2011 Jan 16 | weekend #1 of 12 fun

They have little glow-in-the-dark strips everywhere. Even my light switches are GITD.

One thing about these simple phones vs more advanced ones: the batter lasts forever. I have to charge this guy like once a week instead of once a day like my iPhone.

I kept thinking REA was a store. I swear there's a store with a name close to that, but I can't remember which one it is.

However, then I noticed REA was on different store.

Cuz yeah, rea = sale. That should have been obvious to someone even slightly aware of their surroundings.

The toilets have two flush levels.

On Friday we had an international student orientation at the campus. As usual, I picked up a few pieces of useful info (including some coupons, yeah!), but then sat through a lot of random facts about Sweden that nobody, including the presenters, really cared about.

There's a free Swedish course, but I'm not sure if I'm gonna take it. It's kind of long, it doesn't start for a while and I'm only here 3 months, and most classes like this I spend 90% of the time on stuff I already know any only get 10% new info, especially because I have some Learn Swedish books and CDs here that I can use instead.

Ooh, free lunch. I should copy this and print a bunch out and see how many times I can use it. Although I don't think that would actually work because they probably don't have a group using these every day.

The pork loin and potatoes were good, and I really liked the bread.

You have to clean off your own plate before sending them through to get washed.

My KI card, which AFAIK isn't really that useful because it's used for stuff on campus, and I'm almost never going to be there. The card I need for the student discount on the subway I can't get until Monday (when we're actually registered with the university), and even then, they said it'd take a while to get to us. But I do like the Optikerstud part.

Some of the panels in the floor had holes in them. Maybe to drain the melting snow off boots? I dunno.

This guy was pretty good; he talked about the cultural differences between Sweden and other parts of the world and kept it really entertaining and interactive. He wouldn't leave me alone once I said I was from Texas, though. One interesting thing is that being a doctor isn't that important in Sweden, and he said most people wouldn't even put it in front of their name; he did it just to point out the fact.

Urinal trench thingy in the bathroom.

Most of the exchange students hung around for a bit and had a beer here.

Some of us went and ate dinner with Mina, one of the people from Global Friends. We went to Kungshallen, which is a giant area with all different types of restaurants, like the food court in a mall.

It was packed, but we managed to find a table.

Gotta watch out for pickpockets.

This was $16. A bit more than you'd pay in a mall, but there was more food and it was better.

Afterwards we went to Jägargatan, one of the other student dorms. It's actually in a hospital, and we took a train there. However, then we had to walk up this giant set of stairs. I hope the patients take a different route, cuz they'll have a heart attack if they come this way.

Lots of long scary hallways in the hospital.

Rent-a-hangers, I guess.

Don't see nude statues in many US hospitals.

This was weird. Half of the wall was just bare, and then half would have this beach scene painted on them.

A view out of the building.

And in the other direction.

A panoramic.

This toilet had little bars that you could pull down, I guess for the handicapped / elderly.

Hey, get that leaf out of our picture! Then again, I at least knew it was a fake plant.

OK, this one's a bit better.

Drink up!

The other side of the room.

I liked this stuff; gotta remember it. Although it's a bit girly, so I'll have to stick to the high-alcohol content ones or cover the percentage up with my hand to avoid embarassment.

Our little group for the night.

This freaked me out. The three giant indentations high up in the elevator reminded me of the movie Relic, especially since we were in what seemed like an almost completely abandoned gigantic building, I was a bit worried some monster was gonna come and eat us.

You'd be tired at 4:30 in the morning, too.

Brr, that poor woman.

More stuff for sale in our dorm, but nothing I need.

Some sort of protest going on at Sergels Torg.

Ooh, 10kr off any meal over 55kr at the Burger King here. It's only a buck, but hey, it's a buck.

Sergels Torg.

The tower in the background is Central Station.

Sergels Torg from down below.

The Gallerian is a big mall nearby.

Ooh, balloon rides over Stockholm. That would be really cool, in both meanings of the word.

There's a free bus that goes to IKEA. It used to leave from here, but apparently not any more.

A bunch of kids around here had balloon animals. I wanted one, but I felt embarrassed to ask.

I thought this would probably be a much cooler picture from the front of the church, but it was a fair distance away, and it wasn't worth it just for one picture. Maybe another time.

The new location for the bus to IKEA, Vasagatan 18. Although you can always take the T-bana to Skärholmen station and then the 173 bus there as well. Plus, this bus has limited hours (it stops at 5pm and doesn't go on weekends), so the T-bana is probably actually better.

Hotel Terminus, right across from Central Terminal.

Arrows telling people which side of the tunnel to walk on.

The little shopping area just north of Central Station. I'm pretty sure these are supposed to be for pedestrians only; this guy looked like a lost tourist.

The street in the other direction.

Neat USB drives.

This store is like a Spencer's in the US.

A giant dog in the mall.

A shop with all kinds of neat little things.

Everyone who isn't sitting crowds into the areas around the doors rather than moves out into the walkway between them, which is a bit weird.

You have to rip open these bags yourself in the grocery store.

You pack your own bags, but people in Germany did it a lot faster.

This little multi-tool has come in pretty handy so far to cut and to open bottles.

The main light in my room: just kinda hanging there.

Another hazard: the towel rack is right next to this heater, which gets really hot. So I always try to make sure I push the towel away from it. The curtains in the room have the same problem: the heater is directly underneath the window.
The T-bana stop for two sets of dorms, Strix (which I'm in) and Pax, is Västra skogen.

That's kinda pretty. They should get everyone above and below them to do different colors.


Making Hot Shots. They didn't have a coffee maker, but she improvised quite well.

Strix and Pax don't have common rooms like Jägargatan, so everybody has to crowd into the kitchen.

We fit a ton of people into this elevator couldn't figure out why we were stopping at every floor. Turns out Dilan was smooshed into the buttons and pushed them all, haha.

Alice writing her name in the snow.

The price of perfection: falling in the snow rather than messing up the letters when you start to tip.

This was the Examensfesten, the party for graduating students at the university's pub.

It was weird. They started out with techno by a DJ, and then switched to this live band, which played 70s and other rock music, including Abba, of course.

Obviously a huge line for the coat room.

Waiting for the bus.

Ooh, she doesn't even have leggings. So glad I'm a guy right now.

The only bus we saw come by, and it didn't even stop. It wasn't supposed to, but it had gotten our hopes up when we saw it coming.

This was the only bus running at that time. Or, actually, not running, because the 1.25 and the 1.55 didn't show.

So after standing out in the cold for over half an hour, we took a taxi instead with some other random students who were waiting. Taxis are usually pretty expensive, but we jammed 5 people into it after finally convincing the driver and only went a little ways, so it only came out to like $3 a piece.

This guy might have been napping/resting, so the cops checked up on him.

This guy might have been napping/resting, so the cops checked up on him.