Monday, March 7, 2011

Cognitive Dissonance

Blah blah, I suck a posting, yadda yadda. In my defense, not too much has been going on here lately in Gothenburg. Let's see: I finally mastered crow pose in yoga today,

bought a coffee pot,

and started working on my take-home essay final that isn't due until MARCH 28. That's right, folks; the caffeine addiction will be making a glorious return to DC, but hopefully the procrastination won't.

Anyhoo, with all the downtime (seriously, I even applied for an internship three weeks before it was due! WTF), I thought I'd take this opportunity to review, rehash, and reassess the goals I bullshitted thought carefully about for my AU Abroad application. It hit me really hard the other day that I only have three months left in Sweden; on the one hand, I'm so excited to be able to see family, friends, and fellow comrades in such a short time, but au revers de la medaille (the one idiom I remember from AP French), there's still so much to see! That said, let's evaluate, shall we?

While studying abroad at the University of Gothenburg, I would like to:

1. learn enough Swedish to be conversationally fluent,

So, the other day I went to 7-11 to buy a tram pass for three months ("Kan jag fa et Vasttrafik kort för tre månadar?") and the lady at the counter thought I asked for a pass to Mölndal, and I was like "uhhhh, nej...vad?" and we switched to English but still continued to hash out the details of Who, exactly, Is On First for a solid two minutes before eventually getting things squared away. So, I can start a conversation, and could continue that conversation if it were written down; basically, I'm conversationally fluent if I were a mute. Other points in my favor: I can understand, like, 30% of what the yoga instructor at the student gym says, and, whatever, Swedish is tonal and really difficult and I spent the first two months here ordering cafes instead of coffee. Let's call this goal, as well as the previously-unvoiced mission to own a coffee house franchise, Haack's Kaffe, completed.

2. take advantage of the public land access laws and do some cold weather camping,

I honestly don't remember writing this. I have a hard time believing that I would hold myself to something so idiotic. Thinking back, though, trekking out into the forested Swedish terrain in December probably seemed like a grand idea when I was sitting naked on the floor of my 105º F Brooklyn apartment, rubbing ice all over myself, pressing my face against a fan and crying because I finally knew what hell felt like, except without access to Netflix. Also, I don't have a tent. Status: not-yet-completed and not-yet-gored-by-an-elk.

3. see the northern lights,

I didn't go to Lappland this winter, and the window of opportunity for seeing the Northern lights is decidedly stangt; however, by not accomplishing this goal, I achieved an unspoken one: to not freeze to death. Easy come, easy go, sunrise, sunset, let's call this a wash. And, yes, I am that person who completes a task, writes it down on a to-do list, and then crosses it out, in that order. Deal.

4. learn how to make Swedish meatballs, and

This is totally in the works! I finally looked up the recipe, and for vegetarian Swedish meatballs (like I was going to mush up animal muscle, yeah right), you need the refrigerated- not frozen- ground beef substitute, which I'm having a bit of trouble finding. As soon as I track it down, though, you bet your bottom kronor there will be meatballs. Status: working on it.

5. visit at least three other countries, and become fairly competent at using European transportation.

I underestimated my traveling savvy in setting this goal; not counting Sweden, I've visited six countries this past year, and by the end of April, that number will be up to eight. Definitely not too shabby. Also, not to brag, but I've truly channeled by inner travel agent while abroad. She can leap the tram in a single bound! Searches OEBB train timetables with both hands tied behind her back! Find a discount flight at the speed of light! This metaphor is becoming a little shaky, but you get the idea. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.


  1. okay I spent a good thirty seconds thinking that picture was of you. but it's not...right? am I taking crazy pills?

  2. update: it's definitely not. thx google

  3. I like that you know me well enough to know that I would totally own a shirt with slits in the back, like it got ripped up by a tiger or something.