Flying RyanAir 2006 December 20Posted by @jennyjenjen in Christmas Break, Helpful Hints, Transportation, Travel.
One of the great things about my plan to spend the year here in Sweden was that my family planned on meeting me in France to spend the holidays. Upon first consideration, it was a good idea considering I would be able to share some of my travels with my family. It would also make the entire year a little easier for me; I would see my family and have an escape from Sweden for a little while, but I would not suffer some extra detachment from home upon return from Colorado had I decided to just go home for the holidays.
Sometime in the fall, I booked my flights with RyanAir. Though it’s possible to get flights with RyanAir for only a few cents plus $25 or so in fees, I took a flight that cost roughly 1,000 SEK or about $130. That included my one-bag allowance for checked items.
I’d heard a lot about RyanAir in terms of it being somewhat of a flying cattle car. It was my first experience with RyanAir, so I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to the flight. It turned out that, yes, it felt a bit stuffy and crowded in the plane, but the flight experience itself was not too terrible. There was one pretty dreadful landing, but everyone was safe so no harm done. There were no free refreshments, but what usually comes free on a plane (chips, soda) were not terribly expensive.
Mail from home 2006 November 16Posted by @jennyjenjen in Helpful Hints, Home vs. Sweden.
One of the great joys of studying abroad is getting packages from home, and it manages to be somewhat pf an ambivalent thing; whereas one misses home quite a bit, it’s always nice to get a little bit of home while being away.
My aunt Jean has been sending me some cute cards, and I’ve really appreciated that. I’ve gotten once package from home before, too, which I sorely needed at the time; it included a few of my jackets! But it had been a little while since that last package, so I was looking forward to the next one.
I received a great package from home just the other day, and felt that it was momentous enough to document:
Here was the bad boy. Packages usually get left at Skolgatan, apparently, although I was originally told that packages not small enough to fit in mailboxes were taken to the ICA Väst just behind Sernanders väg. One takes the slip that gets left in the mailbox and takes it to the listed location. There’s a little barcode on it and they just scan it and get it all marked up in the system (or something like that). Since I never know how big or small the boxes that come to me are going to be, I usually take the bus to go pick them up. It seems to take ten days, regardless of what USPS says, to get here to Sweden.
I had an idea of most of what was going to be in the package, but the anticipation of opening something from home was enough to keep me excited.
The Halloween Blizzard 2006 November 16Posted by @jennyjenjen in American Holidays, Transportation, Weather.
It’s kind of a Colorado thing. Ya know, that Halloween brings the first snow.
But in Uppsala this year, Halloween also signaled the first snow, and a heck of a blizzard it was. The snow really didn’t build up until the day after, but the flakes were flying and it was feelin’ a little chilly out.
It was madness once the snow came. Busses were sliding all over the place and were constantly running late. Of course, nobody wanted to ride their bicycles nor did walking sound very appealing. The snow was blowing horizontally and visibility was ridiculously low. There were a lot of sirens that first day of snow!
Unfortunately, I didn’t take my own pictures of the first snow. I’m disappointed in myself because I’ve always enjoyed the first snow. I usually get tired of snow after a while (especially when there’s nothing you can do with it, that is, for example, we don’t have mountains here!), but the first snow is always amazing.
Here are some pictures that my friend Mike took:
It isn’t snowing right now and it hasn’t snowed significantly since, but it might soon. It’s been unseasonably warm (it’s 4° C at the moment), so I’m not sure when the rain will stop and the snow will begin – for real.
Season’s first snow in Uppsala 2006 November 1Posted by @jennyjenjen in Miscellaneous, Weather.
The first snow of the season began to fall yesterday, the last day of October. It was Halloween in the United States, and we were celebrating it anyhow.
As for the snow, I’ll take pictures tomorrow when it’s light out. I don’t know why, and it’s not like you don’t all know what snow looks like, but there is something neat about the first snow of the year.
And I carved a pumpkin last night! It was pretty neat. I’ll snap a picture of it, too. I named the pumpkin Harald, after King Harald III of Norway. What can I say? I’ve been reading a lot of history lately.
Anyhow, much to come quite soon! I’ve been rather busy, so I’ve got some catching up to do.
Corridor living: kitchen duties 2006 October 17Posted by @jennyjenjen in Corridor Living, Helpful Hints, Home vs. Sweden.
“Kitchen duties” is a nice way to put it. In my hall, we call it something else:
Yeah, I was Kitchen Bitch this week. It entailed putting away dishes that were on the drying rack, taking out trash and recycling, and mopping and sweeping the floor at the end of the week. It’s really not that strenuous work at all, but taking out the trash is really disgusting – you’re emptying what twelve people are leaving in the trash cans.
What I miss (part one) 2006 September 26Posted by @jennyjenjen in Food & Drink, Home vs. Sweden, I miss..., Miscellaneous.
Although I’m having a blast here and it’s a great time, I’d thought I’d write about a few things I miss quite a bit:
- Peanut butter. Sure, you can find it here in Sweden, but it’s kind of expensive for the rate at which I’d be using it. My mum says she’ll ship some to me.
- The mountains. Even the hills here are sorta weak. Though, I have to admit, there are some advantages to being at this lower altitude!
- Good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. I mean real rock ‘n’ roll. There’s really no such thing here. There are some great musicians, yeah, but it seems like there is no familiarity with “anything with a guitar.” Bergin and I were talking to a French student about music and he didn’t seem to get the fine lines between rock, folk, bluegrass, country, etc., and it’s pretty much because you can’t find too much of it on this particular side of the pond. It’s like it gets lost once it hits the UK. Of course the bigger acts are known here but it’s not necessarily the bigger acts who have the best rock. Anyways, there’s a good amount of hip hop and house at the clubs, plus some of the good 80’s stuff and decent pop, but it seems it’s either that side of the spectrum or really angsty metal music.
- Baseball and American football. Practically nobody around here would know what the heck I was talking about if I talked about blocked punt returns, infield singles, the seventh-inning stretch or rushing yards.
- Driving. It’s not so much being able to get somewhere by car, it’s driving itself. I’ve always loved driving and I am a pretty good driver at that. I think I would love highway driving here.