Okay, it’s Thursday and I still don’t have internet.  However, after much drama I decided to plug my laptop into the adapter, hoping for the best.  Obviously, my laptop didn’t blow up and that’s always a good thing!

Day 1

So, I arrived here on Tuesday morning at about 7:35am swedish time, so 1:35am EST.  It was roughly a 12 hour trip overall from Columbus to Chicago to Stockholm. The day I left I felt a little better about the whole thing, than I did the night prior to.  I was still sad to be leaving home and I cried a little when I was going through security waving back to Mom, Dad, and John.  From then on, I just knew I had to straighten up and just do it.  I was going on this little adventure, and it was too late to back out now.  I figured if it was SOOO bad in Sweden that I could just leave in December after the first semester, right?

So, I got on the plane to Chicago and once I made it to Chicago O’Hare I didn’t really know where to go from there.  My ticket only told me my plane number, so I looked at the departures and it said I needed to be at gate M15.  Wherever that was.  So, I talked to one of the ladies and asked where I should go, she said I needed to follow this super long path and take a shuttle train (like Disney World!!) and take it to terminal 5.  I was currently in terminal 1, and there is apparently no terminal 4.  Weird.  So I walked along, following the signs, and I wanted to make sure she didn’t mess up so I talked to a cop who was pretty much awesome.  She was so nice and told me the way the lady told me would take me clear around the airport and back again, and that she knew a short cut.  So, this lady walked me from terminal 1 clear to the train station-mabob!  So I got on, and this couple from Chicago started talking to me and they were also really nice and cheered me on and talked to me on the tram until I got to terminal 5.  So, I got to terminal 5, went through a WEAK customs/security thing.  Went to the gate and called my mom for a bit, then I also called RJ because I said I would, and that was great.  I definitely felt a bit better after those calls.  My dad also called when I was talking to RJ so I switched over and got to talk to him for a bit as well. I talked on the phone the whole time I was at the gate, and I felt a little bad for having to cut RJ off because they had called me for seating.

So, I get on the plane, call mom again to tell her I’m on the plane.  At that time there were several empty seats, I had a window seat, and of course someone had to sit next to me.  It wasn’t a problem, but there was so much room on the plane. So I watched out the window after take-off and then he went to the bathroom or something and I switched to a seat in the middle aisle, because my shoulder was like aching because I was holding my arm because I didn’t want to accidentally hit him, so I figured I’d give him both seats.  So I comfortable sat in an aisle seat in the middle and that was nice and relatively spacious, though still uncomfortable.  They had TVs on the back of the chairs, which was awesome except they went on the PA to say that the games and movies weren’t working for something.  I was really looking forward to watching movies on the ridiculously long flight.  So, I did manage to get the games working so I played some battleship, but that got boring fast.  Mostly I just did some crosswords and listened to my iPod as I tried to sleep, which was pretty fruitless. Haha~

So, I got to Arlanda in Stockholm and it was amusing because I was the only person in like shorts.  Way to stick-out Nicole.  I yoinked my bag off the belt, and I didn’t realize how heavy it was.  By the time I got where I needed to be, the palms of my hands had blisters from pulling it, though I pushed it a lot of the time because it had 4 wheels.  I recommend everyone get a suitcase with 4 wheels, it’s so much easier to deal with.  So, I manage to wander around the bus terminal outside the airport for awhile, looking for a sign that said Uppsala.  I walked clear to the end, only to find out it was at terminal 13, which was at the very front.  How did I miss that?  So, anyway I got onto the bus and paid 100SEK, which I think is roughly around 20 dollars, maybe a little under.  The bus drove me to Uppsala, which is pretty close.  It’s kind of weird how much Sweden here looks like Ohio.  Though on the roads there are more buses and more what are those called…those things that my Nanny used to drive, and the kinds that a lot of Volvo’s are at home. Oh, and definitely more hills.  Like not huge hills, but enough.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I had a little issue getting onto the bus, because my suitcase was so heavy I couldn’t put it up the stairs.  The guy in the seat didn’t help me, I realize it’s not his job, but back home they wouldn’t just stare blankly at you, they’d help.  But, it’s not in the job description so…lol~  I managed to get it up there and there was a kid on there that I tried to ask for help, I could tell he wasn’t Swedish and he didn’t help either. So, I was tiffed about that, and ironically I’ve seen that kid walking around Uppsala like 3 or 4 times since I’ve been here. Anyway, I got off at central station, since I assumed that was…probably where I would need to switch buses at.  So, I got there really early at like 8-something.  I wandered around for a bit, knowing I had to check in at Flogsta building 10 to get my keys and such.  I was exhausted and so stressed out, I knew it wasn’t open but I didn’t know what to do for HOURS.  A nice swedish girl came out though and said I could go to a pizzaria and sit down there and wait.  So I made my way over to building 9, I think, and it looked closed, so I walked up this path and the guy working there or something said it was closed.  So, I was like: “Oh, well can I sit on these benches outside?” and he just is like, “No. This is my workspace.” so I’m like oookay. And I walk back to Heimstaden office and sit on a rock outside the building.

