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Once Upon a Time in Vallentuna and Onwards

Year 2018 – Austria-Sweden transition for me.

It was towards the end of May 2018 when I got an offer for a job in Vallentuna. The flight from Austria to Sweden, plus accommodation were provided, the pay sounded okay and I was up for a new adventure. I was to try it out for two weeks to see how it goes, and then we make a decision about staying on. I did end up staying.

On June 1, 2018, full of anticipation, I remember getting a lift to the train station with my luggage but I can not recall whether it was in Linz or in Amstetten (Upper Austria). Anyway, ‘Sweden, here I come!’, I thought.

It was a very hot summer that year. As soon as the plane landed at Arlanda Airport, I looked out and noticed how dry the surroundings looked. Back in Austria, it was still green and pretty with the colorful summer blooms and leftovers from spring.

But it was not to be hot everyday in Sweden, even in the summer. There were sunny days when it would suddenly get breezy and chilly. Days when I had to wear a sweater while out on walks or errands. Crazy was my first impression of the Swedish weather.

And I think it still is. My rain jacket and pants are always ready by the door in case, haha. The weather is actually a popular topic among the Swedes. Have I been living here too long? 🙂 Well, the heat was also something we Filipinos always complained about all year round back home. Everybody has an umbrella with them especially on a hot day, and not because rain is expected. I feel like I’m exaggerating, but it’s true as I also speak for myself when I lived in Asia. In Sweden, I just wear a hat.

I got weather-side-tracked. Anyway, the catman and I parted ways after the Vallentuna affair. I decided to move back to Austria, back to Vienna, after leaving Sweden in September. For another job.

But before I left Sweden, I was fortunate to meet Mattias Nyström and get to know his family. Fortunate because from the start, he and I were very compatible or similarly strange in generally every aspect… Nuff said.

Because of him, I had been visiting Sweden back and forth since going back to Austria. We saw each other every month. He booked his flights to Vienna when I could not leave, and vice versa.

I worked at Vienna Airport from November 2018 until August 2019.

On August 28, 2019 at the Krankenhaus der Barmherzigen Brüder Wien, I had the six-hour surgery led by the top specialist in Vienna Univ.-Doz. Dr. Gernot Hudelist, MSc. He and his team took out all sorts of stuff in my ageing body – endometriosis all over, adenomyosis in my uterus, myomas in the ovaries and my left fallopian tube.

I turned 40 soon after that same year. That was something not to be forgotten but also not a memory to relish either because turning 40 meant that I became ineligible for the state-funded or subsidized IVF treatments. Too bad. Mattias had to seek consultations with private clinics. A separate post on this topic another time…

Mattias took a leave from work for three weeks to come take care of me before and after the surgery. He took me home after six days in the hospital. Aghhhh that was a tough time, but there was so much love and care to turn to.

Mattias could have brushed up on his Deutsch language skills during those three weeks of roaming around in Wien. Then perhaps it could have been him that moved to Austria instead. But he said nope.

I also worked for the catman’s R24k company from Oct. 1, 2019-Feb. 28, 2020, and even got to travel to Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam on a business trip. When I got back to Vienna, news of the pandemic struck Europe.

Mattias and his son Wille got to visit Vienna in March and were among the last who were lucky to fly out of Vienna Airport before all flights got closed. Many got stranded.

We were unable to see each other again except through video calls until I moved to Sweden on July 6, 2020 to stay for good.

Mattias asked me to marry him for the 100th time and I finally said yes for the 100th time. There were certain restrictions for public gatherings during the pandemic, but we were able to tie the knot at Östhammars Kyrka on February 20, 2021. It was a beautiful winter wonderland scene outdoors.

In my next post, I might be ready with more stories and some photos taken in 2018 and in the past four years. We’ll see what I will come up with.

Vivien Nyström

Born in 1979 in her hometown of Kiangan, Ifugao in the Philippines, Vi has moved homes too many times. Since 2020 before Austria's first lockdown during the pandemic, she moved to Sweden. She is still in Sweden today.

The Traveling Cats

The Traveling Cats