Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On my way to Sweden//continuation

I'm seriously surprised that you are back...but thanks for coming back! I've got the next installment of my "adventure" here. Now I will warn you, you will definitely feel better about yourself after reading this. Because seriously, no one can screw things up quite as good as I can. And you will agree with me. Promise. So thanks for coming back and enjoy:

So it was April 2009 and I was decided on going to Växjö, Sweden. Which now that I think about it was just about as in-the-middle-of-nowhere as where I was already going to school at the time. But hey, it was foreign, I was 20 and it was just one semester. And I had the free time...

I finished up my semester in May and gave up my beautiful apartment (seriously, this apartment was AMAZING, you should be jealous without ever having seen it. Start being jealous...GO) and moved home for the summer. I worked all summer, I can't remember now if it was at my dad's office or a local restaurant...see how good awful my memory is? And spent some time catching up with friends (all 3 or so of them)and counted down the days until my departure. Why does departure sound so morbid? Anyway. Summer 2009. Me: working, spending time with friends or "chilling" as the kids call it, and counting down days. Great. 

Well the week of my grand adventure finally arrived and I hadn't packed anything. I had done a little Target shopping i.e. going in with the intention of buying things I needed for my semester abroad and in actuality buying random crap including clothes and shoes I was convinced I would need. And fruit snacks. I love fruit snacks. But only the strawberry ones. But I finally got everything packed, to my dog's dismay--he had protested my departure by sleeping in my open suitcase for the entire week it had been out. 

Now the night before my flights, in my attempt to be oober-prepared (hell yeah to making up new words), I had printed out my flight itinerary, done the online check-in, and printed out my boarding passes. And I had gone through my Dad's ever-so-handy and not-at-all-overbearing verbal, international travel checklist. And passed every-damn-time. YES. 

The morning of my departure day arrived and I was excited. But I wasn't excited in the "I'm going to see the world!" way, or the "Leave it all behind!" way, I was just...well excited to be doing something out of the norm. It never really registered in my mind that all my planning wasn't for an ordinary trip. But it wasn't ordinary, and I was leaving. At 9:30pm. From Madison (my city's airport)(not an international airport). 

We packed up my giant suitcases and backpack and headed to the local airport. It was approximately 7:30pm. On the way my dad asks me to double check, by double check I mean 500th check, the time of my flight. I roll my eyes but oblige him in hopes that I can finally prove trustworthy rather than accident-prone.

Me: "Oh fuck."
Dad: "What?!?!?" He shrieks, seriously exasperated and having a minor heart attack just in anticipation of what I could have possibly gotten wrong. And yet, you could sense an air of absolute unsurprise.
Me: "My flight leaves CHICAGO at flight TO Chicago left at 5:30pm." I begrudgingly tell him.
Dad: "lajkherboisjdhfljdaf" He was gasping, sputtering, blathering, and furious.
Me: "Relax Dad it will totally work out, let's just keep going to the airport and see what we can do." I say with complete faked confidence while my mind is brutalizing itself for allowing this to happen. What the hell was I thinking? "Oh yeah Emily it's no problem at all to change a 1,200$ flight.. Oh yeah no big deal you just missed all your flights... IT WILL TOTALLY BE FINE YOU BLATHERING IDIOT!" Yeah no. I guess my mouth was expressing my desire for everything to work out...rather than the cycle of abuse my brain had started on itself.

Grudgingly my dad takes me all the way to the airport refusing to believe that there was any way to rectify my mistake that wouldn't cost him a fortune. To be fair to my dad here, past experiences with me led him to that conclusion which is 100% legitimate and called-for. 

As we walk in, it is eerily quiet. There are just a few people placed here and there waiting for whatever they were waiting for. I am starting to panic a little bit but not nearly as much as I should have been. I was really just upset that I got the times wrong, not that anything bad would happen. And then as we keep walking....we realize ALL of the check-in counters are closed because there are no departing flights from the airport after 7:00pm. HA! My thoughts were along the lines of "well what?"

And then we hear, "Hey there guys!! What are you doing here??" We turn to see my brother's long-time good friend who works at the airport. We tell him my sadsap story and he goes, "OH! No problem at all let me see what I can do." Go figure that he works for the airline that I was flying with, had enough of a rank at the airport to do favors, and was AWESOME. "Yeah here you go, I've changed your flights for exactly the same route/times/etc just dated for tomorrow!" In fear I asked, "How much will that cost?" and this angel tells me, "Oh, nothing! I've already changed it. No cost! I'm just glad I forgot my cell at work today, I was already on my way home when I realized I left it here and that's why I'm even here at all." 

