Late night beach volleyball

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.

I have missed this sport so much and I will try to play as much as possible from now on. Yesterday on the beach I ran into a guy who was really really good at beach volleyball. We peppered some, exchanged numbers and set up an evening session tonight with two of his friends in the backyard of Qualcomm. No wind, but it was a bit chilly but it was easy to get warm. We played for 3.5 hours without any breaks. I have never played that much before in a row. And the only thing that got worse was my right arm from all that serving and spiking. It was very close on all the games and I think we played 8 games to 21. I loved every second of it!

There is something very funny about this guy, Chris. After we became friends on FB, I saw that he had some pictures of Chad from San Diego on there. They were both in Mexico last summer playing a random-tournament, where you are partnered up with a random person and they were partnered up. So without knowing, I have had pictures of this guy (since Chad sent me pictures of both of them) on my phone since last July, and then I ran into him. The world is so small!

I am a little bit sad about going back to SLO tomorrow. I love San Diego and it was so nice to get away from reality for a weekend and live the life I did a year and a half ago. I miss it. Not that SLO is bad, I love SLO too, but it has been tough lately.

Today, before the volleyball (we played from 7pm to 10:30pm, I am impressed by myself) I was in my old room studying all day long. I got a lot of stuff done on the project, but I still have more to do. Probably a late night at the library tomorrow…

Yesterday I went with the Swedish girls to Del Mar Beach. The guys with the surfboards never got back to us so no surfing. We decided to go to a closer beach. I had actually never been there. It wasn’t the best of beaches, but it was a nice day. Until 4:30pm when out of nowhere a big fog cloud came in. It seriously went from clear blue sky to foggy in 30 seconds. Super weird. So I didn’t get my SoCal sunset this weekend. But I am planning on coming down for the second half of spring break.

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Outdoor beach volleyball

Yesterday I played beach volleyball again. And outside this time. First in Sweden! I was afraid that it was gonna be cold, but it was blue sky and perfect temperature for playing outside. I and Dzejna didn’t play very well, but we had fun, and that’s what matters.

After two hours of play we stayed on the sun deck tanning for 1,5 hours. It was amazing! But I was a bit read in my face when I came home. It is mostly gone by now, but it is clearly visible that I was wearing sunglasses yesterday.

One of the girls we were playing, Maria, asked me about my upcoming exchange year. I just told her that I am going to California. She said she had also been an exchange student in California. I didn’t ask where, I assumed it was in Santa Barbara or something where most go. But then she asked me if I had heard of a place called San Luis Obispo, when I said yes, she asked me CalPoly? It turned out that she was an exchange student there ten years ago from Chalmers. She’s not a building and civil engineer though, but a mechanical engineer. She told me I have an amazing year ahead of me and was happy for me for going to such a great school. The world is so small!

Beach CenterMe, Sarka, Maria and Dzejna.

I took a nap and in the evening I went out to dinner with Chad and met up with my dad and his girlfriends and some friends at a bar watching the Eurovision Song Contest. I wasn’t paying that much attention to the competition. But it was a nice evening.

Today was all about changing bed. The one I had was making way too much noise and was so old it was falling apart. So mom and I got the extra one from mom’s apartment, drove it here, and threw away the old one. It took a while but now it is done! I should buy a new mattress pretty soon. The one I have is almost falling apart…

Mom dropped me off after a quick grocery shopping. I felt like cooking blue cheese chicken casserole with grapes on it. It was well worth it, so delicious! It’s extremely easy, just melt the blue cheese with some cooking cream, put it in an oven safe thing for 10 minutes and then put grape halves on it and 5 more minutes in the oven. This time I completely forgot about what to have with it, I was gonna try the new tricolore quinoa I bought, but it would have taken too much time so I just made some couscous instead. A very nice dinner for a Sunday!

I never got my Course Permission Number for the EDES 406 class. It’s not okay to say that you will send the number within an hour and then don’t do it. It looks like the class is still not full in the student center, but still! It’s not okay to put this stress to international students. It’s hard to figure everything out without these kinds of problems… I hope I get an email tomorrow night, when she is back at work.


