March 13, 2011

Cotton Anniversary

Portrait after having lived for one year in Malmö, Sweden. A small milestone!

Efter tolv månader i Sverige, har jag nu:

- mastered enough of the Swedish language to articulate my thoughts to Swedish friends and acquaintances in both sober and less sober states of mind, attempted to read my first Agatha Christie in Swedish, written short pieces of text about ABBA, Twin Peaks, and my old flat in Auckland, followed American TV shows by reading Swedish subtitles, watched an Ingmar Bergman film without subtitles, however the extent of my comprehension of that film is highly debatable.

- become a fully fledged cyclist about town, no other mode of transport can compare to the bicycle, especially after one has learnt the necessary cycle etiquette and rules, thus avoiding any awkward cycle faux pas or potentially hazardous accidents.

- been offered full time employment as a library assistant at Malmö Högskolas Bibliotek, the huge success after months of job coaching, awkward phone calls, applications I didn't understand and seemingly pointless business networking. Good things, do apparently, take time. Was told I had 'made a great impression and had really good references', so those must be the secrets to employment.

- not cut my hair for 12 months. It is at present the longest it has been in my life. The goal is to leave it that way at least until I can successfully explain to a Swedish hairdresser what I actually want in a hair style.

- travelled to more cities than I ever have before. Copenhagen, London, Glasgow, Berlin so far and counting. With the incoming funds from the above mentioned employment, hopefully this year the list will continue to expand.

- read an impressive number of  classic books, taking advantage of Malmö public library's excellent English fiction section. Titles include Rebecca, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Steppenwolf, The Remains of the Day, Pan, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the short stories of Truman Capote, all of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels. I hope this reading trend will continue, with high literature in English and low brow pocket detective fiction in Swedish.

- experienced my first northern hemisphere winter, and in turn seen my first snow. A truly magical experience, and now, after many snowfalls, the wonder of it still gets me in a bit of a tither and I feel the need to uselessly announce the fact that snow is falling. These thoughts and feelings are documented in a short text about my first impressions of snow.

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