So, what do you say huh? After slowly dismantling our lives here in “The land of the Vikings”, it was finally time for us to leave Swedish territory once and for all. And on a fantastic “sunny and blue sky”-day too, for that matter.
Started my last morning here together with my mum, taking the dog for a walk. After breakfast and closing of bags, my oldest brother with family showed up around 11.30 to say their goodbyes before it was time for Tom and me to go to the airport with my mum driving us ❤ ❤ ❤ Love you so so much!!!
The aeroplane left at 14.20 for Iceland and with me crying my eyes out ;(
How is it possible to be so excited, happy and feel totally free to do what ever you want and that the sky’s the limit, while on the other hand feel so very very blue?
Anyway, came to Reykjavik around 17.30 Icelandic time (-2h), really tired and hungry. Checked in at a disgustingly dirty place (how can this place call themselves a guest house?) for our two nights here (why do we almost always go for these horrible accommodations that make my skin crawl, just to save, in this case, some ISK- Icelandic krona?… My God…).
Had a freaking good burger for dinner though, at one of Iceland’s oldest restaurants and then an evening walk before I later died on my pillow…zzz
Today was the day to finish everything off and just go through our packing one last time to see that we had got it all under control. Even if we’ve planned our emigration very well in advance, I got a bit stressed out anyway!
I also had to go and have a final check at all our 23 boxes that we are going to send down to NZ after a few months when we know were our home is going to be… The company organizing this for us wanted an inventory list over the contents of the boxes. Not the most enjoyable thing one can do on a Saturday, but it had to be done and I brought my dear mum with me for some help ❤
After that, we were invited for a tasty Persian lunch with one of my brother’s mother in law Azita and her husband. (They are the friendly people that let us store the boxes in their big house) ❤
Then on to Åkersberga (north of Stockholm) where my grandmother lives in a retirement home, to say my last good byes to her. I got a bit emotional, as my granny (and grandfather when he lived) have been two of the most important people in my life since I was a little girl. It is so hard for me to think that I might never see her again, because of her age (she is 89) and the fact she’s got Parkinsons 😦
And in the evening it got even more emotional when I had to say good bye to some members of the family, after having a nice evening together…
I have so much appreciated these last weeks together with my family and I’m going to miss them like crazy. I hate farewells and even if I’m very excited about me and Tom’s future outside Sweden, I will always have a hole in my heart, not being able to see them when I want. And my home country will always be Sweden, that’s just how it is I’m afraid…
And today we sold off a reasonable fraction of everything we own.
We had the amazing good fortune of meeting Selda, an old work friend of ours who is not only facebook literate but was also prepared to put in a whole load of work on our behalf to help us sell our stuff.
We sent her photos and descriptions which she in turn threw out into the void that is social media and voilà; suddenly we were inundated with people phoning, texting and knocking on our door, just aching to get their hands on all our goodies.
Within what seemed like a couple of hours we were rid of among other things two sofas (or couches as uncouth Americans insist on calling them ;)), a glass table and a ceiling fan.
By Saturday it was time for a home made indoor garage sale which basically meant that our flat morphed into a garage for a day.
Selda advertised it online while we traipsed around the neighbourhood, putting up fliers urging people to put their hands in their pockets for a good cause.
And what a response we got!
Half an hour before official opening time our flat was being besieged by locals looking for a bargain. We were overwhelmed!
We (and when I say “we” I mean of course Ami who is a genius at these things) had done a brilliant job turning the place into a very good impersonation of a second hand shop complete with price tags and one room for fabrics, one for kitchenware etc. Before long we were rushed off our tiny feet.
What surprised me was that I actually quite enjoyed the whole experience which to be frank I really didn’t think I would.
People were really nice and the bartering (which I normally hate even more than an episode of Big Brother) was fun and civilised. Living in the cold north neighbours don’t always get to know each other like they maybe do in warmer climes so it was pleasant to actually converse with people who you would normally just pass in the street with at most a nod of the head. It has taken us eight years to finally get to know the people around us and in three weeks we are moving away.
