Different, in many ways…

I had many prejudices before arriving to the US for my first time. Prejudices that I’d got from movies, TV and of course people who’s has been here. Some of them have been fulfilled and some of them weren’t even close.
Some of them are obvious like: “they have bigger cars than us”, yes they sure do. But it’s hard to believe that the difference is so huge before you’ve actually seen and experienced it. I’m now going to present to you, some of the things that I’ve found very American and odd.

  • Grocery stores: If you’re going to buy milk in a ICA store in Sweden, then there’s usally about 5-10 different ones to choose from. Here you’ve got 30. And it’s the same with all articles. So if you’re new to it (like I am) shopping groceries takes some time…
  • Cars: This car is common here: Ford F250, say no more.
  • Toilets: In Sweden we’ve got this “small flush”-button on todays toilets. Over here they just fill up the whole toilet with water and when you flush, it empties the toilet and fills it up again (and I guess that it uses a lot more water).
  • Size: Clothes actually have about the same size like the ones in Sweden (even if XXL is more common here). But the size of the meals here are huge! You never walk out of a restaurant worrying about that you haven’t got you daily need of calories. Especially the sodas are enormous, I don’t think I’ve finished one by myself yet…
  • Alcohol: The beer here is really cheap compared to Sweden. You can get 24 cans of Miller for example, for less than 15$ (100sek) and you pay about 2-5$ for a beer at the bar. Drinking and driving is unfortunately very common here and you’re allowed to have up to 0.8 per mill. But there’s a rule against drinking in the car. Not even the passengers are allowed to have an open bottle in the car.
    Concerning the consumption of alcohol: I believe that Americans drink more often but not as much at the time as the Swedes do. This might have to do with the fact that alcohol is more accessible here.

I will problably come up with a lot more things to write about later, but this is the list for now…

I’ve now added a application to the right sidebar that gives you the opportunity to receive an email every time I publish a new post. Unfortunately it’s not working with Hotmail addresses for the moment but I’m working on it…

Wasse left for Windsor today so I’m quite bored (already), but I’m looking forward to school next week, and tomorrow we’re celebrating Labor day!

Walking!? You mean you’re not driving?

After two days here in Dearborn, I’ve had time to check out the area around the school, the big Fairlane shopping mall (great shopping) and some stores and a restaurant downtown. I must say that it’s not even close to any place in Califonia when it comes to being nice and cozy. You see more cars than people when you walk around and there’s big roads everywhere.
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Anyway, the school seems nice and everyone there is very friendly and helpful. I’m almost done with my course registration but I’m on the waiting list for some courses so I’ll get back with my full schedule later.

Yesterday my flatmate Nick arrived (in his Porsche Carrera). A very decent guy that is going to study computer engineering here at UMD. He’s from Santa barbara-CA so everyone is asking him why he’s going to Michigan but he says that this is a really good school for him so he’s willing to give up the good weather for a good education (or something like that).

Like I said before, the apartment is great but we got some issues. Nicks furniture is running late and wont be here before the 4th, and we got no hot water (gas) until the 8th because there’s been a problem with the gas company. The good thing is that we got a exercise/pool-area that’s located just round the corner where we can take a shower.
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We (me, Nick, Wasse) are thinking about going out some place tonight but we haven’t really decided yet. The options are not that many=)

I said someting stupid today when me and Nick discussed our living room. The stupid swede thought that we had to buy firewood to use the fireplace…
Of course it’s just to push a button to lit the gas fire=)

“Arrive at destination!”

(Like the lady in our GPS would say it)

I’m now in Michigan – Dearborn, and its dark and warm outside.

After three flights my head is starting to feel a bit tired, and my first night here will be on a broad loom (heltäckningsmatta). Me and Wasse picked up the key to my apartment under a rug at the office where Ashley left it earlier. The apartment is huge and non furnished, yet. My roomie: Nick Evans from Santa Barbara will arrive here tomorrow, and his furniture a couple of days later. I will have to find myself a bed and a desk, that’s tomorrows project!
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Wasse will stay here (on the floor) with me for about four days before leaving for Windsor- Canada, just across the boarder.
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It felt strange to say goodbye to Anders at the airport today. But we spoke with tonight and he had arrived safe to his accomondation in Hawaii. It feels good that we’re going to visit him there in four months…img_2006.jpg

School starts 3rd of September, but we will give it a visit tomorrow I think.

