Aug. 22

So I'm gonna try and review the past week. School was easy and so far no major assignments. We even got an email from back home which confirmed that we only have to take 5 courses. This means I'm dropping one! No more school at 7.30 pm on mondays and wednesdays...

Wednesdays are half prize in the cinemas, so we went to see The Expandables. 3 euros for a movie is definitely affordable! And they serve the nachos with melted cheese, which I have been missing ever since Windsor. Win! I think pretty much every wednesday night will be spent at the cinema.

I also participated in a table tennis tournament. Well, saying tournament is giving the event too much credit. We were 7 people. But it was a lot of fun! Definitely going there next time as well.

The highlight of this past week was absolutely the weekend. After just a few hours of sleep after a long night of partying on friday, we went away on saturday morning for a trip. The goal of the trip was a small city called Real De Catorce. After about 4 hours in the car we thought we were finally there - only to find out that we had go up a big mountain and then through a tunnel. Almost at the top of the mountain we stopped to take some pictures and the view was very nice! Went further on and got to the tunnel, which turned out to be so tight that traffic could only pass one-way. This was in fact the only way you can get access to the village, so it really was an isolated place. But well worth it! What a contrast to Monterrey it was. Very calm and easy going, people selling food, candy and souvenirs in the small streets. And with the scenery, being so high up in the mountains, this was a really cool place! To reach the top of the mountain we actually went horseback riding. I think the only time I've been on a horse before was like 20 years ago. So I must admit I was a bit nervous before we set off, but it all went down perfectly fine. The poor horse I was on was a small and lazy fellow that didn't like to speed up no matter how much I tried. But I don't blame him, he looked pretty weak and probably had to walk up and down this mounatin every day. Once he slipped and almost fell, and at some points we had some fender benders with meeting traffic. It felt like driving a bike with poor steering and bent wheels on a highway, but was still a very cool experience. The way up took about an hour and once there we were surrounded by old ruins and a spectacular view of the mountains. Definitely something I will remember for a long time.

So the weekend was really good, and now it's back to the everyday life of Monterrey. Still feels a lot like a holiday though...

Aug. 15

I really, really wanted to be in Gothenburg because of the Way Out West festival. Crazy line-up. Although, yesterday made me completely forget about it. We went to a mall for some shopping, and I found some clothes. Went back after a few hours at the mall, just to get changed for a pool party. And what a party it was! It was at some sort of residents but it looke more like a hotel to me. It was literally like a scene from Entourage. No cover to get in, free drinks at the bar, free food and desserts, tons of beatiful girls, and a nice view over parts of the city. All of this, in company with good friends, made it one of the best parties ever. Apparently there's a lot of pool parties around here but it's very unusual that they are like this one.

Also, we just got tickets to a festival called Hellowfest today. It's only one day and I don't know many of the bands, but it should still be fun. Always nice to get to see live music. This is two weeks from now, next weekend is probably gonna be a trip to a small village 4 hours away from here. I don't remember the name of it but it's supposed to be something like a ghost town (not Detroit) where they shot some movies. There's also a day trip to some caves just an hour away from here.

I was gonna sign up for some sports this week. Had to try out for tennis, since I didn't want to be in the beginners group. So I went out looking for a racket but only found one, which was way too expensive for me. So no tennis lessons for me... I think I will still have stuff to do though, since I'm also in a beach volley team and gonna join some table tennis tournaments. Plus there's school, gym and partying...

Aug. 11

There's been 3 days of class now and it's been a lot more to compared to last week. It started off with a basic spanish course on monday morning, which probably is gonna be the most valuable one for me. At least for this semester, since no one speaks english in Mexico. Except for some of the students and some of the staff on campus. Although I never took any spanish classes before, and the teacher only speaks to us in spanish, I was able to understand most of what she was saying. And I guess it's the best way of learning the language. In general, I hear spanish almost all the time. Lots of friends speak it so I'm being forced in to getting in to conversations every day, and I think it's just good for me.

