Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why to what?

We were in class the other day, talking about how the media covers certain events, making them bigger than they actually are - obviously referring to Hurricane Irene - when the professor (Cramer, by the way, brilliant man) says something I don't understand. What I heard was something like "Well, we all remember why-to-kay! Oh maybe you are to young for that."

Well, I am Grandma, but I figured I am too, too young for remembering why-to-kay, 'cause I had no idea wat he was referring to. Shortly after, when he said something about nineteen ninety nine and new year's eve, I realized he was obviously talking about the turn of the millennium.

Y2K [why-to-kay] = Year Two Thousand.

Things like that just make the Linguist happy inside out. Yey!


Why it is good to clear your mind while at a crossroad.

"A confused mind always says no."

- Professor Jack Yoest.


"Friends" and two of my best friends.

The United States is one of those countries you almost think you know everything about, since you have seen it all over the place - television, radio, films, news. It's one of those countries where you can find all these funny things you have seen on, let's say, Friends!

We will stay with Friends and I want to give two of my very best friends this picture. Namita and Emma, this one is for you. I don't think I need to paint the rest of the picture. I think you both have it:

"That's why you BURN IN HELL!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Is there any perfect workout for your heart?

I lift weights to become stronger.
I push myself and I sweat.
I run fast to improve my endurance.
I push myself and I sweat.

I choose the heaviest weights.
I run as far as I can.

But the world is never big enough, even though it's all too big.

My heart rate is still the same.

Whatever I do.
Wherever I go.


Monday, August 29, 2011

What you did back then will matter tomorrow.

"The best indication of future performance is past performance." 

- Professor Jack Yoest.


Post Irene Picture.

So, what happened to Irene? Nobody knows. She came over, yes, she did. But not as we had prepared for. We had power all night long. We had water all night long. We never saw any chairs flying outside of the window and no trees fell into our balcony. A little bit of an anticlimax.

This is basically all we got; Post Irene Picture.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

We still got it.

900.000 households in Virginia are without power - but we still got it. Irene is definitely here. We see her and hear her outside of the window, but that's where she is staying. Inside, here at 305, the times are cosy and the MIG will soon begin.

So long!




Good bye power!

The lights are starting to flash a bit. I guess we soon will be out of power. Well, that only means that we are obliged to eat all the Ben&Jerry's in our freezer! It's important to be prepared in a crisis like this.


Aggressive rain as Irene approaches.

Okay, the rain is falling in a very aggressive manner now and it is quite windy. But the hurricane is not here yet. We are stille waiting for something - what to call it - heavier, stronger? 

I am waiting for someone to come in and sound a flourish and say something like "Ladies and gentlemen. May I introduce to you the very charming, windy, crazy lady Hurricane Irene!" and then a spectacle will begin. Like when you go to see a play at the theater.

As long as I still have Internet connection, I will update you all on this spectacle. The Washington Post underlines that it's not a panic situation in our area, but we will probably have power outages during the night. Let us prepare for the worse, but always hope for the best.



What do to while waiting for hurricane - pt. 1.

What can you do when you have to stay inside all day long due to heavy rain and a hurricane? Well, lots of things, and this first one is a given; create a top 10 rain and hurricane songs. This is what we have come up with so far:

1. Scorpions - Rock you like a hurricane
2. Darin - Why does it rain
3. Weather girls - It's raining men
4. Carola - Fångad av en stormvind (Caught by a storm?!)

Does anyone want to make a contribute to the list? We've got to make it to ten, people!

We are waiting - living on the edge!

Good afternoon America!

This is such a weird day. We are all waiting for something, but we don't really know what. Our TV has been on since we got up and we follow Irene's every single step.

However, the thought of not stepping outside of the apartment for the whole weekend kind of freaked us out. So, while people stock up and hide in their closets, Sofia, Olivia and I went for a walk. It's all about living on the edge!

Oh well, not really. So far, the weather is not even half as bad as it was during the baseball game. But if the storm and the rain will increase, which it probably will later on, we are prepared. Come on Irene, show us what you've got!






Friday, August 26, 2011

Irene is coming.

The first week of school is over and the weekend is here - as is hurricane Irene. Well, not quite yet, but she is expected to visit us during the weekend. You Swedes out there, have you read about her? A windy little lady who's having everybody in Virginia and Maryland, among other areas, running to the stores buying flashlights, bottled water and dry food. We got a long letter under our door, telling us how to behave if she will be coming towards our building. Do not open windows, do not go outstide (okay, thanks) and some other information.

