Feet on the radiator

So I’m sitting by the window at midnight, my bare feet touching the radiator under the window. Romantic? Yeah, whatever. The first study week has drawn to an end. It’s been both exciting and boring, fulfilling and draining, encouraging and discouraging all at the same time.

On Tuesday, after talking like the whole Monday and Tuesday mostly in Swedish, the last class i had was English. I just can’t reproduce the weirdness of a feeling i had. Serious. I’ve never experienced anything like that – after being able to think in English and then, boom! I can’t find any suitable words. By the end of the class everything was back to normal, but I will never forget that afternoon! Ever.

Image:My RoomOn Wednesday… umm… no, I will better write about what happened on Thursday and Friday. Thursday was a normal school day. I had the hardest class since I started studying here, called “samhälskunskap”, which I think is translated as sociology. Maybe not. Anyway, it’s about society and how things are working in there. At least that’s the impression that I got. It was a double class of that. During the first one I did not understand at least 40 per cent of what the teacher, or rather the students, were saying – because of the teacher’s dialect, the speed with which everyone was talking and the topic we’re going to be discussing the whole semester (I’m not just a non-expert in sociology, I’m not even a beginner!).

Then (on Thursday) I had a Bible class, led by the school priest. There were just several of us. We read a story of the first miracle performed by Jesus – when He turned water into wine. After we’d read the story and meditated on it we had to try to imagine ourselves as one of the characters in the story and share with each other what we’ve come to. It was interesting, since I’d never done anything like that before and there were several things I’d never thought about when reading that passage in John’s gospel.

Friday was a day of almost no lunch for me, ’cause “there wasn’t just enough rice”. Ah, whatever. I ate a little chicken and knäckebröd and was full of that jazz for the following couple of hours. You think not having a proper lunch is extreme? 😉 Listen to this. Sofia, Kristina and I decided that Friday night should be spent more interestingly than just sitting around at home and so we got a lift from our Swedish/English teacher to Skövde, where the girls would shop and I would just hang around the town with them (I needed a little break). Anyway, when we were only about 5 km close to Skövde, the steam started coming out from under the hood and the temperature of the thermometer on the front panel rose like hell. So we stopped. Outside was as cold as in a worst freezer you can imagine. Or at least so it seemed.

Omitting the details of the whole thing taking two guys stopping by our car (one of them stopping twice) to help us, a couple of stressed girls and even more stressed teacher and my frozen knees and toes, I must say everything went pretty good. Now, not even knowing much about stylistic devices, it’s possible to come up with an idea that it was all pretty ironic, isn’t it. And by the way, next time you want to save money, think how much time you can lose doing that. Oh, and one more thing I learned today – there’s more to cars than color. Maybe my knowledge of cars will start with this revelation? Who knows?

Saturday. Tomorrow.. Need… Sleep!.. Now!!!

English and Swedish

On Sunday I got up late. It was the first full day in Sweden. At about 1pm, after breakfast (what am I telling you – I got up late!), Kristina, Lisa (a girl studying in the TRAC, i.e. tourism program) and I went downtown to the lake and a supermarket to get some food. Then when we came back we had our lunch at 4pm together with Frederick, a guy I am going to be in one group studying English and Swedish together. By the time evening creeped in, there were more people that came to the school. In the evening several of us watched a movie.

Image:KapellMonday was very exciting. The first day I got to meet several teachers, vice-rector of the school, etc. I think I am getting used to the school. Now I can actually remember where things are situated and so on.

OK, so at 8.00 we had breakfast. After breakfast, together with several other new students I had a meeting with the vice-rector, when he explained stuff around the school and such things. Then we had a little break and then we came in for the test in Swedish and English so it’s easier for them people there to figure out which group to put us in. (Btw, tonight I found out that in English I’m in the highest fourth group and in Swedish I’m in the highest third group, how bad-a** is that?) then came the lunch. Yeah, baby, yeah! I was so hungry I could have eaten everyone around, well, maybe not everyone…

After lunch I went to a lecture called “bokcirkel” where we talked about books. Basically it’s for those who read things and then discuss them. Pretty neat: peeps there talk as fast as Michael Schumacher driving, but it’s a good practice for me. Then I decided that it was time to go to Andreas, a guy responsible for the computers at the school, and get the monitor he promised I would be able to borrow. It was a matter of 10 minutes and the monitor was standing in my room! Then I had a class of Swedish as a foreign language. There were only six of us – a guy from Afghanistan, a girl from Iraq, a girl from Tanzania – all three of them living in Sweden now, and me and Kristina. The teacher was really nice and I think I will enjoy the class.

Tuesday will be the first full day of school. I’m excited to go to a class of Swedish language, two classes on religion and a class of English.

What? Pictures? Oh yes! They are coming soon.

The third train

So I left my dear homeland yesterday and this was the first full day in Sweden. And since I went to bed late last night, I got up at 10am this morning. But I will start from the beginning.

