That's what I buy when I'm alone, but when cattitude and I are home we go through a US gallon (a bit under 4 litres) in about two days.
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adrian_turtle: default
From:adrian_turtle
Date:May 7th, 2006 11:37 pm (UTC)
4 hours after journal entry
(Link)
I don't know if stores have discounts, buy 4 liters (or 6) for a special low price, but there are advantages to packaging it in 1 liter volumes. (When I drank milk, I was comfortable with 1 or 2 liter containers, but I had trouble with gallons.) It's easier to pour, especially for small or arthritic hands. For households using 4 liters of milk over the course of a week or so, the milk will taste better at the end of the week if it was under the original airtight seal for most of that time. In a small or crowded refrigerator, it's often easier to find room for several small containers than for one large one. And it's much easier for the manufacturer/supply chain, which doesn't need to keep track of different kinds of empty bottles, different prices, and the problem of being sold out of quarts-of-milk when there are plenty of gallons-of-milk on the shelf and a few pints-of-milk in the back storeroom.
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livredor: likeness
From:livredor
Date:May 8th, 2006 04:26 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 04:26 pm (livredor's time)
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All good points. I do find 6-pint carboys hard to handle, but I'm used to buying in 4-pint (approx 2 litre, I think in English pints!) sizes.

I can definitely see it's easier for the supply chain, though to have all one kind of package. I just wish the one option they chose was a sensible container like a bottle or carboy or even a carton with a screw-top lid. I really can't pour from Tetrapacks, and having to clean up milk spillages every time I open a packet is rather irritating.
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adrian_turtle: default
From:adrian_turtle
Date:May 8th, 2006 06:02 pm (UTC)
22 hours after journal entry
(Link)
I've never heard of Tetrapacks. I had to look them up online. Wow, what an annoying design. Are they reclosable at all? I would suggest asking your neighbors/colleagues/landlords if there are any standard tools for dealing with them. In Germany, milk is sold in plastic bags -- minimal packaging, airtight, easy to pack and store...almost impossible to pour from if you are just using the bag of milk. Most households have a gadget like a pitcher, made to hold a bag of milk upright, pour neatly out the opening, and close it securely. But it would be very easy for nobody to mention that to a newcomer, even one asking where she could buy milk.
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lethargic_man: recent
From:lethargic_man
Date:May 8th, 2006 09:13 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 09:13 pm (lethargic_man's time)
(Link)
You get some Tetrapacks with a screwable plastic cap nowadays.

In Israel they used to have milk in bags; people put them in plastic jugs but inevitably got milk between the bag and the jug, which had to be cleaned out or would go horrible. It was pretty dire.

I gather nowadays they use Tetrapacks.

I, personally, don't have a problem with Tetrapacks. And I gather the person who invented them made a fortune
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livredor: likeness
From:livredor
Date:May 8th, 2006 04:21 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 04:21 pm (livredor's time)
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Yes, so far as I can tell. I went to the huge hypermarket that sells everything the other day, and even they didn't have any size bigger than a litre. (There is such a thing as a 3 decilitre pack too, but that's obviously not an improvement, and anyway is very expensive.) I usually drink somewhere between two and three (English) pints of milk per day, between cups of tea, cooking and just drinking milk, so the litre size is really too small for me.
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hatam_soferet: default
From:hatam_soferet
Date:May 8th, 2006 01:17 am (UTC)
6 hours after journal entry
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Are you going to go on some kind of Learn Swedish course?
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livredor: letters
From:livredor
Date:May 8th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 04:27 pm (livredor's time)
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Yes, this is very much the plan. On Wednesday I'm going to an induction for new staff thing, and one of the sessions is about language courses, so I'm really hoping to find out the relevant information to join one.
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