We had another class which was a bit harder though. It turned out it was in spanish, although the teacher speaks english. She told us that it was a bad course for us to take and that we should change it. So we spent a couple of hours at the office of industrial design, trying to sort it out. Finally we were signed up for a new course, which turned out to be for architects. The course still seems ok for us since it's mostly about 3d rendering, the only con is that it runs between 7.30 - 9.00 pm, two times a week.

The other courses are about sketching, car design and digital visualisation. They all seem interesting and I just hope that the workload won't be too heavy. Have to have time for seeing friends as well!

I also got to experience a bit of mexican bureaucrazy yesterday, or rather swedish-mexican communication fail. I was going to the international office to pick up some paper needed for the immigration process. Took a long time finding the right room since no one knew where to direct me (or I was too unclear explaining). Finally I found the place but I didn't get the paper and had to go back today to pick it up. The immigration process is one of a kind, and will probably most likely include a lot of hassle. It's just going to be a lot of bullshit, and it will be even more frustrating since I don't speak any spanish. So I just payed a lawyer at school to do it for me and now it's gonna be an easy process for me. It will still be a long process, I'm not counting on getting my passport back in less than 2 months.

Oh yeah, another funny thing that happened yesterday. When I walked out from campus the military was posing just outside. 3 humvee's and at least 10 soldiers, fully armed and equipped were standing just outside the entrance. Everything seemed to be ok so I think they just marked their precense. I wanted to take a picture but I'm not sure if that would have been a good idea. Next time maybe...

Nos vemos!

Lucha libre!

Today has been one of those lazy hangover sundays. Which was really nice after a hectic week with lots of parties and stuff. A couple of nights ago was a big party at a huge terrace of one the student residents. Lots and lots of people, a good dj and a pool. Well, one of those small inflatable pools you can buy in grocery stores, but still a pool! :)

Yesterday me and Alex spent the afternoon in the city centre with his roomie Clo and her friend Andrea. Great fun! Alex went to become part of a street show (two white guys in the streets of Monterrey gets a lot of attention) and then we went on the canal. There's this artificial canal that runs thorugh a part of the city, and you can go on a boat tour. Along with it are waterfalls, fountains and some small restaurants. We took the boat one-way and walked along it on our way back. Had some food and watched Alex standing in line for 10 minutes for some dessert... only to find out he was in the wrong line. So no dessert this time! Later in the evening we went to this bar not too far from where I live. The place was packed and we had a great time for a few hours, before leving to another club. I wen't home "early" though, which is around 4 am...

So as I was saying, today has been lazy. We were going with some mexican guys to a flea market, but since you don't really make plans here, we didn't. Instead we went for lunch at a nice seafood restaurant. Afterwards, those of us who aren't from around here, wen't to see a luch libre show. Which is this mexican version of wrestling (not proper wrestling, but the acting version). It was so much fun to see, and nothing you can experience back home. There were so many kids there and they were huge fans. Some of them wore typical lucha libre masks, and in between fights they rushed in to the ring and played like they were wrestling. So a few of us went in there as well and played along. The kids seemed to love it, especially since they got the chance to beat up some europeans. The were punching hard too. This one kid punched me in the dick, but I couldn't really tell him how to stop since I don't know spanish. But it was a lot of fun and we got some great pictures. Will definitely go back, and next time we're getting front row seats. I also bought a mask, which will be a nice souvenire. I've been trying to upload some photos here but our internet is working mexican style, saying manana manana. So for now you'll have to go to Facebook to get a look of what's going on.

Tomorrow is the start of classes, hopefully this first week will be mostly introduction. We have to have a slow start!

Un Indio, por favor

The first post with a spanish title must be about beer or tacos, right? This is one of the two...

Life's treating us pretty good right now. Beers in the evening, no worries about coatcheck (the worries are more about inapprapropriate sweating). Waking up when you feel like it, going to the gym, getting some cheap tacos for lunch. Then spending the aftenoon at the campus pool. You don't see me complaining...

Obviously it's gonna change a bit though next week, and the reason for this spells: 6 courses, school monday - friday. Some people got lucky with their schedules, some lucky bastards only have class on tuesdays and thursdays. In my case I guess the pros are that I will have a harder time running out of money too soon, and that I only have like 2-3 hours of class every day. But then again, you don't see me complaining...

