My Backpacking Adventure!

I’ve spent a lot of time on trains this past month… And I can’t even begin to describe to you how great it feels to be home writing this post in my bed!

That’s right, I’ve spent the last 20 days backpacking around Europe!

20 days, seven cities.

Berlin, Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg, and Copenhagen.

I’ve been a very busy girl! But I’m here now, and I can’t wait to share with y’all what I’ve been up to!

For the month of March, I took a three week backpacking trip around central and eastern Europe. I only registered for one class this semester, so I was done with school by early March. I decided to use the opportunity to travel, and my parents were very supportive of the idea! However I didn’t go alone, my good friend Kira Collins, who is an exchange student from San Diego State University where she happens to study Anthropology, joined me! As you might suspect from her choice of major, she also really loves history, so our trip had an aim towards major historical sights.

The start of the journey! And my back problems!

The start of the journey! And my back problems!

We started in Copenhagen for one night as a layover, before having to take a horrendous 13 hour train to Berlin because the tracks were being repaired… However Berlin was great, but it wasn’t what I had expected it to be.. And I’m not quite sure what it was that I was expecting. It was very cool to see the Holocaust Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and of course the Berlin wall! The weather was not on our side though, and perhaps that’s why I didn’t enjoy the city as much as I thought I would.. I will have to return when it’s summer and sunny, and check out their nightlife – which I heard is fantastic!

Holocaust Memorial

                   Holocaust Memorial

Berlin Wall

               Berlin Wall

Brandenburg Gate

                     Brandenburg Gate

Checkpoint Charlie

                      Checkpoint Charlie

    After Berlin, we traveled to Krakow. I can’t pick a favourite city, but I can definitely say that Poland has the best food! If you haven’t tried pierogis, you are missing out and need to find the closest Polish restaurant ASAP! Krakow really surprised me, because I had expected Poland to be stereotypically Eastern European. The city was absolutely beautiful!! And all of the young people were so hip and trendy! Their Old Town really reminded me of Stockholm’s Old Town, and it was extremely beautiful to walk through. The city even had a castle with a ”Fire-breathing dragon” protecting it, which was funny to see!

Krakow's Castle

                     Krakow’s Castle

Krakow's Old Town

                     Krakow’s Old Town

    After exploring the Old Town on the first day, we spent the second day exploring the Auschwitz-Birknau Camps… Such an incredible opportunity, to finally be able to see in real life what you have read about in books for years. Surprisingly, I saw nobody cry… But I think it’s because everyone has to build a little barrier in order to go in, because if you don’t you will be an emotional wreck the whole time – it’s extremely disturbing stuff and you have to detach yourself from it in order to get through the whole thing..

Entrance to Auschwitz 'Work sets you free'

Entrance to Auschwitz ‘Work sets you free’

     What struck me the most was all of the hair they cut off of the Jews, and kept in order to fill pillows and jackets with for the Nazis benefit. And to see the baby clothes… That part really had me teared up. There was another part where you are led down a narrow hallway filled with pictures of the Jews who lived there – it was very eerie and felt like all of the faces in the pictures were looking at you. They looked just like normal people…

    The tour of Auschwitz finished off at the gas chambers… It was so scary to think about how many people had passed away in the room you were standing in.. Just pure evil.

    After touring Aushwitz, we visited the Birkenau sight. This actually was were most of the Jews were kept, and it was a terribly depressing place. It actually started to hail while we were touring it, which I thought was fitting.

Plaque at Birkenau, 'For ever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity, where the Nazis murdered about one and half million men, women, and children, mainly Jews, from various countries of Europe'

Plaque at Birkenau, ‘For ever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity, where the Nazis murdered about one and half million men, women, and children, mainly Jews, from various countries of Europe’

    The third day, we went on another venture to the Wieliczka Salt Mines. It was an incredible place to see! Unfortunately we weren’t able to take pictures, but I highly recommend you google search it because it is no ordinary salt mine! It has a church and reception hall built all the way underground there, and it was so amazing to see! They even host weddings!

    After Krakow, our next stop was Prague. The city was absolutely stunning, but the Czech countryside is even more stunning, as we were lucky to view it on our train ride there! The architecture and vibe of the city was incredible, and definitely worth the visit! I even found out that there is some Czech resentment towards the Swedes for stealing all of their artwork from their churches way back in the day, and they still haven’t returned it… Apparently it’s an expression to say ‘The Swedes probably stole it!’ when something goes missing! I thought it was humorous, escpecially since the Swedes pride themselves on being so just and peaceful.

