Hi everyone,

So on Tuesday I had my first day where I was shown around and did some trainings, as well as on Wednesday when I had a training with the school nurse. Yesterday I did my first shift at the student accommodation. Except for receiving some information that will most likely change the outcome of my work situation later on, it was a good day. I feel well prepared for this position after my time at EF. The only problem for now will be learning new names and faces (in addition to having prosopagnosia) and the routines.

I still have an annoying cough though. The air at work was very dry which made it worse, so I'm gonna stock up on cough cyrups and other home remedies for my shifts this weekend. I'm going to spend the night there both on Saturday and on Sunday. Right now I am waiting for a nurse to call me back and give me some advice on what I can do. As I felt better this morning than I did yesterday evening I decided to call 111 instead of making an appointment at my GP. I just don't want to waste anyone's time without being genuinely concerned. So I spoke to a nurse who managed to rule out serious concerns and I was told a nurse would call me later to give me some advice to help me cope. I am just fed up with this and my ribs hurt from all the coughing. But apart from that I am fine.

It's "snowing" outside. The kind of thin flakes that melt when they hit the ground, thus the quotation marks. The wether keeps changing here. But I don't mind the cold. Sometimes I miss living in Dalarna or north of Sweden in general. Dry, cool air and not much wind. Here the cold is quite the opposite. It's a more wet, humid kind of cold that really gets into your bones. So in that sence I am a bit homesick. Of course there are people back home I miss even more, but I have a lot of fun things to look forward to. Me and Tom are talking about him visiting me over Easter which is in two months and shortly after that I am going to Sweden attend the wedding of a close friend. I'm going to be one of the bridesmades so I'm really excited. I spoke to a friend at work yesterday and she said that you start to feel old once your best friends start getting married, so if she is right I will feel old from the beginning of June. Who knows ^^

//Findus Krantz

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Hi everyone,

Drumroll please... On Friday I got my DBS certificate! YAAAY! I went straight to work with it despite having a fever and now everything is in order and tomorrow I will be added to the rota. Finally! I'm also getting better each day. I can't believe I've been sick for almost two weeks. In the beginning of this week I didn't have a voice. I texted a friend about this and she responded by calling me xD In the beginning of the week I sounded like a sick Fran Drescher and at the end I started sounding more like the child from Home Alone. But now I'm starting to sound like myself again.

Nothing else exciting happened, unfortunately. I played way too much computer games (I earned lots of Steam achievements). I'm not even going to admit how many hours I spent and how many kills I did on Hotline Miami 2, but my housemates know ^^ I also read lots of books so I'm actually ahead of my Goodreads Challenge to read 50 books in 2017. At the moment I am reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

//Findus Krantz

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Hi people,

My DBS certificate still hasn't arrived and I need it before I can start working. Today it was two weeks since it was sent which means I can ask for a new one (hopefully it will arrive this time). Last Monday I went on a training for my new job and I got to meet my colleagues. Then I spent the rest of the week worrying about the letter and getting sick (these events are not neccessarily linked together but I thought I should mention it anyway). I got some Steam Achievements out of it, though. Luckily I felt better and I didn't have any fever during the weekend when two old friends came to visit.

Today I have a translation and a proofreading to do. I have just sent an email requesting a new DBS certificate and they were quick to respond that they will process my certificate within 5 working days. Keep your fingers crossed :)

//Findus Krantz

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Hi everyone,

I've been wanting to talk about this quite some time, but every time I started a post and then I never published it (so I have like five unpublished posts about this). I've been living in the UK since June 2016 and the first months I spent living on a campus. But in November I moved to a house, and a week ago I moved to another house. This time I'm planning on staying much longer than two months, though. But the good thing about moving is that you get a chance to declutter and get rid of all the old stuff that you didn't bother to throw away before. So moving twice did the trick for me :)

When I moved into the first house I realized there were some typical British traits that I wasn't (and still isn't) used to. Things that somewhat annoy me as much as it confuses me. Keep in mind this list is not meant to be taken as criticism. So without further ado, here are some things I don't understand about the UK (house edition).

1. Washing machine in the kitchen (!)

This is still wrong to me as I wouldn't want my laundry were I'm preparing food. In Sweden we have some kind of laundry facility where you do laundry and ironing and such. As I live in an apartment there's an entire room that you book for four hours or so and in there I have two washing machines, one iron+ironing board, one centrifuge, one tumble dryer and one drying cabinet. If you do not have a laundry room the washing machine is usually in the bathroom.

UK

Sweden

2. Two taps for the bathtub

This is something that really annoys me. I'm used to one tap where you adjust the temperature accordingly. But with two taps you have to have some part sculding hot water and some part icy cold water so that the temperature is okay for when you're taking a bath. Then you can't put you're feet there for for when you're in the bath because one tap is dripping with hot water and one with cold, so it's really unpleasant, not to mention confusing. You are just ending up mixing the water anyway, so what's the point of having two taps?! Same goes for sinks with two taps.

