I am a pouter by nature.
Pouter - noun: Person who to shows displeasure by thrusting out the lips or wearing a sullen expression (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
Not one of my best qualities. I have a clear picture of how I expect things to go and any deviation causes such fits of pouting.
Recently though, Vu and I have started using the term “Adventure” for anything that does not turn out the way it was planned. Incredibly, this tiny change in vocabulary makes all the difference.
- When: Saturday, September 22nd
- Where: Stockholm and Linkoping
- What: Junkboy’s art show 200kms away
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)
Some days don’t start out as you planned. Almost ended up with extremely short bangs.
Shot a video for 45 minutes while standing up and using a dresser. On the bright side, I finally released an episode.
Needed to get out of the apartment, so I went to Central Station.
Found something perfect for my new apartment! And for my forgetfulness of where my keys have gone.
Went to Gamla Stan for an impromptu dinner with Hamza from Destructoid.com
Amazing mushroom risotto. Image shot with my iPhone (hipstamatic Foodie pak).
It snowed today! Lots of fluffy snow! Ironically I picked the least fluffy thing to show the snow.
Today was an unexpectedly wonderful day.
Last night I realized that today is the one week mark of being in Sweden. In many ways it feel like I left months ago. Saying goodbye to my family at the airport is a distant memory from what feels like a lifetime ago. Although I guess it’s natural to grow up pretty fast when you’re suddenly alone in a completely different culture, thousands of miles across the world, trying to start a new life.
This morning Carl and I went to look at an apartment for me. It’s about 15 minutes outside the city by train. From walking out the door to walking in to the office, it will be about 30 minutes. I loved the apartment. The best part is that I’ll be able to stay there as long as I want. For those of you who don’t know, it is extremely difficult finding apartments in Stockholm. Mentally I prepared myself for moving around all the time going from one short term sublet to the next. It’s freeing to know that now I am going to be able to start creating a real home for myself here in Sweden. A home.
After work today, I walked around near the office. There are fashion boutiques on every corner with all types of interesting things. It made me a little homesick wishing someone was with me. I’ve never been particularly good at shopping alone. Eating alone - no problem. Walking alone - whatever. Being at home alone - easy. Shopping alone - so terrible. Okay, it isn’t really that bad, but it’s one of those times I miss my family and friends. While I was shopping and walking around I got the best tweet from Carl: “@minecraftchick It’s snowing!!!” I ran outside, but it wasn’t snowing where I was quite yet. Soon after it started and I was completely excited. Everyone else walked around like nothing happened, except me and one little happy 5 year old boy.
I got on the subway to go home, but when it stopped at Gamla Stan, I spontaneously hopped off. I had heard it was a beautiful area and when the subway pulled up, I noticed the ground was lightly covered in the new snow. Photo op. The next thing I knew, I was walking all through the old part of Stockholm. It’s a magical area complete with beautiful buildings, cobblestone roads and everything you could ever want with the word “Sweden” written on it (it’s a big tourist place).
I’m planning on going back there again this weekend to walk around some more. In between the buildings there are narrow alley ways. Gorgeous.
It made me feel like I was in some sort of fake place, like when you’re at Disney and there is a picture perfect area. With the light snow covering the ground, I was completely in awe of Gamla Stan’s beauty.
My last stop was at a Thrift store near where I am living. I saw the most ridiculous hat I’ve ever seen. It honestly looks like a gray old lady’s wig. Of course, I had to take a picture in it. Unfortunately, I ended up loving the stupid thing and now I have to go back tomorrow to buy the silly thing.
Yep, that picture is a pretty stark contrast from the beauty of Galma Stan!
Got home and felt pretty nervous about my new apartment. Not because I don’t absolutely love it (I really do), but because I have nothing for it. It’s exciting for the same reason as it is nerve wrecking. I get to start over. A completely clean slate. That really puts the pressure on. I’m creating my first home ever by myself and I want it to be wonderful. I started thinking about going to Ikea tomorrow and I was missing my family. I pulled one of my jackets out of the closet and put it on. Reaching my hand into my pocket, I noticed I’d left a piece of paper in it. The paper read:
Yeah that was right on cue to produce some waterworks. It’s pretty freaking impressive though, that from across the world my mom can do something sweet to make me feel loved. Luckily my mom was off work, we skyped for a long time and talked all about my new apartment, Galma Stan and the crazy hat. It’s nice being completely connected even across the world.
