Work and life in Stockholm

I know will be a massively disappointing post to anyone who is under the illusion that I am living a glamorous, jet-setting, international life, from living in London to weekending in Holland, and hopping over to Sweden for a spell, but to be honest, much of my trip so far has looked like this:



I really don’t mind this at all. In fact, I am pretty excited to be able to sink my teeth into solving analytic problems. I re-ignited my love for SAS, did some Stata analysis, and even hopped in and out of SPSS, so in some ways, it was really gratifying to realize that I have some skills (even if they are the dorkiest sort of skills possible) because, after all, how hot is it to have skills?!Napoleon-Dynamite-skills-gif I have taken a while to find my feet in my PhD, and I have been craving the thrill of having an all-consuming period of productivity. I couldn’t ask for a better space for this, as Karolinska Institutet is a lovely working space, with large windowed offices, sitting/standing work stations, friendly people, office fruit basket delivered twice a week, a pingpong room, and even loaner bicycles for visiting researchers! (I have been cruising the streets the sweet red bike, and have plans to venture forth and explore some of the urban fringes later this weekend). 

I have tried to differentiate the regular work week with weekend work, mostly by changing my tunes. During the week, I am pumping a steady diet electronic study music directly into my ear holes (so as not to disturb my office mates), but on the weekend, I am bopping along to pop dance music which I am able to play loudly, as I am the only human in the office. It’s pretty much a party up in here! So I am happily feeling pretty “Unstoppable” this morning! Thanks Sia!

When I am not in the office, I am staying in the most adorable little flat and I am totally in love with this little nest of an apartment. In customary Scandinavian design, everything is warmly functional, white, and light.

(Pics from the Airbnb listing) 

This tiny space (19 square meters/200 square feet) has the kitchen tucked away in a set of white cabinets, which is probably my favorite thing ever! Once you are done washing up after a meal, you just close the doors, and everything is tidy and tucked away. Similarly, I am not sure why we have not adopted the minimalist and sleek approach to bathroom design. The way the tiled floors are made allow water to easily drain, without needing to be trapped inside a tub or shower stall. Seamless, functional, beautiful. No wonder I have been loving my beautiful, tiny, functional Stockholm nest, and it has re-ignited my fascination for living in tiny spaces.

However, it has not been completely bright airy spaces and charming red bicycles. Almost immediately upon arrival to Stockholm, I had a super stressful computer situation. I was downloading a stats program onto my laptop, and picked up the most malicious and aggressive virus/malware I have ever encountered! Pretty soon my administrator permissions were disabled by the bug, my antivirus crippled, and in short order, my computer wasn’t even able to turn on properly. After wasting many hours trying to fix the problem, I realized I was over my head and brought it into the experts, who periodically emailed me horrifying updates like “This is the most damage we have ever seen” and “I can’t repair windows to make it run like it should” and eventually, the price [gahhhh – cue silent weeping]. But I am happy to announce that my computer is back up and running.

So excuse me as I spend some more quality time with these beautiful datasets. Hopefully I will do a little more exploring and adventuring over the next week and will have more scintillating Swedish posts to share!

Hej då!


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