​Today I was feeling better with my cold, and was much more active. Then at about 10 am my cousin Jules messaged me and asked if I was interested in having dinner with him, his father, and our mutual family friends. Angelika gave me a green light and they picked me up at 4. On the way there we stopped by Howlan We were going to dine with family friends Shep and Hoi, and together we had a very good chicken and salad. 

About Jules: He's the same age as me, and is a senior at Berkshire High School in Sheffield, Massachusetts. He plays soccer and is on the varsity team for his school, and they won the national championship this summer. His dad, Ulf, came along as well, to help move him into his dorm at Berkshire. It's pretty great to have family and friends so nearby, and I'm thankful for that. 

No wakkas

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I speak to you today in a very grave hour. Today is the day I, Nils-Axel Frederic Öberg, declare war on Chibi Totoro, the white bunny bastard who's taken the chance to bite into the power cord to my computer, in an attempt to electrocute me. But fret not my dear followers (not even my mother knows about this blog), revenge shall come, swift and merciless.

​To update on my cold, I'm still sick but improvements have been made. For example I went for a walk around the neighborhood and bought more supplements from a shady dealer behind the cash register at Walgreens.

Memorable quote of the day from Ludvig "citatmaskinen" Johansson about politics in America: "Boycott if the simpleton wins"

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When I woke up this morning I had a dilemma. One one hand I super sore throat, but on the other, I knew I had to show up to XC practice to show the coach I was good enough to be on the team. After a bit of reasoning with myself I realised it would probably be ok if I just had some tea and an aspirin, so I drugged myself and pushed on my quest to be on the team. I got to practice on time and was greeted by the coaches, who then told us to run 4.3 miles. Coach Richardson pulled me to the side during warmup because he thought I was going too quickly, and then suggested I instead run with Pat, and another guy called Owen. Then we set off on the distance run and my gamble had worked, I was feeling fresh and fast and I had no problem running with the others. After practice the coaches were impressed and happy to see me perform. 

When I got home I passed out on my bed almost immediately and was out for almost 2 hours. And when I eventually woke up I had a killer headache, a stuffed nose and what felt like razors in my throat. I was full with regret and high on Alvedon and Zinc supplements. And this is my life now, just chilling in bed, munching pills and contemplating my decisions. Very effective day.

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​This morning I woke up at 7:30 and had breakfast. Then I and the host family went to Arlington High School together, for my XC tryouts. When we got to the track, it was 8:40, in our eyes 20 minutes on time, but in the eyes of literally everyone else, we were an hour and 40 minutes late. Anyway, we met the coach, Mr. Richardson, and he was really nice, and said not to worry about being late. Then one of his runners, Ryan Oosling, came back from his distance run, and Coach told me to run cool down with him. Ryan was apparently the star runner on the team and happened to be really helpful and friendly. He told me that it'd be fun to be friends and train together, not against each other, which is just fine by me. After cool down we met up with the team captain, Pat(ric?), and he was happy to have me on the team as well.

After XC practice I went home and my host brother Oliver invited me to come and play basketball with his friends. Playing basketball was pretty alright although I'm absolutely  atrocious. Oliver told me not to worry about it and that I was better than he had anticipated, so that gave me a bit of hope. Anyway, that was pretty much my day. We had burgers for dinner and then I went straight to bed, because I was dead tired (and really didn't want to miss the 7 am run with the XC team)

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Yesterday I left New York and flew to Boston. After security I said goodbye to the other students, who were going to a different gate. After lunch I went to my gate where boarding was just about to start, an hour before departure. On the plane I chatted with my sisters on Facebook and they advised me to call my mother, and so I did. The call lasted 2 minutes and it was the first time since I left Stockholm that I spoke with her. The call left me in tears, I just missed her so much. About five minutes later I called her again and told her how much I missed her and how nervous I was to be facing this new life all by myself. After the call I straight up cried for 50 minutes, until the plane landed. I was seated in between a couple, and if they're reading this, doubt it though, I'm so sorry for disturbing your peace. Once I landed and met my host family, all was a well though. We got in a taxicab and were driven to their home at 68 Foster Street, Arlington, Massachusetts. Big shoutout to our taxi driver, Judex Belotte for being so nice and accommodating. When we arrived I was given a room of my own, and in return I gave out my gifts, two Astrid Lindgren books, two Sweden jerseys, a tray and coasters from Svenskt Tenn and a lot of Swedish candy. After dinner my host brother Oliver took me on a walk to show me around the area. I learned a lot about the history of Arlington, and which places to bring girls on dates (Starbucks, duh). Great!