During all of this, I had been trying to call my mom for like several hours or something.  It wouldn’t go through so I feel myself starting to cry a bit, being so frustrated and tired.  But, luckily Mathia (sp?) showed up.  He’s from Italy.  He was SO nice and amusing and just well, awesome.  I had just seen him on the bus earlier on the ride to Flogsta, but we didn’t talk to each other there.  I got off at the right street, but he seemed to have missed the stop and got off a the next one.  So, he had gone to the store already down there and bought some bread and such.  He offered me some, and I probably would have taken some if my stomach wasn’t doing flips so much.  After awhile, another student saw us sitting outside Heimstaden in the grass and asked if we were exchange students, we said yes.  Thiiis kid was Hannes and he’s from Germany, doing physics and the like.  Both of them were really awesome.  We talked for a bit, and finally my mom called ME.  So, I got to talk to her.  Whenever I had tried calling the country code and stuff I would continue to get either no number or I would end up dialing some swedish numbers.  I think I called this poor swedish woman like 3 times.  I felt so bad haha.  But, yes after much ado and random back and forth calls, we found out we have to press +1 then the area code and the number.  It’s actually pretty simple, but yeah.  So, theeen Melissa came to our group on the grass.  I was on the phone with mom at the time and when she was coming over she heard me speaking, and I found out yesterday that she knew I was from America because I “didn’t have an accent” haha so she knew I was an exchange student basically.  She’s from California, and out of our group I obviously end up talking to her the most, because I think we can relate a bit more and we have relatively the same questions like, “What’s that in Fahrenheit?”  Theeen, Emma showed up, she’s from Australia and I absolutely love her accent.  I noticed I keep randomly speaking with that accent after a few minutes of being with her.  It’s really strange. Haha.  Theeen Genevieve came last.  She’s from Toronto and really amusing actually.  We all talked on the grass for several hours, waiting for Heimstaden to open.  The “office hours” are pretty ridiculous.  Especially with so many kids moving in.

So, we eventually got out keys at 1:30ish and we agreed to meet up again at Heimstaden at 2:30 to go for a walk.  We had intended on getting bikes, but we found out that there is a flea market behind the trains or something on Saturday selling cheap bikes.  Probably cheap stolen bikes, but whatever.  I’m not going to bother chucking out hundreds of dollars on a bike that may get stolen.  I’ve already heard 4 or 5 people say that they’ve had their bike stolen here, or parts of their bikes.  Ida (she’s on Melissa’s floor) yesterday even said that her pedal got stolen.  PEDAL, isn’t that insane?  Who would steal just one pedal? Honestly. So, anyway.  We all just kind of walked around a bit and went to this one shop.  Everyone got coffee, but I think Melissa and I got fruit smoothies.  She may have gotten something different I don’t know.  But, I know I’m not a coffee drinker really, sooo.  During that whole day, that’s the only thing I drank though.  We walked all around town and went to an office and picked up a box that Emma sent herself.  It was huge, so we split up there because Genevieve wanted to get a phone, and Mathia went with her.  Sooo, that left me, Melissa, Hannes, and Emma to head back to Flogsta.  We all agreed to meet the next day outside Heimstaden at 9am.

