Homesickness


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~~

So, I think I have to make my first adult decision that I haven’t really done before, or well, not this big anyway.  My grandpa was sent to the hospital about 2 weeks or so ago, having difficulty breathing.  Well, now it’s escalated to the doctors finding cancer in his chest.  Cancer that isn’t treatable via chemo.  So, yes mom said he may not make it by the time I get back.  She said my great grandpa had a similar cancer and that he was diagnosed in April and passed away in June.  To be honest, I think my grandpa would be happier.  His health has been crap since 1999 and there’s so much drama going on, I can see why he would want to quit.  But the selfish part of me just wants him to at least stay until June so I can see him.

So, I need to make the decision on whether or not to go home.  I know he would want me to stay and I know others think it’s better if I stay here.  But, I really don’t know what to do.  I don’t think I have the money and I don’t know what to do after the fact even if I do go.  Do I come back? Do I stay home?  If I go home and stay it would be more complicated on so many levels.  But, to be a dutiful grand-daughter I almost expect myself to go.

I think what I feel the worst about is how I acted right before I left.  Even though I had a feeling in my gut that I would be missing something once I return home.  Something told me inside that there was a high possibility that someone/thing would die.  I was thinking my dogs or Nanny, and Pappa came across my mind, but he was in fine health when I left.

He wanted to see me before I left and he told me to give him a call ahead of time so he could get ready and come whenever I decided to have my party.  Well the night before my party, I decided I was going to have it.  And I called him three times and he didn’t answer his phone, so I figured I’d call him the next day.  Well, on the day of my party he didn’t come because he hadn’t “gotten ready” and I was so upset because he said he’d be there before I left.  Well, the day or so before I was leaving, the day I was freaking out and packing; he called mom and made a comment like, “I guess I won’t see her before she goes.” and mom said we could stop over there.  And I said no, because he didn’t come to my party so he lost his chance.

And now I feel like the worst person ever.  That night have been the last time have the chance to see him.  I’ve talked to him since I’ve been here, but it’s just not the same…

Alright, so yesterday was definitely a down day.  I think I’ve learned over the years to just kind of smile and try to be happy when those days happen.  But, it really hurts and kind of sucks.

So, anyway I didn’t really want to go to the choir practice thingy.  But, I figured I probably should since I e-mailed Anna and said I would.  So, I went.  And I’m glad I did.  It was the better part of my day and everyone was so nice. Anna and another girl ( I can’t remember her naaame) kept translating stuff for me when the fake-conductor was talking. I guess their usual one is sick or something. So yeah. I’ve never read sheet music and sang along, aside from in Merritt’s class but that hardly counts because it was band, not choir.  But, it was fun. I think I’m getting the hang of it, and the girls kept praising me and being so nice, which made me feel really good.

Yesterday after class I also talked with Per for about an hour outside, mostly about football. Yes, the American kind.  That was pretty exciting, yet ridiculous.  I miss that about home.  Going to the football games, or at least watching them on TV. I actually listened to the OSU v. USC game on the radio here until like 4 in the morning, or whenever half time was, the other day. Then I figured I should probably go to bed.

So, plans this week are to get waffles with Miriam at OG on Tuesday aaand go shopping with Lisa on Friday. 🙂

I still wonder if I can keep this up for a whole year though…

With lots of stress comes a hint of homesickness. At home things are so much easier, not just from an ‘everything is in english’ standpoint, but just in general things feel easier. It didn’t help that Melissa and I were slightly getting on each others nerves earlier today that we just split up; though we may have found the reason to that later. So, at least that’s taken care of.

First I went to the orientation today at 1with Melissa and David, it was boring and rather pointless to be honest. I’m surprised they listed it as mandatory when we’ve already gone over much if not everything that was mentioned there.

We then went to Varmlands to get some brochures and info on student groups and nations. After that Melissa split off with some California kid she was talking to on the internet and I went off with Aleksandra (from Bulgaria) and Caitlin (from University of Illinois). We registered for banks, or I should say I did. For some reason if you’re here only a semester you cannot register for a bank account. At least not a checking account with a card. You may be able to at other banks but at Nordea you cannot do that. I registered at SweBank, and I was able to get my account and all that jazz set up because I’ll be here for a year. So, I’m going to wire or withdrawl money (whichever is cheaper) and put it into my Swedish bank account to pay the rent, that’s really all I’m going to use it for.

