August 29, 2011

Starting with a blast - return to the school

I survived!

Last week was all about the new students and meeting people, so we had 3 parties in 3 days. And I managed to attend all of them. It was good I must admit, especially FestU - party organized by a special Chalmers committee just for that. Those guys know how to turn our student union building into a club. All the tickets were sold out in advance and I even know people who paid 400 kronor just to get inside. Since I was having so much fun, I didn’t take any pictures. But fortunately there was another committee - Chalmers Film & Fotocommitté and they took these and many more lovely pictures.

Also, during previous weekend, Architecture department had a quick Revit course held by our own William Westin. It was intense and time consuming (from 10am till 5pm), but worth it. Courses and workshops like this are held all the time, so I’ll try to keep you informed about them. Chalmers is a place of opportunities and you should keep your eyes open for them.

That said, tomorrow is the first day of school for us in the second year of the Masters. I am as excited as one year ago when I had no clue what is happening around me. Vacations are nice, but I missed working on a project or just listening about good/bad architecture.

One more thing: you may need this during first couple of days.

It is a map that highlights classrooms and explains where what is in Johanneberg campus. For architecture students that is really simple since we rarely leave the building (unless we have a road-trip or go into the town), but the other students change lecture halls on daily basis.

So, since it is almost 11pm, I should finish this and go to bed - tomorrow is a big day! And after the lectures CIRC is organizing a gaming night at Fysiken. With my luck in sports I will have a concussion in no time.

Good night,

August 21, 2011

Welcome day and the trips

Two more days!!!

I am getting all excited for these new students coming. We already had a day with phadders, playing games, painting shirts and signs. My fingernails are still blue, since I’ve decided to go creative and write with my fingers instead of a paintbrush. One other guy even made his feet blue to have a footprint on his shirt. Like children in a kindergarten, but couple of years of difference. Barbecue was inevitable as always during these sunny days.

But all of that fun just made me more tired when finally I got home and instead of going to bed I opened my mail. The one I didn’t open for couple of weeks. BOOM! There it was the entire work-mail list I have to do and I’ve been trying to forget about. Vacations are over, unfortunately, and now it’s time to be serious again (at least during the 5 working days).

Inside those emails, I found two that really matter.
First one is about Russia road trips happening again. I went beginning of this year and had great time! There is still nothing official, but as soon as we all start working on it new dates and details about the trip will be released on
Second, for me even better news is ESN Sea Battle! Now that is an event everybody talks about. Unfortunately I had an exam and couldn’t go, but this time there is nothing stopping me! A ship cruise to another city, nights of games, dancing and duty free shopping… 15-17th November are booked for me!

And now, off to answering the rest of emails.

p.s. check your emails for the information sent by CIRC about the Welcome day. we are waiting for you on 23rd inside the Student Union Building on Johanneberg campus. LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

August 17, 2011

Kulturkalas, Göteborg

This is a quick note!

Starting yesterday till the end of the week Kulturkalaset is on! It is a mix of events of all kind, throughout the city and it covers almost anything you can imagine. Unfortunately, my camera decided not to cooperate, but phone is always there! Crappy pics though :( I've charged the batteries now, so hopefully there will be some nice pictures to come. Food from around the world at Gustav Adolfs Torg or Arash's concert at Götaplatsen - you name it. Tomorrow I am going to listen to gospel choir. 

You can find the information on this site:

I prefer to use this map and just chose the places I wanna go to. But it's up to you. Also, they are on twitter and facebook, if you prefer to be informed that way.

Ikväll jag lyssnade på Arash, hade min första lektionen med SFI lärare och nu jag måste skriva om stjärnor, makt, ljus och morkret och vad min steger menar för mig och Jorden.

God natt,

August 13, 2011

Rules and why you shouldn't break them

What I love the most about Sweden is the way everything here works smoothly and according to a plan. It gives you a feeling of security and belonging in the society, where people don’t necessarily speak your language (or the other way around), but in the eyes of the state you are the same.

But we are all coming from different places and for some of us bending the law a bit isn’t such a big thing. How many times did you cross the street while the red was still on or “forgot” to swipe your ticket for only one stop? Did you ever lie at the entrance to a club about your age so that you can get in? And all of this sounds so innocent, but is still considered a crime in the eyes of law and many people.

You may wonder why I am writing this down. Something very scary and completely unnecessary happened to my friend this week. Hopefully it will solve, Chalmers is helping with their counseling, Västraffik will (actually they should but who knows) fire the man who is responsible and everything will go back to normal. But it made me think a lot about the country I am in, people around me, and the way we respond to each other’s habits and how differently we perceive the reality around us.

The reason behind the title of this blog is simple: when you break a rule you automatically find yourself outside of the safe zone. And if you were inside of it long enough everything becomes very simple to you: sort of black and white - it is either correct or wrong and there is nothing in between. It stops being important that somebody bullied you, both mentally and psychically, pushed you so that you hit the glass at tram station with your head, shouted and insulted you - because you have earned it by breaking the law. That just shouldn’t be allowed! If you are wrong there is fine to pay for that, nobody has any right to lay a finger on you or try to abuse you in any other way and especially not the right to say you deserved any of that for the so called crime you committed.