Take care everyone!

California, I’ll be back!

Mark Twain once said: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” They got four seasons here, and they change from day to day. We’ve had breeze and clouds one day out of three so I guess we’re OK.

We arrived here with our guide Arthur, who’s born and raised here in SF. He showed us some of the good tourist spots and told us stories about Chinatown and so forth. We made the city in about 6 hours, efficient!

My top three list of the day reads:
1. Buildings and streets- Victorian houses and steeeeep streets.
2. Chinatown- Huge here in SF, only tourists and Chinese people.
3. Bushman- The guy who sits by Fisherman’s Dwarf and scares passing tourists=)
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We’re privileged to stay in a very nice house here in SF. The owners name is George (who has a summerhouse in Sweden) and Wasse knows him through a friend of his family.
George is in the real estate business and owns some very beautiful houses himself. One of them is one the famous Painted Ladies Houses which we where invited to yesterday. We had wine with him, Amber and his mother there and he told us the history of the house and it’s decoration. Very interesting!
It’s located by the Alamo square park which is surrounded by beautiful Victorian houses. I took many pictures so have a look if you’re interested in architecture.

We’re leaving San Francisco and California for studies tomorrow (me and Wasse are going to Detroit). I’ve had a great time here and hopefully I’ll come back.

We had a massage in Chinatown this afternoon. My treatment included cupping, it felt good but my back is full of big ugly dots. You’re not getting pictures of them, I promise=)

Father of The Forest

A summary of our two night stay in Los Gatos reads something like this:
We arrived to LG and Wasses relative Marianne and her American husband Arthur on Thursday and left for San Francisco Saturday morning. Marianne and “Art” had a really nice big American house with pool and everything. Los Gatos is a wealthy area and the cities main street was full of fancy restaurants, luxury car dealers and of course houses to big for any Swede. A 300kvm house are here considered a small house, and houses bigger than 1000kvm are not uncommon.

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We will not have time to go to the famous redwood forest north of San Francisco so we went to a redwood park nearby LG called The Big Basin Park. The size of these trees are hard to describe even with photos but I think that you’ll get an idea of what they look like in my gallery.

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After dinner me, Anders and Wasse went to the big AMC cinema and watched Batman – The Dark Knight. Definitely worth seeing. Mamma Mia and Arn 2 will have to wait=)

Thank you Marianne and Arthur for your hospitality!

Anders quote
While driving outside a school reading a sign he says:
“What does peedestr… mean?”
Over here, he’d probably get a license even if he didn’t know what a pedestrian is=)

På utfykt i Silicon Valley.

Anders behövde köpa en grej så vi tänkte åka till Ebay. Men vi hittade inte till Ebay, så vi gick in på på Google och sökte…
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Inga träffar där inte… Så vi åkte bort till Yahoo! och frågade dem om vår klasskompis Emil Jansson är den enda som fortfarande använder deras mailservice. Men de hade ett par till faktiskt.

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Tro det eller ej, men vi hann med mycket mer än detta denna långa dag.
Mer om det senare.

Route 101

(Meckar lite med layouten så allt är kanske inte i sin ordning idag)

Två dagars bilfärd längs den grymt vackra Route 101 har gjort att vi nu kommit så långt som till Santa Cruz, detta efter en natt i Pismo Beach på vägen. Här i SC bor vi på ett riktigt fint ställe som heter Seaway Inn. Nära havet och city. Ett city som var ganska annorlunda mot vad vi sett innan, samt vad vi trodde att det skulle vara. Mycket fina hus, restauranger och hotel, men även mycket uteliggare/tiggare och nerknarkade hippies och surfare. Kvinnan i receptionen varnade oss för detta men nu var vi ändå bara på “main street”. Väldigt tragiskt att se, så vi blev alla lite deppiga av att den annars så fina kuststaden hade en sådan baksida men det är säkert vanligare här än man tror.

Som sagt, mycket fina hus och miljöer här, vilket även dominerar dagens fotoskörd.

Tänkte för första gången även “posta” ett videoinlägg. Och detta med dagens låt, eller kanske man kan kalla den för USAs-sommarplåga just nu. Inget musikaliskt mästerverk (det är ju inte Bruce som skrivit den liksom) men den får oss ändå på gott humör längst med vägarna=) Spelas den i Sverige månne?

