So, that's the next few years sorted out - Livre d'Or








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livredor
So, that's the next few years sorted out
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 at 07:08 pm
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I have a job! I'm to start on 24 April at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. It's for two years, basically (though if it's disastrous it may be only one and if successful quite likely to be extended). And I'll be working on some fairly abstract questions about how the different parts of a cell are coordinated when cells grow. Stuff that might have some relevance to cancer ultimately, but it's a lot more pure intellectual research than what I was doing for my PhD.

I'm keeping this post locked until I'm absolutely sure I have the job, like at the level of a contract in my hand; apparently there are still some formalities to be worked out. But I've been offered the job and have accepted; the fact that I'm old-fashioned enough to be a little nervous about an exchange of emails with nothing in writing is almost certainly just paranoia. Anyway, assume this post is liable to become public, so please don't refer to the details of the job where Google might find it.
Edit: Now public, please be careful.
Thank you to everybody who gave me useful advice when I was considering whether to take this job. I really, really appreciate your support, and you did help clarify my thinking. *hugs all round*

So, what have I left out?

I'm finding it a bit hard to believe that I'm actually going to go through with this!


Moooood: calmcalm
Tuuuuune: Beth Orton: Tangent
Discussion: 71 contributions | Contribute something
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redbird: default
From:redbird
Date:March 1st, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
4 minutes after journal entry, 03:48 pm (redbird's time)
(Link)
Mazel tov!

I suspect that either Karolinska, the Jewish community in Stockholm, or both can help you with the bank account information.

Were it me, I'd get at least a serious winter coat and one pair warm trousers or warm long skirt, plus long underwear, ahead of time--you don't want to freeze on your way to the winter clothing store in Sweden, even assuming they're sane enough to still have what you need in stock by April.
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livredor: likeness
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 06:52 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Thank you. Yes, asking locals about a bank account is a given. I'm just writing things down so I don't forget to do them! And this one I think needs at least initiating before I get there.

The suggestions about warm clothes are very helpful. I'd forgotten that it won't be winter any more by the time I actually move there. I was thinking of going to one of those ultra-macho outdoorsy shops, as the best way of finding serious clothes in a temperate country.

I actually don't know how serious warm clothes work. I wouldn't have thought of the underwear, for example, and I bet that makes a lot of difference. What is a serious winter coat like? I know ewtikins (a Canadian expat) reckons a full-length, rather than three-quarter-length coat is a good plan, but what other features should I look for?
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From:tattycat
Date:March 1st, 2006 07:58 pm (UTC)
14 minutes after journal entry
(Link)
Congratulations! Much giggling is in order, since I'm planning to be visiting Sweden this coming Christmas (Gothenburg).
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livredor: teeeeeeeeea
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 06:54 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Gothenburg is probably too far away from Stockholm for me to suggest meeting up,isn't it? But if you think something might be practical, do poke me nearer the time. And thank you.
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From:kassrachel
Date:March 1st, 2006 08:00 pm (UTC)
16 minutes after journal entry
(Link)
Huzzah!

I've only spent a few days in Stockholm -- we went there for a long weekend in late March a couple of spring ago -- but found the city quite congenial. And the job sounds lovely.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
livredor: teeeeeeeeea
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 07:12 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
*bounce* I'm excited about both the job and the place, definitely.
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From:neonchameleon
Date:March 1st, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
18 minutes after journal entry
(Link)
Congratulations!
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
livredor: teapot
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 08:56 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Thank you!
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rysmiel: get yourself connected
From:rysmiel
Date:March 1st, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)
19 minutes after journal entry, 04:03 pm (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
Excellent. *hug*. and lots more busy ahead. Thank goodness for how sane the EU is about people moving between member countries.

thette and kjn are located in Stockholm, and are acquaintances of mine who might well be able to advise you on practicalities; shall I do the e-letter of introduction thing ?
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From:lyssiae
Date:March 1st, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
44 minutes after journal entry

Randomer butting in

(Link)
That is a fantastic icon.
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Re: Randomer butting in - rysmiel (3/1/06 08:38 pm)
(no subject) - livredor (3/4/06 08:02 pm)
(no subject) - rysmiel (3/6/06 09:33 pm)
naomichana: default
From:naomichana
Date:March 1st, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
37 minutes after journal entry, 03:21 pm (naomichana's time)
(Link)
Mazel tov!
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livredor: letters
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 09:05 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Thank you. I really like getting mazel tovs on work-related success.
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smhwpf: Giles party weasel
From:smhwpf
Date:March 1st, 2006 08:22 pm (UTC)
38 minutes after journal entry
(Link)
Fantastic! Congratulations!

