November 28, 2011

Hangover pt III - Göteborg

Sunday was a strange day.

As you might have read, we had a storm yesterday. It was a class 2 warning that means weather conditions could pose a danger to the public, as well as cause major property damage and major disruptions in essential services. The public is encouraged to follow up new information on the Internet, radio or TV. (

It was so strong that the electricity went off in the whole Chalmers area, including Olofshöjd. And until that moment, sometime around 6pm I had no idea that there is a small hurricane happening outside. You may ask yourself why. Well, let me tell you.

It is no secret that Swedish people drink a lot. Also it is no secret that students on exchange drink even more. And from 7 days a week, you can find a place to party at least on 3 days. Little Saturday (Wednesday), Friday (afterwork + partying), Saturday. There is an option of Thursday partying as well, but then you lose basically half of the week.

Anyway, after a month of staying at the studio (university) and working more than 8 hours a day, my friends and I decided it is time to unwind a little bit. I can’t say it here how the night looked like, but I can say how it ended:

- French friend saying he will never again drink with eastern and southeastern women, we tried to kill him
- me, dancing salsa or something similar which I hate doing!
- teleporting from one place to another
- asking my neighbor to clean the room while I am gone, since his vacuum cleaner is already at my place
- sending msgs to French person in Spanish and sending msgs to Swedish person in Swenglish
- and so much more

Result of this was all my friends staying in the bed during the weekend. Unfortunately, my phone rang at 8:30 on Saturday and I had to get up. That is why, on Sunday, I overslept the whole storm and didn’t hear the trees breaking or the facades falling down. On the other hand, my happiness bar is fully charged now and working during the whole day is not a problem anymore.

Happy, hardworking,

November 23, 2011

What just happened?

I know this post was supposed to be about the Sea Battle trip, but I have something (even) more interesting.
You know how people sometimes say that architects are still in the kindergarten, playing around and not doing anything serious. Well, any non-architect in our building would say so for what happened today.

It started with some of us noticing that students start to gather in large groups in the inner courtyard. Then a piece of cloth fell down. Then some more… Soon it was raining clothes and materials in turquoise color. And then in pink, black, green, yellow… And people were recording the event with the cameras and sound system we haven’t seen before the lunch. The most amazing part was that you couldn’t hear any sound in the yard, just the material falling down and touching the ground. All of the students kept silent while the performance went on.

Pictures are unfortunately bad since I took them with my phone. But you get the idea. And this jumpsuit looked so creepy, like they tossed a person with the rest of the clothes.

And all of this was for a master thesis by a Swedish girl in her final year. She got these huge amounts of clothing donated by her friends, family, second-hand shops. As far as I know, the reason behind it is architecture and art, a performance about spectrum of colors we use in architecture. But I may be wrong. Anyway, in January I will have final pictures of her proposal and I’ll also probably go to the defense of the master thesis and hear what the whole thing is about.

Till then, remember that architects work - even when they play!

November 17, 2011

Tallinn, Estonia

Have you heard of the Sea Battle trip?

Finally I went to one as a group leader for students studying at Chalmers. And I will tell you all about the trip in the next post (censored version of course :D).

But the most wonderful part, at least for me, was to see Estonia. Tallinn is one very interesting city. And the feeling I had there reminded me of home a lot. Mix of old and new, great number of churches and castle-like buildings, old city center full of tourist attractions... And most importantly - cuisine that reminded me of the Serbian one. Which resulted with extremely clean plates I think people from the restaurant didn't even need to wash.

