It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 0 comments
A lit tree in the snow in town
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everywhere you go. Not only has it been snowing for about the past week, but there are lights up all around town! I found this tree lit in an apartment complex on my way home yesterday.
Along with Christmas comes buying gifts for all the important people in your life. Let me just say, being over sees the number of people I have bought for has multiplied. Not only do you have your real family and friends back home to purchase presents for, but also your host family and new friends you have made in your host country. Last week I finished up purchasing everything for my real family and sent it all away. I hope it arrives home in time!

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School

Thursday, December 15, 2011 0 comments
Swedish Textbook
This is what i do in school. I learn how to speak Swedish in math class. It is a productive use of my time... I think.... I hope....
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Sankta Lucia

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 0 comments
Yesterday was Saint Lucia Day (Saint Lucy Day) in Sweden. It is one of few saint days that are celebrated in Sweden. I woke up at 6 am to go to a Lucia Concert in the Västerås Cathedral. One of my best friends Jacqui was Saint Lucia for the concert. The concert was beautiful with traditional Swedish Christmas and Lucia songs.
Jacqui (center) as Lucia
Above is a video of last years Lucia concert on Swedish TV 1.
Lucia is very special, and something uniquely Swedish.

Earlier this week on Sunday I attended another Lucia concert in Stockholm at Globen. It was really fantastic. There was a 1200 person Lucia train, which was absolutely stunning.
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Snowing in Västerås / Snöar i Västerås

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 0 comments
A house across the street in between snows.

Today I woke up to it snowing once again! It was a pretty sight none the less! The worst part of the snow is having to walk to school in the snow. No longer can I ride my bike to school which takes much less time. Now I have two options: to walk all the way or to ride the bus. This morning I took the bus to school. I took a video while it was snowing this morning! It is below!

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ITS SNOWING

Monday, December 5, 2011 0 comments
I am what I would like to call "snowmotional"! It is so beautiful outside with the largest snowflakes I have ever seen falling. The ground is covered in a nice blanket. In the smart words of Wilhelmina Slater: "Snow is a magical blanket, it hides what's ugly and makes everything beautiful". I am just so happy right now, I have been brought to tears. It is soo beautiful. Pictures to come tomorrow! :D
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Care Packages!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011 0 comments
Just in case you failed to notice there is a new page above! It is called "Care Packages!" just like this post, check it out! But only if you are so kind to send me packages with heeps of love!
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Fall Break

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This past week has been fall break, which for all purposes has not been that exciting of a week. On Monday, I spent all afternoon at the doctors office waiting for a nurse to see me. Then I got an appointment for Thursday to see the doctor. On Tuesday I spent all afternoon with Jacqui Wellham (look! your name is in my blog again!!!) She moved into a new house Monday evening, so I went to entertain her while she unpacked everything. I spent most of my time dancing around. I left around 3 o'clock to go and bake a pumpkin pie. I could not find a pumpkin when I looked for one in the morning, so I sent an SMS to my parents asking were I might find one. My dad replied (in Swedish of course) "In the hall by the umbrellas". My mother gave me directions to a specialty store in town. My dad was correct, I could find a pump by the umbrellas, but it was not the pump I was talking about. The Swedish word for pumpkin is pumpa, which is also a word meaning pump... He thought I was looking for the bike pump. Needless to say, after biking all the way home to bake a pumpkin pie, I had to bike back into town to purchase a pumpkin. After spending the remainder of the afternoon roasting the pumpkin, and then baking the pie, my parents came home and were happily surprised to smell the pies and see that I had decorated the kitchen for Halloween. We each had our own little personal pie for dessert, my mom was nice enough to save half of hers for my brother who recently moved to Stockholm. Everyone really enjoyed the pie! I might even say that baking it from scratch tasted better then any Libby's pumpkin pie I have ever consumed (no offense dad). On Wednesday I went yet again to Jacqui's house, but this time for pizza and a movie (Midnight in Paris). I had a good time per usual. On Thursday I awoke early at 08.30 fora doctors appointment, and was very surprised at how little waiting I had. When it was time for my appointment, the doctor was ready to see me. Needless to say, I still spent over an hour at the office. After which I ventured into town to get my medication, and then back home. In the afternoon I went for a Fika with Jacqui and Rocio. Then I dragged Rocio all the way back to my house to hang out, which quickly turned into using her as slave labour to assist me moving furniture around. It took us 20 minutes to figure out how to get a chair in my room. We considered just leaving it in the hallway outside my door and saying it was an artistic placement. We had hot chocolate to celebrate! Friday I cleaned my room, did my laundry, and talked to Katie Li for the longest time. Today it is Saturday, it will get its very own post!
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Jacqui Wellham