3. Carpets everywhere

I'm not a big fan of carpets covering an entire floor. To me it is just a bit iconvenient since it is hard to clean them. Plus a lot of Brits walk with their shoes on indoors so it's really confusing to me to install wall-to-wall carpeting (sometimes even the stairs are covered in it).

4. British gardens

This one is harder to explain so bare with me please. To me British gardens are just a patch of grass with a fence to verge one garden from another. Sometimes you can see a shed or some kind of toy for children (like a trampoline). But no one plants anything. It's just a patch of grass with a fence. I'm more used to gardens having a garden plot, some kind of fruit baring trees, some flowers and a garden ornament of some sort. If it's a big garden there's usually a table for eating outdoors on warm days. I'm just used to a lot more going on ^^

Garden in the UK

Garden in Sweden

//Findus Krantz

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Today I remembered something that wasn't real. In fact I dreamt about it and as I woke up to the sound of the text message signal on my phone I found myself thinking that I must go there soon. I thought that this might clear my head. It's an apartment by some very small colorful houses. They are standing on a patch of grass and they all have little gardens. The houses are so small they look like they could merely fit a medium sized dog in there, like miniature sized allotments. I have no neighbours in the actual building, but yet I can see other regular sized houses nearby so I'm not exaclty alone. It's not too far from the highway. I know what the apartment looks like. It is shaped like an L. I have furnitures. A big sofa, a bookcase and a round dining room table by the big windows on the side. If you go left there's a small kitchen.

However, I realise that this place isn't real. It hurts me, because it is real to me. I drink lemon tea and read the newspaper and I feel safe in there. Yet I know the places I've lived in and I know the homes of people I've visited and this place isn't real. I may not remember faces well, but I always remember places. Now that I think about it is somewhat similair to the house a childhood friend used to live in, but the setting is different.

I am in the middle of a very difficult decision making process. I am choosing between two alternatives and I will choose the alternative that makes the scale tip over to one side. That's the way I know how to do it. As if I was choosing which movie to watch in the cinema. Because regardless of what I choose I still get to see a movie. It doesn't matter which one would have been better in the end. But decisions are not decisions without feelings. You have to have some sort of emotion towards something in order to make up your mind. Yesterday I read that people who've had trauma in their life has a harder time making a decision. Something about the amygdala only reacting to fight/flight adrenaline where there's no time to make up your mind. You just do it because it's between life or death (or something that really scares you). You're not thinking, you're on autopilot. Some days I'm constantly on autopilot. I feel like I'm disappointing my environment when I am. Not laughing at things that are funny, not paying attention, not being able to maintain a conversation. I stare blankly at a spot somewhere far away and people ask me what I'm thinking. I wish I could give them an interesting yet non exposing answer. I just hope I make up for it on good days.

When I do make a decision people tend to ask me if I'm sure. I don't blame them. I say stuff, sometimes with zero confidence in my voice, because to me it is more important having an answer than to actually make up my mind. Not having an answer makes people see through you which leads to questions and all this at a time when I'm incapable of talking about it. And sometimes I have an answer, but I don't want to hear the doubt in my own voice, so I give the environment the answer they accept - yes, I would like a piece of cake (no, I don't really like cake), yes, I would like to grab a cup of coffee (I'd rather be alone for a while), yes, I would like to read this book (it doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy).

So what do I want?

I want to visit the house that isn't real and get to know the little people who live in the small houses.

The scale just tipped over.

//Findus Krantz

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Hi everyone!

After a lovely holiday in Sweden I am back in Oxford again! I arrived five days ago and it's been a bit turbulent since. I start working on the 17th when I have my first training planned (regardless of if my DBS check is done or not). And also my landlord decided to sell the house I'm living in while I was on holiday so I have ten days to find a new place. Finding housing in Oxford is easy and hard at the same time. If you have the money and know which area you want to live in I'd say it's fairly easy since there are a lot of sites with different suggestions. But of course it is equally important to go for a place with nice housemates. If you settle for the cheapest alternative you will probably find a misspelled advert created in two minutes with blurry pictures of everything BUT the room available (such as the street view and the bathroom) OR you will find no other information than the price and the picture of the room. You might think "well. that's all I need to know anyway". But no...

I went and looked at a house yesterday and the room looked exactly like on the pictures but the landlord made me furious within seconds. I asked him about the house rules and he exclaimed "NO RULES! THIS IS A NICE PLACE!". I tried to explain exactly what I meant like quiet hours, house guests, cleaning of common areas, buying stuff for the house etc. He then showed me how to wash a frying pan and how to put it back in the cupboard again. Then he started talking about Swedish people being trustworthy (among other nationalities he then started to name drop). So needless to say I thanked him for showing me the place and told him I will look elsewhere. But it wasn't just that. A lot of things was bad with the place too.

