Friday, October 27, 2006

Change of seasons

Her first day was a colorful autumn day.

The second the whole color spectra changed with the first snow.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Applications on track

Wen yesterday handed in her application for "Swedish residence permits on the grounds of family ties" to the Swedish embassy in Brussels and got told she will have to wait until December for the interview. Instead of waiting around in Belgium she will fly here tonight! (I will write more about that application later)

Today she also got her letter of admission to Stockholm university!

Dear Wen Zhang,
I have the pleasure of informing you that you have been accepted to the International Graduate Programme in Social Science at Stockholm University. You have been accepted to the courses Global Environment – Sustainability, Governance and Politics and Cosmopolitan Democracy, spring semester 2007. I will send you a formal letter of acceptance by postal mail.

Things are on track!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

All Work and no Play

Since it is quite a long time until 1st of December, I started to make plans of going to HK and travel up to Shanghai. I really wanted to see some friends there. I even booked a ticket to go tomorrow! Then during the night I made a little budget for the coming months and realized that this would be way to much of a stretch! Just considering that I will have to pay rent for three months before I will receive any money! Then we have Christmas, and basically, I will have to buy a whole new wardrobe for the new job and for winter. :-(

So all work and no play for the dull little me.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Got Job!

I have signed a contract and will start working on the 1st of December!
I will work as an IT consultant and project manager.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ouch! Lost the job before I got it

Everything was set! I had been interviewed first by the recruiters, then I met the company twice, and negotiated position and conditions. Everything was great and they seemed very eager to start and we had even started to discuss what projects I should take one. They had sent me a contract to sign and I was looking through it during the weekend. On Monday I participated in a conference by the Swedish Export Council about doing business in China, and during the afternoon I was supposed to come and sign the contract. During the conference the recruitment company called me and said that the company hadn't signed and that there was something wrong. When I called back later, they said that the company had probably lost a contract and didn't want to sign the contract. Ouch. The recruitment company said they had never had the experience of such an abrupt turn of events. If I had signed on Friday it would have already been set! SUCKS!!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Interviews, interviews, interviews

The last couple of weeks I have moved from staying in Zhang Chi's student room in Gothenburg to my aunt's place outside Stockholm. After two trips to Stockholm from Gothenburg to have meetings or interviews I decided it was better to stay in Stockholm.

Since the trip to the center from my aunt's place involves talking one or two buses, and then subway to the center (almost 1,5 hours) it has still been tiresome to go there. Good thing is my aunt is spoiling me with lots of great food!

I don't know how many interviews I have been to, but it is more than ten now. In fact, five (!) interviews have been for the very same job! That is two interviews for the recruitment company, two for the company, and then one for another recruitment company looking for people for the same company! And then they pulled back!

After the contract I was about to sign was cancelled I have already come up with two other consultant companies that are interested and wants to meet me. Maybe it was a good thing that I didn't get that first job. And actually, that company has then clarified their position. They still want to hire me but preferably beginning of next year. I'll check all my options...

Friday, October 06, 2006

End of the Gothenburg Era

This last month I have lived in Gothenburg together with Zhang Chi. Playing football a couple of times a week, going to Chinese mass during Sundays, meeting up with some friends, and hanging out in the library looking for jobs.

The job hunt has actually been rather successful and I have already been on four interviews.
I am very close to signing a contract and as a matter of fact, I got one right here on my computer. The offer I got exceeds my expectations, and even though it will have little to do with my interest in China, it will enable me to pay some of that extra 20% national high-income tax on some of my income (above the 30% some that we normally pay).

Since I am only looking for jobs in Stockholm, that has meant going up very early in the morning, put on the suit, taking the fast train to Stockholm, have the interview, and then come back to Gothenburg in the evening. Pretty tiresome stuff. Going to Stockholm takes about 3 hours and it is a very suitable time to watch movies. I am slowly going through the TV-series 搭错车, "Take the Wrong Car". Perhaps more on that in another post.

I also think I'm close to find an apartment for me and Wen to stay, at least temporary until we find something better.

Wen has been back to China to be with her mother, and also to be near her grandmother who has gone through surgery. Right now she is on a flight back to Belgium to file applications for prolonging her visa in Belgium, residentship here in Sweden, and make sure everything is correct for her application to Stockholm University. Things really have a potential to work out for the best, though there are also many things that can go wrong.