Thursday, November 3, 2011 1 comments
Jacqui Wellham is now mentioned in my blog.
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Its Saturday.

Friday, October 21, 2011 0 comments
I just decided that I would update the world on the life of Joseph Dobson. As usual, there is not that much that has gone on this week. Monday, I went to school, and um. That was pretty much it. School. I know, it's very interesting. Tuesday on the other hand was my looong day at school. I started school at 8.30 in the morning. And, if I remember correctly, I do believe I was on time. Scratch that, who are we kidding? I am never on time when class starts at 8.30, but I was there before 9. Wednesday was a busy day that started off a little late. I had Swedish class at 10 am, but instead of our normal Swedish lesson, we met in town to go on a field trip. we went to see an exhibit about a Swedish cartoon named Rockey, who moved to Västerås. After that we went for a coffee, and had a nice chat in Swedish. After lunch I had a class that ended early and my next class was cancelled, so, I packed my bag for the day and headed over to my friend Rocio's house. We made apple pie, ate Pringles, and I ate dinner. I attended gymnasiemässan (high school expo?) that evening and talked all about being an exchange student. By the end of the evening, I was sooo tired, and had a headache from speaking sooo much. I went to bed at 9 pm. I party hard. I know. Thursday I woke up around 8 and had a coffee and said goodbye to my parents, they would be leaving the kids at home and heading to Paris for the weekend. On my way to school I lost my bank card, that was a bummer. But, I will be getting along fine on cash until a new one is sent. Yesterday (friday), I went back to the art museum with my friend Lizzi and had a more detailed look around at all of the pieces, there were some strange ones... Then we went into town and to the older part on the water and had a fika at a little café. Then I went to Rocio's to eat some apple pie, and had a nice conversation with her and her mother while watching Project Runway. We concluded her mom is a fashion queen, she picked the winner and the loser. Next I cycled home for a dinner of tacos (VERY swedish. not mexican. swedish) with my brothers. Now I am sitting here, home alone, because I have no friends, writing this post. Anyways, I am going to go live life now, så... Hej då.
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I woke up before 8...

Thursday, September 29, 2011 0 comments
Today I was up and out of the house before 8. I can not recall the last time I was even up before 8, let alone talking in front of people. This morning, almost against my will, I was at a breakfast Rotary meeting at 8 in the morning. Not only was I up, and at a Rotary meeting, I was speaking Swedish infront of the district governor. They were, as most usually are, impressed at how much Swedish I speak. Sometimes it is amazing even to me, that I can speak sometimes, and not think about what I am saying, I just talk. Often times, (Someone just skateboarded down the hallway in case you wanted to know) I have spoken before fully processing what I was saying, and must think back to make sure I said what I wanted to say. It is now afternoon, and I am  at school. :)
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procrastination. förhalning.

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föorhalning. procrastination.  Going to Swedish school, and working in Swedish has not hindered my great skills of procrastination. I might even say that they may have gotten a little worse. I say this because two nights ago I did my Swedish homework the night before I had class. And today I must turn in a psychology paper for which I have barely started. Besides me being supper busy because I am just such a popular guy, I have no excuse. at all. Good thing I had to get up EARLY this morning (6:45) to go to a breakfast Rotary meeting, otherwise I would, likely, still be sleeping.
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The uneventful life i live.

