Something Swedish

When the Cat’s Away, the Mice will Play – “När Katten är Borta Dansar Råttorna på Bordet”


Min Katt, hon heter Delilah

Hmm, not really, but tonight is the first night by myself in Sweden. The hubby has to travel for work sometimes and so here I am while he is in Denmark until tomorrow. I wish the title of this post could be a little more accurate, but I guess we don’t actually have the roles of cat and mouse so it wouldn’t work regardless, I just really wanted to use it as a title and show a photo of my cat.

For anyone who knows some amount of Swedish will recognize that the Swedish title isn’t an exact translation of the English one.  Instead of translating word for word, which would be, “När katten är borta, möss spela” (When the cat is away, mice play). Swedish has a corresponding idiom as English which has the same meaning but is said differently, the text in the title translates to: “When the cat is away dancing rats are on the table.”

It is almost 8pm here (20:00- I don’t think I’ll get used to saying time this way) and the most “playing” I’ve done was to take a lovely two hour “tupplur,” which means “nap.” I learned that word yesterday- from twitter! And I certainly haven’t danced on any tables!! (I think I like being likened to a mice over a rat)

I suppose my version of “playing” will be staying up later than normal  to see if I can make some phone calls to some family and friends. With the six hour time difference it’s hard to get a hold of people who work until 5 or 6pm, since I am usually sleeping or at least off the computer at that point since hubby wakes up kind of early. The timing hasn’t been too hard to deal with though, it turns out that when I wake up early enough (7 – 8 am) a handful of friends are still awake in NY from that night before since its 1 or 2 am for them (Gotta love the night owls, the bar hoppers, the bar workers, and the insomniacs). And then there’s my Aunt who wakes up super early and is usually the first person I talk to once or twice a week around noon my time. Some friends and family don’t work or have traditional hours so I’ve been pretty lucky to get a few calls every once in awhile.

Technology is amazing, having Skype has allowed me to be in another country and not feel as alone. Sometimes its a 60 minute video chat and other times its a quick cigarette break phone call from a best friend. Skype is how we managed a long distance relationship for three years and its how I will keep in touch with friends and family now. Its cheap and easy and even allows me to buy a NY phone number so its affordable for everyone. I know I sound like a commercial, but that’s only because there are still people not taking advantage of it and it helps  me so much on a daily basis.

So, my other “playing” for today was actually pretty routine- shopping for the apartment. There are a few shops in town that I always go to because I love to buy little things to organize and decorate with. I shop carefully, knowing that money doesn’t grow on trees (Why, oh why!?), but it  IS my first apartment and I AM home a lot, so every once in awhile I’ll go to  AhlensLagerhaus, Clas Olson, or TGR to see if I can find something useful. Today felt like the colorful jackpot! Min nya kudde och tre nya korgar – “My new pillow and three new baskets”

Tomorrow I will force myself to study Swedish, I have been slacking; twiddling my thumbs while I wait for my “Personnummer” which will (Aside from making me a real person!) allow me to start SFI, Swedish for Immigrants, and start looking for work. I didn’t come here to wait, I came here to live and learn. And I will!

Reach for the moon, the worst that can happen is you fall short and catch a star.

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11 thoughts on “When the Cat’s Away, the Mice will Play – “När Katten är Borta Dansar Råttorna på Bordet”

  1. Gorgeous food (burp), gorgeous pictures (burp)! Love your new pillow and three baskets on your beautifully-crafted ‘cubby’ by ‘hubby’ . . .

  2. Beautiful cat Meg! Learning a different language is always daunting, have you ever checked out Rosetta Stone? I’ve got to dust mine off…

    • Thank you! I miss her a lot since I had to leave her in NY and really itching to get another pet. I use Rosetta Stone, helps a lot. I finished the first CD but haven’t touched it in almost two months so I want to start going over it again. I’m much better at reading than listening, the words sound so different than I expect when I see them. What language do you have Rosetta for?

  3. smiles at the skype comments, also used that in my long distance relationship before moving here, now use it for same as you, calling family and friends! your Swedish seems to be coming along nicely picking up plenty of new words that’s great!
    Good luck with your “personnummer”, got mine last week and go to collect id card friday. sent off my residency yesterday but being an EU citezen, guess its a bit different compaired to your residency? I had to apply within 3 months of being here..
    Oh I added your blog to my blog roll too!

    “ha en bra dag!” 🙂

  4. Well, I can’t take full credit, A lot of the Swedish is me asking my husband “how do you say….?” (Usually for Post Titles, & longer phrases) But I am learning from just using the words as my own- and sometimes it is me and my Swedish- but I am too scared and almost always double check in translator if its more than one or two words!
    Yea, the process is certainly different, I had to stay in NY for my residence decision. I’ve been waiting for my personnummer for 3 weeks! All my other paperwork has gone super fast though.

    Tack sa mycket! – I see you also read lesleycarter, amazing blog 🙂


  5. Hahahahahahahaha!!!

  6. Oh! Hilarious! Well when you’ve learned some Swedish you will probably enjoy “Svenskt Näringsliv” as well!

  7. I had a lot of success with SFI AND met basically all my friends that way.

    I never use Skype because I like to do stuff whenI’m on the phone, not sit on the computer. We have a good calling plan for the US. So I wait until 3 PM and then call the east coast. 🙂

    • @Antro That’s great to hear- it’s exactly what I’m hoping for! 🙂

      I’m so used to skype (And am not terribly busy yet) so Skype works! I’m sure eventually we might have to look into a plan, but the calls aren’t frequent enough yet. I’ll wait till I get homesick ^^

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