sweden


I want to write a bit about Lisa and Peter’s wedding…it was beautiful albeit a little cold and sprinkly. But, I’m seriously lacking energy these days. It was an adventure in and of itself really. Suyin and I took the train together from Stockholm to Skövde and then had to get on a bus and take it to Axvall where Lisa and Peter live. Well, Lisa gave Suyin a map…so we didn’t think there’d be any problems getting to our hostel and her house, but we were wrong. They were doing construction and we walked all over the place (quite literally) trying to find out hostel which was 300m from Skara Sommarland which I think is an amusement/water park…kind of like the old Wyndot Lake in Ohio.  Well, later on after hours of walking Suyin called Jenny and Josefin and we managed to find the hostel in the woods (where I said to go in the first place, Suyin!! >>) so all was well.

But, then we had to walk aaall the way back to the construction area and cross over to find Lisa’s house. We did! Yaaay~ The wedding was really nice and amusing. Peter’s brother was exceptionally nice and really cool and stuff, especially for not having met him before. 😀 Aaand yep! We played gaaames and ate fooood and it was really fun. There was a game that we played and it was all done in swedish, asking questions about Lisa and Peter, and you’d put the numbers down and if you had the # closest to the winning number you would win. Well, I won one! And my “prize” was to take Lisa and Peter somewhere for fika. So! If (when!) they visit me in the states, I’ll be sure to do that~!

After the wedding we all walked back in the dark back to the hostel~ It was FREEZING in there and I think Suyin and I both caught small colds unforunately. So, the next morning we went to catch the bus back to the train station, it felt like we were waiting there forever…and Suyin accidently flug her gum on the glass. Gross~ haha. Aaand then after that we basically went home on the 14th.

On the 15th, Suyin came and picked me up to take me to the airport. My bags were SO heavy. 😦 So, that night I just hung out at the airport in SkyCity, which is a hotel literally IN terminal 5. It’s really nice and really convenient~ 😀

The 16th, Per came to the airport and so did Suyin, as she was going to Malaysia to meet her family and all for about a month. We talked and hung out for a few hours until I had to go through security and get on my plane home. 😦 I didn’t really cry when I left them, my eyes watered a bit but that was all. But, once I boarded the plane I couldn’t help crying a bit. I mean, I’m leaving behind several of my BEST friends. At least I know I’ll see many of them again, some much sooner than later. 🙂 Which makes me exceptionally happy when I think about it.

I took Delta back, unfortunately the movies were broken! The same thing happened on the SAS plane on my way TO Sweden…so ridiuclous. It really sucks when you can’t just watch some movies and pass time. The SAS flight TO Sweden was really nice because IF the movies and stuff worked you could watch them on the back of your seat, however the delta plane on the way back to the states just had the generic ones everyone had to watch…but it didn’t matter because they were BROKEN. So, I just did crosswords for 10 hours on my way to Atlanta.

When I flew into Atlanta…you can literally SEE the smog. The sky was yellow and hazy. It was a bit disgusting to be honest. I mean maybe it was just hazy, but the yellowness makes me think it was smog. When I got off the plane it felt like the air was squeezing me to death. The humidity and heat was insane. I think the AC was broken in that terminal as well.

I was concerned how the re-checking of your international baggage was going to be. I couldn’t remember how we did it flying home from Germany in 2005, but everything was very straightforward and easy. Just follow the signs~ Some of the people in that area were exceptionally rude though. Like they were talking down to everyone coming in, as if they were complete idiots and just…very condescending. However, the workers upstairs and by the terminal trams were really nice and helpful!

After about an hour I got on my flight to Columbus. I got in around 8~8:15pm…or 2~2:15am swedentime, so I wasn’t completely with it. But the first people I saw were my mom, John and Ashley which was nice. 🙂 Later as we walked along i bumped into my dad who almost walked past me because he didn’t recognize me 😦 Lol. Annnd it was amusing, cause he kept crying and I never know what to do in those situations. Aaand my aunt and uncle showed up as well and cried, which I thought was strange, but nice considering I only see them maybe once or twice a year anyway… I never know what to do when people start crying and I’m not! Megan and Kelly came with baby Trinity as well which was nice. We drove back to my house and people stayed for a bit aaand eventually I crashed.

Now it’s the 19th so I’ve been home about 3 days now and it’s kind of strange. Everything feels weird, so I looked at Purdue’s study abroad page and I seem to be going through some kind of reverse culture shock. Here’s the list provided, and I’ll bold things that apply to me, some others do as well… but Ill just bold the ones that are REALLY there.