Monday, September 26, 2011 0 comments
Sometimes when I am working on homework, or just sitting around at home, I get asked from people at home what I am doing in Sweden. Everyone wants to know how amazing life is, and everything that I am doing. What do I have to tell them. Ingenting. Nothing. I do homework, I go to school. I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I hang out with friends. I buy clothes. My favorite questions is "Have you been to Stockholm?". My aswer is "Yes, multiple times." Then, they all have the same followup question; "Was it simply amazing? What did you do?" Well, Stockholm is great. Its a nice city. Last time I went, I met up with some friends, we had coffee, walked around, went shopping, more coffee, and then went home. Yes it is great, but for me, it is not a big deal to take an hour train to go shopping, nothing to special, just life. Just like any other day.
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I fell off my bike. Again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 0 comments
I fell off my bike yet again this morning. Ironically, I fell of in the exact same place I fell off last time. This time however, I was going down hill, nice and fast, so I managed to get some nice souvenirs from my fall. I decided to walk the rest of the way to school... Mostly only because my handelbars are no longer aligned. I parked my bike in town, hopefully I will remember to pick it up on the way home. I came to school, and got all patched up. Still feeling a little strange and annoted, but I will survive.
Class Fika today instead of seminar. :)
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SPIDER!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 0 comments
There is a spider in my room. I am scarred to death of spiders. Spiders and snakes are the only two animals I can not stand. They make me so nervous and scarred. The spider was under my desk. It has now disappeared and I am now scarred to get off my bed for fear of spotting it at my feet. Anyways, I am sitting on my bed. Scarred to get up because of this scary spider in my room.
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Writing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011 0 comments
This afternoon I begun working on a story for NJU:Z, my school's magazine. This article is about the dullest subject I know, myself. Of course being the exchange student you expect these things to happen, but I never imagined that in my first meeting I would be asked to write a piece about myself and my journey to be included in the publication. I am at lost as to what I will write about, but surely something will come in the next month before it goes to print. With this article comes a wonderful shoot. I am actually half looking forward to it, and half dreading it. Anyways, that is life.

This week I also must write a paper on the psychological developments and relation with culture throughout different time periods in history. I am, as expected, writing this in English. Hopefully I will not have to much to say, and over write, as it is so common for me to do.
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Crayfish Party

Saturday, September 10, 2011 0 comments
I dont know... I just thought it was cool...

This is long overdue. And when I say long overdue... I mean a month old. My family had a traditional Swedish crayfish party August 6th, my sixth day in Sweden. It was to say no more great fun! Many friends came over for the party, all bringing their own crayfish. This is an interesting part of Swedish culture, when you have a crayfish party, the host does not provide the crayfish for everyone, everyone cooks their own, and brings them. Crayfish in Sweden are eaten cold. With the crayfish their were many different "quiches". All very good. And of course we had dessert. I tried some of everyone and they were all very good. The whole party lasted for over 7 hours, and it was all lots of fun!
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This is life...

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Hej alla!

What has happened since my last post.... Well alot. I have been in Sweden for just over a month now, which is so hard to believe. It seems like I have lived here my whole life, besides not speaking swedish all the time. But, then to think that the time has gone by so fast and I only have eleven months left is hard to believe! The last time I posted was the morning before my family hosted a traditional swedish cray fish party. To say the least it was a lot of fun! There where tons of traditional songs sung, and as the night went on, it became a night I will never forget.
Lamp outside during party.
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Haircut!