I wish I could describe how I feel about being in Sweden. Walking down the streets of Stockholm. It’s incredible. In a million years, I never would have thought that I could do something like this. The first time I flew out to LA (for 5 days in the summer of 2010), I cried the entire night before because I didn’t want to be away from home for that long. To be living, functioning and absolutely loving living in Europe… it still blows my mind. And to think I am only one week in to this adventure…
Tomorrow I have the day off and I will be spending it at Ikea. If anyone has any design suggestions or blogs to point me to that would be awesome. I’m very much looking forward to creating my new home.
Somewhat jet-lagged and being a little babyish, I was kind of bummed out at the start of today. I was feeling left out in the office because the guys all speak swedish unless they are directly talking to me. It’s the first time I felt like an outsider in Sweden. At least when I’m on the subway no one talks to each other, so it doesn’t make me feel singled out. This morning for some reason, it was really weighing on me. Then something miraculous happened. It inspired me to start working at Rosetta Stone (which I bought myself almost 4 months ago). I hadn’t started because #1 sometimes I am a horrible procrastinator and #2 I was nervous that I would suck at it. But today after feeling a little lonely and knowing that the nosy person in me NEEDS to know what’s going on at all times, I was excited to start learning swedish. It’s amazing how that change of mindset made over my entire afternoon.
The most ironic and funny thing is that for some reason later in the day someone came by the office and Carl introduced me saying, “This is Lydia. She speaks english.” Oh Carl. At the end of the day when everyone was staying a little later in the office, I decided to start Rosetta Stone. That lead in to a discussion with the guys left in the office as they attempted to teach me new words. I can now say: cook, exactly, beer, wine, and absolutely. Another new word I learned was from Notch. The word brony - which means a guy who watches the new My Little Pony series (pronounced like bro-knee, it’s not a swedish word, but hilarious nonetheless). Basically at one point they were all saying a word to me and I was trying to repeat it and was completely butchering it. But it was fun. Now I’m excited. Yay swedish!
Today I stole Leonard’s desk. It was nice sitting in a seat. I really need to remember to bring my mouse tomorrow, I’m getting sick of my trackpad. Although I did miss the table because it was conveniently located next to the box of Godiva chocolates.
The game room. I LOVE the lights hanging from the ceiling.
This is right on the street outside the office. Stockholm is gorgeous! Today on the way to lunch we passed all these awesome looking shops. One of them was named ‘Grandpa’ and had like old fashioned urban looking type things. I think on Thursday Mattis and I are going to walk over during lunch.
I risked life and limbs to get this shot of the subway tracks. Have I mentioned lately that I love my iPhone and the Camera+ app? (to clarify, I was not on the tracks and wasn’t in any actual danger)
I was excited to walk around and shoot a little tour of the office. I still feel like I am in a dreamworld when I walk around it. *Please DO NOT pinch me, I like this dream* If you think this office is sweet looking… oh man. I saw the plans for the bigger office aka the office where I will actually have a desk and it is going to be amazing!
Today ended up being the perfect kick in the pants that I needed to start working on my swedish. Lesson 1 of Rosetta Stone is finished! I can now say the women/man/boy/girl eats/swims/runs/cooks/drinks. Booyah.
Note: I know some of the guys I work with read my blog. What I wrote about feeling left out was most definitely not to make anyone feel guilty. I debated writing about it. But at the end of the day, I want this to be a real chronicle of my experience, so I can look back at it and see how much I’ve grown. I love everything about working at Mojang, including the fact that it is in Sweden. Not every day is going to be perfect, which works out because it will make for MUCH more interesting stories.
Today was my first day in the Mojang office. I felt the need to pick an outfit the night before. I couldn’t really sleep in anticipation. Basically, I felt like when I was a kid the night before I went back to school. Too excited to sleep. Wow, that really shows what a dorky kid I was.
Puffy is the new skinny.
