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.