Apartment Update!

Sooo it’s been a while since I moved now, and Kylie has finally gotten her shit together and edited my moving vlog! (I know you’ve been busy with other stuff, sorry :*) But how much has happened since I got here?

Well, turns out there’s a lot! Unfortunately, I don’t think I have any photos of how it looked before, but if you imagine an empty room, you basically get the picture. Also, you can see it at the end of the moving vlog.

So what things have I gotten now? How much better has my life become? There’s two things that have made major differences to my level of comfort here. They are the following:

#1 Proper internet (a minor rant)

You may have heard reports of me having bad internet and so on, well, that was completely true. For the first two months, I had to rely on my phone’s connection, and share that with my PC, which, while it worked fairly well when I was on 3G speeds, mostly worked not that well when I’d passed my 2GB data cap (which took about a day or two) and had to spend the rest of the month surfing at a
speed of about 0.1Mbit/s. Not that fun, especially when you’re trying to make a video call with your girlfriend. Video quality was terrible. I’m actually surprised it worked at all with that
kind of connection.

So of course, one of the first things I did when I’d gotten here was contact my chosen internet provider, Telia, and order broadband through ADSL. They said “sure, we’ll send you a confirmation email of your order” yadda yadda, fast forward a week or so and me not hearing anything. I call their support only to find out that my credit check hadn’t gone through for whatever reason, thank you so much for telling me… I tried again but that time the customer service person I ordered through had the decency to tell me straight away that I hadn’t cleared the check and so then I figured I’d probably have to explore other options.

I went back to comparing different service providers and decided that Tele2 seemed to have the best speed to price ratio, where I could actually get more speed for about the same price as the Telia offer I’d tried previously. Great, I contacted their support, they told me about how I needed to also have a home phone subscription, nothing I didn’t know, and then they wanted to check what speeds I could get at my address. Of course, it couldn’t be found in their database, so they had to contact this other place to get some measurements done which would take a while and they’d get back to me. Now, I don’t exactly remember how many times we contacted each other back and forth, but eventually, I got a text from a company that was going to connect the home phone for me in two days. They arrived the next day and connected it while I was at school, so that was probably the most painless part of the whole process. And big props to them for actually doing it the day before they initially said they would.

Anyway, then a week went by and I heard nothing about the internet I was supposed to be getting. I called support (again) and found out they had no record of me having ordered anything
other than the phone service, so I had to again order the ADSL internet. Then I got the router and stuff about a week later, and as soon as I connected it, I had proper internet. Sooo nice. Took
long enough. Well, took too long actually, but now I finally have enough bandwidth to do everything I use my computer for. Max of 24Mbit/s, but actual speeds seem to be around 20, so
that’s still really good, and I’m very pleased.

#2 Furniture

So my apartment has been really bare, but since I was able to split up my furniture payments, I have finally gotten some nice furniture in here! This wouldn’t have been possible without the following:

  • Free payment plan thing for first home thing from IKEA
  • IKEA being literally only a few hundred meters away
  • A friend who owns a car, because no one will be able to cart a room worth of furniture even just those few hundred meters, since there’s a highway between; the surface on the ground isn’t
    optimised for rolling an IKEA cart across it; etc. I had hard enough carting a single table, more on that later.

So there were three major things I had to get in this one small room. A workstation, a relaxation area and a sleeping area. I actually made a sketchup model of my room to figure out what would fit where and stuff, and the final arrangement matches pretty closely.

Screenshot 2015-10-30 00.55.08

The one major difference is the desk orientation, The desk looks too wide, since the model I used wasn’t properly to scale and was too wide, but the actual desk DID fit because I had measured and knew it should fit, but the 3D model was wrong.

So I had basically everything mapped out how I wanted it before I even started buying anything, and part of me wants to say that there was this big mishap, but, apart from the table
thing, there was nothing. It all fit where I wanted it!

So what is this table thing? Well, long story short, I bought a too big table, because I didn’t have the shopping list with me in the store and so I had to go back and get a refund. To make the
story a little longer, I might add that the guy with the car wasn’t available, so I had to go to IKEA, get one of their flat carts, cart it home (see what I did there?), load the table, cart it back, return old table, get a refund, buy new smaller table and some other stuff I needed like bedding, load it all onto a new cart, cart it all home, while accidentally tipping it over several times because roads aren’t perfectly level and heavy carts with tiny wheels like to go where I don’t want them to go, and there not being a way to strap them in so they’re basically just lying flat on this thing so they fall off very easily, anyway, you get the picture. So I got home with the lot, unloaded the cart, then I had to take the cart back to IKEA. Oh, and I had to walk home again. So that’s six times walking back and forth from IKEA. I think it may have taken me a total of 3 hours, if I remember correctly.

So how did it all actually work out?

I love my new desk and my sofa is pretty good too. It’s also a bed sofa for when Kylie and her mum come over, and has smart storage for bedding underneath.

