Weekend vibes all week

Our week started with a visit from Andreas friend (also named Andreas).

He’s been sailing for almost a year. Starting in Stockholm going down to Portugal, then over the Atlantic to Brasilia and up to Maryland. He had a couple of days off before going back home (by flight) so he decided to come here. So much fun listening to hos journey. Feeling like a kid asking all kind of questions like; for how long did you go without seeing land? How much food do you bring? Were there any pirates? How does it work with the customs? What kind of Visa do you get? Which place had the best wow-factor? ….He patiently answered every question 😆 What an adventure!

The sun have been shining almost every day this week so we have been able to hang out by the pool and enjoy late nights out.

Today my friend Erika is coming to town. So the vacation mood will be on for another couple of days! So much fun having people over 🤗

Run, jog, sprint, dash

Today it’s exactly four months since I moved here. It’s crazy how fast time flies by (cliché but true)! Not knowing what to expect when I moved here and not knowing exactly how to fill my days I wrote down some goals to achieve, just to put some pressure on myself to make the most of this opportunity. Two of them being focused on physical health; 1. Start doing Yoga 2. Learn to enjoy running

The last couple of years my relationship to working out has been a real on-again / off-again relationship. For my 30th birthday I bought myself a one year membership at SATS. I think I went there five times, so that was like 600 SEK per workout – a great way to spend money! I never been flexible and I never enjoyed running so I thought this would be a great opportunity to change those things.

When I arrived to Columbus I almost immediately signed up for Yoga. And when it started getting warmer outside (in February), me and Andreas have started off almost every day with a short run. I always wanted to be a person who enjoyed running, for two reasons, it’s free and you can do it wherever you go. All you need is a pair of running shoes!

Because we live so close to the river we go there every morning and run either 3 or 4 kilometers. Doing that for almost 3 months now I can truly say it’s a great way to start the morning. Although some mornings it helps that we are two, when all you want is to stay in bed. Now that I enjoy that distance I’m trying to improve my pace. And after that I’ll run a bit further. One step at a time…

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Trying to keep up

I have been listening to a podcast called Culture Differences & Culture Diversitylately. I think the subject is very interesting and it complements my studies in Consumer behavior in a way, seeing that different cultures can effect our consumption behavior.

In one episode they were talking about the subject of getting to know and understand the other culture in a better way. The guy interviewed was a successful serial entrepreneur who was managing a company with Virtual Assistants in Philippines. They talked a lot about the importance of communication. Being straight forward. Call and ask if there are misunderstandings instead of continuing the email conversation. He also spoke about the importance of keeping up with the news of that country. Which I 100 procent agree on. First of all it gives you material to conversations and second of all you get information about things that may or may not effect those living in that city or country.

Long intro, but that being said – last week on May 8th it was Primary election in Ohio. Ohio is a swing state in presidential elections, but Republicans have dominated state politics for three decades, and held the governor of office for 24 of the last 28 years.

Knowing very little about Primary elections, or the political voting system in general in the states, I felt like I had to start learning some about it.

I think this article described the reason (and importance) of the election very well. Short summary – the general election is the very end of the road. There are plenty of steps along the way, like Presidential primary where one Republican and one Democratic gets elected to represent their party for the Presidential run, the last one being Hillary against Trump. In the Presidential primary you have a lot of different candidates to choose from. Those candidates could be from your state. Which in that case would have been voted on in the state primary election.  That means you could be voting for the country’s next president by register and vote in the state primary election, which in Ohio occurred last week.

There are two main types of primaries, closed or open. In a closed primary a registered voter is only allowed to vote within that party that he/she is affiliated with, for example a democrat can only vote for a democrat and vice versa. In an open primary the registered voter may vote in either primary regardless of party membership. Ohio law provides for open primaries.

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I feel like I’m on a kids level when it comes to knowledge in this area so I was really happy when I found this website, which explained things in a very simple and fun way – for kids 😆

This is what I end up looking at when my mind needs a break from topics like this – the worst ad campaign by a Republican candidate running for Senate in West Virginia haha I wonder if we are going to see anything like this from the Swedish parties in the election this year….

Tornado warning

Omg I feel like a true newbie 😂 About an hour ago I got a notification on my phone, there was a tornado closing in on Columbus and the downtown area.

I was sitting outside working at the balcony when I got the notification. I quickly got in and put on the weather channel to see how bad it was. Then I heard the alarm outside. The alarm gives you 15 minutes heads up to get shelter, meaning, go inside and stay away from the windows, preferably, go to a safe place (like a basement).

The rain was pouring down and you could see that there were really strong winds. On TV they showed pictures on how many minutes you had left until the storm was going to reach you. Watching too many movies about tornados (with sharks) I prepared as much as I could. Pulled out chargers from power outlets, moved as far away as I could in our apartment from the windows. I even moved in our balcony furnitures just because they were talking on TV about zero vision and that things could be flying around.

Things changed quickly the tornado never came, which of course is a good a thing. I just feel like a fool for reacting like this is a “this is it-moment”. So that was my first tornado warning experience. 😂

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This is a part of America

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Being away from family, friends, norms and culture codes that I’m used to can be challenging. Sometimes in a fun way and sometimes in a frustrating/confusing way.