Later in the evening I believe we all met up again to go to the Domkykan (I keep wanting to say Dome Kirche) which is beautiful inside!  My days are getting slightly mixed so I guess this could have been done on Tuesday, but I think it was Wednesday.  But ANYWAY.  It was amazingly pretty inside and so massive!

After we checked that out and a few other buildings out we went to the International Office and got our welcome packages and Emma picked up some huge box she shipped herself.  It was ginormous and none of us wanted to walk back to Flogsta really at that time.  So, Hannes is so very nice and paid with his card for all of our bus fares.  Geneveive and Mattia went to get phones, the rest of us went back to Flogsta.

So, I went back to the dorm.  Oh! I forgot to mention earlier that when I got my keys and came up here the first time I met Jesper, one of the students on the floor.  He showed me around the kitchen when I got home this second time and even gave me a pair of clean sheets and a light blanket, or mebbe that’s a sheet too, I don’t know. Haha~ It was so nice of him, and he’s just a really nice guy.  So, yes. I came home this second time and called my mom and all.  We decided to try out the adapter and I was so scared to try anything.  So I tried to plug the snake (ok, it’s really a squid I guess) into the adapter and it made this HUGE pop.  Obviously not good.  So I do it again, mom insisted!  It made the pop again.  This time mom heard it, because the first time I tried, I was alone.  So we decided not to do that.  My phone ended up dying actually, and I had knocked out the power in my room and apparently Jonaten’s room too.  Lol.  At least I assume it was me.  So, when I go out there Jesper was already up on a chair trying to fix the fuse boxes here I guess.  Which look really strange.  So, I was all “Uhm, the power is out in my room and I was wondering– oh are you fixing the fuses now?” and he was like, “Your power is out? Good! Well, that’s not good..but it’s good to know which I need to fix!” I was amused, but I was easily amused so yes.  I went back to my room and the power eventually came back.  My phone had died, I missed my mom, I started to feel like crying again but it was only like 7 o’clock.  I wanted to stay up for the Flogstakriegt (Flogsta Scream), but I thought it best if I didn’t.  So, I did a crossword, did a race on Mario Kart on my DS and went to bed at around 8:45~9 o’clock.  I was drifting in and out of sleep when the screaming started, so that was…weird.  It got SO cold at night too.  I never wear socks to bed at home, but here I had to go and put some on.

-Day 2-

On Wednesday all of us that met at Heimstaden decided to meet each other at 9am and head to VG to the international students reception thingy where we got to sign up for the events that are going to be taking place for the week. I actually woke up at around 6 in the morning.  I told Jesper I was going to head to the store at like 7.  He said okay, but failed to tell me that the store doesn’t open until 8!  :<<<  So I came back, waited an hour, and then went back and got some bread for my peanut butter and there was a sale on toilet paper.  I don’t know if it was a goood sale but I got like 18 rolls for 59SEK?

It was so crowded and everyone was pushing and shoving to get into a “line” but usually people just walked or shoved in front of you to write their names down.  It took forever!

Instead of going on the practical tour we all decided to go wander around.  We went to this fika place and almost everyone got coffee, except Melissa and myself.  We ended up getting “juice” I didn’t know what kind of juice, but I like juice, so I figured I’d like it.  It turned out to be orange juice.  I need to start making my j’s sound like y’s though.  It reminds me of when I was talking to Peter and he kept saying “job” like “yob” well when I ordered juice from a different girl than Melissa did she kept giving me this funny look. And I just kinda kept saying, “You know. Juice.” and then the girl who got Melissa’s like said quietly to that girl “yuice” and she was all “OH! OKAY~~” haha.  It was really…interesting?