At that point I started cracking up. I probably looked a bit nuts because, as is my custom, I tend to get awkwardly loud when I'm nervous. So here I am, laughing my ass off in the middle of a mostly empty airport after completely botching my grand departure. As if I would have done it the normal on-time way. Right.

So there I was. Empty airport, missed flights, outraged father, but I didn't care. I was going to Sweden. Tomorrow

And that is the story of the first time I was ever truly lucky. Or blessed. Or blatantly experienced a miracle. Whichever one of those sounds best you go ahead and just stick to that.  

Until next week--

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I should explain...

Man this blogging thing is really hard... I had like 13,948,752,344 ideas and just went with what I did and then I forgot about explaining a few KEY things to you millions of readers (HAHAHA). 

Explanation 1 "Poc Desastre": "Poc Desastre" means "Little Disaster" in Catalan. What is Catalan you ask? Well it is the language that they speak in Catalunya (or the American/English spelling Catalonia). Where is Catalunya? Well it is (to most Catalans' great disdain) a part of Spain and is the home of Barcelona. So on the eastern side of Spain.

Explanation 1.1 "Why Poc Desastre": I named my blog "Poc Desastre" for a few reasons that all tie into one reason. My wonderful husband. After knowing me for a few weeks or maybe about a month one day he looks at me and goes, "You really are a fucking disaster, you know?" Now, before you freak out and call him rude, he said it in love. And he meant: Emily, you always end up with one mitten, you trip frequently, you're absentminded, and 90% crazy. All of which are true. And when he said it, I laughed. Why? Because I had never heard a more accurate description of myself. And since Catalan is the mother-tongue of this wonderful husband of mine, and Catalunya has been my home for almost two years now, I thought "How absolutely and wonderfully appropriate!" (In that badass British accent of mine) Also I plan to, in the story of the past four years, explain many of my "Little Disasters" to you all. 

So there's that.

Explanation 2: Crap..what else did I want to explain? Yup..still can't remember....And now you are seeing why husband's description was 100% accurate... Ha ha ha Emily's hilarious...

Explanation 3 "Why am I writing a": 
       1) So I sort of explained that I'm writing this blog to remember the last few years so I don't forget my awesome early 20s when I get that unnamed illness that makes me lose my memory completely. Well that's not the whole story. I have been trying to write this blog for...well four years. I've started and failed a few times now. But I'm starting again with the hopes that my newfound maturity -insert knowing scoff- will help me stay focused and consistently posting. And for the record, newfound, is not one word but I don't know if it should be hyphenated or two words or not so it is going to stay one word and you are going to like it. 
      2) I am also writing this because I have spent most of the last four years out of the U.S. I feel that my friends and family have a hard time following what's going on with me. That is 100% my own damn fault because my communication skills are sporadic at best. So I'm writing this to give them an edited (mostly) version of what has been going on in my life. I have missed all of them dearly and I really want to share my life with them (you too random reader, don't worry). So yeah. 
      3) I want to be a writer. I'm not going to explain that more because its embarrassing. 
      4) And lastly I am writing this because I think my story has some really funny parts and a kick-ass love story that you might enjoy. 

Explanation 4 "Participate!": Soo... I'm writing all of this and posting it out there in cyberspace hoping that some cool people read it. If you are reading it, and you like it, or you find something funny, or you hate it, or you think I'm nuts..Tell me about it. I'd love to hear what you think about what I'm writing! Or if you have questions..or if you want to know more about something specific (no dirty details ever shared on here so don't try you sicko). So yeah, talk to me, I'll talk back. And it'll be sweet. 
    **Disclaimer: If you are going to be outright mean, I don't want your comments. Come on now.. I thought that was implied? Who gets on a blog, reads it, and then says something nasty? Why keep reading if you don't like it? Why take time out just to be mean? Don't do it asshole. Just don't or I'll be mean right back. Because apparently I'm vindictive...but seriously. Generally nice or at least good-natured (damn that's not a word either...well deal with it) comments only. A little criticism is allowed. But only a gentle.. 


