Mud, Batik, and 10 hours on a bus

We move on to the 5th day of the conference. The days are a blend of study visits, lectures and cultural activities and in-between them, the all-more engaging coffee breaks where the discussions as well as the different snacks
get more and more interesting (to be honest, half the time I have no idea what I’m eating)
Yesterday was spent on an excursion where we visited to local city dumpster (my sneakers R.I.P), a water reservoir (much to the entertainment to the local fisherman living on small huts floating in it) and a new building project of avself sustained community with environmental ambitions. This delegation all agreed on that the latter felt a lot like a frightening dystopia of gated communities not too far away from last year’s sci-fi flick Elysium but at the same time that it becomes a complex question seen to how the environmental work (or lack thereof) is done on a grander level.
In the evening we got to try the local craft of batik as wells as playing Beatles on the Anklung and ended up dancing in the rain as the orchestra rocked out on their own.
Today we’re preparing ourselves for a loooooooong busride to Yogyakarta, beginning in a few hours. Wish us luck; the traffic jams here would make a reading of the national phone book seems like a joy.

/ Jon

Five days to go!

newcastleuponI can’t believe these are my last five days in Newcastle. It all went incredibly fast and I feel like I wanted to blog more; I should have blogged more. I have so many things to say, so many blog posts drafts started and never finished, so many ideas on what to write. Without wanting to sound cliché, time was, and is, not on my side. My staying here was never boring and I was always occupied with doing something, that being either studying, seeing places, talking with my family and friends, hanging out with my housemate, etc.

My exchange here exceeded all my expectations. I will continue to blog about this until I won’t have anything to say. I will go back to all my drafts and write about the places I loved visiting, people I’ve met, things I’ve learned (because I’ve learned a lot especially about myself). I feel like I’ve grown to be more responsible, more tidy, and definitely more confident. Living in a foreign country where you start with no friends and no idea where the train metro is, brings out the best and worst in you. And then you have to choose between being afraid of going out of the house or just go out, ask questions, get responses, make friends, and get going. There is no choice, really. You have to do these things. Personal growth will not give you academic credits but looking at things in the long run, it’s the main thing one can gain from an exchange semester.

Right now I am wrapping up my affairs here. I have one essay to finish and hand in, and one sit-in exam and then it’s all done. Then packing, crying, saying my goodbyes. Then taking my plane to Sweden, doing more crying, this time out of joy (because as great as this was I do miss my home, boyfriend, friends, etc.). I can’t believe Monday I will meet my three best friends who I’ve missed like I’ve lost my limbs. All I’m thinking is if they will find me changed, if they will understand how much this meant for me, if they will still like me. I wonder if this is a common thing that runs through every exchange student’s head before they go back home.

My plan for my blog is simple: keep on writing. I want to write about the things that have been great and not so great. I would love it if prospective exchange students would read my blog and find interesting information. I want to write about the things I would have done differently and about the things that I’ve done well. The do’s and don’ts. I’ll try and write relevant advises for anyone considering applying for an exchange semester.

I don’t think I will have time to write anything until Friday when I will officially be done with my exams. So I guess this is goodbye, England. You’ve been magnificent. Goodbye Newcastle University. You’ve been one of the most inspirational places I’ve ever stepped in. Goodbye exchange semester. You’ve been one of my best (if not the best) decisions in my student life.  And Sweden: Vi ses snart!

Supermarket of disaster

The title of this post is a quote from an executive of Indonesias disaster management agency who gave us today a really interestinglecturer on the many ways Indonesian nature tries to kill people here and more inspiringly how they are working to present it.

The mornings lectures were followed with an intensive Olympics of Indonesian games. The most challenging of which seemed to be a pimped up version of tag!

Our evening was spent with our grouand of international and local studenand where we got to experience real Bandung traffic!

Pingisklubb!

Vi bestämde oss för att ta en öl på ”byn” och upptäckte till vår stora glädje en pingisbar! Med andra ord, dricka öl och spela pingis samtidigt. På SpinBin kan en hyra ett pingisbord med racket och boll för 5 dollar per halvtimme. Väldigt sympatiskt!

Adress: 310 Dalhousie Street
Ottawa, Ontario

Öppettider: Tis-Fre: 17.00-02.00, Lör: 20.00-02.00

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We discovered a Table Tennis club when we were looking for a place to have a beer. So now we can have both at the same time! At SpinBin you can play table tennis for the price of 10 dollars/hour. We are very happy about this discovery!

Adress: 310 Dalhousie Street
Ottawa, Ontario

Hours of operation: Tue-Fri: 5 pm-2 am, Sat 8 pm-2 am

 

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Perspektivet

FSSIdag hittade vi till 14:e våningen i Social Science byggnaden – and wow! Vilken utsikt! Det är Ottawa downtown som tonar upp sig framför byggnaden med Rideau Canal precis i förgrunden.

Detta känns som ett mycket bra tillhåll när man behöver ett större perspektiv på saker och ting. Det ser likadant ut på våning 12 och 13 så det finns några fler möjligheter om det är fullsatt här på 14:e!

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Today we found our ways to the 14th floor of the Social Science building – and wow! What a view! The view is over Ottawa downtown with the Rideau Canal at the forefront.

This feels like a superb hide away when one need a broader perspective of things. The view can be found on floor 12 and 13 as well so in case there’s no room on the 14th floor one can always try one of those floors!

 

Skunk-alert!

P1060288På fältet här ovan har Joanne varnat oss för att det kan finnas skunkar.. Vi går över detta fält för att komma till bussen som går till Campus och det är med skräckblandad förtjusning som vi varje dag beträder det. En dag trodde vi att det äntligen var “skunk-premiär” men det visade sig vara en svart liten sopsäck.. Oh well! En dag kanske vi ser en.

/Johanna

Framme i Ottawa

Kom fram till Ottawa kl 7 i morse efter en 9 timmars bussresa. Vi bytte buss i Syracuse samt var ute på gränskontroll så det blev inte mycket sömn.

Väl framme i Ottawa stod Joanne, vår host för den närmaste månaden (vi hittade henne via Airbnb). Joanne hade erbjudit sig att hämta oss – så gulligt! Är nog runt – 11 grader här idag så det var skönt att få hoppa in i en varm bil.

Joanne är tydligen ett stort hockey fan och hejar självklart på Ottawa Senators! Hon har dock någonting emot kaptenen.. se nedan..

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På måndag börjar skolan – pirrigt! Men redan imorgon ska vi på en Welcome Session på Campus tillsammans med andra utbytesstudenter från andra delar av världen. Tydligen ska vi få lära oss hur vi ska socialisera med kanadensarna samt hur vi ska klä oss varmt. Intriguing!

Mot Kanada

På tunnelbanan tidigare ikväll..

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Tur att det inte var rusningstrafik för vår packning var inte att leka med, dubbla ryggsäckar och tygpåsar..
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Är nu på Port Authority Stationen på Manhattan och den fullkomligt svämmar över med resenärer. Lite busväder har gjort så att flera flyg är inställda i nordöstra USA så det verkar som om folk satsar på bussen i stället.

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Vi har pratat med en del trevligt folk här i kön som också ska mot Ottawa så humöret är på topp. Känns spännande, vi har ingen aning om vad som väntar men det känns bra!

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