You could tell what kind of day today would be because I got to work extremely late. In fact, I got into work at noon. For no other reason than I over-slept. No one means to oversleep, but I did. I feel bad, and then I remember, I've had a lot to do in the past week or so and I am finally feeling refreshed. So in the end, it won't be a big deal.
I got into the office today and met my manager as well as the person who was handing off responsibilities to me. As it turned out, what they are asking me to do is to build a process from scratch and get it off the ground. In some ways, I am nervous because I've never built a process from scratch. Actually, I have before -- now that I think about it. I built IBM's data privacy audit program from scratch (well, with a few additions) and the concepts that are in that audit program will be used for a long time to come. So I think that I can do this. Today was filled with learning little things, like the location of the toilets, where to mail something, how to get set up for printing, getting access to areas within IBM Norway. I doubt that I will be there regularly, but I will probably be there enough so that it was good information to know. The strangest thing about today was lunch. Lunches in Norway are very very small compared to the US. They usually eat a few pieces of bread, have some small meats and condiments, and a beverage. I was "splurging" bceause I had a single piece of bread, a small salad, and a piece of salmon. I am liking the possibility of losing tons of weight in the Nordics. And I'll need to. The majority of people are paper thin and I think I'll have to have clothing shipped from home. Not that I am grossly overweight either. It's just that what is considered "average" in the is not considered "average" here.
After work tonight (I took a taxi home, but it'll be cheaper if I learn the train station route so I will), I was all set to fall asleep in my bed again, but I forced myself to get up and see Oslo while I am here. I walked up the main street in Oslo (Karl Johan's gate -- "gate" means street in Norweigan), which is a major shopping street leading up to the Royal Palace. After that, I walked even further, up to the Swedish Embassy (and passing the American Embassy on the way -- stopping to talk to the guards because you know, it's my Embassy). It was a good thing to do because I have to go there on Thursday in order to get my Swedish residence/work permit sticker. Today I also submitted an application for an apartment at the hotel in Kista, where I will need to stay for about 2 months. I will hear back tomorrow. Although I was going to stay in Norway if I couldn't get an apartment in Sweden, I have decided that regardless of the situation, I am going to stay in Sweden. If the apartment is not available, I'll ask for a monthly rate at the hotel in Kista, as well as for a monthly rate at the Sheraton towers. The Sheraton is more expensive than the Memory Hotel, but if I can get them to lower the rate, then I'd rather stay there and get some points of the deal of having to live in a hotel.
Anyway, after my stroll, I went to dinner in a cool Brasserie. I had dinner all by my lonesome. I often forget how different it is to eat dinner alone. usually, when I eat dinner alone, I bring my book, or some work with me in order to pass the time, but I didn't bring anything with me. They originally sat me in what was close to the center of the restaurant, but then I told them I wanted to be in a less visible place, so they were nice and put me in a more private spot. I was sitting in between 2 couples. On of whom spoke Norweigan, and the others spoke Italian. I did some rough translations (from French into Italian) and the Italian man made a joke about the food. I laughed and then he asked if I understood. That was semi-embarassing, but I guess one should never assume that people don't understand! Anyway, I thought my dinner was good. After dinner, I took another walk around Karl Johan street (noted future shops to visit) and then I went back to my hotel room (where I am now).
Well, that's it for now...exciting day...can't wait for tomorrow. But in the meantime, time to spend the requesite hour learning Swedish. I want to be semi-fluent by the end of the year, so wish me luck. Love you journal!