Okay, so tomorrow I am leaving this country again. The London trip is finally here! I packed today and it is surprisingly few things. What takes the most space is probably my school books. I am really excited and think it will be a fun week with mom and two of her friends.

Surprise party

Yesterday was a very nice day in almost every way. It started with four hours of work as an au pair recruiter. We were part of a “after  graduation” fair at a high school in Gothenburg where we talked to students about what to do after graduation. Some were interested, most not. Maybe a bunch of people will come to the next meeting because of it, we will see. I had a great time there and four hours just flew by. And when I got there I was met by the receptionist who I recognized a lot. It was the old receptionist at my high school many years ago. She recognized me after a few moments of thinking. She is very nice, I like her!

We got free lunch and a lot of fika. Right after I had a thesis meeting with Veidekke to attend to. They are very pleased with the result so far. We are gonna make some minor changes before Wednesday and then we should be done. Except for the writing part of course…

And right after that I met up with my cousin and her friend in downtown and showed them how to get home to me. They left some things, changed clothes like four times and then went to a concert with The Fooo. A Swedish boyband. And I mean boyband, they are 16 year olds… They have been famous for a year since they were up on stage before Justin Bieber when he was here a year ago. And girls are crazy about them for some unknown reason! They had been lining up outside the place where the concert took place since Tuesday! Apparently the first in line got to meet the band before the concert, but yesterday afternoon the band had walked along the line and hugged everyone. I guess those girls in the front felt kinda stupid. I think these guys are famous because they are so nice to their fans. And that’s not a bad thing. But they do look awfully a lot like Justin Bieber and that is a big no no for me.

When they had left I prepared the rest of the cake and called mom and asked her to pick me up at 17:45. She thought we were going to her friends to plan our trip to London, but it was a surprise party. She had no idea what was going on. Didn’t thought about the big bag I brought with me, or the cake (which was supposed to be there originally but then cancelled because of allergies, but I told mom I talked to the allergic person and it was fine), or the fact that I was doing the dishes while she waited downstairs to give the people at the party more time, or that my brother wanted me, not mom who were living with him, to drive him to his girlfriend (the party really) on a night before he had to work at 5am and when he just spent the entire week with her in Rome. Clueless and surprised when she saw everyone!

It was fun being part of that! So we ordered Greek food for dinner, drank wine, ate my cake and then mom opened her gifts. From me she got a new pair of sweatpants and two pairs of earrings. I bought the same ones because they were so cute. She never noticed me wearing them this last week though.

I got a lot of book tips from Gudrun, one of mom’s friends, who has the same taste of books, movies and TV shows. We had a great night, but I got tired quickly. I got home at 0:30am and tried to be as quiet as possible. My cousin were already home since two hours and had gone to bed. I am surprised. She is fifteen, she should be able to stay up all night, right?

Anyway, I was extremely tired, but still couldn’t resist playing 2048 on my phone in my bed for half an hour before finally falling asleep with the phone in my hand. That game is seriously addicting. The goal of the game is to get one tile with the number of 2048 and you do that by putting two equal tiles together. So two 2s become a 4, and two 4s become a 8 and so on. I’ve played it a lot lately, but I can’t get a tile with more than 1024. Stupid…

Anyway, it was a very nice day and I think today will be as good. BBQ in Slottskogen and a lecture from the architects of the new city library as part of the opening ceremony. Or maybe I will skip that and go back to bed? It’s not human to get up at 7:30am on a Saturday.

My cousin and her friend were satisfied with the concert and had a great time and no problem finding their way back to my place. They tried to be extremely quiet when making breakfast, but I am a light sleeper and wake up from pretty much anything. I wonder when they were planning on waking me up, haha.

Birthday cakeThe cake I made for mom was a success!