  • Impression that you can’t fully explain your experience or its importance
  • Realization that others do not want to hear very much about your adventures
  • Sensation of being “out of place” despite being home
  • Boredom with being home
  • Experiencing “reverse homesickness” for the place where you studied abroad
  • Seeing that relationships with family and friends have changed
  • Feeling that others misunderstand your growth, or see the “wrong” changes in you
  • Assessing your home in a way that is judgmental or overly critical
  • Feeling that your experience abroad is lost or cut off from the rest of your life

Last night I actually went shopping with my mom. And guess where I ended up. I ended up at H&M where I saw several clothes that were the same as the ones in Sweden. It’s funny because I got watery eyed when I saw some just because of some goofy mishaps with them that I remember having. For examle, there was this green shirt that I tried on in Sweden…and it fit weird and definitely needed something under it, but while I was wearing it the power went off in H&M and I was in the dressing room…and I came out and no one else was there except some workers looking for people left behind…the others already fled upstair. How they did it that fast I don’t know…but yeah. It was weird…I also saw my red pants I bought in Sweden and I actually ended up buying a pair of the same kind but a maroon color. Next thing I know I’ll be driving down to Cincinnati to go to IKEA because I miss Sweden. We also spent a few hours looking for bread and mackrel in tomato sauce…stuff I ate in Sweden and stuff we just DON’T have here. I bought regular mackrel in water and bought some of Hunt’s tomato sauce. I’ll just make my own! What do you think about that? 😛

And now I’m back in the states. I’ll have my welcome back party at Homestead this Sunday and then I’m off to LA with friends and I’ll be moving houses as well. There’s so much stuff going on that maybe it’ll take my mind off of being “home”-sick. I really feel like half of me is in Sweden…and I’m having extreme difficulty in 1.) expressing myself clearly…just with language. My English and thought process is so…bogged down for some reason. 2.) Expressing myself to others. I met Steph (one of my best friends) and it was a little awkward talking to her the first few minutes…I’m not sure why.  Aaand then there’s other little things as well.

I’m actually driving to the airport later today to pick up my friend Jim. I hope I don’t get weird there… I’m surprised I’ll be there again so soon. Hmm…

It’s weird not being able to go bug Sanna in the kitchen, or call Per and Suyin to hang out, or whine to Jonatan about moving to Katorsgatan. It still feels like I just got to Sweden, it’s strange already being back in the states. I’ll keep trying to adjust to “home” now.

On a positive note, I had mac & cheese last night!!! I’ve been craving that for months, yummm~~

On Saturday we had Lisa’s bachelorette party~ Jenny, Josefin, Sofia, myself and of course Lisa were there~  Also featured were “balloon” people of Suyin and Lisa’s friend’s Mika and Alex.

It started off with all of us (sans Lisa) meeting at Jenny’s place and preparing food, balloons and drinks for the day. After all was prepared we went to the forest and set up, Jenny and Josefin went back to get Lisa while Sofia and I stayed put and set up the giant Ludo board, the balloons and our general area up on a little mound in the forest free of pinecones. Soon after Jenny and Josefin came back with a blindfolded Lisa all decked out in a princess tiara, an obnoxious purple flower on her arm and a shirt that said “Future Mrs. Frisell” in Swedish. Lunch consisted of crackers, cheese, strawberries, and sparkling…something or other…which was also used to make Jenny’s lime drink. Dangerous! After awhile we played Ludo…which took quite sometime and Lisa was the victor! We were exceptionally lucky with how nice it was, though a bit too hot outside. I never thought I would say 75ish degrees was ridiculously hot. It wasn’t even humid! Shows how much I’ve changed in that regard.

After that we packed up and went to Jenny’s for some chocolate fondu fun!! Which was delicious as you can imagine, come on…chocolaaaate~~ We cleaned up a bit and even did face masks aaaand then got ready to go out to dinner~ The face mask was fun for me because I haven’t done it before and it was the peel-off face mask…which was fun…because peeling off your face is always fun!

We then all went to the greek restaurant down by the river. I’ve never been there before but I’ve wanted to see what it looked like ever since I got here. I did’t even realize it was a greek restaurant until that day. The food was really good albeit expensive,  but you get what you paid for…the plates were HUGE and I couldn’t finish it all. But the most exciting thing about dinner was the random drunk guys having a bachelor party. They eventually came over and started talking to Lisa and such, probably because we kept looking because the bachelor was in this all sweatpants fabriced red jumpsuit. I wish I would have gotten a picture. So, they rambled in Swedish and I could pick up things here and there…which was amusing. They wanted us to go to some club with them later, but they didn’t realize how old we were I think and they were a bit…old lol. But, one of the guys asked where we were all from, I was last and I was the only one not from Sweden. So the guy kept going, “USA? Oh! I’m going to take your picture! You’re from USA!” Sooo he backed up and randomly took my picture which was…strange? lmao. I bet he woke up the next morning like “Why do I have this picture of this random girl?” But anyway, he then had a Swenglish conversation with me about Minnesota, because lets face it…where did all the past Swedes immigrate to? Minnesota. Lmao. So, he kept asking me questions about it and Im like Iiii don’t know.  I’ve never been to Minnesota. I just know lots of Swedes immigrated there, they speak amusing aaaand the golden gophers are there. Haha. That’s about the extent of my Minnesota knowledge. The goofy guys eventually left and we finished our dinners~

