I've all but quit the free gov't sponsored SFI language program. It's just not structured enough for me. I had 1 good teacher for a while, but even she couldn't compete with the constant flow of new students with varying levels of comprehension. I'm studying at home for a while and I think I'm going to pay to go to a class at the "Peoples University", folkuniversitet. Classes are a modest 2.000 SEK (~USD250) per 10 session class. Hopefully the old economic principle of free ridership (WARNING: that is the first of many in what is likely to be the blog post for how not to use hyperlinks) holds true and classes will be better/more efficient if students are forced to pay.
The only other thing keeping me from attaining fluency are these damn Stieg Larsson books. I have never really been one for crime thrillers, but I'm certifiably addicted, about a year later than everyone else in Sweden. It's like reading the DaVinci code after Tom Hanks went off galavanting after the holy grail on the big screen and EVERYONE already knew the story. It's exactly like that actually. The cinematic interpretation of the first book is in theatres now, with the very talented Mikael Nyqvist playing the Tom Hanks role. In fact, if anyone is looking for good foreign movies, he's got a couple really good ones: As it is in Heaven and everyone's favorite pre-almost-too-disturbing-to-watch Moodysson film, Together about life in a 60's commune in Sweden.
Winter looks to be on the way out, but as I've been warned by many a Swede here, there is really no telling in April and May. We could be in for more snow, which seems pretty unlikely to me, but then again, I've spent the majority of my life in tropical climates...it hurts just writing that. I didn't know how good I had it.
Anyways, we had a great Easter break, and I use "break" to the fullest extent of its meaning, boardering on "hiatis". Somehow a Sunday holiday turned into a 5 day weekend. For being a pretty non-religious society, they like to celebrate the religious holidays...in the most pagan nature worshiping ways of course. Apart from the symbolism of eating lamb, there is really nothing "churchy" about it. We went out to Cecilia's aunt and uncle's summer house about 2 hours outside Stockholm in the archipelago. The spot is amazing, and despite my aforementioned tropical upbringing and the fear of all water colder than body temperature, I managed to hop in the just above freezing (3degC/37degF) water after a litte bastu/sauna. Unfortunately, I wasn't intoxicated to the point of numbness.
Here's some picture of what is hopefully the end of winter and begining of spring, taken over the last month or so...