26

Back in Sweden after a very long week. But it still was over so fast. I am now older than when I left (which I could have said even if it wasn’t my birthday today, but it is a cliché, and sometimes clichés are fun), but I don’t feel too much different.

The day started with a nice surprise at breakfast at the hotel in Rome. The personnel gave me a pastry with a candle in it and wished me a happy birthday! That was so sweet of them. The green juice is green apple juice, really tasty.

We packed, and then drove out to the beach in Ostia, we just picked the closest one, Mamma Mia Beach. It was not as warm today, only around 19C, and a bit windy, so no swimming in the ocean for me. But I felt the water, it was cold (it wouldn’t have been impossible to go in, but I preferred to sit in the warm sand and enjoying the sun rather than shivering in the wind). We were there for about 45 minutes and then we had to leave for the airport which was only 15 minutes away. We had lunch, did a little shopping, boarded the plane and flew home to cold Gothenburg.

It is nice to be home, but I miss the sun and the warmth. You would think that it would be warmer than 6C here now in April…

Mom picked us up at the airport, drove us home and we went shopping. Late dinner in front of the movie Trolls, consisting of entrecote, potato gratin and pepper sauce. No cake for dessert since they didn’t have any at the store, but some Easter candy and a Budapest pastry.

It honestly didn’t really feel like my birthday today, but it really hasn’t the past few ones either. Downsides of getting older, eh?

Northumbria or Chalmers?

When I applied for this master program late last summer I didn’t expect to get in, the name of the program sounded interesting, it could be a good back-up plan if I didn’t get a job, which I didn’t. So it turned out great. I had no idea what it meant to pursue an MSc degree, and even less what International Project Management meant. It basically means that I prolonged getting a job with two years and being part of a class of around 40 people where a big majority of them are foreigners. It also means that, to get international experience, one semester abroad at another university is an option. That semester is coming up and I have no idea what to do. I know from experience that writing it down can help, and also some help from my few readers perhaps? The university abroad is called Northumbria and is located in Newcastle, England and I would spend 3 months there (mid-September to mid-December).

Here are the pros and cons I can think of at this moment.

NORTHUMBRIA
+ If I go and then do my master thesis on my own I will get 2 MSc degrees.
+ I will get more experience
+ It will hopefully be fun (I have heard that there are lots of drinking going on there and since I don’t drink I am afraid that I will feel left out).
+ It is only 3 months away from home.
+ Jesper and I can scratch more countries on our Scratch Map if he comes and visit me (England is close to Sweden and it is rather cheap to fly there).
I have signed a contract for Liseberg until mid-October.
It will be expensive and I would have to take extra student loans.
I will be away from Jesper for 3 months.
I will be away from Cleo for 3 months (I am pretty much the only one he really likes).
I won’t be able to play any beach volleyball (and just as I was getting started with it again…).
The courses don’t seem too interesting and I can’t change them:
Research skills and methods of inquiry
Project, Programme and Portfolio Management
Risk and Value Management
Project Sustainability

CHALMERS
+ I can transfer the German credits I got at Cal Poly so I can study 50%, work more and make more money.
+ I can choose whatever classes I want to. And I can choose to take either 2 or 4 depending on if I want to transfer the German credits:
Urban Metabolism
Managing Stakeholders for Sustainable Development
Project, Simulation and Modeling in Urban Planning
Quality Management
Environmental Impact Assessment
+ I can start early on my master thesis if I want to.
+ I can save money.
+ I don’t have to quit my job at Liseberg.
+ I don’t have to be away from Jesper nor Cleo.
+ I can play lots of beach volleyball.
I will only get 1 MSc degree.
No abroad experience.

I have already figured out where I want to live if I go, so that’s not a stress element. I made a brief budget and with the extra student loan, after both rent back home and in Newcastle, I will have about 6500 SEK per month to spend on food, cell phone and stuff. And that is without the money I will be able to save after working at Liseberg all summer.

It would be so nice to continue my good life here at home and only study 50% this fall and take it a little chill. But at the same time, 2 master degrees and a semester abroad sounds like fun. I don’t know what to do. Last day I have to decide is June 1st, so I have a little more time. But before May 10th, I have to pick classes for Chalmers for the fall and I have to apply for university housing in Newcastle as soon as possible… Decisions.

