Posts filed under 'Blabber'

Epilogue

One week has now passed since I left Seattle and the United States of America. Almost ten months has passed since I first got there. While I wouldn't be surprised to find my self back there one day, I feel that this is a good time to summarize my experiences from the large country 'over there'.

I'll start with a one sentence summary of the greater Seattle area; Like Sweden, but bigger.

To elaborate, pretty much everything is bigger over there. The trees are bigger, the mountains are bigger, the cars are bigger, the stadiums are bigger and more numerous, the streets are wider, and the food portions are more generous. While we also have trees, mountains, cars, stadiums, streets and everything else they have over there, theirs are simply bigger. Whether that is positive or negative depends on the question at hand, and I guess I can't give a much better generic answer than "it depends".

The second most obvious thing I've noticed about Seattle is that people are more relaxed, hospitable, and easy-going. They are simply just very nice. Nicer than Swedes, I would say, at least on a shallow level. But when you think about how many people you talk to on any given day, you realize that you actually have a lot of rather shallow conversations. Americans are just so much better than Swedes at having those casual and spontaneous conversations. In fact, if there is one thing I would like to bring back home to Sweden, it would be this very skill.

One of the absolutely best things I did in Seattle, possibly even the best, was to start playing Ultimate. I've met a whole bunch of cool Americans, I've learned a great sport, and I've had so much fun! Not to mention that it has helped me stay in shape, and not gain any weight. I can wholeheartedly recommend both Ultimate as a sport, as well as playing some kind of team sport while studying abroad. It's a great chance to meet new people.

Also, I'm happy I took the chance to travel as much as I did. I've visited Hawaii, Las Vegas, Florida, Olympic Peninsula and California. During some trips, I either visited someone I knew, or had a visitor, which made them extra fun. Although I've spent thousands of dollars on these trips, I don't regret traveling for a second. The places I've visited are places I would have wanted to visit sometime in my life anyway, and why not do it when you've already paid for the trip over the Atlantic anyway? However, as a word of advice, don't forget to bring a towel! πŸ˜‰

So, finally, for any and all of you out there – if you have the chance to study abroad, do it! For some reason, most people who have studies abroad tend to say that it was one of the best times of their lives, and that don't regret it. Although it might sound as a clichΓ©, I can't help but chime in. Do it! You will have a great time, and you won't regret it.

Over and out,
Henrik

1 comment July 11th, 2006

The Last Supper

I've been very efficient today. I met the landlord to get my deposit back, I've sold my bike and my bed, cleaned my room, sorted everything, thrown away what I don't need, burned a few things which I didn't want in the hands of the wrong person (personal checks for example), and a lot of other useful things.

To reward myself I just went down to my favorite Greek restaurant, sat down and had a nice dinner including almond baklava for dessert. Really good! As I've been to that restaurant on more than one occation, I've got to know the owner a little bit. So he was sad to hear that I was leaving (I guess I was a good customer). He also gave me his email address and asked me to write him a letter sometime. Great to know that at least someone is going to miss me. πŸ˜‰

Now it's about 15 hours until I should be at the airport, and the "only" things I have to do before that is pack my suitcases and sleep. Sounds easy, right? πŸ™‚ Let's hope for my sake that it is.

June 13th, 2006

Bush Cards

I took a trip to the bookstore earlier today, and found those just lovely right-slated playing cards.

Bush Cards BoxFour (Doubtful) AcesBush - the Ace of Spades

All cards feature one of the members of Bush's staff and gives a nice quote or a brief description of the person. My "favorite" so far is probably Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of State, Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs who made a "solid" connection between the 9/11 tragedy and of all things abortion by saying.

I think that after September 11, the American people are valuing life more, and we need
policies to value the dignity and worth of every life. […] I think those are the kind of policies
the American people can support, particularly at a time when we're facing an enemy.

I am speechless.

1 comment May 31st, 2006

All work for nothing

Yesterday I tidied up my room, vacuumed it, did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen, swept the floor in the hallway and generally tried to make everything look as nice as possible. Why? Because it was needed? For sure, but no, that wasn't the reason. Because I'm such an orderly person? *cough* Well, no. So, why then?

