Yikes… since I got back life has been crazy. Crazy in an awesomely good-I am having the time of my life-kind of way. Even now, I NEED to go to sleep, but I decided I better post all these pictures from the past few days!
No poetic writing tonight, just a quick rundown of what’s in these collages.
So yeah. I decided to make a celebration for the 4th of July. I went to the British store here to buy cupcake mix and chocolate chip cookie batter (neither of which they sell in regular swedish stores). Seriously? How did I move to a country that doesn’t sell CHOCOLATE-FREAKIN-CHIPS? Anyway, even the red, white, and blue was difficult to make, so it was a very pink, creme, and teal cupcake flag. Also. Yes my outfit is ridiculous, but I did in fact buy it all in Sweden!
So the backstory here is that a few weeks ago I told Vu to STOP asking me about riding bikes with him. I’ve been an awful bike rider since forever and I didn’t want to do it. At all. Ever. Then I came back to summertime in Stockholm. Rode the crap bikes once and decided I wanted my own bike. I love this bike. It’s so incredible riding it around. It’s opened up so much of the area around me. I even rode it to the movies today. Moonrise Kingdom - SEE THIS MOVIE. Anyway, it’s beautiful and magical and yeah, I guess I can say I was wrong and Vu was right on this one.
Here’s a random bunch of photos. First… so evidently if you eat traditional pea soup on Thursdays, you get an insanely amazing pancake with it. Oh yeah. Pea soup every Thursday from now on. Vu and I found this cat. I named him Watson. I love him. I wanted to take him to my apartment and keep him forever but I called Kaplan and he talked me out of it since it’s someone’s cat. I guess cat stealing might get me kicked out of the country. Anyway luckily for me, he lives right by my apartment so I get to see him all the time. Homemade sangria. What more do I need to say about that? And then last is a picture from last night’s Melissa Horn concert. It was wonderful.
Today I rode my bike past here and decided to stop and shoot a quick picture. Stockholm is gorgeous. I love living here. So much.
Yesterday Vu and I were completely excited to go buy our city bike pass. “It’s so incredibly cheap,” we said. “I may never have to buy a bike,” I thought. Then we tried the bikes.
300 SEK down the drain. What can you do. They weren’t the worst bikes in the world but they were pretty difficult to ride and especially to find ones that were still in really good shape.
Before we bought our pass I had considered just ponying up and buying one but couldn’t find a bike that I was in love with enough to commit (my Mom is probably laughing right now because she thinks I’m crazy for always needing to *love* everything I buy). Vu wanted us to check out a different shop he went to, so today at lunch we visited it.
Not only was the service incredibly awesome, but I found the perfect bike. Super old school European style and a Swedish brand. Not to mention its a gorgeous purple with tan handles and a Brooks seat (evidently that’s a really good thing). Anyway I still couldn’t commit today but after thinking about it, I want that bike! Even though the city bike wasn’t great, it made me realize how amazing it truly is to ride around Stockholm. It opens up my area for exploring and just makes me feel much more European!
As soon as I buy it tomorrow I’ll take pictures for you guys to see!
Question of the Day: Today at the store one of the most important things I was thinking about was what color the bike would be. What’s your favorite color and why?
This weekend was all about exploring. Vu and I walked all around soaking in the beautiful summer weather and enjoying finding tons of wonderful places.
My calves are burning since we walked almost five hours between today and yesterday. I’m really excited because tomorrow we are going to get Stockholm city bike cards which will allow us to borrow bikes all over. Then I’ll start riding bikes all around! I originally wasn’t sold on the idea of bike riding because… Well… I’m pretty terrible at it. But after seeing the great bike lanes I changed my mind. The coolest thing is that the bike pass is only $40ish for the entire season (April - October). Holy awesome!
This was a wonderfully relaxing weekend full of walking, exploring, napping, and enjoying the perfect weather. Stockholm gets major bonus points in my book!
Question of the Day: Do you live somewhere that people walk a lot? (I do now, but when I was in FL pretty much no one walked much to get around because it’s extremely hot)
My mom messaged me this morning and told me that now that I’m in Sweden I need to find out about Lördagsgodis. Random but ok. Googled it. Turns out the rough translation is ‘Saturday Candy.’ On Saturdays parents let their kids choose a bunch of candy to eat.
In Stockholm choosing candy is pretty awesome because you can pick all different kinds and put them in to one bag for a set price. In the US most candy shops do that, but here every grocery store and most convenience stores have them. It’s pretty much great.
Even though I had already tried it my mom insisted that I try go buy some since it was and I quote, “first Saturday really living in Stockholm.” I didn’t put up too much of a fight since you know, it is candy.
The rest of the day was filled with long walks in the beautiful weather, accidental napping, and Sherlock. What a nice Saturday!