This whole Mother Nature freaky thing is just so bizarre. I don't think that we Swedes understand it. We are not used to these kind of things at all. We are not used to filling up bath tubs with water to be able to wash ourselves if the water will disappear. We are not used to stock up on food and flashlights or make sure we have generators if the power will be out. We are not used to know where to hide when ladies like Irene threatens to tear us up from our solid ground.

We are not used to things these big and these measures of precautions. But we, me and my roomies, try to follow regulations and advice and we hope that we won't fly away from our cute apartment just yet. We like it so much over here and really want to stay. No hurricane can take us!

By the way, my middle name is Irene. I just found that a little bit funny.

View from the 16th floor - so far, so good.

Birthday and night - in the famous bubble!

Grandma's birthday became more than just breakfast in bed, daily power walk, workout with PT and journalism and communication class. When we got home, almost all the Swedish students came down to 305 for some home made brownies and birthday cake (which Grandma made from scratch, cake and custard and everything). I thought that would be it, but it turned out my fellow-over-21-roommate had prepared a surprise for me.

11 p.m. I was told to follow her downstairs where a car was waiting. It was a girl we met last weekend, also from Sweden, who was ready to take us out. Out we went and the birthday girl was told to go all in. So she did.

And I had so, so, so much fun. I was dancing and smiling and high on my 25 year old life. I was in my happy mode bubble and since it was my birthday I also had some bubbles to drink. When it is your birthday, you are very much allowed to answer "champagne" when a cute guy asks you what you would like to drink.

Once again, thanks for all the birthday wishes, the texts, the facebook messages, the presents, the company and for having some of my cake. And Emma, thank you for an unforgettable night!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grandma is going on 25.

Today is not just any day. Today is Grandma's birthday. The big 25 is here and my extremely sweet roommates woke me up with a lovely breakfast in bed. Of course, I ate it after our daily morning walk. Got home, made a cake and after today's classes there will be cake and brownie (swedish brownie cake as my dear American friend Benjamaan would like to call it) for everyone.

So, if you are around - welcome to 305! That's where the party is. The birthday party, that is.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shaky day.

Alright. DC is the place where it all happens. We got that, after less than a week here. There are shops, restaurants, cafés, bars, museums, beautiful buildings, sports events, parks, nice people. This and that and even more. Yes, even Mother Nature herself is present and reminds us all of her powers.

Friday, we got to experience a huge thunder storm and heavy rain. Today, it was something a little less wet, but a little more shaky.

Around 1:30 p.m., me and two friends were standing in the gym with our new PT. We were just about to start our work out (all very excited), when we heard something that sounded like a thunder storm. When the whole building started shaking and small pieces of wood fell down from the ceiling we got a bit shaky too. Especially when our PT said "It's an earthquake! I think we have to leave the building."

It was an earthquake and we did leave the building. We had to leave school, actually. When we got home, our fellow students were waiting for us and told us that we had been adviced to stay on ground floors and be prepared for more quakes.

So far, so good with that. The damages around the area are small, almost non-existing. The National Cathedral got a bit of a turn, other than that, nothing severe. But to experience an earthquake sure feels big. What can I say, DC is the place where it all, all, happens!



Monday, August 22, 2011

I like my life.

United States of America. So far, so good. I like it here, I like my life and I do my best to catch every single moment of it all. The thought of going back to Sweden stresses me out, so I'm trying to not think at all. I'm waving my flag and aim for the sky. Totally high on life!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Do you see it?

We think we ordered a cheesecake. But we are not really sure. Can you see it?


America and the choices.

I love food. When I travel to a new place, preferably in a new country, I like to walk around looking at food. Not only do I love these big fruit, fish, meat, what have you, markets, I also love the small deli on the corner as much as I like the huge grocery store out in the suburb. Yes, I have this weird thing for grocery stores.

Here, in the United States of America, I am somewhat in heaven. The shops and grocery stores are many and almost always open. At least in my neighborhood. Before going here, I was imagining that everything would be big. Huge, even. A fellow classmate told me the other day, that she saw a packet of butter as big as herself - whether or not that is true I cannot say, but I will find out some time during the upcoming week. 

