Wednesday, November 29, 2006

So, this is a start to sharing the places and routines of life here with the fam. Included is apicture of a typical swedish meatball, potatoe and onion meal, with my own touch, orange juice. Also me in my room studying, and a view of the church in the center of town at dusk about a quarter mile from where I live, and a political demonstation in the center of town. More to come soon!

wow.....a lot has happened

Well, where to start? Forst of all, I realize that there probably aren't many who remain perched on the edges of their seats awaiting to read a new post on a blog that never gets updated, so I appologize to friends and fam who might care. My computer crashed a while, back, but now I am again able to use it, so I will try to keep this thing up to date. A lot has happened. School here is very different, and as such, difficult. I don't know if it's just adjustement to new methods that takes time, or if the different structure is what makes it hard but 'll just say that it is NOT the breezey experience that so many people back home said study abroad programs are supposed to be. All in all though I think I'm getting comfortable with it, and the school itself is an inspiring place to study. The University has existed since 1477 (yes, older than my home country) and the architecture is beautiful. I have done some more traveling as well. I have been to Stockholm probably too many times now, Gothemberg, where I saw the world's only stuffed blue whale, and Even to Tallinn, Estonia. Estonia is for the most part, in the historic districts anyway, very beautiful. Other areas however are just reminders of why communism doesn't work, and there is, apparently, an amazing gap between social classes, but I stuck to the tourist route and didn't try to buy any drugs so all went well. I will let the accompanying photos speak for themselves. The stuffed whale kinda looks like Frankenstein, it's reinforced with rivets and sheet metal screws. The room with vaulted ceilings and lanterns is my university building, and the rest are of Estonia. Anyhow, these are the highlights for now, most of the rest of my time has been spent working in a student nation bar, studying, and drinking coffee with the locals. After all, when the sun sets at 3 pm, you have to stay awake somehow. I will write again soon with more juicy details about myself and work experiences. Stay tuned........hopefully there will be something to read again soon.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Unfortunately I got a very late start with this blogging process, and because I want it to serve primarily as a way of documenting my experiences and thoughts, I am going to try to provide some condensed pictures and thoughts in an attempt to get caught up. If there are any more specific questions about my travel before I arrived at University, I would love to communicate via e-mail. Here goes. I left Boulder and my job at the bike shop on the 4th of August. I flew to London, England where I met my traveling companion Ashley. Then we flew to Stockholm, Sweden and took a train to my hometown for the year, Uppsala. We left the majority of our luggage in our rooms and packed lightly for the next stage of my first adventure in Europe. We took the train back to Stockholm where, after missing trains, busses and all other modes of transportation, we ended up walking around looking at the city all night. We finally got on a bus to the airport very early the following morning. At the airport, I started to get tired. Eventually we boarded the plain and I think it was perhaps ten or fifteen minutes into the flight when I cease to have any memory of it. I passed out. This was a sleep the likes of which I have never had. Anyway I woke up three hours later when we arrived in Rome, still incredibly groggy. We proceeded through the city to find a hostel. Once we did, I slept like the dead, and I think without this long awaited nap I may very well have died before my traveling experience even began. Got to go to class, stay tuned for the next installment of pre-Uppsala adventures.

So this is my first post..........

This picture is representative of what I've been doing since I arrived here. Looking down, smiling, trying to remain calm and to maintain the illusion that I have some idea of what's going on around me. Sounds kinda grim, but it's not. It's fantastic. It's like starting all over again, like being an infant. I don't know anyone, I don't know their language yet, and I certainly don't know what any of the social norms are. So far I have been sort of blissfully only semi-aware of the reality that I'm here for an entire year! To be honest, it only recently hit me that I'm in Europe at all.