You may well want help with accommodation. One short-term option might be a place I stayed for a week when I was on a return visit to SIPRI - it's a sort of hall of residence, right opposite the K, and it's specifically for visiting researchers. I forget the name of the gorram place, but the K would know! Or I could ask the SIPRI people.

Most rental accommodation in Stockholm is "second hand" - that is, you rent from someone who's already a tenant but not living there for whatever reason. The "first hand" rental market tends to be horribly expensive, apparently. SIPRI found a 2nd hand place for me, again this is the sort of thing you might well need help with.

Bank shouldn't be a problem, though you probably have to get your residency number type of thing first. Your employer will see to this.

Learning Swedish - as you are going to be there for over a year, you are entitled to free Swedish classes. I'm told these free classes are of uncertain quality, so you might want something else on top of it, but hey, free. Big problem with learning Swedish is everyone speaks English so well... One help is that Swedish TV has lots of subtitled US programmes, so you can listen in English and read the Swedish.

Clothes in Sweden are pretty darned expensive, and there aren't really charity shops. You may do better to buy winter clothes here, subject to baggage allowances and stuff.

Hopefully the K will help with a lot of the practical stuff, but I could call the SIPRI folk I know if there's specific things you need to find out about.
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livredor: portrait
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 09:32 pm (livredor's time)

Wow, this is really helpful!

(Link)
Thank you for this; it's really good of you to give me the benefit of your detailed knowledge. When were you in Stockholm, as a matter of interest?

It does seem like there is a possibility of getting accommodation (at least short-term, not sure if this is an option for settling permanently) through the Karolinska. A lot of this stuff seems to be linked from their website, and my boss has offered to help with it. So that's encouraging. The idea of second-hand letting (subletting?) scares me a bit, cos I don't want to be in a potentially legally vulnerable situation in a foreign country. But if that's the way people do things, I shall have to go along with local custom. But if I can get help with flat hunting I shall take it up enthusiastically!

Regarding learning Swedish, I do realize that everyone will speak to me in English as soon as I open my mouth. But I would feel a lot more comfortable if I could at least say "hi" and "thanks" and that sort of thing, and understand even if I don't speak much. Free classes are a good thing to know about; I wouldn't have thought to look for them if you hadn't mentioned.

*bounce*
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Re: Wow, this is really helpful! - smhwpf (3/5/06 11:31 pm)
fluffymark: default
From:fluffymark
Date:March 1st, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC)
42 minutes after journal entry, 09:26 pm (fluffymark's time)
(Link)
My girlfriend (cassielalone) is Swedish *and* is currently based in Cambridge. Consider yourself introduced (although I'm sure you were both at doseybat's birthday party), and maybe you discuss Sweden over tea with her. I'll be in Cambridge this weekend myself, so possibly we can work something out. I'd certainly want to see you before you go! :)
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livredor: teeeeeeeeea
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 09:36 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
I have met cassielalone at one of Bat's parties, yes, but only very briefly. I'd really appreciate being introduced properly though! Last time we tried to organize getting together at a weekend, it didn't work very well, and I've left it late on this occasion. But if you're around tomorrow you could call me (Cambridge 844503).

I do want to see everybody before I leave. I plan for the next couple of months to be as much of a wild social whirl as I can manage and leave time for organizing the essential practical stuff.
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(no subject) - fluffymark (3/6/06 01:36 pm)
From:lyssiae
Date:March 1st, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)
43 minutes after journal entry
(Link)
Very many congratulations!!

I think the only thing I can helpfully comment on is the language issue: I don't think it's ever too soon to start listening to and looking at Swedish, to help you get used to the sounds and the appearance of it. This goes especially for the aural part - it will help you in your pronunciation. Maybe have something on in the background, so that your brain picks it up latently. Unfortunately I have no books on Swedish itself here, otherwise I'd have gladly let you have them...do you have an Amazon wish list somewhere?
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livredor: letters
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 09:40 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Thank you. As I said before, I appreciate your input since you've been through the randomly moving to a foreign country adventure.

