Saturday, October 06, 2007

Saturday, October 6th, 2007:
Movin' on up (?) in Helsingborg

What I think:

One of the many excuses I have for not not having been so very present in the blogosphere these days is that I was busy moving.

You may remember that I mentioned some time ago that there's a definite north-south divide here in Helsingborg; many people living in the northern part of the city can be rather snobby, and think that the people living in the southern part are all criminally insane foreign people. That's only partly true.

But I've now moved to the north, so that should even things out a bit.

There's a bit of a twist to this though, so bear with me.

When I first started seeing my girlfriend, nearly a year ago, she had recently rented a flat (US/CAN: apartment) in Stattena (pronounced Sta-tay-na), an area in the northern part of Helsingborg.

She's very much a southern Helsingborg girl, except for the fact that she's not foreign. And that her criminal insanity is barely perceptible.

But she'd found this nice little place, it was exactly what she was looking for (although not in her preferred area), so she took it.

Very soon after we hooked up, she started living at my place, but kept renting her place. It was a good idea at the time, as we didn't know how our relationship would work out. A safety net thing, in a way.

Pretty sensible for crazy people, eh? (US: huh? / UK: innit? / SWE: eller?)

Where was I? Oh-yes-I-remember, that should even things out a bit.

We recently decided to sell my place and move to hers.

My project contract at work was ending soon, and I wasn't really sure of what my next career move would be. A mate of mine had told me of some possible job in Malaysia, so that was one of the factors, at first; I didn't want to have to hang around to sell my flat, if that opportunity actually came through.

There were certainly other factors involved, of course, but the bottom line is that I was going to sell my flat.

So there we were, about to move from the nasty south to the idyllic north.

But wait, what's this?

A few weeks before we moved, we went back to hers to get some stuff from out of the storage area in her basement. Her storage locker had been burgled by someone with a blow-torch or something.

Look at this:

Hhmmm... We'd never had this happen to us in the nasty south. Luckily, there wasn't too much of any value in there, so most of it was pretty much untouched.

We had a look around, and every single other storage locker in the basement had the same burn marks on their latches - although it seemed as though many others didn't give way as easily as hers.

But we moved here anyway. The peaceful, law-abiding north.

While most people in most countries are clammering to get up the property ladder, I just went into reverse and decided to rent. Strangely, property prices in the north, including rents, are normally much more expensive than in the south, but ours is cheap.

But as for the quality of life...I guess it depends on what you're after. It's too bloody quiet in the north of Helsingborg, and there's no diversity. No nice criminally insane foreign people to mumble with.

Another thing I found amusing in my new area was a nearby street sign:

Great. So, we'll have our local burglers over-dosing on the street now, will we? Magic.

The move itself went really smoothly. We hired a van for our stuff, and we didn't really have too much to move, since we'd taken a good few car-loads over the previous couple of weeks.

Helping us move were a Swedish mate, The Yank and Visiting Yank, and a friend of my girlfriend's and her boyfriend helped us out, and we were done by 11 a.m.


Then it was off to IKEA to get some stuff, including a 184 cm (US/UK: over six-foot) kitchen worktop. I was determined to prove that this would fit into her Ford Fiesta.

It didn't look promising for a while, but when we put the back seats down, and I put the front passenger seat all the way back, it fit in perfectly, as I'd cleverly predicted.

I just had to squeeze in under the worktop to fit into the car.

That's the car's rear shelf on top of the box, by the way.

I think it's ridiculous that there are so many different ways to say "eh?" in different languages. There sould be a multi-lingual international word for it, and it's time that the Swedish government teamed up with other world governments, and did something about it. That's what I think.