Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Party, The Godfather, and the U.N.

I have been wracking my brain for about two weeks trying to remember something about today's part of the story. It isn't important per say but it is hard to start a story about a party when I can't remember how I was invited to said party. Usually memories are lost during or after a party but not before, like hours before, without  alcohol or a head injury. Alas I am who I am and we will have to struggle along without knowing how I was invited or heard about the party.

We will have to then surmise that I in all likelihood bumped into the organizer of the party. This guy, we will call him The Godfather (I will explain in a second, don't worry I know the name is too good not to explain), had decided to "throw a party" on the second or third night there. Somehow I found out or bumped into The Godfather and he told me to come to the party. I asked my awesome friend Lluis if he was going, and he said "yes" and Wobbly Girl roomie was going to come too!

Of course Wobbly Girl and I spent about an hour trying to get ready and I was struggling with finding a perfect "European-party-but not too partyish-new me-I'm awesome-but not trying" outfit. It shouldn't have been hard but it was. Yes I know I am publicizing my awful habits but really they aren't changing and I don't think that wanting to look exactly how I feel is a bad thing. An outfit to suit the mood. That isn't too self-obsessed or girly right? Yeah... OK. I should really get an editor. And a life coach.

So FINALLY we were ready to meet Lluis and Legolas to go to the party. We were all that nervous-excited that makes you slightly awkward and do the breathy laugh. It was the first party of the semester the first party of our study abroad. As we all walked in, prepared for an epic night, we realized we couldn't physically walk in. The dorm room was packed tight with people and we all stared at the gigantic pile of shoes at the door (part of the difficulty of entering) then back up at this relatively bumping party.

"Heyyyyyy guys!" The Godfather shouts at us, "Come in, come in!! Isn't this great?"

I was seriously impressed and slightly astonished at the fact that this guy could round up roughly 30 international students in about 2 days on a foreign campus. I had to admire his skill. And then I had to climb over the pile of shoes, complete an acrobatic feat to navigate around the people, and try and not stand awkwardly in the middle of the crammed room.

To my great surprise I found I didn't have much time to be too awkward. I was introduced to or greeted by nearly everyone in the room within half an hour. Most people gave the two kisses on the cheek as a greeting and a few shook hands but mostly the kisses. Wobbly Girl and I (with whom I shared a slight social anxiety) smiled at each other, pleased that it wasn't as difficult as either of us expected. I met Germans, Spaniards, Italians, Russians, and one Mexican girl... there were more countries represented in that tiny dorm than the U.N. Alright fine I'm just kidding but you get my point. I had never met so many people, so quickly, from such a wide variety of countries and cultures. It sounds completely cliché I know but it is true and it was fascinating. And perfect. What I remember most clearly is how picturesque it all was; thirty students in their twenties from all over the world crammed into a tiny dorm room absolutely ready to experience life in the way we had always imaged it.

The room was full of our anticipation that was finally meeting the something it was so hoping for and everything was perfectly in its place.

P.S. Oh yeah, The Godfather.. I forgot to elaborate. If you didn't pick up on it already this guy knew everyone instantly. He could throw together a party on the second day in a foreign country and actually have people show up. Later you will discover the other reasons we called him that. I should put a disclaimer here that the other reasons never included harming anyone or any violent tendencies.. just to be clear.. 

P.P.S. I do realize that these last few posts are slightly out of order.. The coffee with hottie-tattoo-guy was after this party.. but I think the importance of events has stayed in its true order. Forgive me for being amazingly confusing. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Yeah I apologize for this..

Alright folks it is post day. And I am at a loss. I've been trying to think of the next story to add in and I'm stuck. But I also don't have any awesome stories to tell from current-day life either. Not unless you count my mother-in-law flashing her bra in a restaurant today. But there isn't much elaborating I can do on that. I mean, a bra flash is a bra flash. Right? Or..wait.. Regardless I think I am being a bit lazy as far as the story goes and I really want to do it justice. But I also don't want to skive off on my post-day duties. Can you imagine if I had some sort of book deal or real job with deadlines? I'd be so beyond screwed.

