February 15th, 2007



Another Reason to Love Sweden: Today I went again to the pharmacy, to pick up the prescription I had dropped off on Tuesday. They had sold out of the medicine I needed that day so I had to come back. Because I had requested to fill the last 2 months of the prescription (normally, they only let you fill one at a time) due to the trip to the U.S., I had to show my travel itinerary as proof that I was actually going to be out of the country and therefore unable to wait.

I had another reason for wanting to get both months worth now, though. My högkostnadskort expires next week and I'll be back to paying full price for prescription medicine. If you have one of these healthcare discount cards you pay only up to a certain amount (900 kronor for healthcare, 1800 for prescription medicines*) in a 12-month period and after you've reached it you pay NOTHING. With each purchase, the discount increases as well, so you pay less and less over the course of the 12-months. Your "free card" can last up to a year after your first purchase (if that first one is a hefty one). Medicine for children and spouse is counted for the same card.

2 months ago, when I stopped by the pharmacy, the medicine I was buying cost me 19* kronor. Last week, I picked up some salve and allergy spray and it was 16 kronor. Today, the 200 pills I picked up: NO CHARGE.

I can remember complaining about the high taxes here (income tax is nearly 50%) the first few years of living here, because living in a socialized country means that education and healthcare is cheap, and often free, especially for children. But my argument was that I wasn't in school and I was healthy so I wasn't going to benefit from the high taxes I was paying until later, if ever. Never in the case of education, actually. But in terms of healthcare...I suppose it's already starting to pay off.


Don't need an appointment for the Embassy in Copenhagen, we just have to show up (BOTH of us) with Karin in tow. So we're taking the morning off work one day next week to hop the train over the Öresund. I have Karin's expired passport, the form filled out, the photos taken, the stamped, self-address envelope purchased, her U.S. Citizen's Report of Birth Abroad certificate in the folder and the credit card ready to pay for the whole damn thing. What I don't have? Her Swedish personbevis, literally "person proof," which is a sort of birth certificate form that you order from the Swedish Tax Office. I ordered the damn thing last Monday. It has yet to arrive. I called Skatteverket today to ask if they could mail me one tomorrow so it would get here in time, by next Monday. No, she said, it doesn't work like that. So, if it doesn't arrive tomorrow I have to go by the nearest office and pick one up there.

Once we get to the Copenhagen Embassy, they will process all the paperwork, accept our payment and send everything to Stockholm. Who will in turn process the paperwork again and send it all TO THE STATES. Changes of getting back the passport before March 30th when mailing time over the pond is usually a week? Well, time will tell, won't it. Fingers crossed. Thumbs held.


Tickets were purchased today for the trip to the States! I'm SO EXCITED! e11en! Bluepoppy! Kathey & Russell! E-mails heading your way this weekend with dates/questions, etc. :D

*At today's exchange rate: SEK 900 = $128. SEK 1800 = $256. SEK 19 = $2.70