I want to get rid of my room! I was making the room look all nice and shiney because today at 10am I was supposed to show the room to a girl who was interested in renting it. But when I came back to my room about 9:50am after taking a shower, I had a voice mail on my phone from her saying that she wouldn't come after all.

Too bad, but at least my room is a lot cleaner! πŸ™‚

May 31st, 2006

Back to normal

Today, GΓΆran flew home after a visiting me here in Seattle for ten days. After having first Karin and then GΓΆran staying here in my room, I've started to get used to having someone around. But now things are back to normal, I guess. While "back to normal" include some nice things such as less space occupied by beds, suitcases and other things, it is probably mostly a downgrade. I'll have to start doing some serious school work again, I probably won't do as many trips to different places as I've done lately, and I'll most likely have less fun in general. :-/

As a sidenote, I have found a potential Master's Thesis ("ex-jobb") at MindValue, a Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship startup. We've got a meeting set up for when I come back to Gothenburg to discuss the work. Until then I don't know more than the linked-to document tells me, and they don't know more about me than my letter and CV told them. So in about two months we'll see if it is a match.

May 10th, 2006

Law is weird

I'm just back from a seminar in an interesting course about society and technology. And although it is nothing new, I once again feel that law is a weird mix of interesting and incomprehensible. Seemingly simple questions become surprisingly tricky in the hands of lawyers. Or to be fair, I guess the point is that they really are much trickier than they seem.

[Google Book Search](http://print.google.com/googleprint/about.html), formerly Google Print, is a nice example. While crawling and indexing copyrighted material on web pages is perfectly fine, doing the same thing with copyrighted material in printed books may not be.

And speaking of copyright and those "terms of use" pages you see all over the place. As of 1996, the US has something which is called the [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act](http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/1030_new.html). It has its root in regulations to protect government data (and later bank data as well), but was when Internet started to get popular generalized to include any computer. This basically means that if your web page states that brown-haired men may not click on any links on that page, I will commit a federal crime if I do so (unless I dye my hair?).

The only limit for the above rule is that in order for them to sue me, they have to lose at least $5000 as a result of me doing that. However, in order to figure out how much they lost, they may hire a consultant to do that analysis. If he charges them $5000 for that, then look… they've now lost $5000 because I clicked on their links! And yes, they may actually do exactly that (according to the lecturer, great lecturer by the way).

2 comments April 25th, 2006

A perfect day

A perfect day.Today has been pretty close to a perfect day. The weather has been really nice, with temperatures above 20 degrees Celcius. I've spent about five and a half hour playing Ultimate in one form or another. I've even managed to get some school work done! Incredible! πŸ˜‰

By the way, the picture is taken by [Karin](http://nejlika.se/photo) while she was here. I'm not trying to take any credit for it, I just thought it represented "a perfect day" nicely. πŸ™‚

1 comment April 25th, 2006

Oh, poor me! (Part II)

Okay, [last time](Oh, poor me!) I wasn't too serious, but this time I am (at least more). Now, I've left Karin at the airport and my room is all of a sudden very very silent. Too silent.

And while speaking of happy topics, one of the guys (a quiet guy about my age) who live on the bottom floor in our house got arrested yesterday night. Five cops came into our house and grabbed him. According to the Washington State Jail Inmate Lookup Service (yes you can see name and reason for arrest for anyone in custody) he is arrested for first degree rape of a child. Scary!

2 comments April 22nd, 2006

Oh, poor me!

Hooray! Karin is visiting me here in Seattle! So far, we've mostly been walking around on campus, but we've already seen both turtles and (what we are at least pretty sure are) beavers! πŸ™‚ Also, although the weather forecast promised rain both yesterday and today, both days have been beautiful and without any rain at all. I can just hope that it will stay that way.

However, not everything is just fun. For example, Karin is 9 hours jet lagged and woke up at 5 am this morning, and of course I have to wake up at that time as well. Oh, poor me! πŸ˜‰

Add comment April 11th, 2006

Strawberries

I just wanted to let you know that as I'm sitting here writing this, I have a large cup full of strawberries and vanilla ice cream next to me. It's actually my second cup, so I'm starting to get slightly full, but I think I can manage to finish this one too. πŸ™‚

By the way, do you still have snow outside in Sweden? πŸ˜‰

Strawberries with ice cream.

1 comment April 7th, 2006

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