I've gotten your (not so) subtle hints that you want to hear/see more, so I'm going to try to make a concentrated effort to post at least once every two weeks. I don't know if I'll have enough interesting things to keep up that schedule; there was a massive amount of blog-worthy moments the first week or two, but now it's just becoming normal life. (That's right, the cobblestone streets and century old buildings barely earn my notice now. Such a terrible life I live.) I'll slowly go through and post pictures and details of some of the early stuff though, so I should have blog fodder for a while at least.
Anyway, enough apologizing - onto talking about my living quarters ala Sweden. :)
I chose to live in a dorm, or corridor as they call it here. Unlike the US, you don't have a roommate, which is a vast improvement on the dorm situation, and the rent is pretty cheap - I pay ~$350 a month total, and that includes internet and free laundry. I thought about a studio apartment, but decided against it because then I would just be in my fully contained room and never meet my neighbors, whereas a corridor I could mingle and get some culture and all. (Plus, it was cheaper.)
I opted for corridors that were a mix of Swedes and international students (why come to Sweden if you're not going to mix with the locals?), and had at least their own toilet, since I've decided that having to be decently dressed and walk down a long hallway to pee at 3am is not really something I wanted to do for two years.
I got placed in Parentesen, so named because our two buildings form a parentheses around a courtyard. It's got a really great central location, and I do really like the 19 other people that live on my floor. Most of them are Swedish, so I'm getting some of that culture I wanted, regular language immersion, and have people nice enough to explain what I can and can't recycle or translate the instructions on food packages. (Googling msk will not tell you it's the Swedish abbreviation of the metric equivalent of tbsp.)
That being said, there are definitely some things I really don't like about living here. First and foremost, I ended up in the party dorm...again. Which being the only non-drinker in the party dorm at 18 was fun enough; now I'm 33 and even less into the party scene. Lucky for me I have probably the quietest room location and sleep like the dead anyway, so it's really the fact that most Friday and Saturday nights I can barely access the kitchen that bugs me the most.
Which would be the thing I hate the most about living here, and probably something I should have thought about more - I miss having my own kitchen. A lot. The one here was downright disgusting when I moved in, but that's at least getting better and no longer induces rage every time I cook. (Which, if you've ever witnessed the constant dish-monster in my sink at home, is hilarious and somewhat hypocritical, but there's a big difference between my mess in my own space and other people's mess in a shared space. I'll have you know the longest one of my dishes have sat here was an hour.) :p Anyway, I think it bugs me a lot because I love to do big cooking on the weekend (I made pot stickers from scratch yesterday!) and the kitchen is at its worst weekend mornings after late-night shenanigans.
It's really not that bad though and I'm getting used to it. I'd say I'm happy living here 83% of the time, which is pretty good. I have been a bit of a hermit (my easy default), but I'm trying to spend more time in the common room. I think it'll be better once I start learning Swedish and can maybe understand some of the conversations. :)
So, what does this place actually look like? Well, let me take you on a tour!
Here's what my view looks like without the sun glare:
That about covers it, I think. Let me know if you have any questions, and I'll post again soon(ish). :)