It is that which makes me angry the most. How easy it is for people to judge and turn the blind eye towards real problems. Like how capable are people Västraffik hires or should an ex kickboxer on steroids be a controller? Is there a way to fight this type of aggression so that similar situations don’t repeat? And mostly - how multicultural and open the society really is?! I’ve seen people talking through the wrong ticket/no ticket situations, but they were Swedish. Once you start speaking in English there is no way to get without a fine. On a certain level I understand, since in my country I would do the same (bailing out of a fine) and here I wouldn’t even try it.
But still, this whole event made me speechless. Not the price you have to pay for going around with a wrong ticket. Not even the aggression, to that I am sort of used. But that a person would actually say somebody deserves all of this because they did wrong, I still cannot accept. And I don’t think I ever will.

Sweden was and still is one of the best places you can live in by my opinion, but this made me think twice about the people around me. I don’t wish to generalize and I am probably doing it, but my usual openness towards others just got a little bit more controlled. Not because I have something to hide, but because I don’t wish to have such judgmental people around me.

On the other hand, today was wonderful: my therapy goes well and my back hurts less. It was a sunny day and I’ve spent 2 hours in the sun, just lying on the grass in a nearby park and reading a book (from previous post). And in the end of the day, we went for afterwork and I’ve spent some quality time with friends. Just as usual.

August 5, 2011

City Library, Göteborg

Don’t you get upset when unable to share amount of happiness over something you “discovered”?

I do. When I find something I like, all my friends should like it instantly! Or at least try to like it. TV-shows and music are easy to share, but how to make somebody read a book? Not that I am saying people I know care not about literature, but these days it is easier to hook somebody up to Project Runway (which I adore) than to something that actually takes time to appreciate.

This is why I was so happy when I filled my first bookshelf here in Sweden. Books, my precious, my only. And also, my heavy! Seriously, that stuff weighs a ton. This is a reason why I decided to postpone buying books till I return home or know for sure that I’ll stay in Sweden longer than two years. But once you are in love with reading, there is no turning back.

Luckily for me and all of us book lovers, Gothenburg has an awesome library service!

I’ve been writing these info pamflets for new students at Chalmers and came across some interesting information.
· Did you know that library network has one main and 24 branch libraries for the different city districts, as well as two mobile libraries which drive to the city districts?
· Or that they have more than a million visitors a year?
· Also, everything you need can be done online and you just have to show up and pick your book.

For example, I’ve searched for a title, found out that it is stored at Frölunda’s library, said that I want it and that closest library to my place is the Stadsbiblioteket (main one). They will inform me when the book is moved from one place to another and when I can pick it up. Once in the library, I just search for my name in the shelves, together with the ordered title. Taking and returning of the books is computerized, so usually there is no queue.

And all this is for FREE! At least if you are a student, I am not sure for the rest of population. I also like the card you get, all blue with childlike drawings. So cute!

So, among first thing you do when you get here - check in to the library. Maybe you can do it at any branch, but if not, the main one is at Götaplatsen, at the end of Avenyn.

And then you can borrow this out, I find the writer amazing:

August 1, 2011

Being sick and hating it

Last night before going to bed, I had this perfect opening sentence for a blog post. Now I cannot remember it.

To be quite honest I didn’t believe that having a spine/back problem will be such a big deal. But it is and for almost two weeks now, I am locked inside the flat. Going crazy for sure! And being angry since all I can do is move from bed to the kitchen and bathroom and back again.

Another great friend went home after a year of Erasmus. We had lots of fun this last days and I enjoyed (I was laughing between every scream caused by the back pain). But now when she is gone, I really have no reason to put myself on torture and move around. I can only look at the photos I’ve taken and hope that I will be able to go out again.

Also, there is one more thing that is driving me crazy apart from being a prisoner in my own flat. No, to be honest everything is driving me crazy and this is a hate blog, but it is just easier to take it all out. Blame it on the constant pain.

During summer Sweden is on vacation. Not people, but whole country! Everything stops. I found the doctor I needed one day before he went on holidays. And he sent me to another group of doctors that could actually help me, but guess what - they are on holiday as well. I just have to wait for them to return, who cares that painkillers aren’t working. Other than that, I must say Sweden does have a good health system and as a student I am covered by their insurance. Every appointment with the doctor costs 100 SEK (if you go to the one system gave you, if you go to a random one you’ll pay 300 SEK). But if I understood correctly, after you’ve spent 900 kronor on doctors, rest of the treatment is for free. I have this feeling I’ll know if this is true soon, very soon.

Weather is nice, warm with occasional rain, but it is more sunny than rainy. Barbecue is still the easiest and fastest way to eat, but I’ve been going to some restaurants in the city center and they are good. Really good! Though Abhi says they are too expensive and maybe I should agree (but only if you eat there every day, otherwise it is a good price for going for a dinner once a week or something).

Alice and I for her good-bye dinner

Similarly, there is a small, but noticeable progress on my portfolio. I was actually working real hard on it just before this spine thing happened. Unfortunately now I don’t have the will to go on with it, or anything else. Damn, I am getting depressed without going out.

Other than me constantly nagging about not being able to move (did I already mention that?) CIRC is taking a lot of my time. We are working on finalizing the events calendar and details, I’m preparing information for 52 phadder groups and city tour and things are slowly starting to heat up. It is 1st of August and students already started to arrive. Of course, if I don’t get better before the Welcome day, all the CIRC stuff I’ll do is typing. BORING!
In the end, I guess I just want to say thanks to all the people that are trying to make this easier for me - from making me company to offering to go shopping instead of me. It is really nice of all of them and I do appreciate.

Oh, and it seems that I am allowed to take keys in the name of other people, so I am at least helping with that. Many new students are coming too late in the night to pick up the keys for their flats at Olofs so I am going to do that for them. It must be the drugs that make me all this nice.

Good night,