 

And here are some random pictures:

IMG_4991 Jesper’s new baby sister Joeli. Such a cutie! She didn’t make a sound during the whole time we visited. And Benji, the proud big brother couldn’t let go of Youtube.IMG_20160419_160238 IMG_20160416_164317 Family birthday party, Ramses is of course in the middle of it all.IMG_20160417_003122 Having two cats means always being observed.20160411_140139 Snapchat-6750850421073615381 Snapchat-7488611384848060388 Cleo and Ramses had a party when Jesper accidently spilled food.Snapchat-8163901968016079105 Ramses sleeping in the sink.1460969454128 My new background on my phone.

A quarter century!

So, 25 years ago I was born. Twenty-five years! It is a big number and definitely a milestone. It’s crazy, but I can’t do anything about it than thank everyone for their happy-birthday-wishes today. I had a wonderful day, it was the most beautiful spring day ever! Not a single cloud anywhere to be seen and it was warm in the sun. Sure, I guess it could have been any other day than a Monday and a school day, but it was still okay. I didn’t do much, went to class, went grocery shopping, cleaned the apartment, played a little on my new Wii U (that Jesper gave me yesterday) and waited for Jesper to come home from work. Soon after that mom came over and we made dinner; tacos. And for dessert; princess cake! Doesn’t matter how old I am, there should always be a princess cake, haha!

It’s been a long time ago since I updated, and not because not many fun things have happened, I just kinda lost my will to write. So here comes a bunch of photos from the last three months instead (sorry, but many of them are of the cats).

Snapchat-5707624776733512754 RamsesSnapchat-5810324255267391196 There was a period when the cats pooped shapes, here was a cat!Snapchat-5971708935792197947 Snapchat-6281412214506013341 Snapchat-6625471852755381294 Cleo is sit-sleeping. Snapchat-8367736236117518819 You can’t go to the bathroom alone.Snapchat-311050361588944317 They removed the soles from my shoes not once, but twice!! Snapchat-778843254324361477 They got a new active toy which they love, blinking balls on a rollercoaster.Snapchat-1863879408636719822 This is the cutest picture ever. I did not put them like this,they fell asleep like it!Snapchat-2467392393892331450 They always sleep along my legs or on them when I am sitting on the couch!Snapchat-2755412171376574423 Never alone.Snapchat-3008962028462712662 Even if they fight a lot, they still seem to like each other.Snapchat-4619855813923631677 Ramses is very chill!Screenshot_2016-02-27-12-34-03 20160229_174001 We had some very pretty sunset the past months.IMG_20160203_223705 IMG_20160209_195354 Semla mudpieIMG_20160217_143337 IMG_20160320_183418 20160303_213048 Ramses the chill.IMG_20160317_144645 IMG_20160317_205648 St. Patricks Day.Screenshot_2016-03-17-13-36-33 IMG_20160325_132959 PANO_20160329_160817 IMG_20160401_192251Jesper and I went up to my cousins in Nynäshamn a week ago. We had a great time up there, played a lot of cards, walked around in the harbor, enjoyed their new hot tub with an ocean view and just hung out.IMG_20160402_122203 IMG_20160403_11243520160409_203531 I got new toys for the cats, and it did not take long before one of them was in its natural habitat. Now it is completely gone!20160411_140139 Cleo is such a beautiful cat! IMG_20160409_134334 Rachel (for those who don’t know, to the right, and my former roommate in California) came here with her friend Elyse to visit for a few days.  We went out to the archipelago and enjoyed the amazing Swedish spring on the west coast.IMG_20160409_142730 IMG_20160409_155340 IMG_20160409_161016 IMG_20160409_142128

Here is a link to google maps where I uploaded a sphere picture taken at Öckerö after my 17-year old cousin told me about it, haha! (I am getting old):

 

Other than what I have taken pictures of, I am doing well in school. I am almost done with my first year in grad school, one more to go. Last quarter I took a class called Leadership & Communication and the home exam I wrote with another girl was super interesting: Why do people follow destructive leaders? We brought up Hitler and Trump as examples and it was the easiest finals week ever. I haven’t gotten the grade for it yet, but it should arrive very soon.Then we had three days in school and then two weeks off. I needed it, just relax for a bit. Today was the first day back after the break and on Wednesday we have a presentation. A few more weeks and then the summer is here and lots of work at Liseberg (where I actually start in two weeks already, but not full time until the last week of May).

I have also been reading, but haven’t finished anything new in a while since I am reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and it is long. The new ereader (Kobo GLO) is working perfectly!

I have also played a lot of beach volleyball and have already have many ups and downs. I hope I will have time to play this summer as well, even with lots of work at Liseberg (or maybe SKANSKA if they will contact me about my application I sent in a month ago).