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Yesterday, I went for my first Swedish Haircut, it was an experience of itself. I have never had someone go over every inch of my hair so many times. I was lucky enough to have some great Swedish friends who took me to get it cut! The man who cut my hair was so interested in what I was doing in Sweden, and what I thought of everything. Now,  I am told, I look like a real Swede!
I totally stole this picture from Jennifer.
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25 cups of coffee latter.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 0 comments
25 Cups of coffee ago, I arrived in Sweden. That was a short 10 days ago, and I have been loving it ever sense.
One of my favorite parts of the day My favorite part of day is the fika. All of you who have never experienced this amazing word, you are missing out on something very cool, and special.
My first fika was experienced at Espresso House, after spending over an hour at the Migration Board. It was nice, I had a mocha. It did not disappoint, it was all I was hoping for and more! Not to hate on American coffee, but Swedish coffee is ten times better! Fika includes a few different things, usually some type of dessert, coffee, water, and a flavored beverage. So far my two favorite flavors are elder flower, and strawberry. Fika is not just about eating and drinking, it is also about the friendship and discussion. Of course, this is my favorite part of the day!
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Yes, I'm alive.

Saturday, August 6, 2011 0 comments
Earlier this week I started writing this long long long blog post all about this week and what's happened since I arrived, but I have decided to start over and keep it short and sweet (rest assured there will be a looong post to come soon). First of all, I have met tons and tons of people and have had a great time so far! I learned the other night that one of my favorite Swedish songs, is actually the un-official summer theme song, Lilla Lady by Daniel Admas-Ray. It is one of the best songs that I know, if you hadn't guessed Lilla Lady means Little Lady in Swedish. This song is pretty much the mood I have been in ever since arriving. It has been great, the food is good, all though I am already missing some american classics. I am actually listening to DAR and dancing while writing this post. :D My family is having a crayfish party tonight, so that should be lots of fun. Some quick Sweden & Västerås Facts:
  • H&M Started in my city! (Västerås, Sverige)
  • Home to the best chocolate in Sweden.
  • Saab is Swedish
  • IKEA is Swedish
  • Spotify is Swedish
  • Skype is Swedish
  • Ericsson is Swedish
  • Electrolux is Swedish
  • Volvo is Swedish
Even though you may not be able to point out Sweden on a map, I am sure you could identify each of these things.

And yes, I do live in an IKEA house. There are like 3 things in the whole house that aren't from IKEA.
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I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

Saturday, July 30, 2011 1 comments
I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when i'll be back again.
I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know if i'm ready to go.
I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know if I should go.
I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't think you can keep me here.

Love,
Joseph
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Miss, Look Forward

Friday, July 29, 2011 0 comments
I leave Sunday for the adventure of a lifetime. Even though I will be back, friends and even I keep reminding myself of "last times". Over the past week there have been a lot of "last times"; "last time" eating lunch at the River Market, "last time" at WholeFoods, "last time" seeing so and so, "last time" going here, "last time" going there. With all of these "last times" I can't help, but think of all the things that I am going to miss, and what I am looking forward too. Here are just a few:

  • I am going to miss my friends, but am looking forward to making new ones.
  • I am going to miss late nights just hanging out, but am looking forward to a new Swedish night life.
  • I am going to miss the comforts of home, but am looking forward to settling down in a new home.
  • I am going to miss my family, but am looking forward to making a new one.
  • I am going to miss Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro, but am looking forward to finding a new favorite eatery.
  • I am going to miss everything, but am looking forward to so much more!
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3 DAYS!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011 0 comments
3 Days left, and I am getting packed up and rapping everything up with my life in the United States. It is hard to believe that I will be leaving in a mere 3 days, and when I come back I will be such a different person. It's amazing to think of all the things I will learn about myself and this new world of mine. I can't wait to start this adventure!
I am so excited to meat my new family and my new life in Sweden. There is so much excitement and nervousness built up inside. I am just ready to go and see what will be.
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Less then a week

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 0 comments
I still remember the days when it was 5 months before I leave and I couldn't wait. Now, its 5 days away, still can't wait, it's here so soon! Just over a month ago at outbound camp we had to do something that was hard for many, we threw all of our fears into a fire, now with the day so close those fears seem impossible to find. They are no where in sight.
With 5 days to go before I board that flight to Stockholm, Sweden, there is nothing to do, but... pack. Yep, packing, its a task in and of itself. I am the king of packing things last minute (I usually pack the night before, or even the morning of), but this time, I must push myself to pack in advance. Not only do I have to pack all the things I am taking with me, I must also pack all of the things that I am leaving at home. There are so many things that you would never think of needing to do, that are just another task to complete on my list.
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9 Days

Friday, July 22, 2011 0 comments
9 days to go.. Its hard to believe that I will be packing everything up and moving to Sweden for a year in just ten days. Its surreal. I have been getting more and more excited as the day comes closer and closer. It hasn't fully hit me yet that I will be gone for a whole year.