In light of that, this is what I will do--not that you all care to know but I think today I'll post about some cool shit I've found/been introduced to/discovered/joined in on the bandwagon.. Take it for what it is. Maybe you can discover some cool stuff too. I mean...everyone wants to join in right? I totally just typed and erased a really big BAZINGA on hipsters. But I thought, seeing as though I am not writing a legitimate post for today that I couldn't be too judgmental (AND I can't spell judgmental- furthur proof).

AAAANNNND on to the post-non-post cool stuff list:

1) Did you know that there is a PINTEREST for online stores? Yeah where all the pictures you click on have links to legitimate (well ok I haven't checked HOW legitimate they are but..) online stores where you can buy the awesome shit that you "pin"??? It is like having every cool boutique store you have ever seen all in one spot. True, I still can't afford to buy any of it but such is life. (P.S. Not all of the items are over-priced by any means, a lot of it is reasonable or even cheap; but we're skint so all non-need items are over-priced for us hehe) Find it here:

2) I am unabashedly (hell yes that is a was 50/50 for awhile there..) going to promote a good friend of mine from university. He is a quality guy who does GREAT music. He just released his new EP and you can buy it on iTunes for 2.97$. I am completely excited for him and what a great accomplishment it is! Way to go for it!
        Artist: Tudor Williams
        Album: Guilty Pleasures
And if you want a taste of his awesomeness just watch his music video:

If you can get this without laughing and enjoying it then I'm not sure we can be friends anymore.... Ok I'm kidding, I don't have enough readers to get choosy.

3) The other day my husband asked me if I was reverting back to my teenage years.. I asked what made him ask and he said, "Well honey.. you are posting on a music artist's webpage like a 15 year old fangirl..." Yes I got public about how much I like this next artist: Holly Henry. She is on the new season of "The Voice" and I saw her audition and had to look her up. Wow. Check her audition out:

But even better than this are her other covers.. She has a youtube channel ( or on soundcloud ( If you go to the soundcloud one and just press play you can listen to all her covers continuously..  It might be good office/working music but seeing as though I've never had a real office job I can't say for sure- you tell me.

4) // So an old friend of mine has started a blog about (so far) her 30 day vegan challenge that she is doing with her hubby. Let me be perfectly clear: I am not vegan nor do I need vegan recipes. My hubby and I are practically the opposite of vegan. BUT this blog is a great laugh and the author has told me that she gives out "vegan points" for just reading the blog--so it is an easy way to feel better about that cheeseburger you ate for lunch today. Allie is also a way more diligent blog poster than I am so while you are endlessly waiting for my posts check out hers! [yes, thank you, I do realize that I am a really bad publicist.] 

5) Yeah ok I can't even get up to five things..

In lieu of being extremely self-deprecating I will end the post here. I will do my best to post again this week with something from "The Story" to make up for this..well..whatever this is. I just wanted to let all you awesome people know I hadn't bailed (completely) on you this week. So now you know what's on my mind and I'll get you some more story this week.

Lots of love to all you people who keep coming back. You make me feel good. And P.S. HOW THE HECK DID I GET PAST 1,000 VIEWS!?!?!? I'm ridiculously excited about that, and grateful. Y'all are great people. I think.. [My bad publicist has told me I can't say you are all great because I don't actually know you. So the "I think" is just a disclaimer, not me doubting you. I swear]

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Wallet, A Serial-Killer Bus Stop, And A Friend

It was well into the first week in Sweden and I was feeling pretty good. I had a great new friend (hottie-tattoo-guy) that I was really excited to get to know. I had a cool roommate who was a little slice of home (she was from the other mitten state) and she even let me borrow clothes.

One day, after having settled in a bit, I decided to go to the mall that everyone was talking about. They said it was a little bit out of town on the number 1 bus. So I went to the central bus station in town and looked for the number one bus. And I got on the number one bus. Now is where you can smile and laugh because we all know how my "adventures" seem to go. Yes. I am giving you permission to laugh in anticipation of how awesomely lost I was about to get. Ok now stop, breathe, and let me continue damn it!

On this lovely fall day I had decided that I was going to go out on my own. I had heard several people talking about this mall and I thought instead of dragging Wobbly Girl roomie I would take an afternoon on my own. What was Study Abroad without a little personal adventure right?

