A Quick Update
I have finally settled into the city of Kalmar. Does that mean I am accustomed to all the nooks and crannies of Swedish culture? I don’t think so, but I do know how to say cunt in Swedish. Five weeks taking beginner’s Swedish and that’s what really comes to mind... I think four years of Chinese school really did a damage on me.
A large reason on why I wanted to study abroad was because I wanted some type of “college” experience. Away from home and being independent. Not just to drink alcohol, but to enjoy being by myself.
I’ve got my own room and I’m sharing a bathroom with a Swiss! If that’s not adult then I don’t know what is.
You know how getting a car is like a sign of being independent? For me, riding a bike everywhere in this Swedish city makes me feel like a responsible human being. I am saving the planet, burning calories and getting to my destination quickly? San Francisco needs to step it up.
Which goes to my next point: cooking. As someone who lived at home with his parents, I was able to enjoy coming home to a delicious cooked meal. But unless I’m trying to steal someone’s leftovers from the fridge, that won’t happen here.
That’s alright though! Cooking for myself has been an enjoyable experience. I love biking to the grocery store and picking what I would like to eat for dinner. I would look at the price per kg because that gives me more bang for the buck (or krona).
But the best part about cooking for myself is when I’m running out of ingredients and I don’t feel like going to the grocery store. That’s when I feel like I’m on Chopped and the Italian chef from Brooklyn paid $2500 to take away half of my ingredients.
I go into my mega-resourceful mode and create something that I would say is more than edible.
Something that I’m trying to hammer out in my decision-making process while studying abroad is to do what I wouldn’t normally do at home.
That’s how I started playing volleyball for the first time at a local sports club. And let me tell you, it was not pretty in the beginning. Man, I really sucked. But I still kept going and now I’m a little less sucky. I totally understand why people play sports now. It’s almost like snorting a line of cocaine when someone compliments my elite volleyball skillz.
Aside from the daily grind of classes, grocery trips and volleyball; I’ve got a lot planned for the next couple of months.
- During the week of my birthday, I will be in Stockholm to celebrate my 20th birthday and Hillary Clinton’s electoral victory.
- In December: I will be in Lapland to celebrate the holidays with reindeer and the Northern Lights.
- In January: I will be in Amsterdam to smoke my first joint. Then I’ll head over to Britain to enjoy their weak currency (Thanks, Brexit!). Afterwards, I’m going to Paris to try foie gras.
- In February: I’ll be in Barcelona to eat everything. After that a week there, I’ll be eating my way through Rome. Then I’m going to Berlin for the currywurst.
- And in the first week of March, I’m making a week stop in Copenhagen before heading back home to Kalmar.
I’m really glad that I’ll be studying abroad for two semesters. It gives me more time and opportunity to breathe. I’ll be traveling for approximately nine weeks while I’m studying abroad. It’s going to be a lot, but when else will I get this opportunity?
I do miss home though. Of course I do, but *Arnold Schwarzenegger voice* I’ll be back. Sometimes it sucks not having a ride-or-die here, you know? I have friends here but I don’t have a bestie. Which is strange to say considering that I’m not a teenage girl.
But when I think about it, it is really nice studying abroad solo. I love being able to do whatever I want to do and whenever I want to do it.
Today I was walking alone near the shore and there were these rocks that had shining, almost diamond-like specks to them. But when I took a picture, it didn’t show anything. My Snapchat stories (or lack of them) aren’t going to tell you much, but just know that I’m doing alright. I’m doing real good.
Liping is the founder and editor-in-chief of lipinghuang.com. He is currently a junior at SFSU studying Business Marketing while studying abroad in Sweden.