You’re given a broader frame of references which gives you a better understanding on why people act, and think in different ways. I’ve been traveling all my life but it’s something else to live in a country and get to know people who are born and raised in that country.

At the moment I’m a bit shaken about being yelled at on the street – twice. Both times just by passing a person, who probably had a bad day?! or were on drugs?! To be able to provoke someone, buy just being white, is new to me.

Other people have warned me about walking by myself or driving in certain areas of the town, because of criminality and drugs. And I will probably listen to their advice if my reaction on being yelled at shook my nerves.

We were at a dinner the other night where one of the guests told us that he and his wife had  lived in a house that was placed in the middle of two neighborhoods and two different gangs. Which one night ended up in a gunshot, going through their bedroom!! I mean in the apartment building where we lived in Stockholm people were arguing with angry notes in the hallway…

That story did not take place in Columbus, but googling crime in Columbus is not that uplifting. Last year there were 143 homicides in the city of Columbus, (0 in the area of town we live in).  To compare with rates of homicides in the country of Sweden which in 2017 were 113. Both Columbus and Cleveland have experienced marked increases in their homicide rates the last couple of years. One reason for the increase in Columbus are gangs. The police have identified 40 gangs operating in the region.

I never felt insecure walking the streets or going places in Columbus so I’m going to continue to do that, but it’s always good to be careful (choose the right streets and time). So no need to worry – mom! 🙂

Downtown activities

On May 1st the activities in the park outside our apartment building started. During the summer months they arrange free concerts, outdoor movies and fitness classes.

I’m going to try some of their fitness classes this week. You can choose from Yoga, Zumba, Cardio, hip hop, kickboxing – so this week I will go for the kickboxing and yoga.

It’s a really nice park and yesterday I invited some friends for a picnic, which worked out really well instead of squeezing in to a small apartment.

This picture is from two weeks ago when there was a marathon in town.

A dark basement on a sunny day

I feel like we are getting very settled in our routines, so last night I surprised Andreas with some concert tickets to go and see a band called Wilderado.

I was scouting around on google for things to do and this came up as an option. Never heard the band before, but I found them on Spotify and I really liked their sound.

They played on a place called The Basement. And it really was a basement. It was probably not the best evening to go down in a dark room because it was sunny and 25 degrees. But I get a feeling we will have more of those evenings here.

It was a good concert, not a lot of people, but nice to do and hear something new. After the concert we walked home along the river. Such a nice evening!

That was unreal

Last night we saw Cleveland Cavaliers play against Indiana Pacers. It was a crazy game and one of the loudest crowds I ever experienced.

It was impossible to not get excited and we went along with all the cheerful “De-fence 👏👏👏 De-fence” and “Let’s go Caaavs – Let’s go!”

The biggest thing of the evening and the reason we went to the game was LeBron James. The crowd were screaming extra loud when he showed off his skills. And he definitely deserved it.

With only 3 seconds left of the game and the score being 95-95, LeBron got the ball and threw a three point shot, which scores and makes the Cavs the winner of the game! That was unreal to watch!

Cleveland x4

This is not my first visit to Ohio. When I was 13 we traveled to Nebraska and Ohio to visit relatives. My grandmother and uncle researched our family history and found some of our relatives in the states. They contacted them and asked if they wanted to connect. And they were more then happy to welcome us all in to their homes – so we went!

One stop we did during that trip was to Cleveland, Ohio to visit my mothers cousin. He still lives in Cleveland so when my parents were visiting we took a day trip to meet up for a lunch. It was a nice but cold day so we meet up at the museum of art where we also had lunch.

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A different art installation was the man welcoming you in to the art gallery. He sat in the doorway and asked for your name and then he got up and yelled “Welcome Carolin Engelmark”. It sure put a smile on your face.

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Cleveland is a two hour drive away from Columbus. We already have two return trips planned for this town. On Wednesday we go back to watch the playoff for Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers. And in July we go back to watch Beyonce and Jay-Z perform. So more to come from this place!

Soundtracks of our lives

A strange feeling, sitting on a café in Midwest America, and read about Aviciis death. I looked up to see if anyone else had reacted on the news flash on their phone, but people were talking to each other and drinking their coffee like nothing had happened. If I could I would have teleported myself home for a night out in Stockholm, enjoying the warm spring weather with friends and listen to Avicii tracks on highest possible level.

So many great songs! And so many great memories to them! Feels like you have to sit down with your friends and be nostalgic about these great memories created to his songs.

My first Avicii/Tim Berg memory is to Seek bromance. A roadtrip to Kungsbacka from Stockholm summer of 2010. A trip that normally takes 5 hours to drive but for us took 9 hours when I decided to follow the traffic signs instead of going via Jönköping and the high way. Big mistake!

We played Seek bromance on repeat that weekend. Feels like a good soundtrack makes your memory stronger. And this time it was the memories of a great weekend. Thankful for having that and many more memories to his tunes❣️