November 2008

Well I first woke up today at around 10 and quickly got a sharp pain in my abdomen that I’ve never really experienced before.  So, I went to the bathroom and just kinda sat in there on the floor in case I was going to be sick, which it definitely felt like.  But, a few minutes of sitting and dealing with the pain my vision started to get blurry. I could tell it was getting worse so I got up and went back towards the main room.  In those few seconds my head felt extremely dizzy, I couldn’t see anything infront of me except for an extremely tiny hole in my vision. So, I had to feel for the foot of my bed before I climbed back in. My ears during that time had become completely muffled and I could hear this really annoying hum.

So, I assume I had almost blacked out.  When I laid flat on my bed though my vision gradually came back and the muffling went away, but the pain was still there. I got chills quickly after, the kind of chills you get when you usually break a fever. The claminess and all.  I somehow managed to contort myself in a weird way on my stomach that made the main much more managable.  Then, I somehow fell asleep again and woke up at 2 in the afternoon.  I haven’t slept that late in I don’t know how long.  First I thought my clock said 12 and I was just missing the 1, because it honestly didn’t feel like I had slept that long.

But, it was 2pm.  It really sucks too because it gets dark here so early.  It’s 3 now and it’s already getting dark outside and it will be completely dark by like, 4.  The sharp pain is gone but I can feel a dull one every now and again, but please don’t let me wake up like that again. Goodness.


Last night we had our own little Thanksgiving here in Sweden.  Megan and Claire put it together, two girls from the University of Illinois (Big Ten in the house haha).  It was fun to speak with Americans again though.  You don’t realize how much slang and such you use on a daily basis that people who aren’t American won’t get, I don’t know how many times here I’ve had to go “Heh, nevermind.” because of language differences, even in English.  So the people there were: Me, Ingrid (Florida!), Megan (Illinois), Claire (Illinois), and Megan’s siblings who were visiting(also Illinois). But that’s not all. We also had Ian (Canada), Emilien (France), and Inca (Australia).  Funtimes!

Thanksgiving in Sweden

Thanksgiving in Sweden

We had a very “traditional” Thanksgiving meal, and with ham! No turkey~! Haha.  Though the green beans had parmesan cheese on them instead, what can we do?  And Ingrid’s pie wasn’t our Americany pumpkin pie because Sweden just doesn’t have the things to create such a pie.  So, it was a pumpkinishy pie. Hey, at least it was orange!  It was better than pumpkin pie too.

After eating we all went into the hall and attempted to learn Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” dance moves again.  The ones the swedes seem to know from the nollning.  But, we got further this time.  We’ll have it down soon. I’m sure of it!

It was a great night and pretty warm too (haha I’m calling 40 degrees warm now).  It wasn’t the same as being at home, but I’ll take what I can get. 🙂

Also, it’s definitely winter here.  It’s been dark for awhile now but to put things in perspective.  It’s 4:30pm right now and it’s pitch black outside.  It’s still going to get darker earlier too.

Last night my power definitely went poof at around 9pm.  First I thought my new amazing heater blew a fuse, but nope it was my whole building.  Actually, it was this whole side of the loop.  But, building 11 and all of the buildings on the other side of the loop only got a slight glitch.  So, I went to the kitchen and talked with my corridormates a bit, a snowball fight of like…300 people were outside and that was fun to watch, I probably would have went out if I hadn’t already gotten ready for the night.  Theeen at around 12 Alex got his laptop and we watched Chapelle Show.  Yeah…lol.  According to the girls in class today it didn’t come back until around 7am this morning.

Speaking of class.  I went out to catch the bus and it never came.  Like there could have been three bus 2’s that went by before my actual bus 2 came.  I was kind of sad about that.  So, I was late for class…but whatever.

After class I got food with Suyin and Per and then we went to the movies.  It’s weird, you like get “assigned seats” or something.  Like a play, definitely different.  And the Uppsala theatre is so tiny.  The chairs are kinda squashed to the back wall only a few, and yeah.  It was strange, but okay haha.  We went to see Twilight.  I’ve never read the books, I’ve heard from many people that they’re amazing, but people who think like me have called it a “really bad fanfiction”.  Well, the movie was at least entertaining, though extremely corny at parts.  I chuckled at times I shouldn’t have, but it wasn’t too bad I guess.