So I get on the bus and stared  out of the window quite aware, waiting to see the mall, as we traveled through the town. And then we left the town. And then everything was thick forest. I don't know if you have ever been in the northern parts of the U.S. but that is how it was. Lots of pine trees standing close together. And I waited. And waited. And the trees grew thicker and the bus stops stopped looking like bus stops and began to look like places to pick up a serial killer.

After deciding that we weren't going to turn around and loop back into town I finally decided to ask the bus driver. His English was shotty and he told me to get off the bus and wait for the one going back the opposite direction. Twenty minutes or so. I was already an hour outside the town.

I got of the bus and it was already getting dark. It was about five pm after all.. I waited for the next bus. I got on and went to pay. And then I remembered. On the first bus I had taken out my wallet to see if I had any cash to get something to eat and/or my ticket home. And it stayed on that seat beside me in the first bus. So as I climbed the steps up to the bus I had the panic of being utterly lost, without a wallet, and awfully hungry.

In my panic I tried to explain to the bus driver that I left my wallet on the other bus. He was failing to comprehend (not his fault.. I mean..come on we were in bumblefucknowhere of Sweden and I was speaking English). And then this blonde angel came to the front of the bus and translated. She asked me what happened and I told her, desperately. After a minute discussing with the bus driver and a correspondence on his radio she told me to sit and we'd get the wallet at the next stop.

Milena (her name, which I would learn in a minute) was wearing at least three layers of clothes. The cotton tank top stood out beneath a simple sweater with a sequin-covered word and a leather jacket to top it off. She exuded confidence. Her unassuming manner and heroine-like act had me in awe. I sat on the opposite side of the bus, one row behind her. But it wasn't long before we were talking. I had to thank her.

To my utter surprise at the next stop we intercepted another bus and the driver of that bus stepped onto ours with my awful pink wallet. Not only was it my wallet but it had all my cash, IDs, credit cards... I was one lucky idiot. Let's take a moment here and think about this.Yep there it is, laugh now.

So I had my wallet back thanks to Milena and subsequently a new friend! Or anyway I hoped she would be a friend. I soon explained I was going to the university in the town and she said she was going there too. We talked a little more about where I was from and all the normal stuff. Then Milena explained that she was going to be staying in temporary housing on campus until they placed her in a dorm or apartment. I said "ABSOLUTELY NOT."

And in my wonderful way I invited a stranger (granted a savior of a stranger) into my flat (without asking Wobbly-Girl-Roommate) to stay until she got a place. It only ended up being a few days but they were epic days. Wine, beer, Jager-Bombs, clothes galore... it was a full-on girls flat. But letting her stay with us was not even close to enough of a repayment. I am pretty sure I am still in her debt. She saved me from serial killer bus stops and having to live in the wild of Sweden...

This wasn't even the first "little disaster" of my time in Sweden..but as with most of  my disastrous experiences the result was so weirdly beautiful that I couldn't argue with the price of the journey. I found my first (and only) Swedish friend who turned out to be so much more of a friend than I could have asked for.

This is after the lovely Milena made the life choice to go from blonde to brunette hehe

P.S. Yay for posting on post day!!! Thanks for continuing to read!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Non-Existent Compass, A Coffee, And A Home

I spent about twenty minutes looking from my class schedule to the campus map online. Where the HELL was my "Outdoor Sports" class supposed to meet? Due to the fact that some things about yourself can't be changed, though I was working on coming out as who I wanted to be, I still couldn't find the damn field we were supposed to meet in. I did not suddenly obtain an internal compass or ability to read a map. 

Let me be clear, I have never ever been good with directions. I can follow directions but reading a map tends to take me ages and ages. I have no internal compass that tells me general directions. If I got lost in the woods hiking, I'd definitely die and it would be at the furthest point from anywhere I should have been. When I walk out of a store in the mall I will ALWAYS turn back the way I came instead of continuing on to the new stores. I think I need to go left but instead I need to just pull a u-turn, go back three blocks, and turn left. It has taken me three years in Barcelona to be relatively capable of telling if I am heading towards the sea or the mountains. Yes. It is that bad. 

The location of my first class was an utter mystery and the new me couldn't overcome this obstacle. I wasn't surprised [and those of you who know me, shouldn't be surprised either]. Screw it all, I thought, I'm not going. I was going to embrace my disaster status.