After that we went to the club at Saluhallen which was fun aside for some…strange people rofl. We danced a bit and stayed there until about 1:30am before going back to Jenny’s. I ended up getting back home around 3:30~4am. It was nice to be able to walk back and not worry about the dark. The sun by that time was how it generally looks around 8~9am. It’s ridiculous~

I can’t believe I only have 16 days left here. I feel like I need to do a lot within those days…like pack. Haha~ But seriously, it’s gone by so fast and I’m not really sure if I’m ready to leave. I’m ready to see my friends and family back home…but this feels like home now. Hmm~

Spring basically is non-existant it goes straight from winter to summer.  I went to Stockholm with Per this past Saturday and we hung out a bit. It was probably the best day in Stockholm since I’ve been here. Well, out of the times I went. It was dare I say HOT…but I’m pretty sure the temperature when I left said 59 fahrenheit. Since when has 59F ever been hot? Well, hot enough for us to buy yummy lemon sorbet ❤ I haven’t tasted lemon “italian ice” in foreeever. (III- Talian Perface, haha~) It was sooo nice and it was nice to just walk around. We kind of wanted to go to the amusement park but couldn’t. 😦 It was funny, they have a unicorn ride which reminded me of Charlie the unicorn haha~

But anyway, this post was just to state how unbelievably nice the weather was~!  Later that night we went back and I watched Eurovision, because I can’t be in Europe and NOT watch it. But seriously? Norway won? It should have been Iceland, she was really good!

I’ll be heading to Stockholm again on…possibly Friday to hang out..though not with Per, since he’s going to Scotland! This time it will be with Sevfriend and maybe others, dunno yet~

Well, a lot actually has happened since I last wrote, I’ve just been too lazy to actually write.  I’m basically done with my classes now, as I dropped my final one because it was just…ridiuclous. Masters work for an undergraduate ELECTIVE? No thanks.

So, earlier this week I stayed at Vanessa’s house in Stockholm and we worked out our final paper for “Image, Identity & New Media”. I’m really pleased with how it turned out! If we get anything less than an A I’m going to be super upset.  But, it wasn’t all work and no play…well it kind of was but haha.  Anyway, we went to the park with her son and it was actually a lot of fun. He’s opened up to me a lot compared to a week or so ago when I went to visit her. So, while Vanessa talked with her friend I just took Oscar around to see some of the animals. He’s really a well-behaved kid and quite amusing haha. But, a strange thing about Sweden is that they have a petting zoo at the park and anyone can go! No paying to go pet and see the chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats, etc. It’s strange~! But, so nice. Another thing I noticed that there were lots of toys by a sandbox and no one seemed around so i was like, “Why would someone just leave their stuff?” and Vanessa told me that it’s community toys. Kids can play with them there but they leave them there at the end of the day. I know if those same toys were at a park at home they would be jacked that night.

Aaand now onto better stories! Last night was Valborg (April 30th) Find out more here. I’ve never seen so many people in one place in all my life, especially not in Uppsala. Basically Uppsala is infamous for being THE place to be for Valborg, so how lucky for me to live here? We planned on the 29th to get up at 8 for Champagne breakfast, which Sanna and I did but everyone else slept in or started making it to the kitchen around 8:30~9 which was fine. Even Jonatan came back from Katorsgatan to be there. Keke~ Fun.

After breakfast Sanna, Jonatan and I walked to ICA Maxi and Systembolaget to pick up some stuff for the day. I even bought a little blue blanket to sit on which by the end of the day was not such a good idea because the fuzzies got all over my shirt when I wrapped it around me at night because it was chilly. Cruel!

After that we headed to Ekonomikum Parken which was crowded something serious! There was hardly any place to get, so we picked one of the side areas which hadn’t been claimed yet~ We could still see grass there! Woohoo.  Sanna’s friend also showed up so we hung around there for awhile and drank a little. But, we were hungry by then as well, since it was around lunch time. Sooo all of us got out things and went to Pinocchio to pick up some pizza and kebab. On the way there though we passed a place that was selling balloons. Quite amusing little place, I had been wondering where everyone kept getting these random pegasus and ladybug balloons. So Sanna’s friend bought a blue elephant and off we went to Pinocchio.  After that we migrated with our food to Sanna’s friend’s friend’s apartment place(?) and sat outside and ate our food and just enjoyed the sun. It was surprisingly clear yesterday which made for a great day in my opinion! 😀

Theeen we eventually migrated to the river, which is where we should’ve gone all along! I love sitting by the river haha.

