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Week 2023#12: the cost of mistakes
...is usually smaller than you think. What mistakes can you afford? What do you get in return?
The winter sun, shining on Sunday morning – everything was so bright up in Nyland and everybody I’ve interacted with has been exceptionally friendly and forgiving of my broken Swedish.
What I’ve learned
Mistakes have a price, so we tend to avoid them. Accepting the price, however, means that you can actively “shop for” mistakes to accelerate your learning.
It has been a very intense week, but also kind of a mini vacation. Being out of the city is very refreshing and the 4-hour train rides up to the north also pass surprisingly quickly.
Making mistakes played a role on multiple levels during this period:
is investing more money into the house a good idea?
is renovating things yourself, with little experience a good idea?
should you not try speaking Swedish, fearing making mistakes?
Ultimately, I figured that there is a cost to doing these things and a cost to not doing them:
investing more money into the house: $$$, not investing: the house will not earn any money
renovating yourself: things look amateurish and out of place, not renovating yourself: you’ll never be able to renovate yourself
speaking Swedish: looking like a fool, people won’t understand you, not speaking Swedish: people dislike you for not trying, your Swedish won’t improve.
In some of these cases, risking mistakes is clearly the better option: always trying to speak Yes-it’s-Swedish-not-German first definitely changed initial reactions from people for the better.
In others, you need to cut your possible losses: having lived in the house now, the ground floor can be pretty liveable with a few tweaks, but fixing the upper floor is too much of an investment right now.
What possible mistakes in your life could you evaluate, before consciously risking them? 👇
Expectations vs Reality
Again, a successful week!
The house in Sweden has all the necessary basics to be rented out at a low price: almost! The bed is still missing (and sleeping on the couch is no fun), but at least I now know where the bed should be located.
I’ll manage to apply for a samordningsnummer (Swedish tax ID for non-residents, necessary for opening a bank account, etc): yes! This turned out to be pretty easy…and I could manage the full 15-minute conversation in Swedish 🇸🇪.
The neighbors in Nyland know me by the end of my stay: one. Turns out the neighbors were rarely at home, but I managed to exchange phone numbers with one of them at least.
For next week:
Find one person to housesit in Sweden for at least a week
Get my samordningsnummer
Successfully apply for Estonian citizenship
Highlights of last week:
Finally met Olle in person, the man who has been fixing everything at the house so far!
Also, coming with a friend, and not alone, was a great experience: everything is more fun when you can share it with someone!
The next “Decode Estonian” workshop has not sold out in 2 hours 😱 This is the first time this happens and I really hope I don’t have to do active marketing.
My confidence in my broken Swedish has improved!
All of the administrative unknowns got sorted out: the samordningsnummer, the utility bill (never paid for anything since November 😅), where and how to open a bank account, the timetable of the local bus, etc.