I should probably go to bed now, I am not as young as I was yesterday and I have a lecture tomorrow at 9am. I can’t make any promises about more frequent posts, but I can almost say that the next one won’t take three months.

Last week

Let’s just face it, I am not gonna update this as often as I used to in the US. It is a shame, but with no time, there is not much to do about it.

I have lots of things I want to write about, and for the best reading experience for you guys, I will start with something not very happy and then end with something happy. Something is weighing on my shoulders and I feel a very big need of writing it down so I can let go of it. It is not exactly a big deal, but it is something I shouldn’t have to deal with when the only thing I am doing is doing my job. But I guess dealing with upset and angry people is what to expect when working in the service industry. I understand that we are all humans, have feelings and have better or worse days. Today was honestly the best day I have had at work since I started on July 1st. Not because of anything special, but because I felt happy and energetic, woke up on the right side. No idea why (maybe because my sweet boyfriend called me to wake me up this morning, he is up north to compete in the Swedish Championship in track and field, he is high jumping tomorrow, I send all my wishes of good luck to him), but it was just a good day, and sometimes I have bad days for no particular reason too. I think this lady at Helix today had a bad day, and she let it all out over a colleague of mine and me. She was of a bigger size and everyone knows that Helix is very sensitive and even people who you would normally not think of as bigger can’t go on the normal seats and have to sit in the last two seats because they are bigger. We who work there are always very sensitive when we tell the guests that we can’t get the restraint in the right position and that they can wait for the next train and sit in the back. Most people are understanding and even joke about how fat they are. Which honestly makes me a little uncomfortable but better that than them yelling at me. And that’s what happened today. She was even too big for the seats in the back and before my colleague could even try to push the restraint down to the right position, she started telling him how bad at his job he was and that he was very insensitive about the whole situation. Which of course he wasn’t, he did exactly as he was supposed to, he has worked at Liseberg for many years and know how to talk to guests and handle difficult situations. They had to go to the side and they kept talking. After a while he left to go talk to our supervisors (I am not sure exactly what they said, so I am not completely sure why she was upset). We rotated on the station (so we don’t just check restraints on one side for a full 30 minutes or an hour, to prevent injuries), I was happy as I had been all day so far, when I was done with my five restraints I walked to the exit and gave signal for the operator to send the train away. And out of nowhere she starts yelling at me. I was so shocked at first I didn’t know what to say. I asked her why she took this out on me and she replied that I started it. She kept telling me that we all did a horrible job and that we should handle situations like these better and that we represents Liseberg. I then told her that she represents the guests at Liseberg, she was quiet for a few seconds, shocked I guess. Then kept going on and on, told me that we didn’t want to deal with her and just left her. I of course tried to defend myself and told her that my colleague was up on the phone and that we treat every guests well. And when she still wouldn’t let me be I told her straight up (because there was no way to reason with her) that I didn’t want to just stand there and take the shit she unprovokedly threw at me, and then walked away.

I am sure she was embarrassed, because everyone on the station can see when we have to move these bigger people around. But I don’t understand why  she has to make an even bigger deal about it and make us feel bad? I honestly was just seconds away from crying when I walked away. We are doing the best we can and frankly, we are all doing an amazing job. Working at an amusement park with guests is hard. We are there for them, safety comes first and guests happiness a close second. I wish the guests would understand that most of the things that happen aren’t our faults, that we are just the people between. Don’t shoot the messenger kind of.

I have had a lot of uncomfortable situations with guests lately, for example when they are missing the right bracelets to go on the ride or when kids are too short and the parents blame me when the kids have gone on the ride before, even though there are several centimeters missing.

I have to say that I am getting better at handling situations like these unless I feel threatened. But when I know that I am right, I feel like I get authority and eventually they listen. Today was an exception, I got hurt, my feelings got hurt, and I just wanted to leave. I am sad to say that a very similar situation happened during the last hour at Helix too. Fortunately I wasn’t the victim, but another girl I work with got yelled at pretty badly by another guest who had some unrealistic demands. I knew that these situations would come up when I accepted this job, and most of the time it is okay. Today got out of hand though…

On a better note, that didn’t ruin my day, it ruined the rest of that half hour, but I was almost as happy on the next attraction as before.

This is becoming a very long post, but it feels good to get rid of these feelings. I had half an hour set aside today to talk to one of my supervisors about my feelings about this job and so on. She told me that the group of supervisors think of me as very stable and a safe employee, that it feels like I have been working at Liseberg forever. Hearing that made me so happy!

