A vacation in Sweden

This summer I did something I seldom do. I spent my vacation in Sweden. Not at home, but I visited the largest island in Sweden: Gotland, with my family.

We drove down a Friday night and the got on the ferry in the morning. We arrived on Gotland around noon Saturday.

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We had booked a cabin about 20 km south of Visby. We’ve been there before, so we knew it was a nice place. The cabin was small for four adults, but we didn’t spend much time there, so it wasn’t a problem. The pool was just 5 meters from the cabin, and the ocean about 100 meters or so, so it was a very nice spot.

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We spent some time just relaxing in the sun, but we also did some sightseeing. Gotland is really a beautiful island well worth a visit, or two. Here are some more pictures.

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Weekend in Stockholm

Last weekend I went to Stockholm to visit friends and my goddaughter. Since I don’t have any vacation this summer, I could only go during the weekend. I left work early and took the 2 pm train south. The train was actually in time (which is unusual for being Swedish trains, believe it or not) and everything went smoothly.

Saturday I spent playing with my goddaughter and it was so much fun. I will never understand how children can have so much energy, it’s impossible to keep up with them! We went to two different playgrounds, we played with cars, and the kitchen, and water and painted… When she had gone to bed and we were watching football I almost fell asleep sitting up. Had to go to bed during halftime, haha.

Sunday I was heading back home again. I had booked a bus ticket since the train had been too expensive to book earlier that day. After breakfast I headed to the metro to catch the train to the central station, that’s where I hit trouble. The train came 13 minutes late and I ended up arriving at one end of the central station at 10.14 and the bus left from the other end at 10.15. I hurried to try to catch the bus incase it was late, but when I came to the busstation side of the station my bus had disappeared from the sign with all departing busses, so I couldn’t even go see if it was still there.

Anyway, I found a rather “cheap” last minute train ticket so it was okay. That was the first time I ever missed a bus/train/flight, and I guess statistically I was just getting closer and closer to the day I would miss something. And it was a rather good day to miss the bus, compared to what it could have been. I was only heading home, after a weekend away. It could have been on the way down when I would have come down to Stockholm way too late instead, or could have been me missing a flight going abroad.

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I ended up spending a few hours at a café, reading and people watching. Could have been worse, but of course it would have been better if I had been in time for the bus, or if I could have spent the extra time with my friends.

But overall I had a great weekend. So much fun seeing my friends and my goddaughter, and her younger sister of course (who’s too young to play but so cute and happy all the time). One of the best things with being back in Sweden is to be close to my friends and family again.

Hello again

I’m back in Sweden since a few days. After a stop in Stockholm, visiting my best friends and my goddaughter, I’m now up north. I’ve unpacked at my sister’s but I’m spending the weekend at my parens’ place.

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This is the corner of my sister’s place where I’ll stay this summer. Her apartment is really nice and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun, even if both of us have to work all summer.

I start my new-old job next week on tuesday or wednesday. It’s the same place where I had my first job as a physiotherapist, but my job will be different. I’m actually looking forward to start working again. I’ll work within home healthcare.

Getting medicin in different countries

Not much teach you as much about the medical system in a country than actually testing it out. Well, studying the healthcare delivery system at advanced level does, but for you not global health students, testing them out is quite the experience.

Sweden
In Sweden healthcare and medication are both controlled and restricted. You call the health center you’re registered at, make an appointment with a doctor, go there to take some tests and asks lots of questions. Then you, maybe, get prescribed medication that you can pick up at a pharmacy. If you don’t get better you’re asked to make a new appointment. At the pharmacy you pick up the exact medicine your doctor prescribed.

Iceland
Iceland is quite similar to Sweden actually. When I needed more birth control pills I just made an appointment, got a time to the doctor (not the midwife as in Sweden) and after a quick look at my blood pressure I got the pills prescribed and could pick them up at the pharmacy.

Australia
When I needed new birth control pills in Australia I just went to a health center, asked to see a doctor, waited for maybe half an hour and then was showed into a doctors room. There I just showed the package of my usual sort and he prescribed them for me. I went to the pharmacy and picked them up.

Thailand
Here in Thailand you just go to the pharmacy and pick out what medicine you want. I saw that they had my old kind of birth control pills just behind the counter. Here you don’t need a doctor to prescribe medicine, not even at the fancy pharmacy on campus. And you pay so little for the medicine as well. It’s crazy.

So there’s a few different ways to handle healthcare. I’ll let you think about the difference in multi resistant bacteria and drug problems in the countries mentioned.

Almost there

After 7 hours, one bus and four trains, I’m almost there. Almost in the city (of town more like it) where I grew up. I’m on the last train right now and have about 40 minutes left. Looking out of the window it’s obvious I’m up north. The view has changed constantly and now everything I see is trees.

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Tried to take a picture through the window, don’t know if you can see how pretty it is outside. Sweden is actually a very beautiful country.

The day is here

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Did my last day at work today. After all the counting down, I’ve now done the last day. Strange. Very strange. Kind of hard to believe actually. Can’t say I got much done today though, hope I didn’t leave too much work behind. It went better than expected to say goodbye to everyone. For a moment I considered sneaking out before the afternoon coffee break so I wouldn’t have to say goodbye to everyone, but I didn’t. The hardest goodbye was already done (said goodbye to my best friend and my goddaughter a week ago) so it wasn’t too bad. I’m going to miss my coworkers, and my job. I know I’ve been counting down and I’ve been dying to get away, but it’s not that I haven’t liked my job. I’ve loved my job and my coworkers, it’s just that I’ve been here for almost 3 years. That’s a long time for me.

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Some parting gifts from my coworkers (former coworkers I guess). They certainly know me. Black licorice, my favorite kind of candy. Especially the salty one that’s only available to buy in Sweden and Finland (and apparently in the Netherlands, but I’ve never been there). I’ve been talking about how licorice is the only thing I’ll miss about Sweden (apart from people of course), so they all got me lots of candy. I’m going to miss my coworkers.