Monday, December 07, 2009

What?? Snow?

For the first time since I got here - I've seen snow in our city. An unusually cold storm passed by over night dumping lots of snow up in the mountains and cooling down the valley enough for very rare snow to fall. I was up over night with a coughing son and could inspect the pretty heavy snow fall. The ground is still warm and the temperatures go up during the day, so there was hardly anything left this morning after sunrise. But still.

Lot's of excitement. The news sent snow reports all night long and the weather people who normally hardly have any weather to report about were going crazy.

Since snow means freezing temperatures, or as they say "sub-zero temperatures", there is a "freeze alert" in place. Which is kind of funny coming from Sweden and trekking to school through feets of snow. The media has guides to how to cope with the cold weather - and maybe they are needed. If you are totally unused to freezing temperatures, you might have to be reminded to wear warm mittens instead of gloves.

But the last warning in today's paper below, "Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect lungs" might be something I would think would be more useful in... say Siberia or... Antarctica... Not at -2C (or 28F).


Anna, Fair and True said...

Haha, jag tror nog t o m kalifornierna har upplevt snö förut, t ex uppe i bergen i den egna staten eller på semester. De vet nog att man inte dör av -2 i alla fall! Så de skrattar nog lite också. Hoppas jag.. :)

Annika said...

Ja, men det är väl så högst ovanligt att det blir sensation, I guess.
Folk freakar ju för snö i DC också---BIG time!
Annorlunda mot sverige, absolut.
Men, ni som bor så nära bergen är säkert mer vana än vad National Weather Servicer tror.

Indie said...

It has even been freezing cold up here on the coast. I like it though. :)

Christine said...

sorry to barge in on this port but I couldn't find you email anywhere. Myself and my Swedish husbamd are long timr fanes. We leave for Sweden in 2 days for 3 weeks. I have never tried the tax thing before ( stuff you are taking out of the country). You pay in upfront and then recover it where? Sorry, we are procrastinators, I've been meaning to check this out for awhile!


Christine said...

ack, sorry for all the poor spellings, I was in a hurry!

JaCal said...

Anna - ja, jag vet inte jag... Uppe i bergen är det ju mycket snö - men här nere är det aldrig. Men det var på fullaste allvar... och TV-stationerna hade sändningar hela natten... ;-)

Annika - ja, sensation var ordet - sist vi såg snö i dessa mängder var 1974... Artikeln kom från morgontidningen.... riktad mot folk i Sacramento... ;-)

Indie - yes, seems all of the west coast has been under a storm system - and it keeps going on. Even though the cold temperatures are gone now.

Christine - ;-) No problems! The e-mail is in the left hand column under contact. This is how you do it:
1) Everytime you shop, at the cashier - you ask if they can do a TaxFree receiptfor you. That means that they'll attach the original receipt with the tax free receipt - you still pay the full price for the item.
2) Keep the stuff you have shopped in the original bags to make it easier when you are going to declare it and collect all the receipt.
3)Before going to the airport, fill out all the information (name, address, passportnumber)on each receipt (that will save you time at the airport).
4) At the airport - go to the GlobalRefund counter _before_ checking in (that is if you want to check in all you have shopped - you can also take in in your handluggage).
5) At the GlobalRefund you hand over your receipts and passport (and greencard/visa if you are not citizens) and show your items (opening suitcases to show them - I usually pack all my taxfree items in their original bags in one suitcase on top to make it easy). 6) They will then stamp your receipts and you can head over to the check-in counter and check your bags. If you wanted money on a credit card - they can do that there - if you want cash you have to do a second step: Once through security - you go to the GlobalRefund desk and hand over your receipts and get cash in dollars or kronor.
7) Note - if you want to keep a receipt - ask for them to take a copy (if there is a warranty issue - otherwise - you will automatically loose your receipts at the GlobalRefund). Hepp -you're done!

If you are travelling through Arlanda - the GlobalRefund desk is at Terminal5. Note: If you're travelling early in the morning (like before 6 am) or late at night - they might not have open yet - and then you will not get your refunds unfortunately (unless you head over to the customs office outside Arlanda).

Give yourself at least an extra 30 minutes to handle the taxfree - there might be a line (even though in my experience, it's less busy in winter than summer).

You won't get a tax refund on books (tax rate is different), but otherwise I think you get 18% back -which adds up if you do a lot of shopping. I usually automatically ask for a tax refund now - but depending on how much I shop I might not declare it in the end if the sums are not worth the extra time at the airport or the hazzle of packing.

Good luck and have a great 3 weeks in Sweden!

Isle Dance said...

Oh my! That is too funny! Only in Alaska would protecting the lungs be mentioned!

Desiree said...

Hej Johanna, vill passa på att önska dig en riktigt God Jul och Gott Nytt År. Tack så jättemycket för det fina julkortet du skickade. Jag har varit jättedålig på att skicka kort i år eftersom lugnet precis lagt sig för oss efter flytten då vi fått huset sålt. Vi bor dock kvar i Alabama något halvår till iallfall. Du får ha det bra i snön och kanske får ni också en vit jul alltså.


JaCal said...

Isle Dance - yes... amazing isn't it... Being Swedish you have to laugh a bit... ;-)

Desiree - det samma! Har följt er flytt på bloggen - hoppas nu att ni har en mysig julhelg i snöiga Sverige!! Kram!

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