Then I went to catch the bus home and I saw this cute little old lady walking towards me.  I tried to avert my eyes so she wouldn’t come asking me questions in Swedish.  Well, she came anyway.  Haha~  So she asked me something that I completely didn’t understand so I’m just like, “Jag talar inte svenska” (I don’t speak Swedish) and she goes, “Huh?” then realizes what I said and starts chuckling trying to ask again in Swedish, and this other lady answered for her.  After about 30 seconds, the old lady is still standing really close to me.  And she looks up at me and starts talking in Swedish some more.  So, I try to listen more carefully and I basically had a really broken conversation with her.  I could get most of what she was saying, but I didn’t know the words or phrases to answer, that’s always my problem.  But, I still tried with my broken Swedish and mix of random English. Haha~  Oh, not to mention the accidental German before I realized I was saying the German word for something and not Swedish…so that was…amusing, but at least I could quickly change that.  But yeah, our conversation consisted of her asking where I was from, and I said USA, and she was all, “Oh you understood me?” in Swedish…and I understood that too so I kept nodding and going “ja ja ja” and she kept asking the question until Im like. “*BIG NOD* ja!” she was so cute.  And then she said more stuff in Swedish like if i spoke English, which is an of course haha.  But she said, “English…I speak…English….little little.”  She was so adorable~! Haha.  And then she said it was cold and I was like in broken swedish again something like, “Yeah it’s cold.  I live in Ohio. Ohio is cold too.” Then she asked if it snowed, and I was like oooh yeah. Oh my goodness.  But, it was so bad SO BAD for me haha~  But I at least tried.  And yeah.  So she asked how long I’ve been here…I think.  And  said 3 months and she was amazed and then asked when do I go back to the US…I think.  So I answered June, and she was all amazed and stuff. Oh man I couldn’t get over how she was all cute and amused.  I’m actually really happy she spoke with me, it really made me feel better, like I’ve at least learned a tiny bit, even if it’s really crappy broken Swedish.  She was so cheerful when she had to leave so she was all like, “Oh, bus five is here!” and then in english she like bounced away with, ” byyye bye!” haha so cute!

So yes, I was pretty proud of my Swenglish skills.  Though after I said I didn’t speak any Swedish, she still kept asking everything in Swedish, which amused me.  But I am happy I could answer.  I guess I can understand a bit more than I thought…

Amusing times!

After class today I got a monthly bus card, since I have a feeling I won’t be walking or biking in ice/snow.  It’s a bit chaotic and I think the card will easily pay off itself. >>  So yeah, I got that down in town with Per and Suyin.

After that I met up with Ingrid and we got some food at Cappucino Cafe, since Linnea was full.  I had some yummy pasta with salad that I couldn’t finish cause my stomach was like aaargh. After that we went and looked for shoes and pants, I actually ended up getting a pair of jeans and black socks at KappAhl.  I really like that store for some reason, even though this is my first purchase from there haha.  The jeans were pretty nice, they fit nicely if I don’t gain anymore weight rofl.  I don’t have to wear a belt with them, which is so strange for me now haha~

After a bit of shopping we went back to Kantorsgatan where Ingrid lives and hung out a bit.  The girl in her room before left some clothes and stuff, which I took.  Finally someone who is my size? Heck yes!  She left rain boots of some kind that are luckily my size, a hoodie, a white H&M long sleeve shirt, and a super swedish shirt for a pub here called Harry’s, lucky for me there is a bar back at Purdue called Harry’s as well. Amuuusing~  So yeah, I snagged that stuff, like free thrifting haha.  But there were other things that she left that were just…weird…like a razor and uhh…what we think is lubricant cream stuff, we were trying to figure out what it was by reading the back and then we came across the word “kondom” and were like “OH MAAAN~ *washes hands!*”  haha it was kind of amusing.  XD

After that we watched Shrek 2 with swedish subtitles, because we could.  We were going to go to Värmlands and club for a bit, but it started getting pretty late and instead we tried to learn the Uppsala-nollning dance version thingy to Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance”.  It was semi-successful, we’ll have to observe more next time we’re out at a club. Or Ingrid said she may just have a friend she knows who knows it do it, and record it.  Then we’ll know, and we’ll rock it out too. XD

And to finish the night off I slid about a meter on the ice, without falling though, leaving a nice mark in the snow.  Oh man, it’s only November!!