I thought I'd eventually find someone who was supposed to be in the same class and go to the next one. Which never happened. Oh yes, I did meet people who were in that class. They said, "Where were you?? They were asking about you and wondered if you didn't finally come to the university." 

"Oh that??" I said almost incredulously, "I'm not going to bother. I couldn't find the class, and really, I don't want to do a sports class. I already had to take one at home and what's the point?!?!" I tried to sound cool, to sound like my internal nerd wasn't screaming about dropping a class, and for the most part I think I was convincing. 

I never found the class. I never went to a single one. And I don't regret it at all. Who cares if they went canoeing on the lake? Who cares about field hockey?!? I regretted it a little. Ok, more than a little, but not for long. It gave me a chance to go for a coffee with hottie-tattoo-guy. Totally worth it.

We talked about our significant others. We talked about how nice it was to have someone that we could hang out with and not worry about the other person's intentions. It was clear that we would enjoy being friends. I sipped on coffee, he had hot chocolate with whip cream, and we mulled in the glory of our similarities and how wonderful it would be to have someone that understood. 

I counted his earring studs, five. I was impressed with the badass status of his lip ring in the center of his bottom lip. I noticed a tongue piercing. It took awhile because his blue eyes smiled. When he talked, I heard him. I wanted to know who he was, I had to be his friend. I had to know.

We talked for over an hour. 

In my mind I knew there was this world. I painted pictures and I read stories and I created the world in which I was comfortable. The world in my mind was where it all made sense. Everything that eluded me about the real world came clear in the world of my mind. With each minute we spoke, he painted the colors of my world, he made it real. And I couldn't pull away, he made my world real and I never, ever, wanted to leave it.

I was home. I was home.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I'm not ditching you again.. I swear

Hey all, I just wanted to put a little post quickly. I currently have a nasty pinched nerve in my back/shoulder blade area. What this means is that it hurts no matter how I sit, lounge, lay, everything hurts. By everything I mean from the back of my head, down my neck, to my shoulder blade then a radiating ache throughout my arm and tingly fingers. This is why I haven't posted yet for this week. That and I'm currently taking muscle relaxers so writing isn't exactly...wise ;) hhahah I'll post as soon as sitting in my chair doesn't make me want to cry. 
LOVE- your inconsiderate blogger.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

An Asshole, A Glass of Wine, and An Epic Realization

Hey guys.. So I've been a complete asshole and negligent blog-writer. Sorry for that. Each week I am challenged with how to continue the story (which parts to include, how much, how little, etc. etc.) and sometimes I get really frustrated and just throw my hands up and say... "Screw this, I'll just pour myself another glass of wine." And then I neglect all of you wonderful people who take the time to stop by. I'm an asshole, please forgive me. I am working on my work ethic.. that doesn't sound like a good combo but I am trying to do this well.  My point is that I now have a glass of wine sitting next to me and it is going to keep me accountable for finishing this blog post. It says, “You’re welcome public. You are SO welcome for my vigilance.” Thanks for putting up with So, on to the story.

After my stomach-melting, Legolas-meeting, first day on the town I had a reality check. And this is what it was: I can be anyone I want and even better I can be exactly who I always wanted to be. I’m sure I am not alone in getting stuck in a personality rut. You know what I mean, when you want to be different and change into a better version of yourself but it is just too hard. And you are afraid. And there is that god awful voice in your head saying, “You can’t.”

Like I told you all before, I was in a bit of a rut when I arrived in Sweden. I had a total of about two friends, no social life to speak of, my boyfriend was out of the country, and I was lonely. And after my first day, making what I hoped would be friends, I realized I could do it. I didn’t have to be the old me. I was completely and utterly free to change if I wanted. I didn’t have to show these new friends the old me.

That same night I took action after I met my new roommate. 

*I hear keys jingling and luggage dumping over*

*Enter rommate*

Me, "Hi!! You must be my roommate! I'm Emily." I said with a big smile.

Original roommate, "Uhhh.. Am I in the right room? Is this..emm... si-x-ty-wwwoon?" 

