And so the Countdown Begins

Wow, it has been busy!

Between travel agents and computer technicians and vets and Easter… feels like I haven’t had a moment’s breath!  However, I can happily say that our flights are now all booked in.  To our family and friends, this is old news as we’ve been a bit slow getting it onto the blog,  but we’re all organised now, or at least, the technical side of things.  Johan arrives in Brisbane on the night of June 23 – just over two months away!  With any luck, the jet lag will be less bad for him as he will be able to sleep it off straight away… but I know it doesn’t work like that.  Even a week or two weeks into my last two trips, I could not stop myself from falling asleep the moment things got quiet.  But that could also have been because we filled our itineraries to bursting point.  In any case, he will have six weeks to recover before we fly back to Stockholm, together at last, on August 9.  Hopefully, with a cat.

I’m still in a bit of denial, I think.  I can’t believe it’s really finally happening.  I packed my first box last weekend, only a small 15x15x15cm box which was the perfect fit for a fragile item, and I dusted down all of my shelves and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m TOO organised.  I mean I’ve been thinking about this for over six months.  I feel I can’t pack because if I do, I’ll have it all done in a week, tops.  And I’m now not moving for another 3 and a half months so I’m telling myself to wait another 2 if I don’t want an empty unwelcoming room to live in.  I basically know what I’m doing with all my stuff, it’s just all matter of packing it into the right boxes, and jigsawing all my items into the suitcases.  I know the weight isn’t a problem, it’s just the volume they will take up and how to sandwich it altogether to meet those weight requirements.

So I’m back on focusing on my other commitments.  Finishing up all my craft projects, selling off the things I don’t want, and trying to learn Swedish.  Johan is back at school next week, and these next two months are surely going to fly before he’s finishing up, packing up his own apartment, and getting himself over to me.  64 days really isn’t that long at all.  It’s very, very close.  And we can’t wait.

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One Week On

One week after celebrating that exciting night, I have received my decision in writing.  It’s really happening.  Have I started packing like I said I would?  I’ve done a bit of cleaning, but no, not really.  Instead, I have been going mad with notes and figures from travel agents and vets and computer repair companies.  Yep, that same day my PC decided to conk it, decided it didn’t want to wait three months until after I left, meaning this year I have so far broken my phone,  iPad, and computer.  And I need it now more than ever to organise our Etsy store, Gumtree listings, scan all my important documents into electronic form, and back up my files.  Oh, my harddrive and files are perfectly safe, but I’ve been told the rest of it is too old and dying and it’s not worth repairing that I’m better off getting a new one.  For three months.  Needless to say,  I’ve barely had a chance to be able to consider this.  It’s been a very stressful week with a lot of late nights.

Every night I have been looking up flight comparison websites trying to find cheapest days and best deals for a return flight for Johan to come out to Australia, and a matching one way flight for me.  All Sunday I spent the day at four different travel agents explaining our situation, Johan has looked at his end and I’m about to spend another two and about half hours looking at travel agents in the city this morning.  The hope is that I will have flights locked in this afternoon, and booked and paid for by the weekend.  And a vet appointment and cat’s flights booked next week.  I am totalling fearing the flights will increase over the Easter long weekend if we don’t, and there’s already some flights were looking at that are saying there’s few seats left.  Hence the rush to get it all booked as soon as possible.

Part of me wonders why I’m delaying so much in booking.  But now more than ever we need to get the best possible deal, especially if I’m up for another $500 for a new computer.  Problem is, I know the flights we want with Singapore Airlines.  But no travel agent (in Brisbane or Stockholm) seems to be able to book the return flight for Johan for the prices that are showing online ($1200- $1400).  They can book my one-way flight ($989!) but not his.  So if we want to fly together, the next cheapest we’ve been given is $2775 for both of us with Emirates (my one way flight being $200 more and his flight $200-400).  And the Emirates flights are not as nicely timed arriving in Stockholm as the Singapore Airlines flights (midnight and midday vs. 8.30am) to meet my cat’s arrival at 7am.  And all of this doesnt even include the travel insurance yet!  So a lot of worry, and lot of stress.  I’m feeling more stressed than I can ever remember being.  Not the least of which because I’ve never made so many phone calls in my life!  AND, my work contract is due to finish on April 28, and like my last job it seems they are leaving it to the last minute to tell us whether the contract will extend or not.

