(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.