09 June 2008

Vär har du varit?

Where have you been?

You might not believe me if I told ya. Here, there, everywhere, back and forth across the entire state of Pennsylvania, twice, as I drove to New York City to visit my sister and home again.

Ahhhh, adventures. This one came about in a random, backwards, hurry-up-and-wait fashion, but I'm so glad I did it.

I sent out a blast e-mail about two weeks ago to inform the world at large that I HAVE A NEW JOB (wooooooot!!!) and my Swedish Mama responded to my 3 paragraph English ramble by saying, "I understand the part that you have a new job, but WTH are you doing? Don't understand the explanation in English."

Of course, I popped an explanation på Svenska right back to her, but she got impatient in the meantime and called me to find out.

We had a lovely chat, and as we were wrapping it up, I said, "Oh, wait, before you go, I saw on Little Swedish Sister's Facebook page that she's coming to New York. When? Where in New York, does she mean New York City?"

Here's the part that irks me ever-so-slightly. BOTH Swedish sisters were headed to New York City, something that they'd planned several months ago and the first I heard about it was about 8 days before they got here. Hello??? New York is roughly 3,000 miles CLOSER to me than Stockholm is. Plus that pesky ocean isn't in the way. I adore my Swedish sisters, and would love any chance to see them, no matter how briefly, and will make every effort to get to wherever they are when they're on American soil, but I do need to know this information in advance.

Anyway. As we say in Swedish, skit samma.

I texted the girls, asking if they'd like to possibly meet up with me and my New York City sister over the weekend they were here, maybe dinner on a Saturday night? A flurry of Swedish texts back and forth followed with answers in the affirmative, plans were made, and I began searching for plane tickets.

There is a small regional airport here in Oh-hia-ia that has two flights a day to NYC, and often, tickets to New York can be had for about $60 each way. *If* you make those plans in advance, that is. I took myself over to the airline's website, and was both astonished and disgusted to discover that my $60 each way tickets balloon to the outrageous price of $234 each way when you want those tickets now, RIGHT NOW. That's just a weee bit beyond my price range, so I searched all the travel websites, from William Shatner's to much more obscure ones, and the bad news was that I couldn't touch a plane ticket to any of the three NYC regional airports for less than about $300. Ouch.

OK, Amtrack, then. I love trains, riding them, listening to them, and I've done the train to Penn Station. It can be fun. Unfortunately, the train tickets were $200, and would have involved a grand total of at least 18 hours transit time for the there-and-back-again journey. Hmm, not so much keen on that.

Driving it was, then. Even with gas at the ricockulous price of $4 a gallon, I could drive there for less than $300, and far quicker than 9 hours each way.

Now, the true dilemma was not getting to New York, nor was it really *IF* I would see my Swedish sisters once there. 'Course I would. The real problem was walking in to a new job on a Monday morning and announcing that you'd like to have Friday off, thankyouverymuch.


Now, there are some words that I live by, and I think that Mark Twain was the sayer of these wise words, "When in doubt, tell the truth." But I really wasn't sure how The New Employer was going to react.

Over the course of several interviews to get the job, I had told them a few things that were honest, but not perhaps the best thing to tell a potential employer. Things like, "my family comes first, regardless of what else is going on." and when asked where my creativity comes from, I responded by explaining that I think time off, away from whatever you do for a living, is vital to being able to keep things rolling. The joke is kind of on them here: they hired me ANYWAY, in spite of that.

So in one of my very first ever conversations with my new boss on my first day of the job, I explained the situation, about how close my real sisters and I are, and how I've stayed in close contact with my Swedish family, even though it has been 17 years since I was an exchange student. (*wince* again...has it been that long?) And how NYC is closer than Stockholm.

I was pleasantly surprised when they said, sure, take Friday off. Have fun. Drive carefully. Oh, and take something with our logo on it to give to them, pens or what have you from the supply closet.

Excuse me? What? Could you run that by me again?

Have I mentioned how much I'm hearting this job?

New York was lovely, albeit fucking hot, hot, hot. Hot enough that whatever clothing you put on, it was sweated completely through before you reached the end of the block once outside. I hate the heat.

I managed to spend most of the day Friday with the Swedish girls, Saturday night we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge together (a MUST do, IMHO) and gabbed, gabbed, gabbed in Swedish. Ate 'en massor' of not-good-for-you food, and had a drink or three. I did some touristy things that I don't normally do in New York, which were fun for the sheer fact that I don't normally do them, hanging mostly with my sister and her friends in her Brooklyn neighborhood when I go there.

Now everyone is back in their respective homes, not without a comedy of errors happening along the way. Even though the weekend was hot, Friday evening was fairly cool, and I gave my Big Swedish Sister a shawl to wear to keep warm. Guess where my shawl is now? Stockholm.

I just might have to run over there to retrieve it, ya know?


Dawna said...

So, um... is your boss hiring? LOL

I can do anything. I swear. Anything.

Lucy Arin said...

Can you move to Oh-hia-ia? That'd be the only catch, as I see it!