However, I need to figure out how to get my financial aid because MyPurdue is ridiculously confusing, and I can’t call and ask about it because long distance charges via phone are silly. So, my mom may have to take care of that from the state-side.

We also went and got bus passes, which will make a ride 15sek instead of 30sek, which is kind of expensive.  1 dollar is about 6.45 sek.  I thought it would be more complicated to get one, but it wasn’t thankfully.  I really need to get a bike, but the used ones are mostly bought up I believe.

So, anyway after that we went to the International Office and I turned in my pink Basic Swedish form. I’m excited to take that class, because I may not learn MUCH; but I at least won’t feel bad because I’ll be able to attempt at speaking the language. I feel so bad just going up to people and speaking English; especially older people because it appears that if you’re over the age of 30 you don’t really know any English, or if you do – you’re not willing to help out poor exchange students. Not that I blame the natives, it’s their country; I should be speaking the language. It just makes me feel bad and really frustrated that I can’t communicate to them well.

After that we went to Norrlands Nation and got burgers and fries. They were yummy, but Caitlin and I felt so ridiculous because we were trying to read the signs, and then our credit cards were being difficult, and then well…bad luck! But, in the end it came out okayish. We talked a bit and then decided to leave, and as I thought. We can’t go one day here without rain. So it was raining and I forgot my hoodie and my umbrella back at Flogsta. Well, okay it was more like “mist-raining” but regardless by the time I got back to Flogsta I was pretty soaked.

So from the bus stop to Flogsta, all less than 20 minutes I did two stupid things which made me feel like an idiot, so I just wanted to go back to my room; shower and be done with the day. So, I get back to my room and I think the Swedes all have some friends over, I don’t know, I just came back to my room. But anyway, earlier today Aleksandra said she saw some people with a shower head coming into my room when I was out to fix my shower. Well, I was expecting it to be fixed and expecting a nice shower. So I see that my shower curtain was moved so I’m all “Yay!” and then I go check…and NOTHING is fixed. It’s still super broken and the thing won’t go up on the pole and the back half is still broken off. I don’t know if they thought my complaint was just about me not getting water out of the pipe or what; because that wasn’t my complaint at all. I think the lady wrote “Shower Broken” in swedish on my complaint paper and I asked her to mention that it wasnt the water or anything that it was just the shower head not staying up on the pole, and she’s all “Nono, don’t worry about it. They’ll see what’s wrong and fix it.” Well, obviously not. So, that just angers me and continues to compliment my already sour mood.

I’m pretty tired so I figure I might as well write this up, talk to some people and head to bed early. I’d really like to bug Bear², but I think he’s out with friends and and stuff. So, yeah. Haha, he’s probably super annoyed with me bugging him, though he says he’s not. O’well~!

So, I think I’ll do some crosswords and get to bed.

I head off to Sweden tomorrow at around 1:30pm. Last night and tonight it feels as if I’ve gotten some pre-departure jitters. I didn’t want to write negative things in this blog, but I feel it only fair to give information to future travelers and to remind myself of how I felt when all of this is said and done.

I should be packing right now, but I keep getting myself sick and I don’t want to pack up anything. I think a lot of students are excited right away, and I have been for the past few months, but where as most kids feel homesick in the middle of the year, I feel it right when I leave and clearly before I leave. I know I had a meltdown of sorts for several days when I went to Purdue for the first time. Not knowing anyone, feeling like you’re alone, not having family, it’s a really stressful and lonely feeling. I know I’m over-thinking things a bit as well. Earlier this afternoon during the day I felt fine, I was talking with people currently living in Sweden and it seemed fun, but still a little scary. I don’t want to have a meltdown like I did my freshman year, but that’s what it feels like.

I’ve been crying on and off all night, giving myself second thoughts, and other negative things. I need to think positive and I don’t want my mom to see me cry. I’ll miss her the most and I think that’s what sucks. I’m trying hard not to cry and RJ has been talking with me a bit, but it’s not really making things feel better.

I get upset before I leave, but I know this is just homesickness and I will get better when I’m there. It will pass, I know this, but it doesn’t make the loneliness feel any better. Once I start meeting people, I think that’s when things will be okay.