At this point I was confused and concerned but assured her she had the right room. Original roommate says, "Oh I am sorry. I don't mean any offenses but I can't have a two-person room. I need a single room. I am working for my master's degree and I really need quiet. I have to go change this. Nice to meet you, sorry."
"Uh, oh! Ok well no problem I understand... Nice to meet you. Good luck. But come back if you need somewhere to stay tonight of course!"

"Yes. Well OK. Bye."
Secretly I was excited because this meant Wobbly Girl and I could be roomies! Wobbly Girl's original room was a single room with a shared kitchen. She said she wasn't sure about having to share with so many people. So I thought, being genius me, ROOOMMMIIIEESSS FO LIFE!

I had only had a roommate the first semester of university so I thought it would be a great experience. We could be best friends and share clothes and Wobbly Girl seemed like a great fit. Ahh so naïve.

We worked it all out and Wobbly Girl and I became roomies and (if we weren't already) instant BFFs. That means best friends forever, if you didn't know. Don't get saucy with me I am just trying to be thorough and not expect everyone who reads this to know texting/online/IM shortcuts. Geez. So much for being polite.. 

And thus began the semester abroad… Wobbly Girl as my roomie, Legolas, Hottie-Tattoo-Guy, Lluis, and a whole band of international students as potential friends, ready to become the person I had always wanted to be—it was about to get epic. (And yes, I do realize how utterly cliché that sounds but I didn't realize it then.)

This is me being ready for an epic semester...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Top 10 Reasons I Am Enjoying Being Unemployed....

As some of you know I am currently unemployed. And since this is making me CRAZY I thought that I would try and be positive about it and make a list of the best things about unemployment.  Well, my unemployment. Yes this is completely off-topic for my blog. Yes you might just want to skip this and wait for another post about "The Story" but you also might laugh a lot. Or find things to distract you from your employment. I think both of those are reason enough to continue reading. Keep in mind that these are in no particular order. Because when you are unemployed, order doesn't matter:

1. I no longer need to feel guilty about sleeping in. I DO WHAT I WANNNNTT
This is an old picture but it makes my point. And yes.. I am sleeping on the floor of a van. Deal.

2.  My Pinterest boards have never had so much action:      (It is extremely satisfying to organize things onto boards when you are unemployed. It creates a false sense of productivity and accomplishment.)

3. I have time to get obsessed about really weird things and hobbies. Currently I am dead determined to get a Filofax (probably not the actual brand but the type of agenda). Yeah..Thanks Pinterest. But seriously..who doesn't want a badass organizer like this full of organized awesomeness?? And who doesn't want to buy me one? I will love you forever if you buy me one....hint hint.

                                         Picture and Idea taken from:

4. I can have three hour conversations in the middle of the night with my mom. LOVE her. (I miss Target almost as much as I miss my mom.. Ok yes I miss my mom way more but...I miss Target a LOT)

5. Monday Mojitos: We (husband and I) have the time to experiment with and make bulk mojitos (strawberry) and drink them in the middle of the week. It was awesome. Be jealous.

6. We FINALLY (after three summers) went to the outdoor movies on Montjuïc. For those of you that don't know what Montjuïc is it is basically a large hill/foothill that is a part of Barcelona. At the bottom there are government buildings and really pretty fountains and at the top there is a castle. And this is where we watched the 70s comedy "Avanti!" It was a perfect night:

                                                        Avanti! (1972) Poster

--Side note "Mastercard" commercial: 12€ for 2 tickets, 6€ for 2 chairs, 5€ for food, perfect night at an outdoor movie on the side of a castle: Priceless. 

7. Time enough to take life in. By this I mean that we are not rushing around to "find" time for fun etc. etc. but we can actually "stop and smell the roses" so to speak. Sometimes, though this time was not quite planned, it is absolutely essential to put life on hold and just........Be. I think this picture is a good summation. This is from our walk up to the outdoor movies (re: #6) and we had enough time that I could see a bit of the sunset, take some touristy pictures, and enjoy it. We had never done this walk in our three years of living here together.

8. Family Time. Now most of you might be thinking (because you are my family and wonderful) but your family isn't close! But half of my family is close. And not having to worry about going to bed early for work or fitting everything around work hours we have gotten to spend some quality time with the Catalan side of our family. And I have also had the time (re: #1) to have great conversations with my family back home because I don't need to worry about the time difference.

