April 30th, 2006



I had a nice shabbat. I went to the synagogue in town. It is very pretty and very huge, like an 18th century cathedral. Also like a cathedral, the service is very formal with a rabbi and a chazan in swishy robes, and an organ, and not much congregational participation to speak of. There were a lot of people there and I was too embarrassed about not being able to speak Swedish to introduce myself to anyone, which was stupid. I'll remedy that another week.

They seem to have mixed feelings about Girls Doing Stuff; three sections (which I actually quite like), and they had a bat mitzvah (and two bar mitzvahs, twin boys at the same time) and the girl got to come up on the bimah and have a fuss made over her, and she read haftarah, with someone else reading the blessings. (The boys just read the blessings and didn't leyn, but I don't know if they're just incompetent, or whether that's the normal system.) But she didn't wear a kippah or tallit, and she was the only woman who did anything ritual. Looked like a compromise, involving girls without doing anything halachically controversial.

The other thing that was pleasant was that my landlords / hosts invited me for dinner. It's amazing how much more able to cope I feel with a hot meal inside me and having enjoyed some sensible human contact. Not being able to eat properly is the biggest nuisance about living in the basement; otherwise it's very comfortable. In between I did some walking around in the local park, and saw woodpeckers and deer and lots of finches and spring flowers (they're still at the crocuses and scylla and beginnings of daffodils stage, there are even a few late blooming snowdrops and aconites).

Today has not been so much fun, due to an excess of not very successful shopping. I went to Ikea; I suppose if I'm going to be sucked into the Ikea vortex it's a bit cooler if it happens in Sweden! I found some of the stuff I was looking for, and earmarked other stuff to get my parents to help me carry when they come next week. Then I came into town which went badly, partly because a lot of the shops I need are closed on Sunday, and partly because a lot of shops I need I haven't yet found. I still have no kettle and no teapot, and this is going to make my flat significantly less habitable if I can't sort it out soon!

I'm looking forward to starting work Tuesday. At the moment I'm spending a lot of time sleeping for lack of anything else at all to do; I'm rationing my reading as much as I can bear, and I'm rationing my internet from financial necessity (besides which, the internet cafe is 3 train stops away, so I can't really use it as general entertainment). I miss being able to have proper conversations with all you guys, but I am skimming entries and know what's going on at least. In LJ, anyway; LJ is definitely a priority over world news when I'm only online for 20 minutes every other day! Spending most of the day asleep is also, I suspect, connected to not really getting enough to eat. Blah.
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