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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Hi guys,

I'm so behind with uploading pictures, but I haven't given up. At the moment I am waiting for my DBS check to clear for my new job (and it will probably take a couple of weeks...err). More about that tomorrow. Anyway here are the pictures from mine and Gabija's trip to London (from August or something). Since it was Gabija's first time in London we walked around a lot and looked at a lot of the famous places (including some places we didn't take any pictures of).

Aaaand an inside joke for you (might be a bit pointless to explain, but I'll give it a go). Some students confused the word "attendance" with "assistance" during the summer. The first time this happened I was really confused when a healthy looking student came to the reception and asked for assistance, but then I realised what the student meant and thought that was the end of it. But THEN it kept happening several times a day during the ENTIRE SUMMER. ""What's my assistance?" the students would ask (some would even say "where's my assistance?") yet still asking about attendance. So we just took this picture as an answer to the question. HERE'S YOUR ASSISTANCE!

//Findus Krantz

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November is finally here! I can't believe how quick these five months have passed. Yesterday I did my last registration of new students. Everything is about "lasts" this week. I'm getting sentimental already. When I went for my lunch break a boy pointed at me and exclaimed "I recognise you". I glanced down at my staff t-shirt and was about to say something like "well, I work here so I recon you have seen me before". But then he said "you were Wednesday Addams last week!" and he smiled at me. That made me happy :)

This month is going to be difficult for sure. Not just with leaving my internship as well as the residence, but lots of unknown stuff lies ahead and as the neurotic person I am I am freaking out and I just can't be reasonable about it. I found a room in Headington yesterday and on Sunday I am moving in... crazy. I still have no idea when I can move forward. I have something going on for me, but I don't have any exact dates yet. I am waiting for a bit of bureaucracy to define me.

So for now I put all my effort into this year's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I am writing a story that has been haunting me for years and that I have sort of been avoiding, because I am afraid of what people will think and I know it messes me up to write about things I don't even want to think about. But this time it is different. Sure, it's not exactly a cheerful feeling writing about it and it is a bit draining, but at the same time I feel surprisingly empowered. I feel understood when I am writing. Like I am being honest to myself.

Wow, I'm making it sound like I joined a cult or something. But I'm just trying to express how important this year's NaNoWriMo is for me. I wasn't even going to compete this year, but a friend with whom I often exchange writing ideas set me straight. Thank you, Hannes. You were right. I need to write this and get it out of my system once and for all.

38 873 words and 22 days to go.

//Findus Krantz

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It's the second day of NaNoWriMo. I have about 1000 words left for today's word count (and I just started so I'd say I have a flow). I'm finally writing the story I've been avoiding for years - my own. I feel like I can do it now without breaking apart. I talked to a friend with whom I always discuss ideas for writing (especially around NaNoWriMo) and I raised my concern with always having my own story coming back to me in some way when I'm writing. It sounds easy when I say it like this, but he set me straight that maybe I do need to write it.

Now I feel proud of myself for surviving all those years when I took so much pain. I feel detached, as if I'm telling someone else's story. It's a weird feeling. But I do remember. Everything. Only now everything seems so clear it is almost ridiculous and I'm wondering how I could believe all the lies I was told when I was younger. But I feel proud of were I am today.

Sorry for the cryptic post. I'm just stating how important this month is to me and that I feel good about this. My wrist hurts like hell though...

//Findus Krantz

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Hi everyone!

Today is my day off and I'm in such a good mood :) Yesterday was just fantastic and today is the start of NaNoWriMo. I never win it, but I like to compete regardless. So yesterday was Halloween and we all dressed up for the occasion. Even some of the students dressed up and we were all complimenting each other on each other's outfits. I was Wednesday Addams and I also had Lurch with me and some Disney Characters and so on. You've probably already seen the pictures on Facebook, but still. Here's my department in customer support:

Me and Laurenz as Wednesday and Lurch

Me and Katarina who was dressed up like Bloody Mary

A wonderful mix of different characters from different departments. Chrysanthi who is dressed as Maleficent won the dress up competition.

All of us

I usually don't really celebrate Halloween (nor dress up in general) but I really liked this. Me and Morgane were getting ready in our room and then more people came to prepare with us in our room. Black hair dye and glitter everywhere. Morgane dressed up as scary Alice in Wonderland and we shared our room with Carlos and Linda. Carlos was...death? and Linda was scary Tinkerbell. I registered new students dressed like Wednesday Addams and everyone told me I looked nice. Some students didn't recognise me at dinner after I had taken a long shower to get all of the fake hair dye out of my hair (that in it self looked like a horror move when I had black paint running down the shower drain). When I said "hi" to them they exclaimed "oh, it's HER!". A girl came up to me and asked me where I got the makeup and the dress and everything :)

Today I have a day off. I have one translation (a small one) and of course NaNoWriMo but apart from that nothing big planned. I'm hoping to get back from an interview I attended last week. If I don't I will call them. Why am i writing this... I dunno. Bye.

//Findus Krantz

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