Wednesday, 2 December 2015

That budget project, part IV

So - day nineteen. At this point, any normal hungry person would have started some sort of a local trade, tried to exchange favours - I have done that to the limit - and have tried to look for all solutions possible that come to mind. As many before me have pointed out, a person that has come to Sweden is eager to continue a normal life - not, as some racists and uniformed people claim, do nothing but relax and profit on the society. Some of the newcomers sell magazines like Romfolk, others have carved out large spoons out of boughs (as Aurelia and Georgeta say, they would do this much rather than asking for money on the street). Some sing.

It is a little out of season, but not a far cry: one can ring on houseowners' doorbell and ask if one can take some of their apples that have fallen down (point and wave to omit potential language barriers), and maybe clean up their garden a bit in exchange for money. Several politicians have said that for Sweden to be able to offer jobs, some of them have to be low-paid and be about simple tasks. An acquintance of mine has suggested that when there is a lot of ice on the pavements, newcomers can help out to make the streets more easy and safe to access (causing fewer people to break arms and legs...). The municipality liked the idea, but need an actual yes from politicians to make insurances and such valid. Bureaucracy can be so slow sometimes!..

Today, my friend is taking me to a restaurant place of my choice - a belated birthday gift. Like a bonus check, but in friendship currency. That magazine said thanks for the article idea but no thanks. I need new shoes. I am also running out of soap, and soon detergent, and soon toothpaste, but I am sure that some human scent will not kill anyone ;) (When I mention this, a friend explains that since it is so hot always in Senegal, everybody smells sweat and no one is bothered. And a colleague says that we are trained to like artificial deodorant smells, which us a pity - she prefers human smells over any perfume.) There is no way I can afford a soothong cream for dry hands and face, though, a pity.

Reflections: I am lucky to have a job (actually, two jobs) that except for bringing me together with society and giving me a stable income, offers a lot of bonuses. We go on kick-offs, get coffee and tea and hot chocolate for free every day if we want, free lunch, I have the right to take an hour off each week solely for the purpose of exercise, and get 400:- sek off every six months from almost anything I do that is sport related. Ten hours a week, I also get to work from wherever I want - be it home, a hotel lobby or on an airplane when going abroad during the weekend. The Swedish job culture is also food-focused - it is a social thing to take a break at about 3 p.m. for a fika. As soon as I have a meeting, it is almost 90% likely that there will be some kind of food served, be it candy, fruits or huge chocolate cakes.

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