Today was the first day of my last full week in the US. We went out to dinner for my birthday last night (The Twisted Fork in Raleigh - it was GREAT!!!) and my parents gave me an iPod for my birthday. Now I can have my own music for the trips, which is something I already appreciate. Also, it makes gift giving easy for me, as iTunes gift cards are something I'll definitely use. Is that bad- I don't get an iPod until I turn 20? Everyone else seems to have one, but I know that I'll appreciate mine, especially compared to the mp3 player I had years ago. Also, it's green, which is one of my favorite colors.
This afternoon, just for kicks, I opened my luggage for the first time. I've checked online and from the luggage I purchased on Black Friday, I can take my two largest suitcases and my rolling duffle bag (two checked bags and a single carry-on). It took some time to look at the airline restrictions for luggage, especially converting from metric for Swiss Air.
In any case, I have more space than I thought, but still not a lot. I'll have weight restrictions, too. My current plan is to back my bookbag (assuming I have one by January) and computer, as well as one day's worth of clothing, a small air mattress, blanket and documents in my carry-on; in the small suitcase I'll pack some shoes and the clothing for the week in NYC. In the largest bag I'll throw in everything else. Fortunately there's the H&M to shop at and Ikea for cheap furnishings like sheets.
Here's a picture of my luggage, just to give you an idea of what I'm working with.
Speaking of work - I have tomorrow off and two days later this week. While working gives me something to do, as well as money, I am definitely looking forward to this break. Since exams ended, I have kept rather busy. For example, Christmas Eve I'm working at 6, get off work around lunch time, hanging out with Cassie (Jan's cute dog), singing at the 5pm Christmas Eve service at home, then immediately going back to Jan's house. I'm hoping that after Christmas I will have a couple of afternoons to pack.
I was reading a blog by Erin (a friend who will be in Madagascar next semester) and she was talking about what she will miss and what she has done in preparation for studying abroad. Pretty much all of her list I won't miss, because it will be provided (from cold weather to indoor plumbing) and I am so glad that I haven't had to get any shots to live in Sweden. It has been so stressful, trying to get things in order with my residence permit and housing arrangements, but I'm sure it's absolutely nothing compared to what she's had to do.
Well, that's enough for now. It's getting late and I've already seen this episode of CSI Miami.