P.S. The next part of the story is coming soon....keep checking back to see if I've posted it :D Ok..fine..I'll let all you wonderful friends know on FB when I post it...or will I?

P.P.S.*Amendment*  So as is my custom...apparently I'm SUPER wrong..Ok well not super wrong but pretty wrong. First off...I spelled "Disastre" wrong. It SHOULD be "Desastre." Go me...goodness me if I could just do one thing without embarrassing myself..Well there's that. So I'm going to see if I can't fix it in the URL of my blog.. if I do I'll let y'all know. THEN my loving husband also informed me that it should be "petit desastre" because "poc" is more like "lacking" or when there isn't enough of something..but I'll leave that because it is just a further testament to my "fucking disaster" status. Yay me for trying to learn another language.....And for all of you who have learned a second (third, fourth, or fifth) language you know exactly how I feel..When you try SUPER hard to do something right and it just ends with giggles and lots of mistakes and embarrassment. So yeah. Awesome. 

A convoluted introduction: WELCOME

To be honest, this blog is about four years late. What happened four years ago you ask? Well I began my study abroad experience a little less than four years ago. Where did I go? (OK yes I am asking you to ask me these will get why in just a few more lines...maybe) I went to Växjö, Sweden. The shape of Sweden is like a finger, and Växjö is in the bottom..oh fuck it go to Google Maps and search it. Yup, there it is. And again you ask me, "Where the F is that?" And I respond, "I rightly have no idea." Which I say with a British accent that sounds nothing like a British accent but I imagine in my head some guy with a monocle saying "rightly" so that's why I say it like that. Perfectly reasonable explanation. 

The real point is here that about four years ago (three and a half to be honest but four is easier to write) I embarked on an adventure that I'd never really come back from. And sadly, I didn't really record any of it. I have pictures, I have some funny stories, but it is all turning into a crazy blur and I'd really like to record some good shit before I forget it all. I'm not sure what will cause my complete memory loss but because I regularly forget things that happened an hour ago I figure this is a good preventative measure. 

*Cigarette break* (You can take one too, but you shouldn't because smoking kills "Fumar mata!" and it is a terrible habit (fuck habit has one B? Since when? Maybe I got used to writing Hobbit and therein lies my spelling problem..) and you really shouldn't. DON'T SMOKE. But I will so give me a damn minute here..) 

ANNND I'm back. To continue my rambling. 

I realize now that I should have put a preface to this... THANK YOU for taking time out of your day to read my ramblings. I fully understand that probably very few people, if anyone, will read this so if you are reading this you are pretty cool and thanks for making me feel heard. 

Back to the story. What story? Crap where was I? **reading what I wrote and doubly thanking you for continuing to read** Ah yes, recording these four years. 

So why Växjö, Sweden? Because I am an awesome American who didn't know a second language which seriously hindered my study abroad options. I originally wanted to study abroad in London, why? Because it is one of those cities that sounds posh and incredibly cool (are those the same thing? man my British slang sucks). Then I looked at the financial side of living in London and realized it was NOT a feasible option for me (something like 20,000$ for a semester?! WHAT!?). So I went online, or did I go to the study abroad office on my campus, either way I did some more looking. Spain was out because I could barely say more than, "Hola". Italy was out because, well I didn't speak Italian.. and you are starting now to see my dilemma. Where could I study that was awesome and foreign but didn't require a second language? Sweden apparently! I found that I could take my courses there in English so that was that, Vaxjo, Sweden became my destination. 

And that is where this whole story sort of starts. I say sort of because the story about why I ended up studying abroad is a long one and maybe I will write about it another day but for the moment we'll focus on the fact that I was going to Sweden. 

I think this is a good place to stop for the moment.. I probably shouldn't write whole epic posts so to see what happened next you'll just have to come back.. Muhahahahahhahaha (evil laugh at my ingenious way to get return readers... or not..) 

See you soon. 

P.S. You can all thank my friend Tudor for this blog. Awhile ago I said on Facebook that I couldn't be bothered to blog (pretentious I know) and my wonderful friend replied "and world will continue to NOT be a better place because of it." I laughed at first and then I spent the following week or so feeling EXTREMELY guilty that somehow I was robbing the world of my inane (weird how insane and inane only differ by one letter..think about it) blabbering so here it is and you can blame him.