Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Velcommen ar Sweden

Or whatever it is they say here, I must admit to a distressing lack of competence with spoken Swedish (not that my reading comprehension is great either but it's easier to guess when I can see what words look like. I can pick words out of conversations when I know what is going on, but hurdy gurdy bork potato glemmestraan?

It's so frustrating being basically monolingual (and knowing that if you look blankly at people they will give up and speak nearly perfect English). No Maltese person in their right mind would assume I am a local so the problem doesn't arise so I don't feel guilty, but more people here speak swedish than speak Maltese in Malta, and a lot more tall people with blue eyes speak Swedish than speak Maltese.

Everyone's obsessed with it being cold, and I didn't mind wearing trousers, and shoes this morning... too much. The office has a great view over the old town and the harbour and stuff - central Stockholm is quite a pretty city. It's also just nice to be out of Malta (it's a nice enough place to live but feels so small and backwards sometime) and out of the office down there - the one up here is physically nicer, and I'm not involved in any of the politics and stuff and people seem less angry / stressed).

I am not sure whether tonight will be spent at the hotel (I have a couple hours laptop battery and can probably arrange internet if I care enough), or if a friend will be available for dinner (if not I might have to eat alone, which I dislike at sit down places - maybe I should wander the streets in the dark looking for a kebab shop - the Swedes in Malta rate the kebabs here, but a lot of that is probably just Swedish arrogance.

I've got a nice long shopping list for people too, so that will eat my saturday I suspect - it's good in a way, will give me a mini-taste of living here rather than just tourist / business stuff.

Anyway, the office is boring me, so it's "home" time. Haven't done anything touristy yet, might not do much, even this weekend, we'll see how I feel.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Pretty sure I'm trying to set some sort of record.

Normal life just does not lend itself to blogging. I mean stuff happens, I just don't feel like writing about it. A lot of that is because work is just constantly busy but some of it is just because I'm an everyday average guy now.

I still don't have a haircut, but it's now a matter of when, and how much, not if.

I only feel tall on rainy days. Normally, the short people I see in the street seem like an everyday abberation, little old ladies and little old men are so common that the adjectives go with the nouns like olives and pizza (or indeed almost any foodstuff here). Anyway, on rainy days I realise that it's not just little old ladies and little old men. Most Maltese people carry umbrellas (because when it rains here, it really rains, there's none of that subtle stuff that places further from the equator have. It might start as a gentle drizzle, but pretty soon it's going to be a full on drenching.

When everyone else is carrying an umbrella you notice how short they are. I don't carry one because just as I refuse to conceed to the "cold" and not wear shorts, I refuse to conceed to the rain, plus I'm too lazy and forgetful so it would always be at the wrong location because I couldn't be bothered carrying it back the time before I needed it. Every rainy day, I have to choose between the temporary blindness of wearing wet glasses, or the risk of permanent blindness because of eye-level spikes.

Going to Sweden on Monday for a business trip (see how grown up I am now?). So that should be a lot of fun (even if in one of life's little ironies, one of the people I was supposed to meet with is coming to Malta because of an emergency down here).

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