Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Made It!

The past 3 days have been crazy. My flights to Chicago and then to Stockholm were running on time, but Sunday was still a very long day. The flight to Stockholm was strange- it was around 6pm EST when we left and when we landed it was 7:30 in the morning according to the local clock. During the flight there were about 4 hours of darkness, which was disorienting in itself. Cabin lights were switched off during that time to accommodate sleeping, but I had a hard time getting any rest. Plane rides are so noisy and cramped! We were served a (presumably) typical Swedish dinner and breakfast.

At the airport, it wasn't hard to get into the country. Immigration just looked at my passport and residence permit paper. Customs at the airport consisted of walking through a doorway that said "nothing to declare." Nobody searched my bags or made me fill out any paperwork. From there I grabbed my luggage and my seatmate from the plane showed me which train to take. He was a musician returning from a business trip and was very helpful when I needed to call my Swedish "buddy" to help me move in. He let me use his phone since mine was no longer functional.
I was able to meet with my buddy at the train station in Uppsala. Afterward, she helped me move in and drove me to some shops so I could get a Swedish cell phone, bedding for my room, and a couple of appliances. She ended up having to set up my phone since by this point I had been awake about 24 hours straight. We went to a fast food place called "Max," which is a bit like McDonald's except slightly more expensive and a bit higher quality. I was so hungry that I didn't even bother taking the veggies off my cheeseburger for a change- and with the spiced mayonnaise + ketchup it was actually pretty good!
Figuring out how to dial home was a struggle. Apparently you have to dial "00" before the international code for the country (the code for the US is 1) and even then you sometimes have to mess with the zeros before you can get it to work.
My room is nice. It has some kind of mock hardwood flooring, lots of shelves, and a huge desk. My closet has lots of compartments, plus some stuff the last tenant left for me to use. I even get my own bathroom, although it's weird because my shower doesn't have anything to keep the water from getting all over the rest of the floor. I'm told that's pretty typical in Europe. It's still better than sharing a bathroom with a floor of 50+ angry freshman girls. My floor here has 7 people, none of whom I have actually met yet. There is also a shared kitchen and assigned spaces in the refrigerators and freezers for each floor occupant. We have a door for our corridor. I have to swipe a card to get into the building and our hallway. The staircase is a spiral stone staircase, which is pretty cool.

I spent all of yesterday wandering around Uppsala and getting a feel for my surroundings. I also took lots of pictures!

Will post about further adventures at a later date.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like you're having a lot of fun. I'm glad you got in safe Little Sis! Also, I'll be posting from my LJ account so anytime you see this, know its your Big Sister missing you across the pond!