9. Unemployment has given me ample time to discover the internet. Even the dark, dark corners of the internet like and Don't go. You'll never come out of it. But this is an awesome reason to start aimlessly browsing the internet:

 (Is it just me is or is it really unfair that Olivia Wilde is not only a great actress and badass person but she CAN WRITE too? UGH. Some people just get all the luck.)

10. I now can (guilt-free, mostly) maintain my slight obsession with TV series. I watch just about any series but mostly a lot of crappy dramas from ABCFamily. Yeah I know. It's weird. But hey... I also keep up with quality shows like "The Newsroom" and.. well I think that is the only show of real substance that I watch during the summer. Check back with me when the new season starts in September.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Legolas, The Town, and a Melted Stomach

I am hoping that this last cup of coffee will be the one to propel me through writing this post. Apparently I have a hard time being motivated and getting things done unless I am rushed or haunted by a deadline. When I have an abundance of time it becomes impossible to do, well, anything. Yes. I know. But look at me being all productive and shit writing in my pajamas at two in the afternoon. You like it. Awesome.

[Enter construction noise from above]

[Writer puts on headphones and blasts Icona Pop. Which is perfectly appropriate because they are Swedish.]


Day two in Sweden. I woke up excited, I was beginning to realize where I was and what I was about to embark on. It was a good day. Except... I had no coffee. Or food. "Fuck, where can I get breakfast?? At least...Coffee?" I remember the thought, I remember the feeling, but I can't for the life of me remember what I did to solve the problem. Probably nothing. 

I went to meet Lluis ("Was that your stomach or did you just fart" guy) to head into town. Little did he know that I was banking on him knowing how the hell to get there and what exactly we were doing in town. I was unabashedly clueless. We need phones they tell me. Ok let's get a phone I tell them. I had no idea where these kids were getting their info but I was happy someone was paying attention. 

I was waiting in the lobby of our dorm for a few minutes then decided to go knock on his door. This was such a good choice because...

"Uh..hi?" A beautiful, tall, blonde boy opened the door. Normally, I am not speechless or intimidated but I was. He was so...pretty. It was like if you were to meet Legolas in real life. So pretty it hurts to look at. Ok not QUITE get what I mean. I hope.

"Uh...hmm..hi? I'm Emily? Is Lluis here?"

"Ohhh yes yes ok. We all go to the town, no?" 

"Anything you say....." Just kidding, I kept that to myself. Thankfully. I just nodded amidst my drool.

Lluis came to the door and he said, "My roommate wants to come as well, is this ok?"

I nodded. Good lord I was shameless! I really had no interest in this guy but I was so surprised by his prettiness that I couldn't get my shit together. I was still shocked by his elvish beauty.

We set off, me following because really I had no idea what was happening, towards the bus stop. Oh, there are buses. Great! How convenient. And happy coincidence, we found my "wobbly friend" who was never wobbly from yesterday. Yay! We all went to town together and I was grinning from ear to ear. Why? I have no idea I was just, finally, happy.

When we arrived in town we decided to get some food and (GASP) a beer! Because, hell yes, you can drink at 20 in Sweden. 

After having my first legal beer we headed out in search of phones. 

What I was learning about my new friends is that Legolas was Italian and Lluis was Catalan (from Catalonia, Spain). So when we went into a phone store and were looking around Lluis all of the sudden perked up.

In a whisper he says, "Those guys are speaking Catalan! I'm going to go say "Hi". Just a moment." 

And then, he turns and waves us over to this group of apparently Catalan guys. So we walk over to meet them.

Never in my life have I been SO happy that Spanish, Catalan, Italian, French, etc. etc. people have the tradition of kissing cheeks rather than shaking hands, than I was in that moment. Why you ask? Because it gives you the opportunity to get a kiss from an attractive guy upon meeting without being whorish. 

It was a group of..I don't remember how many guys because I only payed attention to one. So I met Carles and happily received his two kisses, one on each cheek. What was his name? Carlos? Crap.. My stomach melted. I blushed. And I got absurdly nervous. I don't think I even said a word. Maybe my name. Maybe.

