Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day Three

Meet Christina at Slussen tunnelbana station at 9am. She takes me to the Tax Agency where I apply for my personnummer, or my personal identification number. Without this number, you can't open a bank account, set up a phoneline, etc. I'm told it will take a couple of weeks. Christina says, "That's quicker than the average."

Go to the Institute. Unpack one of the boxes shipped from London. Change my email address for email alert of top 5 economics journals.

The lunch bell rings. Have lunch at a restaurant by taking a 10 minute walk in the middle of nowhere to the east with Torsten, John, Harry, Christina, and two more people whose name I don't remember. Sweet chili salmon (85 krona) is not too bad. I'm asked whether my PhD thesis defense will be public. In Sweden, I'm told, the viva is conducted in public, where any participant can ask the doctorate candidate.

Come back to the Institute. When I'm about to leave around 3pm, David, a PhD student at the Institute, drops by, inviting me to a drink this evening.

Take Tunnelbana to T-Centralen. Visit Kartcentrum, a map store, and buy Pocket Street Map. In the end, there seems to be no A to Z map in Stockholm. This pocket map covers a very small area of Stockholm. But other maps in the book format covering larger areas are too big to carry around.

Then I visit Teknik Magasinet for electronic Swedish-English dictionaries, because a shop assistant at another electric appliances store told me to visit this store yesterday. It's a tiny shop where customers cannot browse products unless they ask a shop attendant at the counter who appears to be knowledgeable of all the products they sell. He introduces me to a large pen-shaped device which scans words in print and shows translation. But this one only translates from English to Swedish. He then shows me another flat device, just like all those Japanese electronic dictionaries, which translates 66,700 Swedish words and phrases into more than 10 other languages including English. But he doesn't know what dictionary this device uses. I can't decide to buy this one as reliability is doubtful...

As I'm in the city centre, my tour of Stockholm design stores begins. First Lagerhaus. They have a wide range of stationery, bathroom items, and kitchenwares.

Then Visit DesignTorget. I find this place just eclectic and selling mainly fun stuff.

Go home once, and find a card from UPS. They came to deliver my personal belongings from London today even though the web tracking yesterday said the delivery was scheduled to be tomorrow. What's worse, I don't understand what the card says (all in Swedish)...

Go shopping at ICA, the nearest grocery store. Want to buy wheat flour, but can't find one on the shelf. Today there is only one shop attendant who is busy handling customers queuing at the till. Ask a couple of other customers. Turns out that they are not Swedish and have no idea. Seems like people living in this area are mostly foreign students... Go home without flour and cook dinner.

Beef tastes better here than in London. Beef burger that I cooked yesterday was excellent. Today I simply cook a thinly sliced beef steak, and it's just juicy. Milk is also tasty here. Another relief from London.

Go to a bar David told me. Meet Katrin, a classmate of mine at LSE who also just moved to Stockholm, and several PhD students both from the School and the Institute. I ask one of them what the UPS card says. It says, "We are coming at the same time tomorrow." Great.

We then move to Tranan bar/restaurant. As I can't drink anymore but didn't have vegetables when I cooked dinner at home, I end up having an expensive goat cheese salad (120 krona, or 9 pounds), which is not too bad.

Go home around midnight.

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