Prague Astronomical Clock, installed in 1410 a.d.

Prague Astronomical Clock, installed in 1410 a.d.

Beautiful gothic architecture in Prague

Beautiful gothic architecture in Prague

Prague from above

                    Prague from above

    Kira and I made some friends on one of the walking tours we took, and we all ended up signing up for an organized pub crawl. Best and worst decision of my life, hahaha. It was definitely something I’m glad I tried, but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. Absinthe is really popular in Prague, and we didn’t get along too well. I think I’ll go back to being a grandma.

    From Prague we traveled to Budapest, which I have to admit wasn’t my favorite. I have had a lot of people tell me it was their favorite, and how amazing of a city it is – but I wasn’t feeling it. Unfortunately, we stayed in a really grunge hostel and I think it kind of ruined the city for us(maybe just me). To give you an image, walking into the hostel you felt like you had already contracted an STD… Not our crowd at all and we couldn’t wait to leave.

    But to be fair to Budapest, the architecture and views were stunning! A lot of people don’t know that Buda and Pest used to be two separate cities until a bridge was built to unite them. There was also a very charming medieval castle, and we passed by the famous Baths, but unfortunately didn’t have time to visit them. Kira had been to Budapest before, so we only spent two days there and had to cut out a lot of stuff. I would definitely go back, but choose a much better place to stay at instead of the hostel we ended up with. Feel like I owe Budapest a second shot.

Heroes Square in Budapest

             Heroes Square in Budapest

Budapest from above

                Budapest from above

The Pest side

                         The Pest side

    After Budapest, we took a short train ride to Vienna. Such a beautiful city, but prepare to empty your wallet fast! Our hostel was located across the street from the Naschmarkt – a huge food market with some amazing stuff! Our health took a turn for the worse though, Kira got really sick with food poisoning and I got hit with a cold (which has now led to me getting the flu). We were so bummed because we really wanted to go out and explore, and we managed to rally for a little bit and hop on a tour bus for a few hours. It was a good choice because we didn’t have to do any moving around. The second day we were feeling a little better, and we set out on foot to explore. Kira is really into to classical music so she was interested in the Strauss statue and seeing where Mozart lived. I don’t think most young people would appreciate the city, and it is much more appealing to an older set – but we loved it regardless of being sick. It’s a must see, and it’s now high up on my dad’s list as he is a big fan of Opera!

Palace in Vienna

                      Palace in Vienna

Statue of Strauss

                     Statue of Strauss

    Our second to last stop was Nuremberg, Germany. Originally we were supposed to go to Zurich, but it was too expensive so we switched to Nuremberg which happened to split up our train ride. It’s considered to be part of Bavarian Germany, and oh my goodness was this town the cutest! The castle was amazing to visit, and the buildings were so charming. Our only surprise was when we got lost trying to find the way to our hostel, and ended up walking through the Red Light District. Neither of us had known that prostitution was legal in Germany, and I’m sure the women in the windows thought it was humorous to see us wide-eyed girls fast walking trying to avoid any eye contact but trying to get a glimpse at the same time. Kira has been to Amsterdam, so she wasn’t too traumatized… On the other hand, I was extremely traumatized and had to call my parents to describe what I just witnessed. Like the hostel in Budapest, that’s something I won’t be doing again, haha!

Old Town in Nuremberg

               Old Town in Nuremberg

    Outside of the old town in Nuremberg, we took the trolley to where the Nuremberg Trials were held. As history nerds, Kira and I were so excited to see this! It was a really well set up museum, and to be lucky enough to have the court room open that day was fantastic! Afterwards, we went nearby to the Nazi Party Rally Grounds. This museum was even more fantastic, and really covered everything – from Hitler’s rise to power all the way to after the Nuremberg Trials. At the end of the exhibit, we got to walk out on the balcony to see the Rally Grounds. Unfortunately, there was a big fair in town so they were using the space as excess parking (kind of twisted if you ask me), so the picture is filled with cars below. Out of all the sights on this trip, including Auschwitz, this museum really hit us the hardest. It really put into perspective how many people supported the Nazis, it was insane to see how many people showed up to the rally events… Which might I add lasted for several days!