This guy had on a white t-shirt that showed off a beautiful three-quarter sleeve tattoo. His ears and lip were pierced. He had dark hair in a kind of fohawkish (and what I thought was) European haircut. And he had big blue eyes. Crap. Crap crap crap. 

When we walked out of the store I looked at Wobbly Friend and said, "My god... That guy I'm in trouble."

I never thought I had a type. I never knew. But maybe I don't have a type. I think it was just him

My mind spent the entire day (and many to come) trying to understand what had just happened. 

I began to rationalize it. It was just an attractive guy and I was missing my boyfriend. Fair enough. Reasonable enough. So I brushed it off and tried not to think about it. I can be such an idiot. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mayonnaise, Starvation, and Three Morals

Yay for posting on post day! Who's excited?!?! Ok enough of that, let's get down to business. (My bad, that sounded dirty. I wasn't trying to hit on you. If I was, I would definitely do it  better than that. But I wouldn't do that because I'm married and my husband is pretty awesome. And probably that only sounded dirty to me because I tend to make things sound dirty in my head. Not sure where that habit came from because I grew up in a house where "crap" was a bad word.)

(I'm making this line so I stop rambling about irrelevant crap)

So there I was, in the middle of the Växjö campus, with all my luggage and one of those friends you can only make while terribly lost or in intense circumstances. You know.. like at a club while you are trying to wait patiently in line for the toilet and you start talking to the wobbly girl next to you just to distract yourself from the fact that you are about to wet yourself in a club. At least you have a dress on and you won't have a pee stain... Some toilet paper and a little bit of that hand dryer action and no one would be the wiser! Except your new bff Wobbly Girl from the line because you are so alike and will stay friends forever because you bonded over wetting yourselves in a club. That kind of friend. 

We found a campus map by the building we were closest to and worked out how to get to the Study Abroad office. We walked in and there was luggage lined up around the walls and students sitting snacking on stuff out of a white paper bag. 

A tall, beautiful, blonde, Swedish woman asked us for our names (Oh alright I'm kidding, she was about 5'5" and a brunette but you were all expecting a tall, leggy blonde so I thought I'd give the readers what they want..too bad I'm an honest person). When I gave her my name she looks on her list and shifts through a few more pages.

"OHHH Good Emily! We were really worried about you!"


"You were supposed to arrive yesterday weren't you? We had you marked for transport yesterday.."

"Oh yeah, I'm fine. I just missed ALL my flights like an idiot so I'm a full 24 hours behind schedule. My bad."

"...Alright, well we're glad to have you! We will take you all now in a van to your housing."

Now at this point I was really only focused on those white paper bags full of goodies because I was starving. The last thing I had eaten was the sketchy meal on the plane. That was approximately 8 hours earlier. I was so caught up in our train mix-up and finding everything that I hadn't really thought about food. But I was HUNGRY. 

Just as I mustered up the courage to ask where I could get a snack bag of heavenly goodness they rounded us up to head to the housing. Damn, still no food. 

About eight of us finagled our way into the vans with all our luggage. We went to a few dorm type buildings and my Wobbly Girl friend was dropped off. All of the sudden I got really concerned that I'd never see her again but I forgot as soon as my stomach rumbled loud enough for the guy in front of me to give me a "Was that your stomach or did you just fart" look. I assumed that when it didn't start to smell he figured out that it was my hungry stomach. 

Finally it was just me and the "Was that your stomach or did you just fart" guy. They took us to one of four identical buildings that looked exactly like the average dorm building. (Sorry for all the side notes but I just went through all my pictures from study abroad and seriously cannot find one of my building..WOW Good job recording memories Emily..Damn) We got out of the van with our guide and she took us first to the guy's apartment that was on the first floor. I helped him to his door and noted which one was his. Because if someone came and tried to murder me at least I'd know which door to run to for help.. Then the guide took me up a few floors (I think it was the third floor) and handed me my keys. 

I walked in to find (THANK GOODNESS) that my roommate hadn't arrived yet. Sweet! First choice! This is the room (after being lived in for awhile):
That's the bulk of the room. On the left is our "closet" shared by two people and pictured below (Why isn't there a down arrow? We have this "^" but no down? Wtf mate..) And yes that is an obscene amount of shoes hidden under my bed. Which worked well until this happened one day:

My "friends" thought it would be funny to trap me while I was trying to find my other shoe... Which after a drink or three being trapped by plastic chairs is much more challenging than it may appear to be. 