After that we went to the main square and this is where most of us split up at.  Melissa and I had only hard the juice and the fruit smoothie our whole time here so we figured we should get something to eat.  So, we all split off into 3 groups and Melissa and I went to the Kebab House which is like Swedish fast food…but not? Everyone has recommended kebabs to me so I figured I’d try them.  The meat tastes a lot like taco meat, not like Taco Bell taco meat, but the real kind you have to make and season.  It was really strange.  I had it ontop of rice, and it was a bit plain that way so I’m not sure I’ll get the rice kebab again.  I got water to drink, and water refills are FREE so that’s exciting~

Melissa and I also went to Ikea that day because we wanted some new stuff for our rooms.  I especially need it because I wasn’t really left behind anything too nice, whereas Melissa was.  So I picked up a pillow, a blanket, and covers for both.  They match the sheet Jesper gave me, sooo yeah everything is kind of reddish-orange.  Though, the curtains I got are very bright and colorful, I like them and I needed them.  Mostly because someone before me super taped the blinds strings to the top and Im not sure if they’re broken or not so Ill just leave them up and close the curtain when I go to bed and all that fun stuff.  I also got a trash can and uhm yeah.  Well actually I traded my black trashcan for Melissa’s red one. But anyway~

I decided not to go to bed so early this time cause I wanted to do the Flogstakriegt.  Well, it didn’t really matter because I missed it again because I was in the corridor talking and stuff with Jonaten and Emelie.  They were very nice.  I also met Texas who is a real character as well.  We were trying to decipher some british show that was on TV.  It was weird.  There was this girl like killing people and she had a doll..and yeah. I don’t know what it was.  There was also some documentary on Frank Lloyd Wright.  Why? Haha.

-Day 3-

On Thursday we all met up and went to VG to get some Fika.  Fika is…well it’s hard to explain.  It’s not just sitting down drinking coffee.  But, it’s like an experience.  You usually get cake or some delicious dessert-type-thingy aaand and well you talk with people…a lot.  Kind of a lot-lot.

Melissa and I got lunch again at the Kebab House, this time we shared a meal and got kebab on top of french fries.  It was DELICIOUS.  Like, I think I’d prefer kebab on my fries rather than ketchup.  And that says a lot considering I put ketchup on my ketchup.

There was also a BBQ this night.  Many exchange students went there.  First they were like “Here, eat some “traditional” Swedish food before you have a BBQ” so they gave us herring and meatballs.  The meatballs were okay, but the herring…Not so much.  If it were prepared differently I may have liked it, but it was prepared in a way that made it taste like pickles.  And we all know how much I hate pickles. But yeah, the hamburgers here were HUGE.  I don’t understand how people can say America food is huge.  This was like twice the size of a McDonald’s hamburger. Seriously. It was MASSIVE.

Sooo, later that night we all were going to go to Stockholms Nation for some…party thing I guess. So we went back to Flogsta to change really fast.  Aaand yeah.  I forgot my passport and temporary nation/student ID so I had to run back and get it.  Aaand by then the bus already passed.  I felt super bad, but it was okay so we walked a bit.  And then there was this section. This section that was prepared for me.  Here there are so many snails on the ground right?  Just the day before Melissa accidentally stepped on one; crushing it.  Well, everyone was slightly ahead except for me and Mattia, and I stopped a moment cause Mattia was tossing a snail into the grass so it wouldn’t get squashed.  Well he said, “Oh my god! There are so many here!!” so, of course I wanted to go see.  But, since I wasn’t used to wearing pants (I’ve been in shorts and now capris for months) I tripped and the shoe clipped the back of my jeans so I couldn’t catch myself and down I went.  Everyone kind of turned around and it was funny; but you know..not.  Mattia helped me up and that was nice, it kind of reminded me of the time at Purdue where I tripped up the stairs and then proceeded to slide down them.  Yeah, klutz.

So, anyway we made it to Stockholm Nations and I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t want to be apart of Stockholms nation.  Many of the people seemed very snooty, the music was all rap, and because we were late we had to pay 50SEK.  Which is RIDICULOUS.  I felt so stupid after I paid.  I should have turned around and went home.

