Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Well I had an adventurous day in Stockholm. We arrived at the train station at caught the train leaving at around 9:30. We arrived, and after a quick breakfast at McDonalds, I proceeded to the Greek embassy (eventually, after a lot of guessing and trying to find the tourist office). One of the members of our group will hopefully go to Athens in March and he needed to sort out some things. After the embassy trip, we walked down to the Vasa musuem. On the way I saw a Ferrari dealership and I looked at some of the ridiculously expensive cars they have there. They were cool to see at least. The Vasa museum holds a very large ship built in 1627 Gustavus Adolphus as a flagship in a war against Poland. The ship sank during its maiden voyage in Stockholm harbor because of a design flaw. In the 50's they were able to lift it up, which was quite a challenging process. They have done an incredible job preserving the ship and now it is in a fully enclosed musuem. The ship is very large and very ornately decorated. I have some more pictures on Picasa, but I think this gives you a good idea of the size of the ship. I enjoyed the museum. Then we took a ferry to another part of Stockholm, ate a bit, and then decided to head back to the train station.

Unfortunately our sense of direction failed us, we had landed on an island in close to land on the south and the north. We needed to go north, but we ended up heading south (thinking we were going north) When we arrived on the mainland we turned left (which is what we should have done had we turned north) and we wandered around for the next 45 minutes trying to figure out where we were (because of course, we could not find the streets on the map). Well we finally figured it out, much to our chagrin, but we survived. I have a new respect for the racers on the Amazing Race because it is so easy to get turned around. I think I would not fare very well. Stockholm as a whole was okay, but not too interesting, I think it will be better in the summer.
I also went to a meeting of the International Bible Study tonight, as they normally meet on Monday. I met a couple of other new people. But I am so thankful that I have found this study, because the leader and the people attending the study are all Christians who believe the Bible is true and that the gospel is true. I was very worried coming to Sweden that I wouldn't find any other Christians, but God has answered my prayers. It is also interesting to hear some of the challenges that Christians face here in Sweden. Well that is all for now, on Friday I will be going Estonia on a ferry, so we'll see how that goes.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Getting to know Swedes

Since I last posted, I have been getting to know some Swedes a little better. I think it just takes some time for them to warm up or something like that. I have gotten to know a Greek guy named Antony pretty well, he is definitely the friendliest. Also the nation I joined, Goteborg, has had a couple of events, like a little pub crawl last night in which I have been able to meet some more Swedes. (By the way, I was able to go on the pub crawl without drinking a drop of beer, I just get some water, it's free, or coffee and enjoy talking, they are actually really fun to go on, because everyone is friendly and likes to talk. I have noticed that Swedes are more open to talking about politics and things like that, the conversations naturally flow into discussions around political issues, which I enjoy, because I like talking about politics. So I am glad that I am able to get to know other Swedes a little better. The other thing I like about the pubs here is they are places to go and talk or play board games, you don't have to get drunk. I think Swedes are into board games, because at one of the pubs I saw some people at a table playing Settlers of Catan.

On Wednesday I had my first class, Swedish history, and it is going to be pretty easy, just read 1 600 page book and write an 8 page paper in 4 weeks. So I have a lot of free time, hopefully I will be able to use some of that in studying my LSAT prep book and traveling. There is a group of four other people and I who will be going to Stockholm on Monday. I am looking forward to that, and I hope that it will be the start of more travels. There is so much to see, and so little time to see it.

Even though my corridor is a bit quiet, at least they don't blare music like a couple of the other corridors in my building. Last night at about 2:20 in the morning, the guy in the room below me was blaring his stereo really loud, (of course it had the exact same electric guitar line). I was able to get to sleep because I had earplugs, but I was thinking how frustrated I would be if I actually lived in that corridor. So after that experience, I was thankful that I am in a more peaceful corridor, even if most people hide in their rooms. Well, that is all, today is Australia Day, so all the Australians are having a big party (I think they could get a degree in partying), so I might go check it out, or I might not.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I just want everyone to know that I have posted pictures on Picasa and they can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/doerr.adam.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Twists and Turns