 This is my overstuffed closet. My side is on the right and is a bit bigger by the roomie got some shelves in the bookshelf to make up for it.
 Our kitchenette.. Well it was kind of a full kitchen.. Except the oven was a bit miniature.

Annnd the bathroom! Yes that is the shower directly next to the toilet. So if for any reason you wanted to poo while taking a shower that was definitely a feasible option. But whatever weirdo would want that is not welcome in my home. Or dorm that I had 4 years ago. Clear? Fantastic. 

When I walked in to the then empty apartment/dorm mixture I was excited to be the first and have first choice of bed even though they were exactly the same. Now I also had the time to discover that the dorm's previous occupants were awesomely generous and left us a nearly furnished place! They left blankets, sheets, basically all utensils and dishes needed for two people...everything! I was stoked because I realized that if they hadn't..I would have been sleeping on a mattress with no pillow, sheets, or blankets until the Ikea outing planned for the next week. 

I began the process of getting myself settled and desperately tried to find a way to connect to the internet. When I got bored of doing both those things I remembered how desperately hungry I was. And it was like... 8pm. Which is WAY past Swedish dinner time. This is when I decided to go knock on my "in case of murder/was that your stomach or a fart"'s door. I knocked. And then panicked. What the hell was I going to say?

He answered the door. And was surprised to see me, but happy. Thankfully. If he were shocked or annoyed I probably would have run to my room and cried. But he was happy and said "Oh hey!! I was going try find you but I did not remember what room was yours! Are you hungry?? I'm really hungry." 

Music to my ears. We left the building and he said, "I think I saw like a kebab thing close by." At this point I didn't really think about the fact that I wasn't a kebab fan. Well really, I like American kebabs with beef and peppers on the grill. But apparently his version of a kebab was our version of a gyro. Which I didn't actually like. But I was about ready to start eating my own fingers so I couldn't complain. 

We talked a bit on our way and I asked where he was from. He said "Barcelona" and I was all "THAT'S SOOOOOO COOL! I have been to Spain once!" If I wasn't already an obvious American, I became one then. But he was polite and smiled and we had a good chat for about 3 minutes until we arrived at the supposed "kebab" stand. 

Thankfully they had HAMBURGERS! Score!! We both struggled to order from the owner of the food truck. I'm pretty sure his first language wasn't Swedish (which he spoke fluently to all his other customers) so I was just dead impressed that he could manage to figure out my order in English. (1000000+points to the food truck guy who quickly became my bff) 

Now to be clear, I like my hamburgers one way. With the meat and the bread. None of that other nonsense. But because the guy was so sweet and I didn't want to bother him with the particular stupidities of my eating habits I just ordered a burger and fries. And a Coke. My new friend, Lluis, did the same. 

I took a big, very excited, bite into my hamburger. Heavenly bliss. I cannot tell you what it is like to have a hot hamburger after over 24 hours of plane food and unintentional fasting. I ate everything in about 5 minutes. So did Lluis. And we laughed at our manners but shrugged it off because we were just so beat from traveling. It took me until I went to throw away my plate to realize that my hamburger had had some sort of mayonnaise sauce on it. I hate mayonnaise. I hate it so much I never even knew how to spell it. BLEH. But apparently if I am starving, it is an acceptable condiment on a burger. 

Lluis and I made plans to meet the next day in the lobby of our dorm to go into town and try and find cell phones. 

Now the morals of my first day in Sweden: 

1. Never bring two giant rolly-bags and a backpack when traveling abroad unless you are super rich and can afford someone to carry them for you. Or unless you are a musclely freak who can manage two 50lb (23kg) bags and a 15lb backpack. Which I was not. But good thing I had 20 pairs of shoes..

2. When you can, fill up on food, water, and coffee. Don't assume you can do it later. If you do assume, you might end up eating a mayonnaise infested burger and enjoying it.

3. Remember the room number of the random person you meet because you  might need them in case of potential death by starvation or someone coming to murder you. 

See you next week! And YOU'RE WELCOME for the ridiculously long post.