Court Room 600, where the Nuremberg Trials took place

Court Room 600, where the Nuremberg Trials took place

Nazi Party Rally Grounds

                Nazi Party Rally Grounds

    Finally, our last stop was Copenhagen – yet again. This time however, we got to stick around and explore. It’s a beautiful city, but very similar to Stockholm except for that it was a little more expensive! It had it’s uniqueness though, and we went to all of the major sights such as The Little Mermaid Statue and Nyhavn (with all the colourful houses). We even took a quick stroll through Christiania, which if you haven’t heard of it, is about a few neighbourhood blocks in size and is a hippie commune. Entering it you see a sign telling you that you are leaving the EU, which was totally crazy to see! Because they are not technically a part of Denmark or the EU, they are able to sell marijuana in there. The place totally sketched me out, and I really didn’t like seeing fifteen year old kids walking in there after school…. I can see the appeal, but I’m personally not a fan of the substance – so we saw what we intended to see and then left – entering the safe EU again!

The Little Mermaid Statue

The Little Mermaid Statue

Nyhavn

                               Nyhavn

Christiania

                Christiania

    Arriving back in Stockholm was bittersweet. It was really great to be back home in our own beds, but we were also pretty bummed that the trip was over. Fortunately the weather has started behaving, and we are enjoying warm and sunny days! Definitely don’t mind Swedish summers!

    In May, I’m spending a week in Norway! I still have the travel bug, so I’ll be visiting Oslo and then Bergen – where we will be hiking the fjords! It was a trip sponsored by our student union, and for a good price, so I really couldn’t resist the opportunity! Kira will also be joining, and I can’t wait for us to take on another adventure!

   This trip has really been the experience of a lifetime, and I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity! Getting out there and traveling and actually seeing the world really makes all of the highschool textbooks come alive!

   I really hope everyone is doing well, y’all are the best family and friends there is!

   Until next time – hej då!

Finals Exams and Backpacking Plans!

Hello all, I’m back again!

As of five minutes ago, I am officially done with my first college class! It feels weird to be done with school in the middle of March, but it’s also a relief! Three months has really flown by, and I don’t know where time is going!

It’s been a month since my last post, so here we go with the March update!

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Two weeks ago, I took a weekend cruise to Helsinki with some of my friends from school. We left on a Friday afternoon, and arrived in Helsinki the next morning with six hours to spend exploring the capital..

The cruise ship!

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As you can see, we had a great time! It was such a beautiful city, and it was amazing to see the different Russian and Swedish influences hiding around the city. Unfortunately, the sun mislead us into thinking it would be warmer than it actually was, and we froze the whole time due to not bundling up enough! We stuck through it though, avoiding the shade like the plague.. Hahaha.

I would love to go back, six hours was definitely not enough time to explore everything!

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This past Thursday, I finally found out that I’m accepted to Stockholm University’s fall program in Business and Political Science!! I could not be happier! After four years of hoping, and taking the risk of moving all the way over here – I’m so happy everything is working out! It will be a three year program, with an exchange semester during the second year, so you already know I’m now focusing my energies on where I’m going to want to go! But perhaps I should focus on that once school starts this September… I tend to get ahead of myself!

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In four days, Kira and I are leaving to begin our backpacking adventures! Our official destinations are the following: Copenhagen, Denmark – Berlin, Germany – Krakow, Poland – Budapest, Hungary – Prague, Czech Republic – Vienna, Austria – Nuremberg, Germany – and then back up through Copenhagen before we return to Stockholm!

I’ve been so busy with my exams, that I haven’t even begun to think about packing! Last Friday it finally occurred to me that I might need to get a backpack if I planned on going… So in a hurry I ordered one from Amazon, and with luck it shall be here tomorrow!

It will be a very hectic three weeks, but I can’t wait to share pictures with everyone afterwards! I feel so thankful to have such amazing and supportive parents to let me do this!

I’ll be back next month with another update, and tell y’all how it goes – thanks for reading!

New apartment and Settling In

I just finished an essay I’ve been working on for a little over a week now, and since I’m on such a writing grind, I figured why not update my blog?

It’s actually been a very productive day! I switched my iPhone over to a Swedish iTunes account, AND uploaded all of my pictures to my computer. Oh, and switched my iTunes account to my credit card instead of my mother’s. The end of an era, people!

Cheers of praise for Alexa! You make us so proud!

Yeah, yeah. Get on with it, I get it!

The topic of today’s blog is all about my new digs, and the excellency of living on one’s own and taking a step further into adulthood. I would also like to notably mention that my iTunes account now being on my credit card is another step I have taken.

Oh adulthood… You keep creeping up on me, and I’m not sure I like it!