 

Now I feel done with work-related things. On Monday Jesper had his birthday, unfortunately he was working the whole day but we met up with his mom and youngest sister for dinner. It was good to finally meet them and they were both very nice. The day after we met up with his dad and his younger brother, who is only 11 months, and seriously the cutest baby ever. That was also a very nice afternoon. And later that evening Jesper and I took mom’s car and drove to Ramberget where we sat for a while with a small picnic and watched out over Gothenburg. That was our day off together. It really is too bad we are both working so much. But I think from this week and forward we are not working as much.

I am too tired to try and find the pictures that correlate to this post on my phone so I will post them tomorrow. Now it is high time to go to bed. 11 hours at work. You could say that I am tired…

German midterm and hike

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

So yesterday I had my first midterm of this quarter, the German one, and I have to say that it felt really good. I answered everything and that’s all I can do.

In the evening I went to a presentation given by an immigration attorney from LA who talked about the H-1B visa and permanent residency. It was interesting, and now it feels pretty hopeless to ever be able to move here in the future. Even if I would find a job, there is not even sure that I would get the visa since only 65,000 get it every year and more than 200,000 apply for it. Maybe I should just try to see myself living in Sweden now. Why should it be so hard to move here?

After that meeting I went to Farmer’s Market with David, walked around for a bit and then went for dinner at wunderbar Firestone. The rest of the evening I was just at home, not doing anything special.

Today I was supposed to go surfing in Morro Bay at 8am, but my surf partner lost his car keys so that didn’t happen. Instead, I went back to bed and then skyped with mom. It was her birthday today! Happy birthday once again :).

Then I made an adventure of going grocery shopping. No one was home and I needed food pretty bad, so I picked up my new headphones at the post office (they are amazing! My old ones broke a couple of days ago, but at least 3 years for a pair of in-ear is not bad at all, go Sennheiser), picked up my bike on campus and rode to Haggen (former Albertson’s) on Foothill. As a second breakfast I got a donut from Slodoco and then a bunch of baking ingredients. Since I am all alone (Rachel’s at Stagecoach and Lauren was home in Solvang, but she came back tonight) I knew I would be bored so I decided to bake, or rather make, rocky road fudge.

Right after I came home from the bad bike ride home from the grocery store David texted me and asked if I wanted to hike Serenity Swing and Architecture Graveyard. I never say nay to a beautiful hike, so off we went. First to the swing. As beautiful as always up there. The hills are getting browner and browner. It is sad. Why can’t Sweden send some of its rain here to California? I wonder if I would win the Nobel Prize if I invented something that would transfer the rain from there to here. Maybe that’s what I am destined to do instead of something else that I don’t know yet?

We explored around the different constructions at Architecture Graveyard for a while, took some cool photos, didn’t see any horses (bummer), and then went back where we started making the rocky road fudge. He left at 8 to watch the end of the Cal Poly baseball game but was back at 9:30 and I cooked dinner for the three of us, because he brought Alex with him. Then we just hung out until after midnight. It was a nice and relaxed evening.

Now for some reason, the time is already past 2 in the morning. I am really tired, but still have to make my bed after doing laundry tonight. It will be so nice laying down in newly washed sheets!

PANO_20150424_165850 IMG_20150424_183942 IMG_20150424_180042 IMG_20150424_175229 IMG_20150424_175144 IMG_20150424_180739 IMG_20150424_181532 IMG_20150424_181619

Crazy birthday weekend

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

Wow, I haven’t updated my blog in more than a week. I’m sorry blog. So much happening all the time, and mostly homework. The workload is approximately the same as last quarter, maybe even more.

Last week wasn’t very interesting, I spontaneously went downtown on Thursday, on Friday I hung out with some friends and Saturday was my birthday. I started my 24th birthday with skyping with mom and opening her gift. I got teary-eyed. It was a beautiful silver ring and silver infinity sign bracelet. And in the card she said that the bracelet was the first thing she made in that silver smithy class she is taking. So sweet of her!!

Then I spent the rest of the day with Lauren. First we went for breakfast at Slodoco and then to Pismo Beach. We were only there for 2 minutes, it was so windy. My dad called me while we got there and wished me a happy birthday. That was nice of him to call all the way to California!

