Warning: This is the freakout my foreign exchange adviser back at SFSU warned me about:
My uncle dropped me off back at my dorm yesterday. And I find that I’m just hating it more and more. There are so many things wrong.
First off, I don’t know why I’m the only exchange student who got stuck in this dorm building. All the other students either live 5 minutes from school or live together in this one big building that is next door to a shopping center. Instead, I get to live in this dorm building by myself where I know no one, and is 2 miles from campus and almost a mile from a grocery store. This morning I went grocery shopping and almost got lost because I didn’t think it’d be that far (also, I was pretty surprised when I had to pay for plastic bags). Then I decided to walk from my building to the school so that I could familiarize myself with the campus. I walked pretty far and thought I was pretty near. But when I pulled out my map, it turns out I was only halfway there. It took me forever to reach my campus, and on my way back, my still not-fully-healed ankle nearly gave out on me.
Then I went to go online, but my Internet wasn’t working. It was working fine the first day I was here, but it’s been crapping out. I checked my ethernet cable and my computer said there was nothing wrong with the connection and in fact, the connection was 100 Mbps. But somehow the pages would not load for me. The only logical reason I could think of about why that happened was that it could be like how it was when I lived on campus at SFSU: each student was given an amount of bandwidth per week and if they exceeded that amount, the campus would cut off your Internet for the rest of the week. The only reason I’m able to type this all out here and hopefully post this is because I’m piggybacking off someone’s very slow wireless Internet. Thank goodness I bought that wireless card. I thought about contacting whoever’s in charge of the Internet here and asking for help, but when I opened the big dorm guide they gave me, it turns out every page is in Danish. “Fuck!” was my first thought.
Then I decided to kill some time by cleaning my room and putting some stuff away but the light in the hallway where my closet is at doesn’t work, so unless I can see in the dark, I can’t put away my stuff. And of course, the number to call maintenance is in that book written completely in Danish.
Argghh. I am totally getting the short end of the stick here. I wish I was living in that building with all the other American students so then I could just knock on their doors and see if they’re having the same problem and then we could help each other out. In my building I’m pretty much alone since most people haven’t moved in yet.
And the cell phone plans here are crazy. You get an average of about 120 to 260 minutes of talk time per month, and there are no free weekend or nighttime minutes, which means that’s basically all the time you get on the phone unless you cough up tons of bucks. Seriously, how am I supposed to do telephone interviews? And no, the school isn’t going to help me with that, it explicitly says that in our syllabus.
I know I should’ve been prepared for this. The adviser at the study abroad orientation I went showed us a big chart explaining that we would probably be depressed the first few months. Boy, was he right.
I’m also kicking myself for going to a country where I don’t know the language. I’m already getting lots of important-looking mail that I can’t read because it’s in Danish. I feel like a person with really bad eyesight who lost their glasses and now they have to struggle to make it through the haze. If only I knew the language, it would help so much. And that thing about most Danish people knowing English? It’s one big LIE.
And yes, I do know I’m bitching a lot, and it’s not the end of the world, but when I’m stuck somewhere where I have to spend all my time alone without much human contact to talk to, it can get pretty maddening.