Posts filed under 'Seattle'

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! 😉

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 clichĂ©, 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. 😉

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? 🙂 Let's hope for my sake that it is.

June 13th, 2006

GÀstinlÀgg: Mt Rainier

Efter en tidig vÀckning av dubbla vÀckarklockor och en snabb frukost begav vi oss ner mot centrum för att hÀmta ut hyrbilen. VÀl nere i centrum fick vi vÄr bil (en Huyndai Accent) för att sedan sÀtta full fart mot berget. Resan gick först via I5 med dess 5 filer i varje riktning för att sedan gÄ upp i parken pÄ en smal grusvÀg med helt enorma hÄl i. VÀl uppe i parken möts man av en helt enastÄende natur; orörd "urskog" dÀr naturen fÄr sköta sig sjÀlv sÄ nÀr som pÄ de trÀd som rÄkar falla över vÀgen eller pÄ annat vis hindrar bilar eller personer att ta sig fram.

Mt Rainiers toppGöran och Henrik pÄ sten

VÀdergudarna var helt klart pÄ vÄr sida denna dag, solen stod högt pÄ himlen och ett par solglasögon hade verkligen inte suttit i vÀgen. Stigarna var fina och naturen som sagt magnifik, ju högre upp man kommer desto bÀttre blir utsikten mot berget och dess glaciÀr. Större delen av vandringen gÄr stigen lÀngs med Carbon River viket ger en fantastisk utsikt mot de omkringliggande bergen. Strax innan vi nÄdde fram till Carbon Glacier korsade vi vattnet via en hÀngbro.

HÀngbro över bÀckravinenBerg (eller var det en glaciÀr? :-) )

VÀl uppe vid glaciÀren tyckte vi den sÄg vÀldigt liten ut och efter att ha gÄtt runt lite för att kika nÀrmare bestÀmde oss för att Àta vÄr medhavda matsÀck. Under tiden vi Ät satt jag och tittade ner mot vad vi först identifierat som en bergvÀgg och inser till sist vÄrt misstag. Vi hade pÄ grund av allt grus som satt fast i ytan pÄ isen misstagit den relativt stora glaciÀren för ett berg. DÄ vi Àntligen insett detta valde vi att klÀttra en smula utanför ledan och ta oss ner till smÀltvattentunnelns utlopp frÄn glaciÀren. Det kÀndes ganska imponerande att stÄ sÄpass nÀra en glaciÀr, men medans vi stod dÀr damp det ner sten i en vÀldig fart en 10-15 meter frÄn oss. DÄ insÄg man lite varför det inte Àr rekomenderat (lÀs förbjudet) att gÄ ner till glaciÀren och vattnet.

SmÀltvattenstunnelHenrik framör glaciÀr

Efter detta begav vi oss tillbaks till bilen för att ta oss tillbaks, pÄ vÀgen tillbaks sÄg vi dock ett vattenfall skymta fram mellan trÀden och stannade dÀrför. En kort promenad sÄ var vi precis vid vattenfallets nedre del, det var vÀldigt fint med hÀrligt ljus som kom mellan trÀden, en mycket bra avstickare. Efter denna lilla avstickare Ät vi resten av vÄr matsÀck och begav oss sedan tillbaks till Seattle för att lÀmna tillbaks hyrbilen.

/Göran

1 comment May 7th, 2006

GÀstinlÀgg: Tillbaks frÄn Olympic Peninsula

Big tree in Heart O' the ForestHelgen tillbringade vi pĂ„ Olympic Peninsula – en stoor halvö vĂ€ster om Seattle. Vi sĂ„g nog i princip allt som broschyrerna lovade: fantastiska utsikter, enorma trĂ€d, snöiga bergstoppar, flockar med (Roosveldt-)Ă€lgar och svartsvansade rĂ„djur, vindpinade kuster, skalliga örnar, varma kĂ€llor (eller rĂ€ttare sagt diken) och kalla vattenfall. FrĂ„n halvöns nordvĂ€straste punkt sĂ„g vi Ă€ven en hel ö full med stora sĂ€ldjur. I brist pĂ„ bĂ€ttre förslag klassifierar vi dem som stellar sea lion.

