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I was just talking to my flatmates about bad jokes and here I am putting one in the title of this post. We were also talking about really pointless gifts. Did you know there is a special fan you can buy for your smartphone so that you get that hair blowing effect for when you're taking a selfie? There's a also a selfie stick that looks like a hand to make it look like you have friends... I'm done.

So anyways, I've been wanting to address this for quite some time because a lot of times I feel like this is happening to me. Sometimes I just love how my resting bitch face creates awkward situations. Seriously, I love how it keeps people from engaging in small talk when I don't feel like talking; like recruiters in the city centre, shop assistants, hair dressers etc. Most of the time I just want to be kept alone and my face says it for me. It's amazing and people are amazing for understanding it. If I could I would thank everyone who paused from approaching me and turned the other way.

But every now and then someone misinterprets this as me being scared or feeling bad, which I hate because once someone starts acting like there is something wrong with me I get very defensive because to me this is saying that I'm doing something wrong... when I'm just being myself. I will never be able to relate to these people. Yes, I do understand that they do this because they care, but it just makes me super uncomfortable. I just want to shout "you don't KNOW me".

Exhibit A: I was sitting in a room listening to a lecture. The lecturer was very friendly and spoke to everyone and made lots of eye contact. So was I because I was listening (I have this way of either listening intensely or not at all). And then she turns to me and is like "you alright there, Findus?" and I just responded "yeah". She then continued talking about what we were doing and after a few minutes she said "so we're going continue with an exercise *turns to me and stops smiling* Is that alright, Findus?". I nodded. She said "yeah...?". Like she had to ask for my permission or something. And it just continued like that for almost two hours.

Just keeping myself from saying all the stuff I want to say makes me repeat it over and over in my head like I can't stop picturing a washing machine spinning round and round. I get echolalia and I just can't stop repeating all the things I want to say in my head.

Exhibit B:

My landlord talks normal to everyone and then turns to me and asks "is everything alright? and stares intensely at me.

Me: Yeah, everything's fine

He: Are you sure?

Me: Yeah

(this is when I usually speed up my responses as his stare gets more and more intense)

He: Nothing at all that's wrong with the house

Me: Nothing

He: Because if there's something and you don't tell me... then I can't do anything,

Me: I know

He: So if there's anything, make sure to tell me.

Me: 'k

Seriously this is just very condescending, like I can't speak my mind unless you're super soft on me. Like asking a child "are you sure you don't need to go to the bathroom?".

So finally a bit of advice. If you suspect that someone is sad or whatever and they don't talk about it (maybe they are giving an answer that seems avoiding), talk about anything else than that so that they feel comfortable around you and then they might actually tell you something. Christ. This is basic stuff. Calling someone out in public like in exhibit A just made me sad when I wasn't. I was actually very happy that day and then I felt like I was in a hopeless situation because I didn't want to be rude enough to say "stop talking to me like I'm a wounded bird!!". This just gets on my nerves...

//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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In August I went to Cardiff in Wales. It was kinda cool that we got to cross the border on a trip. The only pictures I took were by the Cardiff Castle (and the pictures on google are way better), but it's something to prove I was there so I'm uploading it. We had a very nice day :)

//Findus Krantz

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Hi people,

I still can't believe my internship is coming to an end and that I'm doing my last day in two weeks... so weird. People back home are asking me when I'm coming back and I honestly don't know. So for now I am not making any decisions until I get things sorted here. But hopefully that doesn't take too long :)

Many of the other interns I work with have some sort of linguistic education which naturally brings me to ask them a lot of questions. I'm fascinated by the different rules that apply to different languages and yesterday I discussed how confusing the word "think" is in the English language. That is because there are at least three different ways of interpreting the word.

1. "Let me think about it for a while"/I don't know WHAT to think" (processing information) - Swedish translation: tänka.

2. "I think we need to go left by that intersection" - (expressing a thought), Swedish translation: tro.

3. "I think there's a difference between cats and dogs" - (opinion), Swedish translation: tycka.

Confused? So am I... it all seems so clear in my head. Maybe I'm not giving good examples, but I'm gonna try to explain anyway. The first meaning suggests indecisiveness and not knowing, thus needing to think. The second meaning suggests that you are guessing and that you are unsure while the latter means you have your mind set. Now I sort of realise the meaning of the word depending on which kind of sentence it is used in, but I was really confused by this when I was younger. I remember watching a TV show where a character said to another character who had just said something really mean that "I think you owe us an apology". I immediately thought of the second meaning and thought (number 3) WHAT DO YOU MEAN "YOU THINK"?! HE JUST INSULTED YOUR FAMILY AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW?!

Now it is obvious, but then it really wasn't. I asked one colleague from France and one from Germany and both nationalities had three different words for the three kinds of "think", just like with the Swedish language.

And don't even get me started on the so called false friends. Words in Swedish that sound English but have an entirely different meaning in English. Examples:

English: Eventually - in time

Swedish: Eventuellt - maybe

---------------------------------------------------------------

English: Fart - passing gas

Swedish: Fart - speed

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English: Barn - farm building

Swedish: Barn - children

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English: Wrist - a part of your arm

Swedish: Vrist - ankle

----------------------------------------------------------------

English: Hug - embrace someone

Swedish: Hugg - stab

etc. etc.

And then there is always the issue of what time it is. If it's 4.30 Swedish people will say that it's half five, whilst here in the UK you say half four which still is a bit confusing to me (unless the word "past" is added in the middle). Swedes say half five, because it's halfway to five, Brits say half four because it is half past four (but unfortunately the "past" is removed).

I'm working tomorrow morning, but as usual I find something that annoys me and I stay up... but I think (2) that's all for now. Think (1) about how much I think (3) you should go to bed. It's too late for this

//Findus Krantz

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