Monday at choir wasn’t exactly the best experience this time.  I mean I felt bad already that I didn’t bring fika, but if you want something relayed to me and you know I don’t speak Swedish…isn’t the logical thing to do to send me a message in English? Lol.  It’s not like I forgot the things on purpose, I just wasn’t home when bestest leader Anna sent me a message 30 minutes before practice so I didn’t know where to get cookies and stuff.  But honestly.  I didn’t even know there was a separate address list or a fika list.  Until last monday I thought people who liked baking and cookies just randomly brought those in for everyone.  If I had known ahead of time I so would’ve made rice crispy treats again…  So, I walked to ICA during our break and got some cookies, which it appears no one ate anyway. 😦 Oh well~  I know for next time now and I’m on both lists so it shouldn’t be a problem.

In other news, yesterday it was slushing.  I say slush because it was like a mix of rain and snow, but it wasn’t sleet because I wasn’t getting hit in the face with ice pellets.  So, this was fine and dandy because it appeared it was melting for the most part.  Since I had double classes yesterday, I was at Engelska Parken a lot longer than usual so I couldn’t see the mess that was happening outside.  Speaking of double classes, that was tedious.  I’m in for another rude awakening when I get back to Purdue, how do we manage going to 3+ classes a day?  We’re pretty hardcore!

But anyway, I went outside to leave after classes, it was 4pmish and already dark out.  It’s only November and it’s already darker earlier than it ever gets in Ohio.  I think it’s time to start taking vitamins before seasonal depression sets in early as well.  But yeah, outside was a slushfilled mess.  It didn’t look too bad where we were at so I was going to walk home, but I couldn’t find my iPod so I just decided to take the bus.  Can’t walk without music, but let me tell you how good a choice that was.  Walking to the bus stop was a task in itself, the road between the cemetaries to the bus stop was completely slushy and slick, I almost whiped out about 5 times before getting to the bus stop.  This was a flat surface at least, I almost slipped going up the huge hill at Flogsta as well. This winter will be interesting, I’ve fallen about 4 times at Purdue in the winter, and it’s flat.  There are hills here… I think it’s time to get some better shoes.  I have boots, but I’m not sure I trust the traction, they look flatter than my tennis shoes.  But maybe my tennis shoe soles are plastic and not rubber?  I’m a shoe failure.  Coming from a land of ice and snow, shouldn’t I know the correct kind of shoe to wear? One would think, YES. YES YOU SHOULD.  Worn out sketchers =/= the correct shoe.  I do know this.

Late last night the salt/sand/dirt truck was going next to our buildings dropping stuff.  So, I woke up this morning and from the view of my window things look pretty good.  No ice or anything.  I needed to go to ICA and get bread, milk, and toilet bowl cleaner…so I was happy to leave with no ice.  However, once I got to ICA it was a big surprise.  First the grassy hill down to ICA was layered in a sheet of ice that I almost whiped out on at the bottom aaand the parking lot was also one thick sheet of ice.  Someone definitely missed the parking lot.  I wonder how many old people break hips here by the end of the season…

Getting those spikey things for your shoes and looking like a complete dork doesn’t seem like a bad idea right about now…

I got back from Scotland last night at around 10:40pm, I sadly forgot my building key on my desk here so I had to call Aleksandra to let me in.  Which is extremely lucky, considering my battery was already screaming at me for being too low.

Well, we left for Scotland on the 5th of November.  Talk about exciting!  I had just stayed up the previous night pretty late, watching the election.  Crossing my fingers in hopes for Obama.  My county first went blue, then my state went blue, and I was going to go to bed then, but shortly after the whole country was called for Obama.  It was amazing and it’s been awhile since I’ve felt this sense of national pride, like we actually did something CORRECT for once.  Something that will better not only us, but hopefully the whole world.  I really want the US to restore ties with the rest of the world and hopefully remove that awful stupidity stigma.