The thought of leaving for a whole year is hard to stomach, but I know it will be amazing! I can't wait to embark on this great new adventure learning a language and adapting to a culture.

 I finally got all the paper work for my residence permit! It was not as exiting as I thought it would be. When I called the embassy, they had not even sent it out yet, so someone emailed it to me. Most of the letter is in Swedish, so I do not know exactly what it says, but my sister who speaks Danish has been translating it.
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Life in a Day

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 0 comments


On July 24, 2010, thousands of people around the world uploaded videos of their day to YouTube to take part in LIFE IN A DAY, a historic cinematic experiment to create a documentary film about a single day on earth.

Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald whittled down over 4500 hours of footage into a 90-minute film that wowed audiences at the Sundance, Berlin and SXSW Film Festivals earlier this year.

On July 24, 2011, LIFE IN A DAY will continue its journey when it premieres in theatres across the U.S. Order tickets at the Rave for 7:24 showing



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Västerås, Sverige

Monday, July 18, 2011 0 comments

13 days, and I can't wait to move. I am getting really excited. I realized the other day that I had not notified the blog world of where exactly I would be living. I will be living in Västerås, Sverige. Västerås is the sixth largest city in Sweden (170,000 people). It is an hour and a half west of Stockholm. I will be attending Rudbeckianska gymnasiet. Gymnasiet is comparable to high school in the United States, however you only attend for 3 years. 
The old main building of Rudbeckianska gymnasiet.

Rudbeckianska gymnasiet was the first upper secondary school in Västerås. It is in the centre of Västerås. I can not wait to go to school on their wonderful campus! It is so beautiful and contains a botanical garden. One word: AMAZING! 

I really can not wait for my arrival in Sweden to soak up all of the culture, the beautiful surroundings, and the mix between the old and the new.



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Pins

Friday, July 8, 2011 2 comments
I have been putting off getting ready for as long as possible. The pins were no exception to that. Finally, earlier this week I got into the game. I began asking people for pins. And boy was I surprised! People are sending tons, everyone that has  them is game. I have gotten nice gold lapel pins and then touristy plastic ones, but they all are special. I have started getting really creative with my requesting. One of the Rotexes, Mandee, told me about how you could request some from Coca Cola and american businesses like that. I have taken up the challenge, requesting them for everyone. I may end up with the largest variety of pins. I can't wait to start exchanging them and filling up my jacket with them!
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Those Permits

Thursday, July 7, 2011 0 comments
The residence permit. Oh, yes, I did say that word. That big scary word, believe me it has been haunting. Ever since I sent off my application to the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. it has been eagerly awaited. Thought it came once, but it was just a letter about how the process had been changed and my application was sent to Sweden. Since then it has been nothing but waiting. I finally decided that I had to contact someone, my application had not been registered, no decision had been made and I was supposed to leave in 30 days. Let me just say that contacting the embassy directly was not the best idea. If you thought 24 hours a day tech support from India was annoying, try one hour a day visa support. That's right, the embassy only answers questions an hour every weekday except Tuesday, talk about convenience. After that I decided to contact the Consulate in Dallas and see if they would be so kind as to help me. Boy, was I in for some wonderful help! The Vice Consul in Dallas, Tina, has been the most helpful person I have met in my life. She figured everything out for me and has been so kind. Granted, I do not have my permit yet, but it is well on its way speeding through the Migration Board. Now a little more waiting. 

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