Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Weekend Update: darkness, computers, and what’s coming next…

Here’s a quiz for you non-Swedes. In June, I posted a picture of the view out of my window at 11PM. It looked something like this:

Now it’s November. We set our clocks back an hour, and the sun is setting a bit earlier. When was the picture below taken?

A. 3:45PM
B. 4:45PM
C. 5:45PM
D. 6:45PM

Yup, it’s B, 4:45PM. The official sunset today was 4:22PM, and I am beginning to fully appreciate why many Swedes ditch the country in December and head to warmer, brighter places like Greece and Thailand. If you guessed A, you just need to be patient! In late December, when I leave for home, the sun will be rising at 8:30AM and setting at 3:30PM. (By comparison, during the same period in the Bay Area, the sun rises at 7:20AM and sets at 4:50PM.)

This makes life a bit challenging… if I sleep in til 1PM, for example, I’m left with only 3 hours of light to ride my bike, run errands, and bask in the 45 degree weather before it becomes dark and very chilly. The skies are getting much grayer, too. The solution? One word: CANDLES. (Time for another IKEA trip, I think!)

In other news:
On Tuesday, my less-than-a-year-old laptop decided to go berserk. The screen began to flicker so violently that I almost couldn’t read the display. Bad, really bad. Every international student knows that their computer (and the internet) is their essential connection to the world outside Sweden: I need my email, instant messenger, and Facebook!

I wasted no time google-ing Dell tech support in Sweden. I called up their Stockholm office, navigated a Swedish-language phone menu, and was eventually connected to an office based in Ireland. It took only 40 minutes for the Irish support rep to access the American records on my warranty, help me run several diagnostic tests, and arrange for a Lund-based computer repair man to come replace my screen the next day. Something I never thought I would say: I love tech support. GO DELL! You rock.

Coming soon to the blog, in anticipation of my mom’s visit to Sweden: Linnea’s Guide to Lund (my take on the best sights, food, and night life in town!)

Happy soon-to-be-winter,


Sally said...

Almost everyone I've told about my upcoming trip to Sweden has said...ooh, it will be cold and dark! So, remind me when I'm there, to enjoy the cold and "to light one candle instead of cursing the darkness"

I went shopping yesterday in a (feeble) attempt to put together a winter wardrobe of sorts to bring with me. It's been really warm so it's a little hard to imagine really needing warm clothes! I think it must be 80° outside...people are in shorts and flip flops.

11 days and counting!

Linnea said...

80°??? Flip flops???

I am so jealous.

harcar2001 said...

what ? you mean you didn't get tech support person in/from India? ; )

could you understand the Irish tech? I had such a hard time with their accent when i was over there.

i wish we could just be on daylight savings forever. i hate leaving work and it's dark out already :(

Linnea said...

Hey Caryn!

Actually, his accent was not bad at all, and thank goodness, because I am really bad at understanding people sometimes...

Hope I get to see you over New Year's/Christmas!!

Sally said...

Guess "Linnea's Guide to Lund" will have to be a collaborative effort! I'll be there Friday!!!