Here’s the recipe:

*400g of condensed milk
*150g butter
*300g Digestive crackers
*1l of fresh fruit (like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or whatever)
*1,5 double Daim (á 56g) (Daim=Heath bar but better)
*3dl whipped cream

How to
*Boil the can of condensed milk for 2,5 hours. The water is supposed to cover the can at all times. (Or you can buy a can of preboiled condensed milk, called Caramellised condensed milk)
*Let it cool off completely under cold water. The milk is now a caramel cream.
*Cover the inside of a pie form, diameter 24cm, about 8 pieces, with plastic sheeting.
*Melt the butter. Crumble the Digestive crackers into tiny tiny crumbs and mix it with the butter. Put the mix in the pie form and put it in the fridge for an hour.
*Remove the cake base from the form and plastic and put it on a plate.
*Put the caramel cream on the cake base as an even layer.
*Mince the Daim and whip the cream. Put 2/3 of the Daim in the cream. Put the whipped cream on the caramel cream.
*Last, put the rest of the minced Daim on the cake and then decorate with fruit.

Here is a link to the Swedish version of the recipe.

Job interview and the doctor

Yesterday I went to the doctor about this B12 problem of mine. A new investigation was put to action and I took a lot of blood tests. Big bruises on the insides of my arms now. I hope I will find out why I have this deficiency once and for all. And I also want B12. It is getting to my head and I am ridiculously tired all the time.

Today I had another job interview. This time it was at Burger King. I think that sounds more fun than at Home services. But it is only a part time job and I think I will get much more money from the old people job. That is a dilemma… I think I need to wait and see if I get any of them and then compare salaries or just take whatever I get.

What was so funny about this interview though was that the interviewer recognized me. I had no idea who he was. But then it turned out that we were in the same class in middle school! How small isn’t the world? Back then he was a tiny guy who didn’t speak Swedish very well. Now he was tall with barely no accent at all. Wow! I still think it is cool that I was being interviewed by a former classmate.

In the afternoon I was working with my thesis partner at Chalmers on our report. I hate writing. But we have come a long way and I hope that we will be done sometime next week. I won’t be able to do anything  else this week, maybe Sunday. But I have a lot to do. Structural Engineering studying tomorrow at school, baking a birthday cake for mom, yoga, working at Cultural Care, thesis meeting, London trip planning, visit from a cousin, BBQ in Slottskogen… Lots of stuff to do all the time. No wonder I am so exhausted.

Today was the opening of the City Library here in Gothenburg. I didn’t have time to go there today, but since the opening is going on for the rest of the week I am planning to go there on Sunday and listen to the architects of the building giving a presentation and take a look at my beautiful plaster and glass walls.

Yesterday I decided that it was well overdue to clean my earrings. Silver tend to get a layer of something on it after a while. So I searched online and first tried toothpaste, which didn’t work. My second try with aluminum foil balls in salty boiling water worked! A few, not to tight, foil balls, salt in the water, get the water to boiling point and then boil the silver earrings for five minutes. Almost as clean as new ones. Perfect! I like these household remedies :).


The last thing I want to write about before passing out on my bed is that I’ve gotten a lot of emails from CalPoly lately. I accidently turned off the email function on my phone and realized that today. I got a welcome email from the international center giving me my account information and CalPoly email. Of course my username is HBEMM (Hanna Bemm). I think I will get used to everyone calling me Hanna next year.

Another email was from University Housing telling me that they were happy to offer me space in their beautiful campus apartment for the upcoming academic year. That is great news! The problem is that I don’t understand what I am supposed to do now. So I sent a long email to that international center asking a lot of questions about everything. In a week I will have to sign up to the classes that I submitted in my application to the exchange program several months ago.

This thing is complicated! It is so much easier here where you apply for schools and programs and then get accepted to all the classes that is included. You sign up on a webpage and there you get a list of apartments you can apply for. So much easier!

This CalPoly thing is getting really real now. About four months until departure!! It will get even more real when I get my welcome package with all my legal papers (so I can apply for a visa) and tons of information from the school. Excited, oh yes! But at the same time, I wouldn’t mind staying here in Sweden either… I love my new  life here!

Beach day

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.