I'm gonna put up some photos soon, either here or on Facebook. Or both. So far there's been a lot of the typical "gather as many people as you can find and pose for the camera"-pictures. This is also part of the exchange experience, getting the team together :)

Bye for now, it's beer o'clock I think.

Finally it's on!

There's been a couple of good first days. Started off on monday morning with me and Malin going to see some people at the Industrial Design office to get everythig sorted out with courses and such. Turned out we were both registered in all our courses, except for a spanish course that I was yet to be signed up for. After a quick visit to the international office this was fixed! So now we both have 6 courses, and unfortunately no days off. Except for weekends... I'm gonna do my best to avoid the "all day every week"-studies from back home. After all, got to live a little while here, right?

Later on it was time to pick up our "information package" and have a walk around tour on campus. Campus is really nice, there's a lot of cafeterias and places to hang out. There's also a pool, a gym and an indoor swimming pool. Plus there's a zoo... kind of. There are animal walking around on campus; roedeers, peacocks and ducks. They've been planted there of course, for what reason I don't know.

We had a welcome dinner for the hundreds of incoming exchange students on monday night and it was great fun. Met a lot of cool people, most of them germans actually. Feels like half of Germany is here. Some of them knows spanish, which is awesome. It's impossible to communicate in english with mexicans outside of campus. I'm gonna need to take the spanish course seriously...

Yesterday was the same deal as monday, had some information sessions during the day and in the evening we went out for dinner with lots of people. Found a great place nearby were we got a great deal on food and beer. Overall, food and alcohol is super cheap here. Compared to Sweden, a beer in the club is almost for free. If it's 5 euros at home, it's just over 1 euro here. Food is about half the price. I love it.

Today I'm gonna go and have a look at the gym, or if I'm lazy I might just go to the pool instead. In a couple of hours there's an information session on sports activities that is organized through school. I'm gonna see if there's a possibility to take some tennis lessons.I know they organize it, let's see if it fits my schedule.

It's nice to be back in the whole exchange experince, I feel that this is gonna be a great semester!

I'll have... Tequila! Tequila!

Ok, so I'm actually gonna try running a blog! For those of you who don't know, I'm doing one semester as an exchange student in Monterrey, Mexico. I'll try to keep the updates coming as often as possible and just... well, tell you what's going on in this part of the world. Pretty sure it's gonna be 6 awesome months! Hopefully you guys will enjoy reading it as well.

My trip started 4 days ago in Gothenburg and took around 30 hours in total to get here. I met two guys from Spain who were also going to Monterrey to study, but for a shorter period of time. On the same flight were I met these two, I was seated between two american girls, who started off being really nice. That did change though. They kept skulling glasses of wine for 10 hours, and when I woke up after a nap at the end of the flight, they were completely smashed. It was hard to go back to sleep at that point, but thankfully I could ditch them just as we got off the plane.

Once in Monterrey I met up with Malin at the airport and we caught a cab to take us to our acommodation. 3 other girls from my school back home (Lisa, Sofia and Matilda) have been very good to us, hooking us up with acommodation. So the 5 of us (plus a french guy arriving in a couple of days) have 2 big apartments riht across the street from campus. Pretty sweet.

So these first few days have been not so action-packed. Basically we've been buying stuff we need for the apartment, making food and drinking very beers. Last night we had a group of danes over for drinks and it was really nice. They had plans of going to see some wrestling earlier today and we were going to tag along. But it didn't happen so me and the girls went to the movies to see Inception. It's interesting walking down the street with 4 swedish girls here, since a lot of the cars passing by are honking. And I don't think it's because of me...

Tomorrow is the start of the kick-off week, where there's a lot of information for all incoming students, and hopefully some good parties as well. I heard there's something between 600-1000 exchange sudents this semester and I'm really looking forward to meeting many of them. Plus all the mexicans, of course. We're also going to try and get our courses sorted out tomorrow morning, the online selection wasn't too helpful. But I'm sure it'll work out fine.

That's all for tonight, over and out!

Välkommen till min nya blogg!

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