Friday, May 22, 2015

Smoothie rakas is smoothie

The past 20 days since the last post have been hectic and the upcoming week is about to get even worse but finally i found some time to write. Or i think i looked back and reflected and i finally have something to write.

We spent a lot of time in class building hydrological models and simulating various things such as net radiation or relative humidity but the most interesting part of these courses but also the most time consuming both physically and mentally was the field work. As usual the teams were completely random. And by random i mean the same people were in the same groups...It's hard to infiltrate groups of people that grew up together and studied in the same masters. So i was left with Fabian, Shahar and Paulina. Fabian is not what you would call my best friend but he is very smart, hardworking and efficient. I would pick him in a group any time. Paulina is more or less the same and she really likes her Excel files to be tidy and compact.

During the field we had to be in that farm for hours. Building, measuring, walking like little robots around the pumping wells. The Groundwater modeling course was completely disorganized. We had to improvise in order to measure things like water discharge and use crappy equipment but i guess it is a good thing as you have to be creative and get the job done. The first time the weather was crystal clear and warm. As i was moving the equipment back to the university provided van i stopped dead on my tracks.

Sometimes when i look around this country i am awed by what i see. Sweden is truly an extraordinary place to live both as a society and as a testament to Earth's natural beauty. And that is exactly what happened here. An endless sky of light blue with clouds in any kind of shape that looked distant and otherworldly. They stood there in formation like a thousand battleships straight outside a science fiction movie. I gazed there in awe with my jaw dropping while i caught myself saying "Wow dude, you live in an amazing place". Scenes i had only seen in movies, pictures or video games. And since then every time i look up i feel like we are in a little tiny ball and our town is shrunk and the sky and clouds reign supreme and massive like a juggernaut above us.

A friend said that the windows XP background picture was taken in Sweden. I believe that.
Good times. Then we entered the small abandoned meteorological station. A dusty old house with leftover equipment and signs of previous life. It looked and smelled like a bunker from World War II. It also had one of those old hippies Volkswagen vans that was there for years and you could see the stickers on it from its past travels all around the world.

The next week was even more stressful. Jasper, the dutch guy that wrote the previous amazing article about making beer from dinosaur bones was arriving and i promised to show him around. On the same time i had my essays. Not only that but i was also supposed to babysit Shila, Mr. Andrea's cute little beagle (flight ticket pun intended). She is totally the best person i have only met 3 times. Also my fox was arriving one day later which made for a really action packed schedule. But first things first.

Say hi Jasper!

I met Jasper in our department at the Geocentrum after class and i quickly showed him around. I learned he found an overpriced home to live but i guess it is a good start as housing is a real issue here. I also introduced him to our supervisor Susanne but none of the other classmates because when i tried, frankly they didn't give a fuck. Oh well. We headed for the Evolutionmuseet of natural history but it opened at 13:00. So we went to the cafeteria where i found a baboon, a guy that dresses like a woman recently, a guy that i was not sure he still existed, a guy with rotten potatoes for hair, a guy i had met but had no idea and a girl that had too many tequila shots in Snerikes last night. The baboon was no other than Holger and he made fun of my clothes telling me i looked like a sitcom guy from the 80's that wears this clothes to get laid.

"In that case i should lend you my clothes so you can get laid finally too". Always prepared to strike back. Everybody laughed except from the Belgian hangover girl that was sleeping on the table.

Afterwards we went to the Swedish and Scandinavian fauna museum followed by the dinosaur museum. I hoped to see more dinosaurs but there were these amazing Pentaceratops and T-Rex skulls that i could fit in their mouth and sleep it was scary and also awesome. Jasper took a thousand pictures it was like his favorite playground it was nice to see that. He also knew many of the bones names and anatomy so i am sure he will have a great time in the Paleobiology master.

We went to my place to check on Shila and take her for a walk as we were supposed to pick up a temporary nation's card for him. It was so funny when Shila was in the house for the first time she barked and the girl that lives across the hallway asked me:

"Kostas did i just hear a dog or did you bark and i am going mentally insane?"

Hilarious. Anyways we headed out and it started raining but i still had to show Jasper around. We went to the center, we ate some dirty food from MAX's and i showed him the student nations. Time passed, the rain was soaking my clothes and we were greeted by even worse news as it is virtually impossible to bypass Swedish bureaucracy. Jasper was denied a temporary nation's card as his evidence of being a student was not enough and he is admitted officially from this September. Understandable but bullshit if you ask me. He said that in Amsterdam you would be welcome with open arms. I had to get back home so he decided to hang out in Palermo where he met a retired Finnish professor and another guy and at least had his fun.

Back home Shila was like a wet cloth. I took the hair drier and cleaned her up. She fell on the ground like a dead cockroach enjoying the heat of the drier. I love dogs. I slept and slept and slept because the next day the fox was coming from Finland. In the morning i made a mistake and as usual i made a mistake and went out for a walk 1 hour earlier than i intended. That meant a huge walk in the park with Shila and the consumption of 2 ice creams and a bar of chocolate.

Shila is not really fond of buses and i m surprised she was so quiet in the bus ride to Arlanda. As i entered terminal 2 there was a girl looking at me and Shila all the time smiling. So i did the responsible thing and let her pet her. She was really happy and then her boyfriend arrived. I said bye and waited for the fox. She had a terrible packed flight full of screaming kids so we just took the bus back home.

The next 4 days were simple really. Take Shila out, watch a movie, go out to Storken's for fika, leave Shila to the next babysitter, watch some more movies and eat ridiculous amounts of candies. Ahhh the perfect life. It is also worth noting that we went to the O'learys Irish pub in Uppsala and had the best fish and chips and cheeseburger with BBQ sauce ever. It is expensive and you will pay an arm and a leg but every once in a while or even if you are just a sports fan its a great sports bar.

Don't mind me just taking my Shila out for a walk.
On Monday the little coconut left so i was back to square one with my only company being Twitch, the death of Murllll in the Outer Heaven Network that streams only Metal Gear games relentlessly and my essays. Loads of essays. And statistics. Gah. It is also my name day and it was heartwarming as usual to see how many people that never talk to you just send you a random message or tag you in a post with another 350 people and say happy name day. For the rest that actually sent me a message thank you very much, even if we don't talk a lot i appreciate it greatly.

Other than that i don't really have any other news. I guess a fun fact is that Marta, the old woman that rents me my room forgot once more what i study and what nationality i am. I live here for a year but its ok. I also told her that i liked this winter and it was not so bad. Her reply was "I don't remember how this winter was". I wish at times i had such a bad memory about some things.

Well, wrapping it up it has been a busy and interesting May! I am still looking for more writers! Please if you live in any place in the world and you feel like writing about anything sent me a message or leave a comment! It is really a great way to express yourself and a relief.

Until next time, bye Sweden! Bye world!

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