Unfortunately all of the stores and stuff are closed so we went from the river allll the way to the train station just to get coffee and use the restroom. It stinks that you have to pay to use restrooms SOMETIMES here, or that there aren’t just little places around to use them, especially on a day like this. The queues were heug. When we left Jonatan went to get some coffee and Sanna and I went back to the river, kind of sucks that I definitely could feel the blisters on the balls of my feet by then because of all the walking that day. But anyway, before we got to our spot at the river again, Jonatan somehow caught up with us. How he managed to go get coffee and still catch up with us is beyond me. Speed zombie is what we’ve decided. Speaking of which, that was definitely the convo of the day. I think Jonatan and I spent a good 10 mins during the whole day just on zombie talk. Haahaha~

Anyway we drank a bit more, chatted and even Suyin showed up! 😀 So after that we walked back to Flogsta and met with some corridormates and all that fun stuff. I noticed then that I had a lovely sunburn on my arms and since I was wearing half-sleeves it will be…attractive Im sure. Hopefully not too dark. Also got burnt a bit on my face, but whatever! So we all hung around until we were allll so tired that we had to go pass out in our beds.

Now I need to get Sanna to send me her pictures from the day so I can upload them too. 😀

Just popping in to say I never thought I would talk about facebook, blogs, LARPS, RPGs, World of Warcraft and some other things in a class.  Like seriously talk about them. It was definitely interesting and kept my attention haha~

I don’t know how I forgot to write about mine and Lisa’s birthday party! We had one on the 14th of March to celebrate both mine (March 2nd) and her (March 7th) birthdays!

It wasa lot of fun and basically a birthday party for 5 year olds, because we didn’t want to get old! Lisa and Suyin whipped up a lot of tastey things for fika, chokladbollar will forever be the best desserty food. Aaand Suyin’s mousse-chocolate-raspberry things looked like candles..it was amusing. So it was definitely random and Lisa’s friend Anna was there who reminds me so much of Renee…well by appearance anyway, not in personality. It was kind of creepy! Aaand Josefin, Jenny and Peter were also there. 😀 Jenny got me this annoying pink bird that I bothered everyone with aaand Lisa and Peter got me this adorable cute pink bear <333 Loved them~ So much pink!

We then proceeded to play childish games like pin the tail on the donkey, crazy dangerous chocolate game, and we had a fish pond later that evening as well.  Suyin actually used the Flip video camera my mom got me for Xmas to record some of the antics. Here’s part of pin the tail on the donkey and the dangerous chocolate game.

This game basically involved rolling dice. If you got a 6, then you had to put on a scarf, hat, mittens and use a fork and knife to cut out a piece of chocolate. But, you had to do this while everyone else rolled the dice as well. So, if someone else got a 6, you had to stop and hand over the item to them. This goes on until the chocolate is gone~

We watched Open Season 2, which I must say was quite hilarious! I was surprised, I didn’t watch the first one…but this one was amusing. I could see Hallie liking a movie kind of like that haha. In the evening we also played some Mario Kart and watched Melodifestivalen, which is basically the show which chooses Sweden’s contestant for Eurovision which begins in May. Eurovision is KIND OF like a full on Europe version of American Idol, except Eurovision has been around longer…I bet AI was stolen from it. Anyway, this really famous (I guess?) opera singer won by singing a french song. Very strange, considering she will be representing Sweden.  It was a really amusing show. Throughout it though we were being silly and talking, eating candy from the “fish pond”, throwing these balloons filled with flour that had faces on them.  Speaking of which, I exploded one of those on me. It was sad. SUPER SAD.

=> Some random antics during Melodifestivalen. 😀

And if you wanted to see the Eurovision contest winner go here:

Today I went over to Miriam’s and we had delicious home-made…well Miriam-made pancakes~! I’ve only had them with jam and whipped cream, but she made some veggie mixture for them and they were amazing~! It seemed very simple…so I think I’ll attempt to re-create the amazing pancaaakes~ I need to find out what kind of peas she used though, because they were the good kind that I like *-* No pea soup today though, but the pancakes were defnitely filling enough. We had some with raspberry jam at the end. Soooo good. I swear, I could live off of pancakes. When I get home I’m going to bring PANCAKES and fika as a verb with me. So friends, we shall fika and have pancakes on Thursdays!

Aside from this, I’ve done nothing else productive today.  Chatted a bit with Sanna, Fredrick and his friend Andrea in the kitchen. But other than that, it’s been pretty uneventful.  I’m ready for spring to come~ I walked home from Miriam’s place because it was “warm” (2 degrees haha…er…*googles* 35.6F) and mid-trip I remembered how cold it actually was because my ears and jaw started to hurt. Oh well, it was refreshing~ I can’t wait for spring!

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