We’re back in Falun, staying with our lovely friends Lenka and Dima (originally from the Czech Republic and Russia, respectively), who are so unbelievably hospitable. We move into our apartment tomorrow. We had hoped to move in a day or two early, but apparently it’s being renovated, so we won’t complain about having to impose on our friends a few more days.

Things are working out really well so far. Our apartment is in the same complex as Lenka and Dima’s, so we won’t have 25-minute drunken walks home like we did last year, only 5-minute ones. Some other friends of ours, Luke and Claudia, are moving to the Czech Republic this week, and though it’s sad that they won’t be around, we did score a ton of kitchen stuff, furniture, and other fabulous household items.

Kostia started working immediately, and one of his colleagues who also taught the Swedish Education System course I took last year even has some employment possibilities for me.

And then there’s the weather. It’s been a weird winter in St. Petersburg so far – there has been snow, but it keeps melting and most of the time it seems it’s been gray and miserable out. We thought we were in for more of the same when we landed in Stockholm and the captain said it was 7 degrees (Celsius, about 47 Fahrenheit), but we woke up to a winter wonderland in Falun yesterday. It snowed all day and wasn’t too cold or windy. Today is frosty and sunny, and the snow is still stuck to the tree branches and it is absolutely beautiful.