So we went to the pool in PCV instead. Not too bad that either. We were there for like an hour before we needed to go back and prepare for dinner and downtown. Rachel, Lauren, Cody, Aiden, Pelle, Ciara, and I went to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. From Lauren and Rachel I got a tiara to wear so everyone downtown would know it was my birthday, I also got a sweet card and nailpolish. Lately I’ve been very focused on painting my nails. I wonder where that came from? From Cody I got a cute seahorse decoration thing and a princess wand to match my tiara, haha. Also a very sweet card. These guys are the best!!

So, our night started at SLO Brew and then we went to Motav. People kept buying me drinks, even random people who just wished me a happy birthday. People here really like birthdays. I didn’t have to pay any cover fees and the music was good at Motav for once. The first song played was The Nights by Avicii. I wasn’t feeling too drunk until after midnight. It went from nothing to everything very fast. I honestly can’t remember anything from after midnight. That never happened before, it is scary, and I will never ever get that drunk again. Yesterday I only left bed to shower. I was still hungover today. It got pretty okay at like 6pm. And now I can eat normally. I feel kinda done with alcohol now, and besides, I am old, haha!

This morning I skipped the beach volleyball lesson and TRX, because I was still hungover. German class was fine, it was a recap of the last two quarters. Then I went back home to study. So much homework… Free pizza in the courtyard and I don’t feel bad anymore. I would have needed that pizza yesterday, haha!

I did one quiz in Digital Cities today, I finished most of my German homework (but I can’t focus, so I will save the last two assignments for tomorrow). I should do more, but my brain is all mushy and I am tired. I have another day tomorrow too!

Swedish Easter egg The Swedish Easter bunny found its way to SLO.Birthday cookies Rachel baked my favorite cookies (oatmeal raisin) and left a chunk of dough on my fridge shelf. Isn’t she the sweetest?!Windy Pismo Beach Pismo Beach on Saturday was ridiculously windy. Way way away from where I stood there were a ton of kitesurfers. Maybe you can see them if clicking on the picture to zoom in?Birthday bouquet I got flowers from the people.Mom's jewlery The jewelry I got from mom ❤Birthday gangCody, me, Rachel, Lauren, Ciara, Pelle, and Aiden. Thanks guys for an awesome birthday!!

90 year birthday party

Yesterday I went to Hjo with mom and Chad for a tripple birthday party. The usual people were there, my uncle, my three cousins Linnea (and her boyfriend), Lovisa and Malin, my grandma, grandpa and his wife. It was a very nice day with lots of awesome food and several different desserts, perfect!

We had BBQ with different types of meat, BBQ sauces, potato au gratin and salads. I had so much food but didn’t feel very bad about and now, the day after when the scale only showed 57.5kg (that’s a total weightloss of 7kg since I started trying to lose weight), I am gonna start to not feel bad about good food I’m eating once in a while.

As dessert we had a cake that Malin baked with the number 90 printed in M&Ms on it. The total age of me, Linnea and mom was 90.

And as second dessert we made s’mores. I actually only had one. We watched a little “Gladiatorerna” and then I drove us home to Gothenburg again.

 

Today I woke up at 1pm, had lunch and played Guild Wars 2 for the rest of the day. There are so many things to do, but my first goal is to explore the whole world and then try some PvP. I have a little more than 50% explored after 150 hours of gameplay. Taking a break to focus on school was just a joke…

I also got a very fun phone call today. It seems like I get all these job calls on Sundays. Anyways, this was from Liseberg!! They need someone at the attraction department at the end of this month. Since I’ve already been through two  interviews so they just want me to come in on Wednesday and give me all the details about the job and confirm the dates I can work. I interpret that as I will get the job if I want it. And that is so awesome!! It turns out that everything works out in the end, even if it takes a lot of time sometimes 🙂

I am not completely sure what it means, but I guess everything about the attractions, like taking tickets, checking kids’ lengths, check the safety belts and such. I am so excited!

But I will still go to the interview at home service tomorrow. I haven’t signed a contract yet so I still need backup plans.

I found out today that I don’t have to pay the initial payment of $1125 to Cal Poly Housing. So awesome!! I think this application online in my Cal Poly account means that I will get the room, but I am not sure. In the email I got a few weeks ago it said that Cal Poly was glad to offer me a room on campus. It sounds like I have it 🙂

In the evening Chad came over and we cooked a gourmet dinner of meatballs and mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes with gravy and lingonberries. It is a very simple meal but oh, it was soo good! We shared a bottle of wine and talked the whole evening. A perfect Sunday evening! ❤