Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh man

So. First I must apologize for taking forever to post! But so many things have just been going on and you lose track of time sometimes. Anyhoo, prepare for a novel.

Well, the first week was great!! I went on a few pub crawls and met soooo many people that I felt immediately better. The first one was with a bunch of Swedes and the second one was with exchange students, many of which were Australians, go figure. I just wasn't expecting to meet them in Uppsala of all places. Yes there were a few Americans, and yes you can spot them a mile away. The accent carries. Haha... I also met a lively Frenchman who I swear sounded utterly British and if I had been drinking a bit more could have definitely fooled me. I did also meet an actual British person but she was a girl this time and very nice. And there were several Irish people. And one arrogant Canadian (if that's not an oxymoron then I don't know what is). She could pass for a snooty California Valley girl if she didn't go around saying "aboot" all the time while flat out denying that Canadians have any accent whatsoever. Don't get me started.

The Swedes I met were really great and at one point during the evening I found myself sandwiched in on a bench at a table in one of the many pubs while my seatmates proceeded to regale me with all the Swedish drinking songs they could possibly remember. When they ran out of those they moved on to Astrid Lindgren songs such as these. I knew those (finally) so I happily joined in while the rest of the non-pub crawlers glared sneakily at us :D When we started in on "Jag ser en hövdning" I knew for sure I was in Sweden. Sooooo good.

I finally got a bike about a week ago, which is an absolute necessity here. Apparently Uppsala is the most cycle-riding city in Sweden, and you can totally see why. I mean, there are rows and rows and rows of bikes locked up everywhere. The infrastructure for a cycle society actually exists for once. It is so cool! That is, when you're not pumping away up some hill, huffing and puffing. I suppose this is good for me. Americans need exercise right? I mean, if the 87-year-old lady can pass me on her bike then I had better be able to at least make it up that stupid hill every day. It's not even that steep. I'm definitely feeling that saddle though. I wonder how long it takes to adjust to, because I'm learning about muscles I didn't even know I had.

One big part of student life at Uppsala is being a part of the Nations. Membership is required to take your exams at the end of the semester so you have to pick one of them, but I ended up choosing V-Dala. They had a big free welcome dinner for the freshmen and they played traditional Dalarna music and showed off the different programs the nation has to offer. Plus they did skits and stuff, which is always slightly entertaining.

Anyway, the big Freshman Formal is tomorrow. It starts at 3pm and goes until 2am, and then I promised I'd go visit some family in Stockholm the next morning. That means I have to be up at 8am. What was I thinking... Well either way it's going to be a great night :) Everyone dresses up and you eat a three-course meal then dance the rest of the evening. And it's full of traditions and singing and drinking... I have really noticed that the young people here really do love to get wailing drunk. All the time. But don't worry, I certainly don't join in. I have heard one too many "so does anyone know how I got home last night?" and "man I totally crashed my bike last night while drunk driving home" stories to steer clear.

I also have become slightly addicted to Ikea and all the wonders it contains. My room looks like a page from their catalogue, except more sparce and less cute. Plus I can't get used to not having a trunk to haul all my purchases home in, so I always get stuck lugging those huge blue reusable bags on the bus and trying not to bump into too many strollers and old people on the way to my seat.

I do the same thing with groceries too. A few days ago I was at the really big supermarket a few kilometers away and ended up buying 4 bags worth of things. My bike only has a package holder and a little basket on the front! Luckily I had my friend with me and he graciously offered to take the other two on his bike. It was way too much to ride with though so we were forced to walk out laden bikes all the way back. Ugh. Never again. I am just used to a super sized lifestyle.

Okay, enough rambling. It is now after 2am my time and I always have stuff that needs doing. So tomorrow is also laundry day :P And errand day. And not-enough-sleep day. Ah well. That's what youth is for, right?

I will leave you with something that I am shamelessly obsessed with. I can't get enough of Alfons Åberg.

Puss och kram. God natt!!

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