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.