20151029-DSC01355 20151029-DSC01352 20151030-DSC01365

I’ll leave you with some more photos of my apartment!



Why We’re Not Getting Engaged This Christmas

So, you all know by now we’re busy planning our second visit this Christmas, and I can’t wait, because we’re going to see the Northern Lights! It’ll be amazing! But ever since we invited my Mum to join us, we’ve been asked multiple times if it’s because we’re getting engaged.  We’re not (yet).

My ridiculous love and excitement over snow has come from my Mum, who has gone on about how she wants to travel and have a white Christmas and see Santa’s village my whole life – and her whole life, which is now 60 years. When we learnt Johan would be moving so far up north, how could we pass up the opportunity of doing all the touristy things up there when it’s almost right next door? We’d be silly not to. And so we decided to invite my Mum too, on her 60th birthday at the start of the year, and the first question was, “Are you getting married?!”  Surprised, my response was something like, “Uh, no, we just think you’ve waited long enough for your first white Christmas, and how guilty would I feel if I didn’t at least invite you to the NORTHERN LIGHTS?”  And so every time the conversation is bought up, it’s now: “Are you getting engaged?” ; “Are you sure you’re not getting engaged?”; “You must be.”

As magical and as perfect as it would be to have a proposal under the Northern Lights (and there’s still every chance Johan could surprise me out of the blue and I could be writing this for nothing, because of course I have no idea when that day will come), we’re not ready.  We’re not getting engaged yet because we’re not ready to get married.  Johan is studying; I’ve just finished my first year of fulltime work… our adult lives seem like they are just beginning!  We’ll have been together three years, and that seems like a very long time when you’re at the start of your relationship.  However, the difference is that we’ve barely had time to do all the silly things boyfriends and girlfriends do together.  Add up all of the hours we’ve spent video-calling each other and we’ll have spent months and months together, but in person, we’ll have spent under two months.  Until, of course, after the visit, then we will have been about 10 weeks physically in each others company out of 165.

We have no doubt of our love and the future we want to have together, and a ring isn’t going to change that.  It may tell the world, but it’s something we already know ourselves.  Some people have shorter dating periods, some people have longer, and ours will likely be longer.  We want to get engaged at our own pace, and when we are financially ready, so we can afford and plan our wedding (and I don’t even want to think about that with the situation of two large families in two continents across the globe).  But there’s more to it than that.  I want to be able to walk around hand-in-hand with my fiancé.  That’s something we can’t do when we’re still separated by distance.  Besides, there’s no need to rush.  We have the rest of our lives ahead of us.

That said, we already have our honeymoon destination picked out.

Apologies, accidents and fights (but everything is still okay. Really.)

The time is flying… Now just 75 days until we’re together!  Some may think it’s great when your boyfriend says he doesn’t mind what we do on our holiday, or when your mother says “it’s okay, whatever you two want to do” – but it’s not!  They’re both putting it all on me, and I hate making big decisions!
…(Johan interjecting here: You actually ask everyone’s thoughts on all big decisions and when I give my point of view, you’ll dismiss it and then we’re back on square one, but maybe that’s not how you see it)
So excuse me if the blog has been thrown to the wayside during these stumbling attempts to organise everything.  Good news is, I think it’s all there!  Just a matter of finishing and paying for the remaining bookings now, and maybe then I can put up a now very delayed vlog of Johan’s move into his new apartment.

Speaking of, he’s settled in well, although he is now unwell and stuck in bed with the flu!
…(Old news! I’m already up and back to school! Though I do still cough a little)…
I told him to wear a jacket (he specifically said he was cold!) but he didn’t listen to me.  But prior to this week, he has been having a blast and making lots of new friends.  I can see a change in him, and he seems evidently happier.  Apart from his internet, though he’ll finally be getting wifi next week, hoorah!  We have also solved his problem with video calls and a new webcam, and in contrast, I have now cracked my iPad screen. -.- It’s just one thing after another we don’t need right now, but I guess these are things we’ll work around.
…(Yes, she’s taking after me unfortunately. Usually I’m the one who always breaks things)…

Like our fights.  Remember when we said we had very few of them?  On Monday we had one of our bigger ones.  I’m not even sure it could be called a fight exactly, moreover the silent treatment.  It wasn’t nice for either of us, but caring so much for one another we quickly made amends and talked it through, especially knowing how close we are to our next visit, it may just be hormones jutting us around or something.  It is good to know that we can talk through our problems, since that is so important in a long distance relationship. Especially when we’re mostly limited to chat at the moment, because of both of us spending our days at work/in school, and it’s hard to know how the other is feeling or reacting when communicating through chat messages.
…(We’ve once again proven that we’re mature adults and that talking and reasoning solves problems and disputes better than shouting or refusing to talk to each other.)

Other than that, there’s not much to say for right now. Johan will make a more in depth post later about how he’s been doing, settling in in his new life, looking back on the last month, and we will have more new travel related news coming right around the corner, so stay tuned!