A metaphor for something, I guess.
Of course we were at a bit of a disadvantage in that people knew that we were moving to the other end of the world and were thus prepared to sink to incredible depths of cheapness to get rid of our meagre possessions. In view of the circumstances however I think that people were quite fair and that an equilibrium of sorts was found. Oh the beauty of the free market. 🙂
After five hours of this we closed the doors more knackered than a runner completing an uphill marathon into a gale force wind. The accumulation of a week of work, training and preparing for all this plus the day itself took its toll in the end.
We had promised to treat ourselves to a three course meal at a flashy restaurant which we did and it was much needed in as much as we could just about stay awake while looking romantically into each others eyes. 🙂
And still people come. At the time of writing two more lamps have just been sold to bargain hunters off the street who knocked on the door, just hoping we would be home. A few hours ago another neighbour finally decided that she really did want our kitchen cupboard after all. All this is great because there is still quite a lot left. But there is no rest for the wicked.
So if you feel that you are in need or want of a solid oak table with six matching chairs please don’t hesitate to get in touch… 🙂
One prized possession was sold that did leave me with a slightly heavy heart though. I never thought it would happen but someone decided they wouldn’t mind owning my beloved training bike. The number of static miles watching cricket and rugby that that bike and I have done over the years are almost immeasurable. But everything has a price I reasoned and sending her over to Kiwiland I didn’t see as feasible… 😦
To finish with we would just like to officially thank the great and wondrous Selda for helping us so much with this venture. For all the work you put in and for helping to make it such a great success (and us incredibly rich ;)), thanks again Selda, we owe you one. 🙂
Until next time.
And remember, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to be caught photographed doing…
I felt like a dictator today. Call me Tom Jong Un, Benito or Adolf if you like, I found myself with a huge pile of books and no idea of what I was going to do with them.
Moving to another country means one big thing, throwing stuff away.
And man are we doing it!
The poor bastards working at our local rubbish tip are in all probability getting sick of the sight of us trundling up with fresh tonnage of recyclables. There is undoubtedly a certain degree of catharsis attached to the whole thing – the feeling of leaving home with a car full of junk and returning with sweet Fanny Adams is a pretty good one. You start to wonder why you started hoarding all the bullshit in the first place.
But books are something else. Aside from the already touched upon dubious political history of literary destruction, there is also a poetic side to it. To start with they smell nice – far nicer than my collection of kindle and audio books, while even the shit ones (of which there are many, trust me) have a nostalgic edge to them that I find hard to deny.
There is a very funny and in my opinion quite beautiful Sammy J song called “Delete” where he discusses what will happen the day he dies and his grandchildren sift through his old photos and memorabilia.
Shit, I forgot this was the internet and that I can link you to it so here it is…
I feel a bit the same about these old books. In however many years time when I leave this planet what will people have to remember me by? A few gigs and a porn collection?
Anyway I have given away the ones that people want and have room for but the problem with books and living in a town with a housing shortage is that said room is slightly limited.
So I confess that with a heavy heart I threw far too many of the bloody things away. As they fell into the container I sighed and tried to withhold the beginnings of a tear from forming in my eye.
Christ knows what I am going to do with my old vinyl records.
Otherwise things are progressing according to plan. The flat is sold and we (and by “we” I mean Ami who is definitely the locomotive pulling the carriage that is your correspondent) are well and truly on the road to preparing ourselves for the big day of departure in the beginning of May.
It is hard work and not much fun when combining it with having to at least show up for work occasionally while you do it. Work is a total pain in the arse right now and we are both counting the days (26 to be exact at the moment of writing) before we can finally leave the bloody place for good.
The weather is still diabolical and training is still being done indoors most of the time.
Here we are cycling away, Ami at the local gym spinning like a spider and me at home on the exercise bike while watching cricket, which I must say does make the pain more bearable.
Still spring is just around the corner, hopefully at least, and soon we will be pumping the pedals in the countryside again.