We took a train to this tiny airport in the middle of nowhere, because Ryanair flies to there aaand then we were off to Edinburgh.  We got in pretty late and got kind of settled into our hostel (High Street Hostel).  After some bed-drama anyway.  I still feel bad about whining about where I was sleeping, but everyone who knows me I don’t do well with strangers and heights…so putting those two together were ultimate doom and really made my anxiety rise.  Luckily Peter was kind enough to swap spots with me, I’m happy he did.  (Though I did shot gun bottom bunks before we got there…so that made me angry at first when no one listened…)

We wandered around a bit like down the Royal Mile to the palace at the bottom of it, we would explore the main castle on another day.  It was pretty late unfortunately so many places were closed and we went and ate at McDonalds.  Now, it’s strange.  Like, Sweden to me has these ritzy upper class ridiculously nice McDonalds.  In the US McDonalds are mediocre, you don’t expect anything great when you get there.  But, in Scotland this McDonalds was absolutely crazy and such.  There was no place to sit and the guy claimed they didn’t have any ketchup.  I was like, “What the heck? How can they have no ketchup?!” especially when Jenny had some on her burger.  Ridiiiculous!  I think the guy was just LAZY and didn’t want to get me any.

The next day Suyin and I got breakfast downstairs in our hostel, it was a bit pricey.  But there was this awesome news paper laying on one of the benches.  So many newspapers were talking about Obama throughout the week there.  But this headline made me smile.

President-Elect Obama approved by the World

President-Elect Obama approved by the World

For lunch that day, we went to this restaurant that had DELICIOUS macaroni and CHEEESE!  I’ve been craving it for a week or so now, so I was exceptionally excited to get my bowl of yummy macaroni and cheese. Deliiicious~ Definitely made up for all the pains (Stupid Suyin!!) I had been dealing with. ><;;

Jenny, Suyin and I also went on a tour of the dungeons.  Which was fake, it may have given some history, but it was mostly for fun with people dressed up and an amusing mirror maze.  I totally ran into a mirror, one would think when you see your own reflection in front of you, you wouldn’t continue walking forward.  They also had a fake jury dealio in the beginning so I was one of the “lucky” few to get called up to the stand and the guy just asks random questions so he’s all “What’s your name?” “Nicole.” “What?” “Nicole.” “Nicole, eh? …Where…are you from?”  “…The united states…” “GUILTY!  Punishment is being sent back to that country. Guilty!”  It was amusing, I must say…rofl.

We did several tours on this trip and I think Friday night was one of the haunted ones we went on.  It actually kind of creeped me out, the lady gave real history and took us into real cellars and dungeons and such.  I actually was a bit scared then.  It was a bit amusing because Suyin was scared during the totally fake one we went on the day before, but the more realistic one she was fine on.  What’s wrong with us? Haha.  Well, at one point some guy jumped out and people were freaked out and screamed, jumping back, knocking into poooor poor Suyin and making her fall on her but. Haha~

Delicious chocolate sandwich ice cream thingy!! I got it at a restaurant called Chocolate Soup. Which means, you know its going to be filled with chocolatey goodness!

Delicious chocolate sandwich ice cream thingy!! I got it at a restaurant called 'Chocolate Soup'. Which means, you know it's going to be filled with chocolatey goodness!

After our scary Friday night, we went to a place called Chocolate Soup, which serves basically everything chocolate. It was AMAZING.  So chocolatey and I felt sick afterwards, but it was worth it!  I definitely recommend people go to ‘Chocolate Soup’ because it is absolutely amaaazing!

Saturday was one of the most exciting days.  We took a 12 hour trip to Loch Ness and the Highlands.  The pictures I took don’t even begin to show how beautiful it was.  My pictures make it look more gloomy and grey than it really was.  The greens and such were so vibrant in person and it was truly amazing.  I’ve never seen a place so beautiful before.  Our tour guide was also pretty rocking and hysterical.  His name was Kenny and he works for Haggis Tours/Adventures/whatever. (See Kenny, I’m giving you a plug if you ever see this!)  He was full of information and wasn’t boring with explaining things, which was great.

We saw so many things.  The highlands, Hamish (hairy coo/cow), castles, Lochs, etc~  It was allll so entertaining.  I even got a phonestrap here (though not my last one haha) of Hamish, and it’s cute!  Here’s a picture of Hamish for you as well.  Isn’t he cute with his emo cow bangs?



