I have lived in Sweden for over a year and have enjoyed every moment of it. Within the first month of being here I attended an introductory class to speaking Swedish. Through his I learned how to count, order a pizza, and say: “I can only speak a little of Swedish.” From then I have picked up words here and there from signs, conversations, and shopping at the grocery store. But my active learning has halted.
I have made it a personal goal of mine to learn Swedish. The first step to this goal was to begin a regiment of Swedish tutoring. Through failed attempts to find a proper tutor, I have shifted my focus to alternative means. A friend of mine, who happens to be a linguistic professor, said that computer teaching software such as Rosetta Stone are good but they are a one-size-fits-all solution to a size varying problem. That thought slowed down my eagerness to learn Swedish as I thought over how to get the correct size for me. Through wise council I realized that, my professor friend is a suit tailor of language and even though Rosetta Stone is a Extra Large T-Shirt, I am running around naked. I needed to clothe myself.
I finally logged onto Rosetta Stone’s website and took out my credit card to fund my language learning. My bank account was hurt by the amount I spent. Several emails where deployed by Rosetta Stone to comfort me in my, “investment in knowledge.” One of those emails was the confirmation of it being shipped. My heart jumped from its financial sorrow. Receiving mail is always exciting. (Unless, it’s a bill, but that is another story.) I played the tracking package game, checking the progress every few days. I watched as it crept closer and closer. On a fateful Thursday, I received a phone call from the delivery man. I wasn’t at home so I sent him an SMS to “sign” for my package, asking him to live it on top of the mailbox. (A common practice where I live.) But when I went to retrieve it later that day, it was not there. I tore the hallway apart looking for my, “invest in knowledge.” It was no where to be found. I scoured all of the other mailboxes in the surrounding apartments; to no avail. Then I called the delivery guy, who confirmed that he left it where I instructed him to. I was up a Swedish speaking creek without a paddle. Crap.
This package wasn’t a guilty pleasure package of coffee gadgets or bike parts, it was a package of knowledgable worth. Nevertheless it was lost. Forever. For the next week I came home hoping to find a beat up yellow package at my doorstep with my name on it. No such luck. I sent an email explaining my problem to Rosetta Stone as well as the package carrier. I eagerly awaited a response but none came. Weeks passed. I came to accept my loss.
One morning, I logged onto Rosetta Stone, once again, to order another lesson. As I did, I found a Live Chat button. I clicked it. Steve greeted me and I began to explain my loss. He responded, “Okay, we’ll send you another one.” I was taken aback. Surprised and grateful.
After a week passed, I received a phone call from a confused delivery man. He said he couldn’t find my address. I laughed and opted to have it delivered to a friend’s address that I was for certain not imaginary. Then the snow storm stuck, over 3 feet of snow was dumped upon Uppsala and Stockholm. The airport shut down and the busses struggled to run. After a few winter wonderland days, I received a text from my friend reading, “Your package just came!” So I am proud to announce that I will actually learn how to speak Swedish after all!
So here’s to wearing an Extra Large Swedish T-shirt.