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Getting out of the country for a while was just what I needed. Unfortunately, getting to my destination was a little problematic. Delays, delays, delays and finally a cancellation led to too many drinks at the airport bar. Getting drunk and waking up in Germany would have been a traumatic experience for most people. What bothered me, though, was arriving in Sweden and not finding my luggage. Actually, it was the fact that I didn't look too hard before I declared it lost and left the airport in search of my friends in Stockholm without knowing how to contact them.
Originally, I was supposed to arrive early in the morning, but I got there about eight hours late. This worked out all right as this meant my friend was done with work and I was able to meet her at her apartment. The phones at the airport were too confusing for me, but luckily the taxi driver let me call on his cell phone.
When I got to the apartment, I fell asleep almost immediately and woke up to find out that everyone had gone out to party. I was too stinky and groggy from travelling to join them.
I was starving, but I opted to stay in the apartment because I was also freezing my ass off, and figured I'd get lost if I ventured out. I had some snacks left from the plane, a blanket and water. Fortunately, there was a Naked Gun marathon on tv, so I also had entertainment. I kind of felt like I was wasting time doing nothing instead of going out and seeing Stockholm, but there wasn't much I could do at this point. At least not until they came to get me the next afternoon. Until then I would just wait.
I was starting to think they would not show until late...especially since there was Skype evidence that at least one of them was up until after five in the morning. They got there, though, and we went to get some lunch. This was the first meal I had had in over twenty-four hours and I think I chose too quickly. It was a disappointing Thai meal, but at this point, I think I was so used to not eating that it didn't really bother me. After lunch we went our separate ways to shop, rest and meet up later.
So, I went to buy some clothes and toiletries in an attempt to look and smell like a civilized person. I also hit up the grocery store so I could have a few meals in the apartment and save some cash. When I finally got back to the apartment I discovered that the key I had been given did not fit the front door.
Good thing I didn't venture out the night before.
Luckily, buzzing the apartment from the front of the building rang my friend's mobile. After a few attempts I reached her and left to meet her.
I had hoped for a little sleep before I went to meet everyone for dinner, but the incident with the key left me with little time. With the proper key, a shower and some clean clothes, I was ready to go out and have some fun in Sweden, though. First we were to have dinner at my friend's boyfriend's apartment. Then we were all going out to a Reggae concert. Odd to travel from Hawaii to Sweden for a reggae concert, but it was sure to be a good time. Drinking and concerts and new and old friends always pleases.
Being a bit shy, it was slightly difficult to get to know new people on their home turf. There is also a certain degree of tension associated with having met two girls while travelling (and then going to stay at their apartments) and then meeting their boyfriends and another guy who was a long time friend. There was no reason for such tension and maybe it was all in my head that it would occur at all, but it was something I expected nonetheless. If it did occur, it was unnoticed by me. There was however, my shyness to overcome.
A few drinks cured the shyness, but it was difficult to interact at times when the conversation was in Swedish. They were all pretty good about speaking English so the dumb American could understand what was going on. When they didn't, though, I would quiet down not wanting to ask someone to speak a foreign language in their own home. All in all it was a great night. I met some new friends and we all had a good time. We never did make it to the concert... a testament to the emptiness of the liquor cabinet in the apartment.
The day after the dinner party was Sunday and no one seemed ready to do much after a rough weekend. I awoke early and headed back to "my" apartment. I slept for a while and then ventured out in search of food. It sucked not having a phone to get in touch with people. I had to spend a lot of time waiting around since there was no way for people to reach me if they came to get me and I wasn't there. Nobody wanted to do anything Sunday or Monday anyway, so I guess it did not matter.
On Tuesday morning I took a train to Oslo. Actually, I took a train to some town in Sweden and had to take a bus the rest of the way. There was a problem with the tracks somewhere in between. The train ride was supposed to be a fun way to see some of the Swedish countryside and hopefully meet some new people. I slept most of the way there and didn't speak to anyone on the train or bus.
When I got to Norway I was greeted by a customs agent as soon as I stepped off the bus.
She asked me some routine questions and then gave me directions to get to my hotel. I immediately forgot them and took a wrong turn after I walked away. I spent a fair amount of time walking down the wrong street before I got headed in the right direction.