Moving was a quite simple process, in regard to the fact that I don’t have that much stuff (don’t ask my Uncle about this, I’m not sure he would agree), but it was rather annoying to have to unpack all of my things and find perfect places for everything. I had the help of my dear friend Felicia, accompanied by her sister and mom. And after the hard work was over, I enjoyed my first Semla in their company!

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After lots of tedious unpacking, here is what the new place looks like:

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Magically, I regained energy levels after some delicious Marabou and even managed to organize my closet!

So I now feel super fancy, having a closet just for coats and shoes!

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There was a bit of a battle on getting wifi to work, but success in the end. Netflix was starting to get lonely without me, he really doesn’t do well with separation anxiety…

As for future decorating plans, I’m trying to find the perfect rug for under the coffee table, and perhaps some more artwork to fill the walls. If I ever get around to it, it would be really nice to have a picture collage above my dresser.. but we’ll see how that goes!

Living on my own is pretty swell, I like being able to cook for myself and try out new recipes. I’ve been really into finding delicious vegan recipes on Pinterest and trying them out! Garlic Mushroom Quinoa, Overnight Oats, and Avocado Quesadillas are a few of the victims so far.

Perhaps I’ll even start sharing some of my newfound recipes! I absolutely love food blogs, and I’ve already raved about them to my mom and Aunt Julia.

Netflix is calling me now, so I have to go, but thanks for reading!

Winter Break and Starting School

Alright, it’s time for another life update. I mean seriously… where has the time gone? It’s already been over two months since I last wrote! Two months is way too long, and I have so much to share!

Where to start…

Well, I guess I left off my last post talking about how I was going to visit my family in Dallas for winter break! I left for Dallas on December 9th from Arlanda, the day of a bomb threat. Luckily, my flight was about 15 minutes before all of the flights were canceled that day! Pretty scary, but I had no idea until after I had already arrived in Dallas and got a text from my Aunt Maria asking if I was okay and updating me on all that had happened. All I can say is that I’m really glad I still managed to fit in a nice breakfast, complete with scrambled eggs and a waffle accompanied with syrupy messy goodness! I also managed to do a little shopping before my flight, but what’s new there? (Sorry Dad)

So after twenty hours of complete torture, I mean traveling, my second flight finally landed in DFW. I’m sure you can imagine that after this it was ”all about me time” and I got to be showered with affection and adoration from being away for so long.

Ahhhh… The good life! No complaints here.

There was a minor incident that tried to take this time away from me, but I’m not going to get into it… (I’m sorry Wrigley, I still love you – I promise!)

I spent my first week home recovering from jet lag and hitting up my usual food joints such as Twisted Root and Chipotle. I was a little disappointed that my favourite veggie burger from Twisted Root had been changed to a different (healthier) recipe, but my spirits rose when I found out Chipotle now offers tofu as a permanent option on their menu – you win some, you lose some. Then there was ofcourse some partying that occurred once I was reunited with my friends! It didn’t feel like six months had already gone by since we all had last seen each other, but I guess that’s why social media is so great!

On December 23rd, my family and I left for Melaque, Mexico. It was a a cozy little town nestled up on the pacific coast that had a stunning view of the ocean and the rest of the nearby coastline. We spent Christmas and New Years there, and it was great to hang out with the family for two weeks,especially my little brother, Kent, who loves me dearly and never get annoyed of me and thinks I’m the coolest and greatest sister in the whole wide world. 

We went on some really exciting excursions, such as snorkelling and an ATV tour and even looking at alligators! But the highlight of the trip for me was probably the food! Lets just say, the Mexican people sure know how to make salsa! And margaritas! And pina coladas, too!

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As for the snorkelling, claustrophobia and stingrays definitely didn’t help me have a great experience… I’m still a little traumatized to be honest… And I don’t think I’ll be doing that again!

Enough about Mexico though! Time to move back on to Sweden!

Two days ago I officially became a college student and attended my first class! Woohoo!

I’m already pretty deep in schoolwork, but I’m definitely ready for it! I’ve already made a bunch of great friends here and I even found the Americans!

Side Story: I was a nerd and went to the library presentation and there was a group of people in the row behind me that kept talking, so eventually I started eavesdropping and could tell they were american.. So naturally, as a fellow american, I turned around and asked, ”Are you guys american?”

Long story short, they’re awesome and now we all hang out and behave like obnoxious americans together. It’s great.

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Lastly, on the 18th I moved into my student apartment. It’s been a little over a week now of being an independent woman and I have to say it feels pretty good! I’ve taken a liking to my new responsibilities and am loving my location! I cleaned the place from top to bottom and then decorated, and it definitely feels cozy now! I even have a balcony! Ofcourse it’s ridiculously cold and snowy right now, but I know having that is going to rock in the summer!