Found my way to the office. Literally I felt like I was in the twilight zone all day long. I’ve seen pictures and videos of the office, I’ve skyped with Carl tons of times, I’ve imagined being there and then suddenly today it all happened. The best thing I can say about my day at work is that the time literally flew by. When I was a teacher, it felt as though the clock was actually going backwards. Sometimes I felt like I was counting the minutes till it was finally over. Suffocating. I wished my 21st year away because I didn’t enjoy my job. Today nothing special happened. I worked on the same things I normally would have worked on at home. But today I did it in a office full of awesome people that I cannot wait to spend five days a week around!
The office is so full right now that I don’t have a desk. So I’m sitting at the lunch table kind of in the lobby area. But I’m in good company. The other person without a desk is Carl… Mojang’s CEO. If you can find another CEO who would sit at an uncomfortable desk so someone else could have a seat, I’d be really impressed.
From where I was sitting I could see in to the office area and it was really nice just to be able to walk over if I needed to talk to any of the guys. I already feel about 15 times more in the loop! Daniel is hard at work. It was a pretty sparse day in the office, which is why there are actually open seats around him.
Best part about sitting at the table would be the huge Godiva Chocolate box. Can’t really go wrong there!
I love everything about Stockholm currently. Even the cold isn’t too bad. Taking the subway, being able to walk down the streets, the people. Yep I am extremely happy.
I shot this picture on the subway this morning and I think it is one of my favorite self portraits I’ve ever taken.
Tomorrow I’m going to shoot a little video tour of the office!
This Friday is a holiday and I don’t have work. Does anyone have any suggestions for fun things to do/see in Stockholm?
Today has been funny because I’ve had amazing things happen with technology and then at the same time been completely stumped by it.
First to the stumped part…
Turning on the stove. You’d think this was a simple task. Kinten left me very specific instructions, yet no matter what I did NOTHING was happening with the stove. I was about to give up when I saw him tweet and asked him what to do. He was nice enough to get on Skype and I was able to figure out I had accidentally locked it using one of the buttons. So yes, Kinten (who is in VIETNAM) had to skype me so I could use the stove. NOT my finest moment. However, contrary to the way this picture looks, my soup was absolutely delicious! My sister, Mindy, sent me with a bunch of packets, which are perfect for cold nights when I don’t want to cook anything too time consuming.
Then I had a struggle with the shower, I’m pretty sure it won. Evidently everyday household items are what stump me.
Now on to the way technology has AMAZED me today…
Well first of all, Kinten is in Vietnam and was able to get in touch with me to make it so I could eat. Impressive.
Moving across the world makes some crazy things happen, but none crazier than the fact that my sister created a Twitter account to talk to me and see what I was doing. It worked, because tonight I tried to call her and she didn’t answer. I was about to hop in the shower when I saw this message:
@MinecraftChick call me back call me back! I didn’t hear my phone while I was making coffee.
In a MILLION years, I never would have thought Mindy would be getting in touch with me through Twitter. BLOWS MY MIND.
Then comes the fact that I have been able to see and talk to my parents, Mindy and Vu every day.
Yep. I will gladly take stoves I can’t figure out and showers that drive me crazy if I can also have video chats with all my favorite people in the world. Technology FTW!
I went to the grocery store today and on my way shot this image. I cannot wait to explore more of Stockholm.
Here’s a quick video for today. Holy darkness!
Well it is 2am here and I need to get to sleep. I am REALLY excited to spend the New Year in Stockholm!
I updated my About and Gear page if you want more to read!
Question of the Day: What are your plans for New Years?
Today was an amazing first day in Stockholm. Even though I accidentally slept the entire day away (5 hour naps are only fun while you’re sleeping). The city is incredible. I cannot wait to explore tomorrow. It looks so completely different from anything in the United States. At one point, when I was walking around it made me feel like I was in one of those perfect areas of a Disney Park. It’s gorgeous here.
Luckily for me everyone speaks English. Being around everyone tonight at Patrick’s birthday party made me want to learn Swedish as quickly as possible. Tomorrow’s agenda definitely includes working through some of the Rosetta Stone.
It’s incredible to me that just a year and a half ago I was nothing like I am right now. I cried because I would be in LA for 6 days and I didn’t want to be away from home that long. Tonight…. just 15 months later I am wandering the streets of a foreign city ALONE! (But of course being super safe, Mom & Dad). It’s amazing what changes when fear stops ruling your life.
Day 1 in Stockholm.