It was cold when I left in the morning, but now I was sweating in my warm clothes and sunshine with my pack on. I walked right past my hotel without noticing it. By the time I found it, I did not appear to belong in the Grand Hotel of Oslo.
This was a nice hotel. The one where they hold the Nobel Peace Prize dinner. I looked like a dirty stinky backpacker, which I was. After I found my room and got cleaned up, I ventured out to wander the city, find a beer to drink and a bite to eat.
My first impression of Oslo was a good one. Much like Stockholm, it was clean, most of the people were well dressed and the women were beautiful. I spent a long time looking for a restaurant recommended by the girl at the hotel, but never found it.
I had some dinner and some drinks. Still exhausted from the time change and lack of sleep, I made my way back to the hotel. I picked this hotel partially for the rooftop bar and had hoped to spend some time there on my evenings before I went to bed. I never made it there. Probably should have just for one drink, I guess.
The next day I did the tourist thing and hit some museums. The Munch Museum was the best. I found his art inspiring. From what I saw he seemed to have a dark sense of humor.
I had seen a heavy metal bar called Rock In while I was wandering the city. (I had also seen a guy eating a cucumber like a banana at the Lebanese restaurant where I ate). I spent a long time at the Rock In. I mostly sat at the bar and drank. I didn't move to a table until after the bar closed and the people working there let me stay and hang out with them and a few of their friends while we kept drinking. It was a nice end to my last night in Oslo. The morning sucked.
I woke up still drunk after only a few hours of sleep. I made my way to the breakfast buffet, which was quite good. The only problem was that they wouldn't put whiskey in my coffee. I ate and made a quick trip to a souvenir store where the lady working was worried some of her trinkets with lava rock would bring her bad luck. She asked me a lot about Hawaii and told me a little about Hong Kong. Whenever I travel, I seem to meet people from all over the world. That is the best part, I think.
I took the train back to Stockholm where I was met by E and J. They lived in the same apartment building and I was staying at E's for the last few nights in Sweden. We ate dinner at J's and then went to bed. I spent the remainder of my time in Sweden wandering around the city by myself mostly. Everyone I knew was partied out and sick. We did go to IKEA one day and spent the afternoon at a neighborhood market and walking through an old cemetery. A bit different trip then I had planned, but good.
On my last night in Sweden I met E at the Maxi Grillen. I had seen it on 'No Reservations.' I had to have a tunnsbrodrulle. It's a sausage wrapped in a pita with mashed potatoes and lettuce, onions and some sort of mayonnaise shrimp sauce. It sounds gross, but it was actually pretty good. My trip was complete... and I saw the Prime Minister. He was giving a press conference outside the subway station, where the night before someone had jumped in front of the train right behind me. No one seemed to think this was news besides me.
Today I am going to the spa at the Trump Waikiki Hotel for a massage with S. She is friends with the girl that runs the spa and we are getting hooked up with a good deal. I've barely been able to keep my eyes open since lunch. I'll probably fall asleep during the massage.
I'm hoping to go to the beach for a little bit afterwards. It will be my last chance to get in the water for six weeks. My shoulder surgery is Wednesday. I am not looking forward to the rehab exercises or therapy sessions at all.
I am scheduled to have surgery on my shoulder tomorrow. The closer I get to this, the less I want to do it. I have heard from several people including the doctor that the rehab will be extremely painful. Also, my surgery was bumped to 4 pm. I hope the surgeon doesn't do a shitty job because he is tired from working all day. It sucks that no one will be there that I know when I come out of the surgery. It sucks that I will have to wipe my ass with my left hand. Could be worse, though.
I'll be heading in for surgery in about thirty minutes. By now I am ready to get it over with. The sooner the surgery is done, the sooner I can eat again. For some reason I am watching Bizzare Foods on the travel channel. I should go back to reading Snow.
I don't really have much else to write right now. I am a bit preoccupied by the upcoming events of this afternoon. I am definitely not looking forward to the rehab, but hopefully I will get lucky and it won't be as bad as everyone has been saying.
the surgery seems to have gone well. There is pain, but it is mostly masked by morphine and vicodin and a couple of other drugs occasionally. The hospital staff is very nice, but very few seem to know what they are doing. they are confused about everything from which room to take me to, to what exercises I'm supposed to do, to what drugs i am supposed to be on. The surgeon and the therapist are the only ones that seem to know their shit. Whoever did the paper work even wrote down the wrong surgery. Could've been bad.