Question of the Day: What’s your favorite kind of candy? (Mine is probably Snickers or peanut butter cups)
Today was the first ever Formal Friday at Mojang. Yep. FORMAL Friday. Someone thought it would be funny to dress up on Fridays since we are casual every other day of the week. Love it.
As you can probably tell I’m incredibly happy. I absolutely love my job and all of my coworkers. Actually let me rephrase that to make it more accurate: I love Mojang and my friends. It doesn’t feel like a job and saying coworkers is most definitely the wrong word.
I’m bubbly and giddy over it and I know everyone is probably ready for me to shut up about it. So for now I will, but it will come up again I’m sure. I feel incredibly lucky and very thankful.
Now it’s time to sleep. I’m about to pass out.
Question of the Day: What would your ideal job be?
Seeing the Eiffel Tower was a life changing experience. Not because it is something so incredibly magical because it marked something important to me. An adventurous life. It’s something I always wanted to see but figured I wouldn’t get the chance. Standing there in the rain in Paris looking at the Eiffel Tower was a wonderful moment.
This picture reminds me why I shouldn’t be lazy. So before we left to go to the Eiffel Tower, I grabbed my rain jacket because it seemed like the smart idea after reading the forecast. I was, however, too lazy to look and try to find my Lifeproof case (which is waterproof) and decided it would be fine. This picture was taken mere moments before my wonderful iPhone died. I then spent the next 5 hours kicking myself for being stupid and not just using the case. Luckily, Mr. Bui came to the rescue and revived my phone through the clever use of a blow dryer and computer software (I am still throughly impressed and thankful). Moral of the story: Don’t be lazy.
The next day was absolutely perfect outside. We decided to take a walk to the catacombs which was about 45 minutes away. On the way we finally found the spot from Midnight in Paris *affiliate link* (which is one of my absolute favorite movies).
There were some other gorgeous spots along the way.
We arrived at the catacombs only to find that they were closed. Luckily the walk was totally worth it. Evidently everything is closed in Paris on Monday, at least as far as the museums and tourist destinations go. One thing I absolutely loved was all of the outdoor cafes. They had a completely different feeling and I loved it. The Parisian lifestyle is wonderful. Taking time and slowing down especially for meals was something I want to do much more often. There’s such a relaxed vibe sitting around having long dinners and enjoying time together.
This hotel was amazing. It was a completely tiny room, but the view was stunning. Talk about soaking in Paris.
Our last night there I found a place that had high reviews on TripAdvisor. It was close to the hotel and bragged of wonderful service. When we arrived it was a tiny little hole in the wall restaurant. There was one table for two right outside. We took the table and began what was one of the most enjoyable dinners of my life. Sitting on a sidewalk in Paris having a 3 course delicious dinner in the absolute perfect weather. Not to mention the woman who owned it was wonderful. I could not have asked for a more exceptional night. (Please disregard my crazy hair in this photo… yikes).
Now back to things in Stockholm. Wow. I love it so much. It’s 10:45pm and I’m still at the office. It’s just an incredibly enjoyable place to be. Vu and I left to have dinner then came back and now we’ve been here almost another hour. We had movie night and watched Bladerunner. Tomorrow is the first Formal Friday. I fit in and it’s an extremely great feeling.
Question of the Day: What’s the best thing that happened to you this week? (Mine is getting my work visa - Yay)
P.S. I finally got around to pointing my domain name to my tumblr, so you can just visit 365daysinSweden.com to see my blog. Technology FTW.
Flying into Stockholm yesterday everything seemed perfect. Shining sun. Beautiful weather. Traveling back from a great trip in Paris. But still I couldn’t shake the anxiety I’ve had ever since the day I found out my work visa was rejected. Now on my way to Stockholm, I knew the decision had been made again, but still didn’t know the answer. I knew that it seemed like everything was better and all signs were pointing towards the answer being a yes, I just needed complete confirmation.
Then we landed.
Picture message from Carl Manneh of my work visa approval letter accompanied with a text reading: WELCOME HOME!
And home I am. Starting a new life. In Stockholm.
I wanted to give the blog a different look. A renewed life. I actually missed writing it but it felt wrong while I was away. But now I’m here and the adventures begins… again…
“Wow, I can’t believe she would wear that.”
“Didn’t she use to be skinner?”
“She looks really weird when she sings.”
Sitting on the couch with my parents (watching American Idol), I’m embarrassed to say that all of the above comments were made by me. And the WORST part is that I actually said all of those things while in the midst of feeling torn down myself by people making terrible comments about me on the Mojang video I posted tonight.
Holy hypocritical jerk. That’s what I currently am. All night I’ve been looking at comments thinking, that person doesn’t know anything about me, they might like me if they actually knew me. They are judging me with basically no factual information.
