June 3rd, 2006


Not the best time for a holiday

We have another of the amazing Swedish four-day weekends when no-one works from mid-afternoon Friday until Wednesday morning. The trouble is, I am in a very poor position to take advantage of this holiday. My primary problem is that I have no money. I mean, literally none; I had to get a new bank account for annoying bureaucratic reasons, and of course the new card didn't arrive til Friday after the banks had shut early due to the holiday, and I can't activate it until places are open again at 10 o'clock Wednesday morning. I have food in the storecupboard, so I won't starve, and I have a season ticket for transport, so I don't have to stay at home. But the number of fun things I can actually do in a strange city with no money is rather limited!

The second problem is that my phone chose the extremely inconvenient time of Friday afternoon just before the holiday to die. So I can't phone my friends here and suggest hanging out together, nor can I occupy my time by phoning my friends in other countries, which is one thing I was hoping to do with the bonus free time. And of course I can't even start the process of getting it fixed until Wednesday...

However, in spite of these annoyances, the weekend started well. Some work colleagues invited me to a pubmeet held by a largely virtual group of English-speakers living in Sweden. I had a very enjoyable evening, because even though pubbing isn't really my scene, it was outdoors so not smoky and the background music was ignorable, and because I suddenly got to meet 70 new people at once. Social contact is very, very good, and they seem an extremely pleasant, and pleasingly mixed crowd.

The downside was paying over £7 for a shot and mixer (which I wouldn't have ordered if I'd known!) and over £5 for a beer. Apparently this is normal for Sweden, but eek! And that ate up my entire "budget" (the cash I happened to be carrying in my purse when I realized I was not going to be able to get any more late on Friday) for the weekend.