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Hooray! I’ve finally been allowed to move to Blogger in Beta, which should be more user-friendly for you and for me.

With today’s Swedish lesson/fika over, I’m officially on break til the second week of January. It’ll be a working break, though. Academically, I have to write my term paper for Comparative Social Policy and a thesis proposal. I also want to make sure I work on my Swedish every day – we won’t have lessons again for more than a month. The pace is slow enough as it is, and I really need to learn more Swedish to have any hope of finding a real job here. Which brings me to my next task – intensive job hunting. We’d like to stop living on cheap pasta and the beer (in unopened cans) we have a knack for finding in the woods (people stumbling around in the dark drop a lot of things I guess), and maybe even to stay in Sweden past May, but it will only be possible if we find work. We’ve been un-intensively job hunting all the while, but it’s time to give it a big push.

In addition to Swedish, I want to work on my Russian every day too. Although Kostia and I speak enough Russian to each other that I don’t think my Russian has deteriorated since we left St. Petersburg (well, except for all the Swedish words that have become mixed in*) , it needs improvement nonetheless. My vocabulary sucks, basically. (My grammar does too, but that’s not as much of a hindrance to expressing myself as vividly as I’d like). What I really need to make myself do is write. I have a LiveJournal sitting and waiting for my Russian posts — LJ is much more popular than other blogging formats on the Russian internets, so it seems only appropriate that I blog in Russian over there. I’ll let you know when I get some posts up.

I need to write a few long-overdue evaluations of my experiences teaching at several St. Petersburg language schools for VisaRus and some trial articles for a new site called TimesRussia. I also need to prepare a day-long English lesson for my banking students with whom I get to work face-to-face only once a month.

So, that’s the holiday plan. It’s a good thing I’m staying put in Falun, otherwise I’d never do it all.

*Yesterday without really thinking about it I managed to coin the trilingual phrase “Fucking Pochta Sverige” when complaining about how expensive postage is here. 25 kronor ($3.75) to mail a Christmas card to the US! Enjoy your Christmas packages, Case and Race families — in the future Swedish goodies will be delivered in person only.

Published: 14th December 2006 10:11 CETOnline:

Having stoically accepted years of relentless badgering, the people of Fjuckby have finally had enough. The villagers are crossing their fingers that the National Heritage Board will see it their way and grant them a new name.One of the main sticking points of course is that globalisation has led to rude English-language associations that the villagers could do without.

But there is a double misfortune, in that the Swedish word ‘juck’ embedded in the place name essentially means the same thing as Fjuckby’s English component.A delegation from the village explains its predicament in a heartfelt letter to the authorities.”There should not be any doubt at all that, as a result of relatively new associations, the pronunciation and spelling of the place name ‘Fjuckby’, today arouses ridicule, teasing and hilarity in the general public,” wrote inhabitant Katriina Flensburg on behalf of her fellow villagers.”This regrettable fact engenders feelings of weariness, embarrassment and conditioned shame among villagers, who are often forced against their will to take a tiresome ‘defensive stance’ with regard to the name of their home town,” the letter continued.Adding that the name Fjuckby makes it difficult to sell property or run a successful business, the villagers have called for an immediate name change.

The delegation requests that the name Fjukeby be reinstated. Until as late as the 1930s this was the accepted spelling .If Fjuckby gets its way it is conceivable that Anusviken, Arslet and Dicken may be next in line for a swift reversal of misfortune.

Paul O’Mahony

For some reason this makes me think of a friend I had in college named Jesse Fecker…

About This Blog

I'm an American who started blogging when I moved to Russia in 2004. Eventually I moved to Sweden, where life is pleasant but uneventful, and stopped blogging for lack of interesting things to say. And then I joined Facebook, which further destroyed any motivation for blogging. Maybe someday I'll start blogging again, but for now, this blog is dormant, an archive of The Russia Years: 2004-2008.

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December 2006