Anyway, since I am too tired to write anything else, I'll let the pictures and wikipidia to talk

CIRC teammates, Melissa, Qui and I

November 12, 2011

One week in short notes

  •  woke up every day at 7am. Even without the alarm (annoying!)
  •  spent all day in the studio: from 9am till 5pm - as a result there is no finished project but we had tons of fun and jokes flying around! With a reasonable amount of time spent on fika, of course.
  •  after a while of being air-deprived studio group decided to watch Human Centipad - the most disgusting film ever (watch South Park’s HumancentiPad episode for a glimpse of the story ). The only question is, should we watch it before or after the midcrits?
  • went to yoga on Tuesday during lunch time. It was kinda surreal, just focusing on your body during the “working” hours.
  • missed yoga and SFI, Wednesday and Thursday. Feeling bad about both, but I was just too tired.
  • had a Mexican sittning as a part of CIRC ASPA (recruitment)
  • went to VARM, an engineering expo positioned at the entrance of Architecture building (similar to the big CHARM at Student Union). People gave me a lot of lovely freebies and a company contact for my Master Thesis. I called, but the woman was sick and asked if I can call again on Friday. Didn’t write it down - forgot to call. Dammit!
  • went to Frolunda, for a student party. When I got here last year we had 300 people in the same apartment and police came to kick us out because of the fire/safety measures. This time it was much more calm, maybe because we were waiting to see what will happen at 11:11pm.
  •  had lectures from Tengbom architects, White architects and my professor. We are doing a psychiatric hospital in my studio. It is so much work! We even went to Linkoping last month, to see the location in real life. Never been inside the psychiatric institution before.
  • spent the week watching students playing ping-pong in the Ljusgarden of the Architecture house, during lunch time. Made a video of one game.
  •  had my group’s model exhibited in the glass cabinet at the A-building entrance. Most of the models from the course made it to the cabinet.
  •  had to pay for my best friend’s airplane ticket since we don’t use credit cards back in Serbia. BEST news in a long time - both of friends will come to Gothenburg in December. One of the will celebrate her birthday here. I cannot wait!
  •  finally enjoying a weekend without anything important to do. I missed having no obligations except studies…

November 2, 2011

SFI test

I am extremely sleepy, but also extremely happy!

Therefore I can’t wait till tomorrow to post this. I just received my first result of a test in Swedish and it’s 97 out of 99 points. It is nice to actually see the progress on the paper. But I cannot believe I have never said anything about Swedish language or learning it. That has to change! And it will - tomorrow when I wake up I am going to write about it.

Till then, I am going to curl into my bed and dream happy things, in Swedish of course.

So, as I said - continuation of last night’s post.
As you might know by now, getting into SFI course can only be compared with the search for apartment in Sweden. For you who are unfamiliar with it, SFI is abbreviation of Swedish for Immigrants - free course in Swedish provided for people who stay in the country longer than 1 year. As in any other public service you will have to queue in order to get in. For me it was 12 months sharp, but some people get in faster. It helps if you AREN’T a student or if you ARE pregnant. Anyway, once you are in the fun starts! My experience is very positive. I did a test first day of the course that placed me to a C level (basic levels start with A, end with a D). The teacher was great, but it didn’t feel right for me and I had a feeling it will be a waste of time to go there. Therefor I switched to level B and downgraded myself. Best decision ever! Not only that in this level we are studying grammar, but also we have a lot of tests that keep me focused on what we are doing.

One thing I’ve tried before SFI was a “talking” group at Landala Torg. It is a group of elderly Swedish people who wish to help you with learning the language. As much as I like them, for a beginner it doesn’t do a lot. But for somebody with basic knowledge, going to a group like this can be just the thing he or she needed. Though in my case, I prefer to practice my Swedish in a pub or a club. Much more interesting and fun J

Last option - Folk University Students have a discount of 20% I believe when they wish to learn a language. It is the best option, but the most expensive one and sometimes too much for a student budget. Though, if you are only on exchange and with to learn a little bit of the language, this is the best option for you.

One final thing. You can learn Swedish by translating material for school. I am currently working on a project with a psychiatric hospital as a client and all the material is in Swedish. My vocabulary is growing fast, but unfortunately I won’t have anywhere to apply the knowledge since it is mostly about mental illnesses and healthcare issues.

Or is it fortunately?