Idag har vi paddlat kanot i Lake Washington bland bÀverbon, sköldpaddor och hÀgrar. FrÄn vÄrt fartyg sÄg vi Àven en sovande tvÀttbjörn i en solig trÀdstam. Den var sÄÄÄ söt =)

Nu Àr det natt och vi ska sova. Eller ja, egentligen skall vi titta pÄ en film först, men det talar jag inte om =P

2 comments April 18th, 2006

GÀstinlÀgg: Fauna

Nu tycker jag inte lÀngre att faunan Àr endast vÀlbekant. Gick runt pÄ University of Washington campus idag, under en av Henriks lektioner. Och sen var vi pÄ promenad vid Lake Washington alldeles bredvid universitetet. Vi sÄg som sagt bÄde bÀvrar och sköldpaddor! =D

BeaverTurtle

Jag har dessutom sett mĂ„nga nya fĂ„glar – bland annat flera stycken söta chickadee (liknar vĂ„r talltita), american robin, white-crowned sparrow, red-winged blackbird (sjöng inte alls lika fint som vĂ„ra koltrastar med hade vĂ€ldigt coolt rött pĂ„ vingarna som den visade upp nĂ€r den sjöng) och spotted towhee. Har Ă€ven sett mĂ„nga vĂ€lbekanta, som tex kanadagĂ€ss, hĂ€grar, grĂ€sĂ€nder och skarvar.

American RobinWhite-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged BlackbirdSpotted Towhee

2 comments April 11th, 2006

Spring

No doubt about it, Spring has come to Seattle. Very suiting since Spring quarter is just about to begin. I just thought I would share some pictures of the campus with you.

Path.Me.
Happy.Rose.Close up.

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2 comments March 26th, 2006

Adventures in Tacoma

This Sunday afternoon, I thought that the rest of the evening would just be a normal, slightly boring evening. Perhaps I would watch a movie, but not more exciting than that. Well, I was wrong…

Continue Reading Add comment March 6th, 2006

Seahawks lost

Oh, shit. Seahawks lost against the Pittsburg Steelers. Well, that was too bad. But at least I got to experience a real Superbowl party at a couple of friends' house. There were about 40 of us at the party, cheering for Seahawks, but it didn't help. The other team won, and the feeling of losing was pretty obvious. Most people just left imediately. Some of them stayed however, most of them the few people who didn't care too much about football.

At the party I was at, they had a big screen with a projector and a couple of smaller TV's to show the game. They also had a keg (roughly "kagge" in Swedish) of beer for those who wanted something to drink. Overall, it was a fun party. At least until the Steelers took the lead the Seahawks originally had.
I guess it would have been more fun if the Seahawks would have won, but as I said, at least I got the chance to experience a real Superbowl party!

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1 comment February 5th, 2006

Extreme Husky Burger

Today, I've eaten the largest hamburger I've ever seen. A cheese burger with one pound of meat. That is almost a half kilogram of meat! It was huge! I am actually quite that I managed to eat the whole burger! 🙂

The restaurant is called The Ram, and is rather famous for their huge burgers.

Also, by filling out a questionaire with usual question such as "how was the food?" "the service?" and so on, we also got gift cards for a free (smaller, although still pretty large) burger which we can use some other time! That's pretty close to a free lunch.

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2 comments February 3rd, 2006

Next stop, Superbowl!

Seattle Seahawk's logoTonight, the Seattle professional football team the Seattle Seahawks reached the Superbowl for the first time in the team's history. Superbowl, for those who don't know, is the grande finale of NFL – the National Footbal League. It is huge! Tonight, the Seahawks convincingly beat the Carolina Panthers, and in two weeks they will meet the Pittsburg Steelers in Superbowl, this year taking place in Detroit.

When the Seahawks won, the whole stadium was celebrating. In fact, more or less the whole city was! I opened my door when the game ended, and walked out on the porch. People were shouting and cheering everywhere. They're crazy, these Americans. 🙂

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1 comment January 22nd, 2006

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