That’s pretty much it for now! Thanks for reading!

It’s cold, and it’s dark – Welcome to Sweden

Summer is long gone, and autumn is nearing it’s end in Sweden, so that means here comes winter! In other terms, the freezing cold and the darkness for the majority of the day. This time of year can be pretty awful if you wake up when it’s dark, and come home when it’s dark, I can definitely see why my aunt hates it… And when it’s not raining, it’s cloudy!

The sun is apparently on vacation, until March.

But just because it’s depressing outside doesn’t mean one has to become depressed! I’m determined to not let the weather get to me, and to help counter it I have proclaimed myself as a professional mysigter. That strange word happens to mean cozy in Swedish, and my title means that I enjoy making the house as mysigt as possible. Think twenty candles lit at the same time in every available space, it’s nothing too big. Ha! I think I’m severely depleting my aunt’s candle supply, but it’s all for good health!

I alla fall, I have some good news to share:

1. I have found an apartment in Stockholm, and will be moving in when I come back from Texas in the middle of January, and right before school starts! So I have spun into an apartment planning frenzy: recklessly pinning design ideas on pinterest and scoping out the entire IKEA website. It’s a lot of fun. I’m not lying when I tell you I have been planning for this my whole life, I’m ready. Bring it on boring white walls!

2. My good friend Felicia has also decided that she will be staying in Stockholm next year, so it will be good to still have my partner in crime with me! She’s also just as obsessed as I am with decorating, so I’m expecting her much appreciated help. And after we’ll go to the bar as a reward for all of our hard work.. Great plan!

3. Also, my dear friend Stephanie from Texas will be joining me in Sweden this summer, and I am already looking forward to showing her around! And also celebrating her 19th birthday out on the town, but on our best behavior obviously.. (Stephanie, if you are reading this start preparing yourself now)

I got to skip school this past Tuesday to go into the city to take a look at my new place. I was so looking forward to this, that was… until it took me three hours to get there because of FREAKING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AND CANCELING TRAINS AND HAVING LATE BUSSES AND NO OTHER WAY TO GET INTO CENTRALEN!!!

Ugh, there is nothing more annoying, but I did finally get there. After sitting near a very drunk man on the train who took turns between chugging another beer and licking his reflection in the window, good times, there is never a dull moment! My newest friend Andreas showed me around the apartment building, then was nice enough to drive me around the neighborhood and show me the area. I had no complaints, everything looked great! We then went on a little adventure into the city, and it felt so good to be in such a lively area where everyone looked like they were having a great time. It makes you forget about the fact that it’s pitch black at four in the afternoon.. Hahaha…Ha…Ha.

It’s less than one month now until I travel home to Dallas in December. I can’t wait to see my family and friends, and then we are headed off to Mexico for Christmas and New Years. Lots of tennis will be played, and lots of catching up will be done. I’ll definitely be able to leave my vitamin D at home for this trip! The days are sure passing by, it will be here before I know it!

An eventful couple of weeks!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Sorry, I just had to unleash my excitement! I have just found out my American grades have FINALLY (after a long anticipated wait) been translated into Swedish terms! And the results were absolutely spectacular, because all my hard work has paid off and they have been translated into the highest Swedish GPA! Relief has swept over me, and now I feel like I have a burden lifted from my shoulders knowing that everything is going accordingly… I can breathe!  🙂

The reason I was so worried about my grades being translated was because I have been freaking myself out with all the ‘what if‘ questions…

What if I sent in the wrong papers… 

What if my dad got the predicted swedish translation completely wrong…

What if I didn’t take all the necessary classes…

And the biggest one, what if these six months I am spending in Sweden go to waste because I don’t get in?

Trust me, you can find a lot to get worked up about if you really want to.

The other greats news I have to share has to deal with SFI (Swedish for Immigrants, where I attend school for four hours every week day). Six weeks ago, I started out in the Intro course, but I was moved up after one week because I’ve been giving myself my own intro course for the past two years hahaha. I was then placed in C kursen, where I have met some really amazing people that quickly became my friends (shoutout to Farah, Zale, and Asa if you read this)! I was in C kursen for about three weeks, until last week when my teacher told me she thinks D kursen would be a better fit for me. C kursen focuses more on grammar and reading (which are the two aspects that come easiest to me), while D kursen focuses more on conversing and writing (which I need to work on). In theory it was sad to leave behind the friends I made in C kursen, but we still see each other multiple times a day: before school, during class break, and even after school and on the weekends. The people I’ve met in D kursen are also really great, and challenge me to speak more swedish which will be great long term. I am never short of laughter when I’m in school, I always have a great time.