So, after awhile Melissa and I decided that we wanted to head back, leaving the others at Stockholms. Well, we asked the guy at the entrance where the Flogsta bus stop was.  It was so dark by this point, he told us it stopped by Smalands.  Well, we didn’t have maps on us so, we never found Smalands.  We wandered around the city aimlessly for a good half hour and finally made it to Central Station where we found out Flogsta bus 2, was no longer running. LOLWUT.  So yeah, I read the spinny information thing and saw that one of the stops for bus 5 was at “Flogsta Vag 55” Well, that had Flogsta in it, right?  So it must be close.  So we got on that bus and it dropped us off infront of the ICA supermarket-thingy.  We were on the opposite side of the road as Flogsta.  But, luckily I had already been to the store there so I knew where I was. So, around and under the road into a tunnel we went, and then we walked uuup the hill to Flogsta.  Finally making it home.  Of course it was so late and past 10 by then that the doors to Flogsta were locked.  I couldn’t get inside, but I saw a guy just leave so I kind of semi-scream down the street, “EXCUSE ME! WHAT’S THE CODE FOR FLOGSTA 6!?” and he’s all, “Do you live there?” and I go, “Yeah!” and he says, “It’s the same as the corridor password!” and Im like, oh.  Of course. Why didn’t I try that first instead of screaming down the street like an idiot.

^— Oh.  Sometime earlier that day I think I got a phone as well. lol.

-Day 4-

I called Melissa this morning and her feet were aching so she didn’t come with me to make some uh…chocolate balls. Lol.  Okay, so I went to Varmlands Nation (Yes you love my lack of Umlauts in this entry)  and we were split up into 9 groups and we made these chocolate ball things.  They were a lot like no-bake cookies but with more sugar, hard powdered sugar on top, and of course; ball-like.

So, yes. I walked there by myself today.  And then I went to the Student Union to use the internet since I didn’t have any in my room; they had no messenger so it was lame.  After that I met up with Hannes in the Student Union randomly so we did the little Student Union quiz and like Question 4 was all about Chlamydia.  I was like, “Lol. What am I reading?” It was…lol. Awkward.

We then went upstairs where I met Ingrid; a Swedish-American.  She goes to a university in Florida and was super nice.  She gave me a code to use the internet in my room, so I’m forever grateful to her for that.  We all chatted a little and Ingrid, Hannes, Ayso (Another German, there are so many! Why didn’t I continue with German!?) and I went to the Domkykan to wait for Ingrid’s friends for some Fika.  Well, she got the time wrong so she went shopping and Hannes, Ayso, and myself went to the baaank and to Clas Ohlson (which is like…a small Best Buy I guess, no games or anything but other electronics).  After that we met up again and went to bakery type place and I had a chocolate muffin which I couldn’t finish because it was so HUGE.

We all then went to OG to meet up for the pub crawl. We all know I don’t drink, so I wasn’t exactly thrilled, but I wanted to see more of the nations and meet more people.  So, it started to downpour while we were waiting and no one opened up OG to let us get in and dry.  So, we eventually set off to V-Dala and to other nations.  At Varmlands, Melissa “Beer-pressured” me to drink this like Cider thing, since I hadn’t gotten anything to drink not even water. It’s not like beer, it’s more like smirnoff I guess?  I don’t know.  It was alright but it didn’t settle too well with me by the time we got to Norrlands.  It kinda felt like my stomach was hurting and I was getting light headed, so I sat outside for a bit and eventually it went away.  It’s not like the drink had much alcohol in it, but still.  I’m not used to it and I don’t intend on drinking much if at all here.  No good!!  But, to those who are okay with alcohol but don’t like bitterness, I think this red cider stuff you’ll probably like.  So, by the end we went to HG and talked a bit (13 nations, we went to almost all of them) and we were gonna go to the last one.  But it was so late, so Hannes and Juon (I have no idea how to spell this way of saying a Portuguese name…so we’re gonna spell it like it’s Japanese :D)  decided to leave the group who went to this I don’t know. Club?  It was outside though.  I don’t know what it was, but I was too under-dressed for that game.  Not to mention exhausted.  So yeah, we found a bus station which I paid for via my phone! I don’t know how it charges me but Juon insisted it was 10SEK cheaper, so I was like okaaaay.

So yeah, I came back to Flogsta.  Aaand here I am, trying to finish this up!

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