It was definitely a fun trip.  I especially liked the castle ruins for some reason, probably because it was like a little playground haha.  I felt like I was five.  The ruins were right off the coast of Loch Ness, which was hard to enjoy when we were on the boat because it was so windy and cold.  Couldn’t look for Nessie while shivering to death! Haha~  The ride home was also informative but many people were starting to crash, myself included.  I remember waking up to this song called “Business Time” and well… “If I have the socks on, you know it’s business time.  These are business socks.”  Rofl, or something like that.  It was a ridiculous song.  And I totally didn’t know Snow Patrol was Scottish either!

Later that night Suyin and I went to explore by ourselves and we got delicious MUFFINS and matching phone straps and other lame things.  But, dude I love my new phone straps.  I actually bought 2 of them.  One is Vanrogh bear and another is the orange Beijing Olympics mascot, Yingying.  Both of them light up when someone calls or if you get a text message (or if you shake them around a lot rofl).  So I came to Scotland with 0 phonestraps and I’m leaving with 3, what’s wrong with me? Lol.

On Sunday we went to Edinburgh castle which was super pretty and fun.  I kind of want to live there and it’s weird, I felt like I had been there before.  But, it seemed like more of a military-type base than royal-ness.  Like there were more things shown about about the knights and guards and all that stuff there.  Really nice though.  I don’t know, something about it felt eerie, but I still really liked being there.  It was really nice and beautiful. My camera died shortly after. 😦

Later that night I met with my friend Russell and we hung out and didn’t really do anything haha.  Basically just talked and wandered around.  It was fine though~  I like doing that kind of thing haha.  The worst part though was definitely how ridiuclously windy and cold it was.  It made it hard to do anything and you kind of wanted to stay put, you know?

Aaand on Monday night we went came back home to Swedenland!

I realized I didn’t talk about our hostel-mates(?).  The first night there we had a Canadian roomie and an Indian roomie.  Both were really nice, and we met them randomly at Whiski (a pub place, that has yummy french fries I might add!) one night which led to amusing conversations haha~  Those were the only ones really talked to, but we also had some frenchies for a night, some guys from New Zealand one night, and the last night we had a couple from Korea and some creepster from Oxford that tried to give Jenny some bible versus that Lisa threw away. Rofl.

Yesterday was eventful, to say the least.  The day started for me at 6am because I had a politics exam in some unknown building.  So, I rode the bus there because it was so cold and rainy.  Unfortunately it started off pretty bad.  I got on bus 2 (Flogsta bus) and had to catch bus 14 at Stadhuset which would take me to Gimogatan, where the exam was.  Well, as we’re pulling up the the Stadhuset, I see bus 14 already at the bus stop.  I probably would have made it if we didn’t get stuck at a traffic light, because by the time I got from the bus stop to the other bus stop, the bus was already gone.  So, I had to wait like 15 minutes, it’s good that I planned to arrive 30 minutes before my exam, which ended up being only 10 or so minutes in the long run because of bus drama.

So, the exams are set up really strange here.  You’re in this huge room with people from all sorts of classes, and not just politics.  At Purdue the only large room exam I had was in Elliot for exams like math where multiple math classes were there.  Here there were some math students and other kinds, at least this is what I think because they had calculators and stuff.  You’re lined up vertically with this huge table to yourself, yes table, not desk.  So for example, everyone in my class was in front of me, which I think is a good idea, you can’t cheat off of someone who is directly in front of you, I don’t know why we don’t do something like that at Purdue.

You’re also allowed to bring food and drinks with you.  Almost every student had some form of food or drink, lots of people with energy drinks like red bull and all.  I didn’t bring anything, because I just wanted to write my exam and get out.  So, the only thing I brought to my table was my pencil and ear plugs.  I can’t take an exam without them because just someone sniffling or coughing would throw me off, let alone here where you could probably hear people popping cans and opening sandwiches, etc etc…

Hannah was the first in my class to finish, and technically I was 2nd.  The exam started at 8 and I got done at 10:10 (exam lasted until 11) but I didn’t know what to do so I got up after Jon left so I could see the process of turning in exams and crap haha, that was about 5~10 minutes later.  The exam was so long though.  I had to answer 3 out of 5 questions and the first questions took me 4 pages to write, the 2nd took me one and a half and the 3rd took me two. Inteeense~

After the exam I sat out in the waiting room with Suyin and we waited for Per to finish and talked with others from our class about it.  General consensus was annoyance that the “exam topics” that were written on the site weren’t mentioned really at all in the exam, good thing I studied extra haha.