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Today we didn't go on any tour or learn anything new. Instead we went to Whole Foods and bought food for a picnic in Central Park. Fredd and I stuck together and both got beef and rice for lunch, as well as beet juice and some nuts. After lunch we played football and volleyball in the park, and had a pretty good time. Turns out what I lack in volleyball I can make up for by tossing a pigskin around and soon enough I felt comfortable teaching others how to throw a spiral as well. Sander, Gustaf and I have become really good friends and together we took off our shirts and took Germany and Norway by storm. It was really fun to walk around with such great homies and enjoy the sun together, #nohomo. After that we got back to the bus and went to Jersey Garden Mall. I only spent like 35 dollars on two shirts, but I heard that a German chick spent like 800, which is crazy. Then we went back to the hotel and and went for a soak in the jacuzzi. At its most we were like 15 people in that tiny pool, but it was still cosy. Anyhow, I'm surrounded by girls eager to read my blog right now, so I think I'm done writing for now. Till next time.

Tomorrow I'm leaving New York, to get to Massachusetts and meet my host family. I'm super stoked to finally meet the Leventhals and to settle down in Arlington.

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​Today we went to Downtown NYC, Chinatown and Brooklyn. It was all fun and games until we were left alone and supposed to get dinner by ourselves. Me and my Swedish friends Gustaf, Anna, Karolina and Sander went back to Little Italy to eat pizza. All was well until the bill came, as usual. Appearantely the price of Sander's seafood risotto (wasn't displayed on the menu) was 55 dollars, of which 10 dollars was for a lobster he didn't order. Then it was my turn and my 12 dollar Cesar salad turned into a 45 dollar monstrosity (once again not advertised on the menu). The other's had ordered the "best pizza in town" which in reality was just burnt pizza bread, a bit of pizza sauce and a mountain of cheese. Their food was 30 bucks each. After we had payed we had a heated argument with the man outside who had advised us to go inside. It all ended in curses and a ruined night.

Long story short, we got straight up robbed in broad daylight, and what I've learned is to not be a stupid tourist to not be as naive in the future. 

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As soon as I finish writing NYC Day I, my Italian roommate Alessio invited me to sit with him and his friends for a nice chat, and soon enough poor little room 311 was flooded with his Italian friends. We stayed up until 10:30 pm and exchanged cultures, language and music. After a while Sander and his Norwegian roomie Fredd also joined and we had a great time. I'm actually super happy Alessio asked me to join, because thanks to him I stayed up way longer than I would've on my own, which also led to me waking up at 7am instead of half past 3 like yesterday. 

By the way, more pictures are coming to this blog, don't worry.

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All righty folks, as I guess you know (probably only my mom and sisters who'll ever read this anyway), my name is Nils and I'll be an exchange student in Arlington, MA for a year. With that out of the way I can start to describe my surroundings and what's going on. Right now, until Aug 24, all exchange students live in a hotel in New Jersey, to make things easier with jet lag and adapting to the american way of life.

Today, all 99 students were split into two groups, and got seated in buses to travel to New York City. We arrived at the Grand Central Terminal, where we were told to get something to eat before meeting up with our tour guide for the day, Dennis. As it turned out tour guides have a lot of interesting facts and stories they work in. For example, I learned which areas were commercial and residential, which neighborhoods were the most affluent, which celebrities used to live in Dakota Apartments, and the purpose of the high line. It was a pretty great experience and I'm pretty sure that there's a lot more to learn about this city. Around 5 pm we were dropped off at 6th Ave and 41 St, and were given 3 hours to walk around and experience things on our own. In the true spirit of exploring and meeting new people, I stuck with my gang of swedes, and went sightseeing with them. In the end we settled down in a booth at Chipotle and ate dinner together. When we returned to where the bus was supposed to pick us up, we met a nice new yorker who was eager to help us get back to our hotel in NJ, claiming we'd have to take a cab or the subway, although our bus was right behind his back!

So far this has been a really cool experience and I'm now looking forward to a good nights sleep before tackling the challenges of tomorrow. Anyhow, I hope you've enjoyed this first post and I'm looking forward to any and all feedback.

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