So yeah, I'm spending my days with a friend. She's applying for jobs and I'm sending out emails for house viewings. To be continued...

I think every day of my holiday in Sweden was perfect. I met up with Tom, Jenny, Ulrica and lots of other important people. Ulrica is getting married and me and Therese and the groom's sister are going to be bridesmaids at the beginning of June! I'm already excited. Just seeing my old high school friend after all these years brought the happy memories back and I felt how much I've missed her over the years. Another friend of mine, Iris, is getting married in August and in September I might go on a moped cruise through Faroe Islands! So I have a lot of things to look forward to. But first things first! Finding a new home in ten days... I feel like this is the way I will get to know all the areas in Oxford.

//Findus Krantz

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Hi everyone,

My Friday is going to be crazy. For the first time in over six months I'm going to Sweden. My transfer to the airport is going to pick me up at 3.45 AM and it's all craziness from there. My flight to Gothenburg departs a couple of hours later and then I'm taking a bus to Gothenburg train station (30 minutes) were I'm planning to meet up with a friend there if possible. Then I'm taking a train to Skövde (1½-2 hours) to apply for a national ID card (and a new passport since mine expires in February). If I have time I will also finally collect my certificate from University (everything closes at 4 p.m. and I have nowhere to put my luggage since there are no longer lockers at the train station... oh boy). Then I will meet up with Jenny, go to my apartment in Skara and drop off some stuff and then we're going to Jung to celebrate. The day is going to be a caffeine apocalypse for me, but it will be worth it in the end. I'm so looking forward to seeing the people I love and eating Swedish food :)

The day after I'm going to see and old friend and I will try out a bridesmaids dress for her wedding. Then it's straight to Strömstad so I can finally see my boyfriend. It's our anniversary on Monday!

And then I just have a lot of stuff I need to take care of. Lots of people to see and lots of errands. I will need to get a bus card to cover the entire region as I am planning trips to all kinds of places. I'm going back on the 5th of January and if all goes well I'll start working soon after that. The documents will be in order so that a proper background check can be made for my new job. Finally :) In January a friend is moving in with me and we are already making a list of things we need to bring to the house.

//Findus Krantz

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Still trying to catch up on uploading the pictures. In early September Tom came to visit and I took hundreds of pictures, so I can't upload all of them at the same time, but hopefully they will be uploaded soon. I took him on a town walk were I showed him the famous places in Oxford, we went to the Harry Potter studios tour in London and Oxford open doors (which basically means allowance to the college grounds (usually there's a restriction and/or a fee to pay in order to go inside the school areas without being a student there).

Here's Tom looking sceptically at the World's Oldest ham:

Ian claims this is bullsh*t. This piece of ham can be found at the covered market in Oxford. That's the end of the tour. Nah, just kidding. I also showed him the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library and Theatre and so on. As it was a former colleagues last day at work on the Friday we all went out to celebrate.

On Saturday we went on the Harry Potter Studios Tour.

That's the end of the first part. I'll upload more pictures tomorrow. Have a nice week :)

//Findus Krantz

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Hi everyone,

I just got the remaining scholarship money from Erasmus. Yay! It's needed now when I'm paying double rent whilst not working. I hope this DBS check clears soon. I may have to go to the police station and leave my fingerprints as a final proof of my existence. Sometimes I miss Swedish bureaucracy. I was on the phone with the Swedish tax agency at the beginning of the week and they promised to send a copy of my birth certificate with their stamp and signature. It arrived to my address in Headington this morning (free of charge). Only problem is that I found out the day after I ordered it that it might now be sufficient after all... I guess I'll just wait some more. I've only been out of work for two weeks, but it's the not knowing that is a bit hard for me. But yeah, hopefully things will get sorted soon.

So, for those of you who didn't know; *drum roll* I AM STAYING IN THE UK! Sorry Sweden. I am going to be working at another language school near the city centre of Oxford and I am very excited about starting (whenever it will be). I tried to stay at EF but that didn't work out, which sort of made me realise how much I wanted to stay in an international environment with international students. And with a little help from a friend I made a plan for what I should do next. Thank you :)

So yes, I am staying here. And I start my new job as soon as the background check clears. So all is well (except for me being restless). I guess I can't tag this post as "Erasmus Internship" like I've done with all posts I've written whilst staying in the UK. Maybe it doesn't even need a tag.

//Findus Krantz

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Still uploading pictures from the summer. Today I'm uploading pictures from the time me, Gabija and Ian went to Cambridge. We went on a city tour with a guide and we saw a lot of nice places (sorry for the poor picture quality; I really should have brought my camera instead of using my cheap phone, but I have a feeling I will go back soon).

Punting on river Cam.

The city tour with the different colleges.

Apple tree planted by Isaac Newton!

Statue of Charles Darwin

//Findus Krantz

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