Today didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to but it was a very nice day anyway. Because of the bad weather (It’s not that bad, it was raining one night and morning and has been a little extra windy, but it is still 25C if not more. The waves on the north side of the island was supposed to be like 40feet today!!) the snorkeling with turtles was cancelled today again. So instead of that we went to Big Beach which was a very beautiful beach with yellow sand and huge waves! It was possible to be in the water, but it was tricky. They were breaking like right on the beach so it was very hard getting in and out of the water. Out wasn’t too bad. We just had to run out very fast and then we could jump with the waves, but going in. Oh my god! I thought I was gonna make it when I went in right after a big wave, but the next one caught up to me. The backcurrent of the first wave was like a brick wall and I couldn’t move particularly much.  So the next wave was at least as tall as I am and totally made me fall over and tumble around in the sandy water. I had sand, seriously everywhere after that!! But I survived and it was a workout even for just ten minutes.

That beach was by the way the same beach where the German au pair got bitten by a shark last summer and died. I wasn’t bitten and we didn’t see any sharks either. But we did see something else totally awesome! Whales! And today I learned that most of them here are Humpback whales. These were pretty close to shore and they were showing off. I think there were three of them and one of them did one of those super amazing whale jumps when they lift their upper body and then just falls down. And then they splashed with their side fins like all the time, blowing water and then one of them raised its tail and splashed it again and again and again. Like they do on SeaWorld. It was just so cool! I didn’t get a good picture of them but Caroline did get one awesome. I guess it doesn’t really matter though since we’re going to the whale watching tour tomorrow. And I can’t for everything in the world get a good translation of “whale watching” in Swedish. It’s disturbing…

The Big Beach was cut off from Little Beach by a small mountain and the view from that one was incredible. I wouldn’t say it was that good when you were looking on Little Beach, but Big beach was so beautiful. Well, Little Beach was too. But since that is a nude beach it wasn’t very nice to look at old men’s junks… Stephen Tyler from Aerosmith usually hangs out at that beach on Sundays, not nude. Maybe I will see him there on Sunday? He has a big house on that side of the island. I’m so not jealous…

Our next stop was the Kamaole Beach Park I. We played beach volleyball there for 1.5 hours. I didn’t enjoy it so much, but I missed it (I know, almost two weeks since I played!) so I felt that I had to. I really don’t like it to play more than 2 people on one side. Three is fine, but six? Oh no. But I got complemented on my serve which was awesome today. Better than everyone else’s, even the guys!

After that we had our last stop, Haui’s Life’s a Beach. It’s a restaurant and bar. I was starving and ordered a burger with ranch dressing and fried onion rings. And to that two Mai Tais. They were $2.50 each.

On the way home the girl in the front seat was so drunk. She was embarrassing herself with dancing and screaming along with the horrible songs she played on the iPhone’s AUX. Good thing it wasn’t a very long ride.

Back at the hostel I and Caroline tried the hot tub for the first time. It was warm and after 45minutes we were burning up and had to take cold showers. I will definitely go in that one after the 12 mile volcano hike on Saturday.

Our Canadian roomie left today and we got a new one. A German girl one year older than me. The funny thing about it, she came from San Diego where she’s been studying for the past six months. And the even funnier thing is that she came in from Waikiki, Oahu today and had spent 10 days on HI Waikiki where we also stayed! She arrived there on the 14th and we on the 15th. Haha! What a small world! She is very nice and is going to the whale watching tomorrow. I’m so excited about it, and then the Haleakala volcano hike on Saturday, beach day on Sunday and an amazing hike on Monday. And then of course Big Island. I just read on that the black sand beach we are going to there have turtles basking on the sand. I really really want to see turtles up close again! Either snorkeling with them or seeing them on the beach.

Big Beach, Maui Big Beach.Big Beach, Maui Big Beach, Maui Little Beach, Maui (nude beach) Little Beach.Big Beach, big waves Big waves!Humpback whales Humpback whales!Kamoale Beach Park I Kamaole Beach Park I was a very nice beach with fine sand. But I spent the 1.5 hours playing beach volleyball instead. Even if I hate playing more than 2 people on each side. I had some fun though, and it was fun when everyone was so surprised a girl could have such a great serve as I had today (I usually dont, but today it was awesome for some reason)Kamaole Beach Park I