Today was an interesting day for a number of reasons. First of all, I bought a bike, which is an important thing to have in Uppsala. The bike shop was a bit out of the way, but it was worth the trip. The bike is a single speed cruiser style bike, old, but sturdy and in relatively good condition. It came with a light that is powered by the turning of the wheel, which is also good, because the police here can give a fine of up to 1500 SEK for not having a light. I also purchased a coffeemaker today, because my corridor does not have one, and now I can make the Starbucks coffee that I brought with me from home. I joined a nation, one of Uppsala's 13 nations. It is called the Goteborg nation, a small nation with only 600 members or so (nations average around 3000). But I wanted a small nation that didn't have such a large proportion of international students. We'll see how this one turns out. Hopefully I will be able to get to know other Swedes better through the nation. Finally, I went to a meeting of a gospel choir run by the chaplain's office. It is open to anyone, and they sing negro spiritual style. So it was kind of interesting to watch all these Swedes swinging and singing a style that has no roots in their past. They conducted the whole thing in Swedish, but I was able to follow along via hand motions, and doing what everyone else did. I think I'm the only international student there, but the other guys (it was mostly girls, but there were about 10 guys) were friendly, so I'll think I'll keep going to practice Swedish, and to meet some Swedes. I had never really planned on doing something like joining a gospel song, but I think it will be a good experience, I think that it is good to do these things to get connected with other Swedes. Well, tomorrow is my first day of class, so it will be another interesting day, and we'll see how things go, but I am becoming more and more encouraged as time progresses.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Getting connected to Christians

Things have happened quickly, and I am slowly starting to feel like this is my home as I get to know more and more people and get accustomed to different ways of doing things. On Sunday I was able to attend a Baptist church that had a Swedish service, but had headphones through which a translator translated what the preacher was saying. The preacher said he was an ecumenical preacher, but he did have some interesting things to say about the church being a good influence in the world, an interesting contrast. The service was fairly traditional, with a guitar, piano, and organ being the sole instruments used. Tonight I went to an international student Bible Study, led by a priest from the Church of Sweden. He actually grew up in California and decided to come to Sweden based on a call of God (as he put it). Most of the other students are graduate students, but they were all friendly and it at least puts me in contact with some other Christians. The priest had actually just come from the United States from a Young Life conference and so he was talking about his experience there. I think that I will have plenty of doctrinal differences with the leader, but I think that they uphold the gospel and will be a good group to meet with.

The other big thing I did today was to go to a reception where I learned more about the thirteen student nations at Uppsala. The student nations have a deep history at Uppsala University, most of them are at least 300 years old. They represent a geographical region of Sweden and range in size from 600 members to 7000 members. Each nation has a pub, a cafe in a building and provides activities from sports to choirs. There are some things that members of one nation can do with a member of another nation, but it is important to choose a nation that fits one's style. I have to sign up at a particular nation tomorrow. I think I have one in mind. We'll see how things go. So I am becoming more encouraged as I stay for a longer time. My room and building are starting to feel a little like home. Well I probably should go to bed, and get up for a busy day tomorrow.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

First Impressions

First impressions are interesting, they can be deceiving or misleading. We will see how my first impressions of Sweden turn out, but they were certainly mixed with highs and lows mixed in. I arrived in Stockholm, Sweden in good time. The other student I was traveling with and I got our bags just fine and then we met up with some other students and tried to find the bus. This was quite an adventure as we ended up going up and down in an elevator about three times before we finally found it. The day was cloudy, rainy, and cold. But we were able to catch the bus in good time. The scenery along the way reminded me a lot of Indiana. Bare trees, flat countryside and so on. We arrived in Uppsala at the bus station and realized that we had to walk in the rain to a place at least several blocks away (we were not exactly sure where this place was). After approximately half an hour, trudging along with all our luggage in very wet conditions we finally arrived at the place, one of Uppsala's student nations. There we were greeted and were able to get a ride to our place of residence. When I finally arrived at my corridor (after finally figuring out how to use the elevator) I found my room. I wasn't sure what to think of it at first. But I think I am beginning to like it. It is a single bedroom with a personal bathroom. There are eleven other students in the corridor, two of them are exchange students and the rest are Swedish. It is a quiet corridor (so far anyway), which will be nice when the studying starts. Perhaps the hardest part was having no internet access in my room for a while, and having no cell phone, which meant I had no real form of communication. I finally found computers at a public library that allowed me to access the internet for 15 minutes. The Swedish bureacracy is also a bit strange, as the offices are sometimes open for only 3 or 4 hours every other day. They also seem slower than the U.S. But on the positive side, I have met a lot of interesting people from places like Korea, the Netherlands, and Germany. All the other exchange students have been really friendly. The International Committee here has also organized some good activities to help the students get to know each other and the services provided a little better. Well that's all for now. I should be able to get some pictures up shortly.