After the exam from hell, so much stress from that, Per and I went to the book store to get our “Latino Reader” for our next class while Suyin went into town I think to get more stuff for her costume.  We all eventually met up and yeah, hung out for a bit aaand then Per left us to go back to Stockholm.  He said he might come back for the party thingy, but he didn’t and I don’t blame him.  Yesterday was SO cold and it was sooo windy and rainy and just no good!

After we split Suyin and I went to Ekonomikum where I had to go talk with the communications guy and get registered for spring courses. We had a little dilemma because apparently for fall I’m only registered for one class?  How does that work?  I’ll e-mail them and find out, it doesn’t make sense though because for my 2 classes other than the one I was registered for, I was on their attendance sheet, so I’m obviously in the system somewhere. Sooo yeah~  This new guy wants me to send him my transcript from Purdue to make sure I’ve had communication classes before (obviously have) and also my acceptance letter to Uppsala.  I don’t really understand why, but okay.

After that I came back to my room and ate some lunch, had nice shower times, and just lounged around a bit before leaving for the party later.  A guy woke me up the day before coming into my room to begin painting.  Well my bathroom didn’t really need painted in my opinion, so he was there at like 7 or 8 something that day in the morning and said he’d be back later that day, and never did, and thus my bathroom was a disaster. But! He came back yesterday while I was examing and stuff and so my bathroom is nice and painted, though he still left it a disaster my curtain was down and just…I dunno I was annoyed.  I’m not exactly tall so it was a bit of a task to hang up my curtain AGAIN after he took it down. -_-;  And the paint fumes are awful, but hopefully they’ll go away soon.

Next is the treat part of the night!  Halloween party~!

I went over to Lisa and Peter’s at  around 6:40ish and got ready there along with Suyin and Sailormoon (I’m sorry I’m so bad at remembering new names, but that’s who she went as! It amused me!)  Then we were off to the clubhouse thingy and yes!

Jenny and Me @ Halloween Shindig~

Jenny and Me @ Halloween Shindig~

It was a lot of fun~  Mucho dancing and amusing costumes!  I don’t think I’ve even really gone to a Halloween thingy back in the states as big as this, and Swedes don’t even really “do” Halloween, but they were the ones who hosted this party, so I was amused to say the least.  Yummy chocolate brownies and other desserts.  So yummy!

There were also these disgusting shot things.  I did try one because Peter, Josefin, etc.. insisted.  It was awful.  They said it was made with pumpkin stuff, but it tasted more like vomit.  I didn’t taste alcohol at all, only nasty mushed not-pumpkin stuff. It is quite possibly the worst thing I have ever tasted.  I kept feeling it want to come up so I had to go yoink a chocolate brownie ASAP.  I don’t know how Julia, Peter and Josefin did them more than once.  Especially Peter, I don’t know how many he did, but they were so nasty.  I think he secretly liked them.

There was also much dancing to “Time Warp” from Rocky Horror Picture Show, which I’ve never seen, but you can bet that I know that song and dance now!  We also played musical chairs to a spice girls song which was entertaining, I lost.  It was sad. Haha~

But yes, generally fun and chaotic.  I started to crash by the end though due to lack of sleep. But, apparently not enough for me to just go home after the party ended.

I went to Lisa and Peter’s and we played some Smash Bros. Melee and Mario Kart.  I was definitely not on my game again, but I still kinda sorta rocked Melee, but man where have my Mario Kart skills gone?  Not fair!

It also apparently snowed yesterday as well, I saw snow in the grass but I only saw rain fall yesterday, so I won’t count that as the first snow until I see it falling from the sky.  But yes, I walked home in the freezing darkness, but those legging-things were actually pretty warm!  Aaand yes almost as soon as I got home I talked to people online a bit, but generally crashed in bed.

The end!