What amazes me the most, and makes me feel like I'm in heaven, is not the size, it is the multiple choices! America sure is the country of choices. Not ideal for a very indecisive person as me. My first grocery shopping took at least three hours and I was so puzzled by all the choices that I only left with some plain yoghurt, cereal and baby carrots.

It will take me some time to get used to this. But I guess I will slowly but surely learn from the best, my roommate, who went to buy ice cream last night and came back with every single flavor in the shop. Why choose when you can have it all? 

Everything but...

/Indecisive person



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Is there anything to see overseas?

Today, the whole group of Swedish students have been on a sightseeing tour with brilliant Mr. Ken Balbuena (the man who talks faster than Usain Bolt runs and later this semester will help us find a good internship). The tour lasted for four hours and those might have been the four most overwhelming hours of my life. Ok, maybe not. I'm exaggerating a bit, but the tour was definitely a tour and a half!

Washington D.C. offers, basically, everything you want and need plus everything you never knew you wanted and needed. It's amazing. I have no words. One year in this amazing place will not be enough for me. All of a sudden, I understand all those people who told me before I left; "You will never come back."

I never want to go back. I want to explore every corner of these surroundings and for that, not even a lifetime will be enough.


First pitcher, second pitcher, third pitcher... thunder storm!

We were all very excited. We were there in time - and with in time, I mean in time. We had loaded up with documents to prove we are students, to be able to get a 50 per cent discount. We had a look at the foam fingers. One of us bought a baseball. We had a pretzel. A few bought some beer. We raised up when the national anthem started and everything was great. We saw pitcher number one, two and three. Eric, the only one among us actually knowing a bit about the sport, started a small lecture.

We had been watching the lightning from across town for quite some time and ten minutes into the game it all came over us. "Look at that, now it starts raining on that side of the park", I told my friend and the minute after it was all over us. It was not just a few drops, it was all the water that could possibly exist in the sky.

Our first baseball game ever ended under the roof of the Nationals Park. After over and hour, we lost all our hope and ran back to the metro to go back home. Apparently, the game was picked up after yet another hour. So, we never really got to see our first baseball game, but we got to experience the whole thing, plus a little extra, and that was totally worth the 10 bucks that we spent.





Friday, August 19, 2011

NOVA.

I will be spending a lot of my time at NOVA - Northern Virginia Community College. First impression is good - nice, helpful people in a culturally diverse atmosphere. I will be studying journalism, writing for public relations and business and professional communication. When I won't be the nerd in the classroom or library, I will be found in the gym with a PT (of course I'll get a PT, they offer it for free!) or with other students in the International Group or maybe working with the school paper. As I said, I will go all in on the campus life.

I'll tell you more about NOVA another day, now we're heading towards our first baseball game! Go Washington Nationals! Does anyone know anything about baseball, by the way?


About the news.

The Dean of Liberal Arts welcomed us, all the Swedish students, this morning. He made some jokes about the weather and talked about IKEA. The usual, you know. Then, he said something that sent a rush of excitement through my body:

"Here, local news is international news."

I think I'm on the right spot.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Miss Student - the final rush.

What day is it today? I don't really know, but when I do some really thorough research I find out that it's Thursday. I've been here for two days now and everything is still new. The girl who is a bit impatient is on the one hand a bit frustrated that she doesn't know where all the good places are and what the bus routes look like, but on the other hand, she is very excited about everything that is new - all the time. Oh, the girl I'm referring to is of course myself.

Yesterday and today I have been visiting the college where I will attend five courses during this first semester here in DC, 'cause that's what I will be doing here; study. In the meantime, I will also be preparing for an internship, which will start after Christmas.

I am motivated to study, but I hope this will be some kind of final rush. Today, as I was listening to various counsellors talking about how to transfer credits, how to pick a major and so on and so forth, I felt kind of relieved that I already know what I am doing and where I am heading. I want to live in the moment, go all in on campus life and start to study now, but after that I think I am ready to leave the comfortable school books. First stop: internship. Second: real life.

All of a sudden, life becomes real and I really, really like it.



Greetings from an, at the moment, unbelievably tired person who cannot get herself together and write anything comprehensible. Sorry for that. Some people call it jet lag, we might call it socialize and play games with fellow students. Or a bit of both. Anywho - life is good.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm here!

I just want to tell the world that I'm here, in DC, alive and kicking. I love the place, I love the city, I love my life and myself for doing this.