Everyday I am amazed by the people I go to school with. They are such great sources of inspiration. These classmates of mine come from EVERYWHERE: Hungary, China, Syria, Jordan, Chile, India, Poland, Russia, Iraq, Norway, Afghanistan, and I could go on and on! We are from all over the world and we all ended up here, it’s amazing and humbling. I don’t think I will ever get used to it. I love to hear the stories my friends tell about their homeland, family, and growing up in a different place.

It truly is an eye-opening experience. It’s only been three months, but I feel as if I have done a lot of growing up and have really changed as a person (but for the better). I have taken up a lot of responsibility which has therefore made me much more independent. I take public transportation by myself everywhere, sometimes go grocery shopping and cook dinner for my Aunt and Uncle, keep my room clean, do a very large amount of studying, and the biggest of them all is that I go to bed at a decent time!

I can’t wait to go home for winter break and see all of my friends and family. Being away for so long can be really great because it allows you to miss people and learn to appreciate them, but maybe that’s just another part of growing up!

I have seven weeks until I make it back to Dallas, so let us see how much more Swedish I can master in that amount of time! I have people expecting for me to be pretty damn good after all this schooling!

Public Transportation Will Be the Death of Me…*

When people ask me what the biggest difference is moving to Sweden from the U.S., I tell them it’s the fact that I now have to rely on public transportation. And to be honest, I had only used public transportation maybe two times before visiting Sweden, and those two times were with my schoolmates and teacher to go on  class field trips. But in my defense, Dallas is not really a city built around public transportation. Living in the suburbs, the situation was even worse. So when I was sixteen, I was given my best friend named Wrigley (in honor of my obsession with Wrigley’s Doublemint gum), who just so happens to be a silver Nissan Altima. Wrigley is always there for me, all hours of the day.

When I wanted tacos from Chipotle, he was there.

When the school bell rang, he was there.

When my friends invited me to come over, he was there.

Honestly, I was so dependent on my car I had forgotten there were other methods of transportation people even considered taking, like riding the bus to school. But now, I have no other choice. Public transportation is my only option. It’s expensive to own a car here, and honestly I’m too lazy and cheap to get a Swedish Driver’s License for manual cars. So lucky little me gets to wake up at 5:30am for school and take the bus at 6:46am in order to get to school by 8:30am. Only it isn’t that simple… There’s lot and lots and LOTS of minutes wasted in-between waiting for your next train or bus. Then, I get to sit outside my classroom for 30-45 minutes because I’m there early, but fortunately I get to use this time in a more efficient way by studying Swedish or reading whatever chick-lit book I have at the moment. You have to plan your schedule around the bus schedule, it’s annoying.

Three days a week, I leave school twenty minutes early in order to make the bus in order to make the train to my town. And 80% of the time, all goes according to plan. However, the other 20% of the time I’m left really pissed off to rant about how I don’t have my car  and am stranded with no way to get home (not entirely true, but I like being dramatic). Timing is everything, even being late by one minute can cost you. So when the bus is late, and I’m running after the last  train with my hands waving in the air, I’m not a happy girl. Instead of it taking me thirty minutes to get home, it’s pushed back by sixty to ninety minutes; an eternity.

Sure, there’s a lot of people out there used to this. City folks. But for me, and most of Texas, this is (would be) brand new. Which brings me to my next point, public transportation is not exactly easy in the beginning! Who knew that you are supposed to stand on a particular side of the road, press a button for your stop, know how to check train and bus times, and know which section is first class. I sure had no idea! I was scared, and avoided going by myself as long as possible, eventually failed and couldn’t put it off any longer, and embarrassingly made all of the above mistakes.

It’s all about perspective, you learn from your mistakes, but when the time calls I’m not afraid to drop the ”I’m foreign” card. Highly recommended, and it was really handy when I accidentally sat in first class- which may I add it is not my fault because it looked the exact same as second class, those people are really overpaying.

People tell me the delays will only get worse in the winter, I can’t wait. Cold AND pissed off, sounds exciting!

On a positive note, I really do feel like a better human being using public transportation, and it’s nice to not have to focus on driving. Maybe Mother Nature will cut me some slack every month since I’m helping the environment. Probably not.. But wish me luck!