Yesterday when I was leaving the airport I had a strange feeling. I knew that I had to be sad that I was leaving, but I wasn’t, which, I think, can be explained by the fact that I was just exhausted mostly mentally by the fact that I was to leave everything that I was used to behind for five months. But the very fact that I had several people come and see me off at the airport reminded me that it’s going to be five months… FIVE MONTHS… that I’m going to be away from home and family and friends…

Image:KatrupWhen I got over that I was already high in the sky, my knees firmly sticking into the seat right in front of me. Because I had pre-supposed that we would be in the air much longer, I thought the flight was short. According to the ticket information, I had about 3h in Copenhagen before my train to Malmö. So I put my luggage on this cart and just wandered around the airport for 2h. Then I decided to go ask for a map of Malmö railway station at the ticket office, so I know where to go, because I would only have 15min in Malmö to change trains. After reminding me not to turn my back on the luggage, the lady told me that I could actually take any train going from Copen to Malmö regardless of what my ticket says. Feeling glad after finding out such news I rushed towards the next train and got into Malmö, having at least 45min on me to figure out which track my next train would depart from. Ironically, the train was to leave from the same platform my Copen train arrived at.

I went to a store called Pressbyrån to get a telephone card. When I entered the store and saw that they also have food there, I forgot about the card and (since I was starving) got myself a plastic bowl of salad, a sandwich and a bottle of water for at least four or five times as much as I would pay in Riga. Consuming the contents of the bowl, I was standing by the counter, watching different people. What surprised me was that the station looked more like a little market place with people not selling and buying, but wandering aimlessly. Somehow I got little homesick already…

The second train I was on (from Malmö till Nässjö) was a speedy X-2000 making at least 200km/h. I got a seat at a table by the aisle. It was more than a 2h ride and by the end of it Ifelt dizzy, partly because of the speed, partly because I was getting ill, partly because I was stressed that we might not be on time, before my third train. See, the gap between my second train arriving and third train departing was just 12min. But again, it was the same platform the third train was leaving to go from Nässjö till Skövde. It was scheduled to leave at 19:18, but it left 15min later, because of another train failing to come on time. Needless to say the seats in the Swedish trains are very comfortable, but it was in the third train that i felt UNcomfortable. No, we were on time alright, but I felt I was getting sick, my headache present and homesickness creeping up. I just held on to a keychain from home and felt lost and alone.

When I got to Skövde it was already very dark. The bus which I already had a ticket for took me to Hjo, where at 10pm I was met by Christina (a very pleasant lady working at school) who took me to school to drop off my stuff. I got myself couple of hamburgers and a coke and got introduced to Kristina, a girl from Daugavpils, who stayed for the second semester at school. We talked about school, Swedes, Latvia and studies into the night in Latvian, Russian, English and Swedish. We decided that the first time we meet we could afford speaking all four languages. Kristina was not the only one I met that evening. I got introduced to several Swedes, as well, which I thought nice and friendly.

Anyway, it was pleasant to actually get into my bed in my room. I think I might even have gotten a little excited about what is going to be happening with me for the next five months…

Guitar and girls

Today I found out that there will be a guitar that I will be able to use at my school in Sweden. The guy who has been keeping corresponding with me and helping me with stuff said I would be able to use his guitar there. I’m very excited. Guitar is something I can NOT live without. Alongside with the computer. And girls. What? Girls? What girls? I hear everyone asking.

Image:JewelYeah. Here’s the second piece of news for me today. I was told that there’s not gonna be anyone ELSE at school except Swedish students. Of course, it made me kinda sad. I began feeling lonely already here. But today I found out that there will indeed be someone OTHER than Swedes at school – a certain girl from Latvia who is staying there for another semester. In Dane Cook‘s words, How bad-a** is that? That is cool, man. Seriously though, the news brightened my dull day and set a ray of light into my otherwise bleak existence. I think being away from home for so long will not be as boring and as depressing as it could be after all. Oh, the only condition is that we should speak Swedish with each other. But come on! How hard is that?

P.S. Everything written above is meant literally with NO double or triple or quadruple thoughts and/or between-the-lines meanings whatsoever. Honest!

>:-]

Ticketless. Not!

I’m excited. I’ve booked the tickets for the plane.

Here’s how it happened. I typed www.airbaltic.com in the address bar in Firefox. Picked the dates and entered all info needed. They told me everything’s fine and that I can fly now. So I think I’m on the finish line right now. Or is it a start line? In any case, Swedenland, here I come!

Preparation

I have been busy writing different e-mails to the school, finding out stuff about the tickets. Anyway, I’m excited to go to Sweden. I will probably take my computer there. Not that the school doesn’t already have them. I just need mine… I don’t know how I would be able to live without it. It’s what gives me hope and confidence in tomorrow. It’s my hope and my life. It’s my all in all :S

Should I reconsider my beliefs? 😀

The land of surströmming

As it seems now from January to June I will be going to Sweden. Now I am preparing for the five study months there. Travel tickets to buy and figuring out stuff with Bachelor Paper writing are just two of the things that’s been keeping me busy lately and they and other stuff will be keeping me busy at least until the end of December.