I was discharged from the hospital Thursday afternoon. The doctor said the surgery could not have gone better. That was good to hear. I was worried about the pain associated with the rehab, but so far it has been minimal. The stretches I have to do cause only slight discomfort. This might change as I increase the distance of the stretch, but I don't think it will be that bad as I will be healing as the stretches increase. Either I got lucky with a perfect surgery or everyone that has been saying how painful this is is a pussy.
The stretches in the morning are the most difficult because of the tightness that sets in overnight. I was able to shower today and that was awesome. I want to get out of the apartment and go buy some things and maybe have lunch down at Lulu's or somewhere with an ocean view. I still have to eat with only my left hand, which makes some things more difficult than others and rules out chopsticks altogether. All things considered, the recovery process has been pretty easy so far. I hope this continues. Work on Monday will tell me a lot.
The trifecta of being sick, having an allergic reaction to cleaning the iodine off of me and dealing with the rehab of my shoulder is no fun. Part of me wishes I could deal with one at a time, but at least I know that once my illness goes away and the allergic rash clears up and the shoulder continues to heal, the rehab will be that much easier. I am beginning to wonder if I should have kept my surgery scheduled for after Halloween weekend, but I guess it is best to just have it done and over with.
I made it back to work today, but only lasted about four hours. I went home sick. This is bad timing for work. I missed three days last week with the surgery and don't want to burn up my precious vacation time with stupid illnesses. I need that time for vacations. I really need the time to get away and travel a couple of times a year. I really need to find a way to travel for longer periods of time. My best bet still seems to get rich and retire young. I need a better back up plan too.
Another day at home due to being sick. It is kind of a good thing as my shoulder is still really sore and it is difficult to work at the computer or do anything else for that matter.
I like not being at work, but I do not like just sitting here doing nothing. I'm really not sure if it is better to be at work not doing anything or to be at home sick. This probably indicates that I should find a new job, but the situation is much more complicated than that. I will wait here another year.
This is what I need to focus on once my shoulder heals:
flying, surfing, kite surfing, swimming, just getting my ass to the beach, studying Spanish, running, lifting, keeping the apartment clean, writing, watching less television, drawing.
In order to do these things I need to:
Manage my time more efficiently, get to sleep at a reasonable hour, wake up on time, drink less, drink less often, stop making excuses, find a way to work from outside the office... this one is going to be tricky. It is probably easiest to just make sure I am here before my boss.
This was my first full day at work in a week. It sure doesn't seem like I was on vacation, though. I will have to work the weekend in order to make up for some of this time. I wouldn't mind that so much if we actually had real work to do. I hate writing these damn proposals. I had no problem working extra hours at my old job and it seemed like I had more time to do other things too. I think the issue is management of my free time. This issue needs to become a top priority.
I feel as if all creativity has been sapped from my soul. The only reason I am writing right now is for the sake of writing one hundred words for this day. Writing about having nothing to write about is not at all what I had in mind when I signed up for one hundred words. I wish I hadn't missed the one day batches about swine flu, Obama's presidency and the end of summer. I need to start coming up with my own one day batch ideas so I have something to write about. I'lll do that in November.
Oh, Notre Dame. How far you have fallen. A rough week with the death of a student videographer, the loss of starting quarterback, Crist, the loss to Tulsa and the renaming of "Touchdown Jesus" to "What the Fuck Jesus"... the last one courtesy of Jax. How can this be the same team that lost to Michigan and Michigan State on the last plays of the game? How embarrassing is the game against USC going to be? Will the Irish ever be mentioned as contenders for a national championship again? I don't even want to hear the answers at this point.
Normally I would be excited for Halloween. It is definitely one of my favorite holidays. Funny costumes, slutty costumes, excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs, freed inhibitions and all in mass quantities. What's not to love? And don't forget the crazy bible beating zealots who wander around with their giant placards telling everyone they are going to Hell for being whores and drunkards. These people are quite amusing in their own rights. Sometimes it's hard to tell if they are in costume or if they are serious.
Due to my shoulder I will not be participating this year. Oh well.
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