Here I sit, in my spandex shorts (that are too tight by the way), realizing that tonight I kind of suck. We live in a culture of criticism and it’s so completely infiltrated my thoughts that I’m saying judgmental things about people I don’t know at all and on top of that it was women I was criticizing based mostly on their looks (which is one of the most hurtful kinds).
So this is my public apology…
I’m sorry for being overcritical of everyone else, but asking and expecting that people aren’t overly critical of me. For tearing down people based on looks. Actually, for being so shallow for caring that much about the way someone dresses, looks when they sing, or anything else. Life is too short to judge everyone around me. From this point on, I am going to make a conscious effort to be less judgmental, positive, and focus on things that actually matter.
Today I don’t have fancy pictures to show you, I only have words. Something that’s been on my mind.
Last night I released a silly music parody on my YouTube channel. I worked on it the entire day Sunday. I kept showing my parents edit after edit. Trying to get it to look the best that I could. When I finally released it I was incredibly nervous. I sang in it. People were going to hear my voice. See something I made. Judge what they thought of it. In the nervousness, I went to the living room to tell my parents that I had finally hit the ‘Public’ button to make the video live. Do you know what they said? Let’s all go watch it. Will we get to be the first ones to see it on your channel? We sat in the office and watched it… for like the 20th time they watched. Then my dad spent the night reading comments and telling me how people loved it.
I’m flying to Los Angeles right now. It’s getting late and most everyone is asleep. The plane is dark and I am typing this on my computer… with tears streaming down my face.
In November 2010, when I said to my parents that I had started making videos about a game called Minecraft, wearing a pink wig, and videoing myself, they 100% backed me. Now, honestly, I don’t know what my reaction would have been if I had a 24 year old daughter who was excitedly making silly videos. They could have told me to stop wasting my time. Or to do something else. But instead they stood in my corner and cheered me on. They not only let me jump outside the ‘box’ but they help propel me out of it with their suggestions and excitement.
My dad would call me and tell me how many views I had, his predictions for how soon I’d reach the next milestone, and his thoughts on my latest video. I didn’t have to send them to him, he checked my channel all the time to stay up to date.
We’ll be at dinner and my parents would brag about me being a “Youtube Star” (which is funny considering I have so few followers compared to the real stars of YouTube. They would tell everyone about what I was doing. EVERYONE. Grocery store clerk - check. Waitress - check. Friends - check. Coworkers - check. Everyone. They’s brag about something that in every way is untraditional.
They encouraged me to go to E3 last year. They jumped up and down alongside me as I said I’d get to meet the Mojang guys and work at the Sony Ericsson booth. My Mom let me shoot nerf darts at her as part of the video resume I sent in. Yes, I have the coolest mom in the world (and I’m not just saying that because I accidentally forgot Sunday is Mother’s Day and will still be in LA).
I’m inspired by my parents. I’m incredibly thankful for their love and support. Last year was incredibly difficult, but they loved me through everything. They stood by me because they are my parents. The best parents.
If I tried every day for the rest of my life, I could never repay you for your belief in me. And these words, do not even begin to truly express how thankful I am for the two of you.
I love you Mom and Dad.
“Your application was denied.”
Thud. Thud. Thud. ThudThudThud. My heart was going wild.
After 5 full months of waiting, I found out yesterday that my work visa application was denied. Rejected.
I was devastated. Heartbroken. Even though I know it will get figured out with the appeal, I’d been anxiously anticipating going back and now I’m terribly disappointed.
I miss Stockholm. I miss all the guys in the office. I miss the new life that I was just getting started.
So basically I have no idea now when everything will get sorted out.
End of sob story.
Please let me come back.
I will be kind. Learn Swedish and will profess my love for your wonderful country to everyone I see.
Thank you, Lydia
I’ve been a horrible blogger. And now my first post back is a whiny one. So for putting up with both of those things, I will give you some pictures from my travels.
I was in LA -> San Francisco -> LA -> Boston -> Buffalo ->Washington DC -> St. Petersburg
Here’s a picture of Vu shooting a picture. How meta. This was shot on my Hasselblad in the Sequoia National Forest.
Here’s a shot of my gorgeous friend Chloe.
Esther is stunning too. I really love this camera.
Last week Vu came to visit in Florida for my 25th birthday.
Holy wow. 25. I can’t even believe it. 24 was a crazy year for me. It was both the best and worst year of my life. I’d like for 25 to just be the best… we can skip anything bad.
We went to the St. Petersburg Pier with my parents.
We also went to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota and it was amazing.
This was one of the best things I saw… What the what.
Next week, I am off to another location for a few days. Can’t tell you quite yet…. although, I guess it’s safe to say it isn’t Sweden *major sad face*
Question of the Day: How have you been????