The tragedy in Stockholm last week hit us hard, but all of Johan’s friends and family are safe.  My eyes have watered more than once reading the articles on The Local about Swedes (natives and foreigners) coming together and holding signs about love, not fear.  Over 20,000 people, including Johan, turned up in the city to honour the victims and emergency service workers that stepped up to the event immediately.  I was impressed too, that they had a crisis management plan implemented within 8 minutes of the attack.  But it was the regular citizens too, offering hugs and opening their homes up to strangers who couldn’t make it home on public transport.  This is the country I want to live in, that I will – very soon – live in.

HUGE UPDATE!

You know that application we have sent in?
The one most posts have been about lately
Because without it we haven’t been able to move forward with any plans regarding Kylie’s move to Sweden
Well today is a big day…

BECAUSE KYLIE HAS FINALLY BEEN GRANTED HER RESIDENCE PERMIT!!!

So, a quick recap:

18th of March 2016:
Sent in application.

25th July 2016:
Asked to provide additional information.

4th of August 2016:
Kylie had an interview at the Swedish consulate in Brisbane.

31st of March 2017:
I called them to check on progress. Was told we in queue and had not been assigned a case officer yet.

3rd Of April 2017:
Asked to provide additional information.

4th Of April 2017:
Recieved email that a decision had been made!

So yes, today have been an exciting day! I received a lot of messages while at my work experience place (it’s an obligatory part of my audio engineering course that I go out and do work at a proper studio, somewhat like being an intern, for four weeks) and doing my regular stuff. (Today I soldered a connector, troubleshot a headphone amp and tinkered with a bass guitar, among other things), and all the while, my phone kept vibrating in my pocket and I heard the familiar sounds of Skype notifying me of new messages. I didn’t have the volume very loud, just loud enough that I could hear it but it wouldn’t disturb anyone on the room. But of course, Kylie sending me loud of messages isn’t anything unusual and it’s usually nothing urgent. I can just get around to them when I have the time, and since she knew I was at work, I didn’t think she expected me to reply.

We had heard from people on Facebook (we’re members of a couple of groups for people who are also waiting for a decision) that when you are asked to send in information a second time, a decision might be getting close! That there might just be another few days to a week! We didn’t expect it in less than 24 hours!

So i finally got some time to check the messages, my supervisor was at lunch but i had opted to stay behind and finish up what i was doing so i would be done when he came back and i could take a quick lunch on my way home.

What i was met with was, to put it lightly, the messages of someone freaking out! Apparently she has been trying to get my attention for quite some time because she’s gotten an email that a decision had been made and i had to call up and find out if it was a positive one right away because she was going crazy!

Ofc, being the more mild mannered of the two of us, i said i was at work and i would get to it when i got off, which would be pretty soon. So i went back to work, intending to be done quickly so i could leave and make that call, and then get home so i could Skype call a girl that was waiting for me to calm her down.

Eventually, maybe half hour later, i was in the relatively quiet Stockholm metro. It wasn’t yet rush hour, so it was a perfect place to stop and make the call. So Kylie have me all these numbers to try, because apparently it’s better to call the units directly rather than calling migration agency support number (had to wait over an hour in queue last time) but most numbers were either closed or busy. But after trying maybe 5-10 different ones, i finally got through, and the woman on the other side could confirm, after taking our dossier number, my personnummer and confirming my address, that it was indeed granted! Valid two years! Then we’ll have to apply for extension, so yay. But apparently those have much shorter wait times.

And when i got home and told the news, my mum, (whom I’m living with these for work experiment weeks) greeted me with a big hug and congratulations. And also fresh baked bread. So that was nice.