zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word

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If the first part of this year is any indication...heck, if the first part of this LIFE is any indication, the rest of this year will fly by and I'll be left gaping at the fact that it's Christmas time YET AGAIN.

I've been gone for 2 weeks and even though I managed to post quickly last Monday before we zoomed off again to Stockholm for a week of city and sun and Swedishness, it feels like I've not really had a chance to sit down and gather my thoughts here. We had a lovely week, despite some bobbles at the beginning.

Martin had misremembered the date for his passport appointment during the week I was in Seattle and missed it completely. So we were scrambling to try and get another date booked, since he's leaving in TWO days. Last weekend, the earliest dates we could find in the neighboring towns were end of July or beginning of August. His Swedish passport expired June 9 so we were already really late trying to get it dealt with. If he had told me before or even when he came home in mid-May, we could have taken care of it right away, but. Anyway, I finally searched in all of Skåne and found times last Monday, albeit in Ängelholm, which is an hour away. Then Anders had the bright idea to book Tuesday morning there instead since we were driving to Stockholm and would essentially pass right through it. So, we did that, and got to the appointment a little early right before 10 am.

Only to have the woman handling Martin's appointment stop abruptly and start questioning him after he noted that he was a dual citizen. She was completely hung up on the fact, despite us explaining that he was a Swedish citizen SINCE birth, had lived in Sweden all his life until 2017 when he moved to the US to study and was only RENEWING his already existing Swedish passport. She started reading all the fine print on the Migration Board's website about dual citizens and finally told us that he had to provide proof that he was a Swedish citizen from the Migration Board since he might have lost his Swedish citizenship without realizing, since he was born in the period before Sweden allowed dual citizenship and at that point, before 2001, dual citizens had to officially choose once they reached 18. Except, we said, that shouldn't matter, and his American citizenship shouldn't affect his Swedish citizenship AT ALL.

Nope. She was adamant that we had to contact the Migration Board, get proof or apply for his citizenship. GAH!!!! She went ahead and processed the passport renewal and said that she would "park it" until the paper came in. Then, she would have to send it to the Embassy in the US, since we were so short on time (and last week was a short week due to midsummer as well)...and the embassies are only in New York and Washington DC, so to boot, he would have to contact THEM and have the passport forwarded to the consulate in Detroit. DOUBLE GAH!

So, all the way to Stockholm, Martin tried to call the Migration Board, to absolutely no avail. Line was busy, no queue, all lines are busy, please try your call again later *click*, repeat. Once we arrived, both Anders and I tried to call as well, with no luck. The next morning we were on the phone, trying again, while Anders researched on the Migration Board website to find exactly what she had been talking about. Turns out she was completely wrong, and it was only Swedish citizens with dual citizenship who had NEVER LIVED IN SWEDEN who were affected. He called Ängelholm again and talked to someone who said that they could see the parked passport renewal but told us that the woman who had "helped" us hadn't even written any notes so he couldn't even see why it was parked. *rolling eyes* Anders explained the situation and finally, the guy told us that he would give her a message and have her call us back.

Three hours later she finally did, and said she had processed the passport application, so sorry. As you can imagine, I was about ready to rip someone's head off by then.

The weather in Stockholm seemed to have flown over from Seattle...it was the same perfectly gorgeous June summer sunshine that I had enjoyed the week before. We met up with our good friend Russell when we arrived, who had been in Stockholm since the weekend for a relay race with Ragnar and checked into our hotel. The next day we went to Fotografiska (a photography exhibit/museum/gallery) and had dinner in the Old Town and enjoyed the city. On Thursday morning, we went back down to Gamla Stan and took a boat tour of the bridges and canals of Stockholm, something we'd never done. Then we went back to the hotel, fetched our luggage and drove about an hour north out into the countryside with, apparently, the rest of the inhabitants of Stockholm, to Bergshamra, where our old friends Geir and Ann Sophie have their summer cottage. We had booked an AirBnb in the same neighborhood for 2 nights.

We haven't seen Geir and Ann Sophie for at least 17 years. They used to live in Malmö but right after Kathey and Russell moved back to the States in 2001, they did, too. They lived in Texas for a few years and then ended back up in Sweden, moving to Stockholm. We are connected on Facebook, of course, but didn't have all that much contact. They have a daughter a year younger than Karin and a son in 8th grade, neither of whom we'd ever met. Their cottage was situated in a beautiful rural area, close to a lake (though we never ended up having time to go out on their boat) and after we unpacked we headed over for dinner. It was SO FUN. Martin was only around 5 or so when they left, so they hadn't really "met" him either (Karin didn't go with us, sadly).

The next day was Swedish midsummer and we went back to their cabin at lunchtime for the celebration. It was a real, true Swedish midsummer, complete with all the trimmings. The kids all went and picked flowers and then Geir and his son decorated a maypole and then made everyone dance around it and sing. I've been doing Swedish midsummer for over 20 years now and this one honestly felt the most authentic, despite the fact that two of us were from America. :)

The only downside was an accident 20 minutes in, when Ann Sophie's niece fell from a swing that broke under her, and landed badly. She managed to get through the meal but then her mom decided to take her to the ER just to be sure, and it turned out she had broken BOTH arms. Urgh. What a way to start the summer. :I

Anyway, we are home again now and I worked today and it was hard, and I have to do it again tomorrow, and then for the rest of July. The worst part is that for some stupid reason, I've had it in my head for the past couple of weeks that Martin is leaving on Thursday but I was wrong, he's leaving on Wednesday and that is the day after tomorrow. AUGH.

That said, off to bed, so I can be bright-eyed at work tomorrow. Vi ses!
Tags: americanabroad, borkborkbork!, culturalquagmire, famdamily


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