Alex's Alliterative Adventures

Thoughts on Programming, Life, and Travel

Archive for the 'Beginnings' Category

Geek-only privileges

The professor that I was supposed to meet this afternoon wasn’t in his office when I arrived, so I did what seemed appropriate given the situation: I knocked on doors and bugged people until someone helped me out. One of these people was a professor that teaches a mobile graphics course here at Lund. (For those of you who aren’t aware, I’ve spent 8 of the past 12 months working for a mobile gaming company, which involved a lot of work with mobile graphics). Unfortunately, this course has a prerequisite graphics course which I haven’t yet taken. He suggested that I should take his course, and that he would waive the requirements and do his best to make sure I don’t fail like Napoleon. I’ve never been invited into a course before.  I feel all warm and geeky inside. The only hard part is going to be convincing waterloo to let me learn things, instead of just stagnating.  We shall see.


It’s a strange country

I have a class tomorrow morning at 9am, so I decided to leave the party early. At half past midnight I got the impression that things weren’t dying down anytime soon, so I decided to make my exit. When I left the building, I passed a line of 20 or so people that were still waiting to get in. This country is nuts.


One man’s delinquency

So apparently one of the courses I’m taking while on exchange is going to be taught in Swedish.  The prof recommends that exchange students just don’t come to lectures. On top of the prof personally telling me to not bother going to class, ever, I also get a chance to immerse myself in real, practical Swedish conversations and pick up as much as I can, provided I don’t sleep in. What a great country.

In other news, one of the Swedish banks will actually give me money! They are civilized over here!


edit: I’ve made some changes to the site. Most noteably, I’ve added Amir’s site to the links sidebar on the right. Oh, yeah, I added a links sidebar on the right. Anyways, Amir’s site has a bunch of pictures from Lund that I’m too broke to take right now. Give ‘er a read.


Svenska 101

A quick lesson in Swedish.  If you ever need to greet someone in Swedish or find yourself desperately trying to impress a hot Swedish chick who’s said hello, keep this typical greeting in mind:

Greeting: Hej! Hur är laget?

Response: Under kontroll.


Best.  Language.  Ever.


More updates to come

The camera bowed down to me, as I am lord and master over all things electronic. I think they know I have the power to break them.

I spent a wonderful evening drinking coffee among french, polish, and spanish company. The brother of my french neighbour has spent the last two years touring Mexico and Germany. He now speaks 4 languages fluently, and he can vaguely communicate in at least one more. I think I’m going to like it here.


Jag heter Alex

Sweden can now officially be declared a civilized country. It may be slow, it may be mildly crappy, but I have internet in my room. It’s like the real world has come back to life again.

The part of this morning that I was awake for was spent in my first Swedish language class. Sweden and English share a lot of roots. For example, ombudsman and smorgasbord are both more or less swedish words. I won’t be fluent by the end of the orientation process, but I’m already able to communicate more than I could with grunting and pointing angrily.

As could be expected, everyone I’ve met so far is extremely friendly and is trying to figure out how to have the best time possible during their time abroad. The camera still isn’t looking too good, but once I get something up and running the photos will be spammed.

More tomorrow once I’m more settled in.

No comments


I’ve arrived in Sweden, more or less alive.  I’m currently posting from a terminal in a Swedish 7-11, so a more thorough post will have to come later.

A little something for you all to think about before my next post: I’m living in an abandoned mental asylum. Lund screens their exchange students well.


I think I’m in the right country.

Danish law states that no one under 18 may buy alcohol in a bar or pub. However, you can be as young as 15 and still buy alcohol in a shop.

Danish people just generally seem to have things the right way around. Drivers are reasonably sane (if you don’t count parking on the sidewalk), traffic lights are obeyed nearly universally (even by pedestrians), and they have entire streets that are pedestrian only-zones. Bikes are way more popular over here than back home. I came to this conclusion after seeing a pregnant woman pass a car on her bicycle. There’s even a great deal set up for tourists.  You can get a reasonably crappy bike at a scattering of bike stands around the city for a deposit of 20kr, which is about $3 or $4 CAD.  When you’ve exhausted your cycling hunger, you can return the bike to a bike stand to get 20kr of your deposit back. For those of you who haven’t been following, that results in a free crappy bike. Anywhere.  Anytime.

I think I’m in heaven.

edit: My camera didn’t exactly survive the trip over. What do you recommend as a reasonably good, reasonably cheap digital camera?



“Hej” to all of you. That’s either Danish for “hi” or I just defamed your extended family, it depends to what extent you trust online translators.

 My flight arrived at around 8am local time, which is 6 hours ahead of you EST folk.  In the span of about 4 hours, I went from feeling excited to out of place to adventurous to panicked to stranded to saved to cheated to explorative to gratified to exhausted to passed out.

 Here’s a friendly tip, folks: if you ever want to watch a Danish storekeep’s eyes glaze over, just ask them if they take “interac”.  I felt as if I had switched over to some kind of arcane tongue for a few minutes without noticing.  I suppose I’ll need to set up a Swedish bank account sooner than I thought.

 I’m going to be wandering around Copenhagen for another day before heading off to Lund.  Does anyone have any suggestions for good Danish sightseeing opportunities on the cheap?



I just finished my meal at a Harry’s in an American airport, and surprisingly enough, it didn’t suck.  One could even say it’s one of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory. My whole world is collapsing.

Today: washington.  tomorrow: denmark, 6 hours ahead.  16th: sweden.

I don’t have a single cent of the local currency, I don’t know anything about the country I’ll be spending two days in less than 24 hours from now, I’ve exercised dual citizenship, I’ve war-driven, and I’ve ridden on what’s best described as a cross between a hummer, a giant bug from starship troopers, a bus, and a lobby. So far this trip is looking pretty cool.

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