Getting used to the sound patterns is a very good thought. My experience is that you can learn a lot just by being around the language, and that's at least as helpful as specifically making an effort to memorize vocabulary or whatever. My main problem at the moment is that I'm not quite sure how the letters map onto pronunciation, and I don't want to start learning imagined pronunciations and get wrong ideas into my head! Finding a guide to that is probably my first step.
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cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:March 1st, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Wow! *hug* Congratulations.
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livredor: likeness
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 10:02 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Thank you. You're generally a very huggy person, aren't you? I feel a little odd hugging someone I've only met in passing, but thanks for the sentiment.
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(no subject) - cartesiandaemon (3/6/06 02:50 pm)
From:hmw26
Date:March 1st, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Congratulations! Sounds like it'll be a great experience!
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livredor: p53
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 10:05 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
*bounce* I am going through phases of being scared or excited, but I think excited is going to win in the end.
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(no subject) - jennifer (3/1/06 08:58 pm)
livredor: letters
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 10:18 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Thankyou! That's a very pretty icon; I don't have a congratulating one, and it's something I've been meaning to sort out for a while.
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midnightmelody: default
From:midnightmelody
Date:March 1st, 2006 09:03 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 10:03 pm (midnightmelody's time)
(Link)
Yay! That's brilliant, well done!
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livredor: teeeeeeeeea
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 09:23 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 10:23 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
*bouncebouncebounce* Thank you!
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pw201: kaylee shiny
From:pw201
Date:March 1st, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 10:06 pm (pw201's time)
(Link)
Congratulations!

I'm finding it a bit hard to believe that I'm actually going to go through with this!

There's something exhilarating about making these "jumping off a cliff"-type decisions, I think. :-)
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livredor: likeness
From:livredor
Date:March 4th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 10:49 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Yes, it does feel a bit irrevocable, in some ways. But I definitely feel better for making the decision than when I was angsting over it!
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karen2205: default
From:karen2205
Date:March 1st, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 10:10 pm (karen2205's time)
(Link)
Congratulations!

My list of stuff for basic survival would be something like:

Clothes - variety, smart for work, casual, winter outdoor stuff, one going out outfit, underwear, nightwear.
Toiletries - the stuff you use at least once a week and other stuff where you really want a particular British brand/the product doesn't exist out there.
Household stuff - sheet, duvet cover, pillow case, sleeping bag, alarm clock, classes case, small radio, kettle, sewing kit, washing powder, possibly toaster. Microwave would be something I'd buy out there, insulated mug, one set of crockery - I'd probably take my unbreakable Guide stuff
Food - British stuff I couldn't live without, small quantity of basic cupboard food to last till I found a supermarket.
Medicines - Reasonable quantity of painkillers/anti diarrohea stuff/other medicines I might want. First Aid kit. Prescription medicines - couple of months supply
Laptop. Stuff for work (lab coat? goggles?)

Stuff I'd probably have shipped over:
Proper crockery
Saucepans/other kitchen utensils
More clothes
Some books
Other electrical stuff eg. CD player, TV (assuming they work out there + also buy adapters)
Duvet + pillows
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livredor: likeness
From:livredor
Date:March 5th, 2006 11:09 am (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 12:09 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Thank you, I do appreciate the detailed practical advice. I hope your move is going ok, by the way.

I doubt I'll need smart clothes for work; I'm a scientist, we dress down. I have one suit, which I mainly use for interviews and giving presentations at conferences. But yes, clothes are the obvious thing I'll pack. Toiletries seem a bit pointless to ship; I'll take enough to survive for a week or so, but I'm not fussy about brands. Toothpaste is toothpaste, and not worth the hassle of importing.

I'm not sure it's worth carrying electrical goods with me; if I have to buy an adapter for every item, it will cost little less than buying new, local kettle, toaster, microwave etc, plus saving me the hassle of carrying bulky items. An alarm clock is a must (and the sort of thing I always forget), and mine is a clock + radio anyway. I may end up in a furnished apartment (at least as a stop-gap measure), so bedlinen and absolute basics for the kitchen may not be an issue. But if I need bedlinen I'll take a sleeping bag and ship duvet and sheets later; the latter are really bulky.

Until I find a supermarket really shouldn't be more than a few hours; I can always get a takeaway the day I arrive. I will probably take a good supply of tea; my future boss was complaining that it's hard to get decent tea in Sweden. Medicines are basic for travelling, and I don't take much prescription medicine. I can probably get a year's worth of my asthma stuff over here. But it's worth making the effort to do that, would save a lot of hassle. Thank you for the reminder!

I don't have a laptop. I'm in two minds whether it's worth getting one, having managed without all these years. I'm also thinking seriously of bringing my actual computer with me; just the computer without the peripherals is just about manageable, if slightly mad. But if I have to buy a monitor etc it may end up not much more expensive getting a new computer. That's something I really need to work out.

Books, much as I hate the idea of nothing to read for several weeks, should probably wait until I have somewhere long-term and have had a chance to buy bookcases if applicable. And they're heavy so it does make sense to ship them rather than trying to carry. Kitchen stuff I can probably ship with the books, assuming I have enough for basic survival until that happens.
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