I will get back on you later, with a more thorough report. Now I'm heading out to fix all that has to be fixed. I'll get an American cell, I'll buy all the things I left at home and I'll take lots of pictures of my hoods.

Take care, dear reader.

/Milon actually in the US!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Layover...

Copenhagen. Nice airport here. Fresh and clean. Long flight requires lots to read. I'm more than prepared.



It's Departure Day!

It's not really pre departure anymore. It's departure time, departure day! This is what I saw when I woke up this morning. I had a nice long look at the two calendars and thought: "Well, if the calendar tells me to move to DC, then let me move to DC!" So here I am, at the airport, ready to leave on a jetplane and MOVE TO WASHINGTON DC!

Dear reader, I am so incredibly happy. When it's right, you know it's right. I wish you all will have the possibility to feel this kind of happiness I'm feeling. I wish you all will have the courage to follow your dreams and sail away where your heart wants to go.

I'm boarding in a minute. I'm unbelievably tired, so I'm looking forward to have a nice long sleep on the plane and then wake up to my big dream.

Dream on, dear reader. But remember to not only dream about your life, but to also live in your dream!

Lots of love

/Milon on the go



Monday, August 15, 2011

ONE DAY TO GO!

I'm back in Gothenburg, after travelling back an forth between Sweden and Denmark for four days. I had a blast on the boat, but now we are done playing. It's time for my real life to start. I am looking forward to start using my real brain again and read and learn and follow my dream. I cannot wait for this life to start. I cannot wait to leave this grey city behind for some nine months; learn new things and meet new people.

I don't know when I'll get Internet to my apartment, but I'll keep you updated, I promise. Join me, why don't you?! I bet we're gonna have a blast.

LET THE FUN BEGIN!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm on at boat...

I should be at home working my ass off cleaning and packing. But I'm not. I'm at work. Out at sea, on a boat. I boarded 7:00 a.m. this lovely grey Thursday and I won't egt off until Sunday night around 23:30 p.m. So, please be patient with the updates. I promise you, once in D.C. this will all be so much more exciting.

So long! Simma lugnt, as we say in Sweden!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Between love and good bye.

Dear reader,

I am sorry for neglecting you. I've been busy elsewhere. I've been in Happy Land and Happy Place. I've been celebrating myself and one of my best friends with a big birthday party with family and friends. From early family dinner, to live music, to dance, to tequila frog, to swimming when the sun was rising.

I've been playing with my prince in the sun. Kissing him and telling him I'm always close, even if I'm a thousand miles away. I've been helping out with my sister's wedding. I've been driving around, buying things, baking and decorating 120 cupcakes, singing and serving guests. I've been having a blast! I've been celebrating my oldest brother's birthday. And La Grande Finale, Saturday night - when the wedding ceremony was finished, I had informed the waiters about all the dinner details and arranged the last flower - I took a drink in my hand, sat down with nice company and enjoyed an amazing evening. So much love, so much laughter, so much of every thing you want from life.

And now. I'm back in Gothenburg. In emotional roller coaster. Somewhere between love and good bye. Feeling excitement and hunger. Curiosity and lust. But at the same time a little bit of that awkward stab in my chest. The feeling of "What are you doing, Milon? Why are you leaving all the loved ones behind?"

Well, no matter how much I love you, this is something I just have to do. It's not for you, it's for me. I cannot explain it, it's a feeling in my heart. After such an amazing week, my heart is all filled up with love and that gives me strength to keep on dancing on my own.




Monday, August 1, 2011

No white dress, but a big White House.

This week, I'm up in northern Sweden with my family, in my hometown. In our parents' house, on top of the big old piano, they have pictures of all their children and their families. My two brothers are caught on their respectively wedding days, with their beautiful wives wearing beautiful white dresses. This Saturday, my sister is getting married too, thus another wedding photo will soon be placed on the piano.

I'm also there, on the piano. But not with a wedding dress. Not even with a man. The picture of me, myself and I, was taken outside of the Casino in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Somehow, that sums it all up in a good way.

I don't think I am the marrying kind. The girl who wants to go her own way and cannot think of staying for too long in one place is probably not marriage material. Therefore, I don't think I'll ever end up on the piano wearing a white dress. But that's alright with me, because very soon, I'm gonna end up on the piano standing in front of The White House.

And if you ask me, that's not so bad. Not so bad at all.