Anders har börjat vakta sin tunga lite bättre efter att jag börjat skriva om han floskler. Så idag får jag nog klämma till med en klassiker som lever kvar sen vi först anlände till LA och skulle ta vår gratis “Shuttle bus” till hotellet.

Anders: “Ska vi ta en taxi eller ska vi åka Shuffle buss?”
De där kortspelarna har det inte så lätt alltid;)

Jag och Wasse försöker febrilt att få en bra bild på en av de enorma husbilsekipagen som rullar på vägarna här. I Sverige ser man ibland någon stor Tysk husbil och tänker: De där Tyskarna är ju inte kloka inte…
Det kommer aldrig hända igen efter att man här sett en husbil stor som en mindre lastbil, som till råga på allt har en hel bill rullandes där bak! Vad hände med de ihopfällbara cyklarna? De va slut kanske…

Det finns mycket exempel på sånt som är väldigt olikt Sverige, och Europa för den delen, men det kan fylla kommande inlägg…

PS. Nu hittar ni även mitt US-mobilnummer under About Me. DS.

Better than I expected.

I’ve now been away from Sweden for more than a week, and it feels like at least two. Me, Anders and Christofer are having a great time here and I think they are really good travel companions. We’ve not been arguing on the trip so far and I think that we’ll manage another week together as well=)
After our stop in San Clemente, the tempo changed and our schedule broke. We like it almost everywhere here so far, and that makes us stay more than “the one night” that we first decided.

San Diego was really nice, beaches, bars and boats. The first day we met Sanna from Båstad who’s currently working at the Swedish consulate in SD. She and her roomie Erik showed us the place to go on a Tuesday, the Pacific Beach Bar & Grill, and it was great fun.

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The day after that we went shopping on an outlet area near the Mexican boarder. We bought shoes on Nike, some T-shirts and I also had a new fragnance. Everything is a lot cheaper than in Sweden especially clothes and beer. What else do you need in life? =)
We stayed two nights in SD, before we begun our 6h drive into the Nevada desert and Las Vegas!

We stayed three nights at the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino. It’s not located on the famous “Strip” but just a couple of minutes in a cab and you’re there. Vegas is really all about gambling, nightclubs, fancy hotels and the desert/rocks surrounding it.
Look at left picture below, its actually inside the Caesars Palace shopping mall and the right is from Bellagios water show.

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Our last day we also visited the Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas. The wind was burning hot, a really strange feeling when you’re used top the Swedish breeze. But it was definitely worth the visit.

So, now we’re back in Los Angeles staying at Anders German friend Sebastians place. He’s been showing us the Campus of UCLA (University of California Los Angeles). It’s huge! We’ve also been to Bel Air, Sunset BLV, the Hollywood sign and Rodeo drive. That means a lot of big houses, nice cars and expensive shops.

We’re now heading north on Route 1 towards San Francisco. Christofer has arranged with places to stay close to, and in SF where he’s got relatives.

From now on there will be a new thing to look out for on my page. It’s called “Anders quotes” and gives you glimpse of what we’re laughing at right now. Enjoy! =)
N.B. This is “Anders approved material” and will not always be translated into English.

* “Vi måste hitta en liquid shop”
Kan lätt bli en nykter resa med om man blandar ihop liquor med liquid…

* “Ta och köp ett sånt här linne Wasse när du ändå passar på”

* “Va!, jag trodde han sa Stay Classic San Diego!?”
Stay Classy ska det ju vara… Vårt mest använda filmcitat och nu även med rätt adjektiv.

You stay classy San Diego!

Äntligen lite stadig internetanslutning, även om det var väldigt omständigt med betalning, lösen m.m.
Vi bor på Stratosphere hotel i Las Vagas. Detta efter att ha tillbringat två nätter i San Diego. En väldigt fin del av Califonien där det fanns mycket att besöka och göra. Jobbar för fullt för att lägga upp lite bilder men det strular för tillfället tyvärr. Där hann vi med outlet-shopping, utgång, sol och bad.
Men som sagt nu är vi 6h bilfärd rakt ut i Nevada och vi har mycket kvar att göra här. Nu väntar de på mig då vi ska ut och utforska Red Canyon…
Återkommer snart med bilder m.m.