... and then we went club´n in New York City

Four girls one city... get ready for a crazy weekend!

I´ve gotta confess that when I sat at Starbucks coffee last Friday by myself, wondering if I would get home to the night, that I wasn´t gonna come back to THE city again - at least not this year. Our plans to go club´n in New York City got changed, and after saying goodbye to my family I had to make it on the bus to Wilmington, with or without ticket. One week later I felt confident of seeing "The Big Apple" once more as I booked a new busticket there. Hostel was booked, plans were made and bags were, as usual, not packed at all. Four gilrs were ready to go. The clubs were waiting for us...

Woke up at 6.30 Saturday morning to, of course pack my bags, and even though we had pleanty of time to begin with we somehow ran late. Emmy drove a bit faster than usual, but we made it to the bus and could all relax with a good book - "German words for kids" as we rolled out of Wilmington. Temperature was about 80 degrees at we steped out at Macy´s, and it didn´t take too long to find our hostel at Westend Avenue. Saturday meant shopping, and we made a great deal of walking through the different stores enjoying our day off. By 6pm we headed back to the hostel to get prepare for the evening and get the first look at the room which, for $15 a night, wasn´t too bad. After pre-partying for a few hours we decided it was time to head out if we were gonna be able to find the club before midnight. Since the hostel was placed at 103rd street and the club at 11th it took a while to get there, and a few stops for directions (but we didn´t talk to strangers :P).

At last we got there! The line was huge, but in some amazing way we managed to discreetly pass the whole line, and thanks to the free tickets Julia had gotten her hands on we didn´t have to pay a cent to get in! The place looked like a club should with discolights, loud music and too much people at the same time. Got a bit of a shock when we, after exactly 4 seconds at the dance floor, got surronded by guys all touching our buts (or for those with dresses even otherintimate places). It makes me mad that just because you are a girl gyus think they have free accsess to your body! In Sweden club´n is about going out dancing having a good time with your friends. It looks more like a concert than anything else with groups of people jumping up and down hugging each other and dancing their faces off. In America it´s different. Here you are axpected to dance boy/girl - tight and sexy - and the guys just come up to you from behind pressing against you expecting you to do the same. Lycklily we found a good spot to dance on without too many males at the same time - a couch on the stage up front. With relief we took off our high heels and danced barefoot. Staying together, helping each other out if we got attaced by the opposite gender, we managed to have a really awesome night with heaps of dancing. As with all workout you get warm and sweaty, feet are hurting and the ears are rining from the loud music - just as it should be.

Even though the place didn´t close till 5 we gave up at 3.30am and took a cab back to the hostel where we crashed on the beds - fully dressed. Morning broke, and after a shower the lost sleep didn´t affect us anymore, so we headed out in the sun - ready for another day in the Big City. Strolling along Broadway, visiting Battery Park (at the south end from where you can see the Statue of Liberty) and Chinatown was nice, but a bit sweaty on the 90 degrees streets. We spent the last few hours in the late afternoon chilli´n out in Central Park - enjoying life, youth and freedom - before it was time to leave for the bus, Wilmington and another working week. Sometimes life is just too good!


Two weeks of "Sweeding"

The came, they saw, they... went back to Sweden!

Vacation´s over. Two weeks along with the family, seeing everything from odd street signs to messed up proposes in front of 20 000 people. Yes, time does fly when you´re having fun!

April 4th was the day of the Thedeby reunion, after almost ten months apart, in Somerset lake - PA. It was very surreal seeing them stepping out of the rental car, like ghosts from a parallel world, beeing able to hug them and realise they actually made it across the seas. Notecing their reactions while showing them around the neighbourhood, expalining that I actually live here, felt a bit weird. So did the dinner along with my host family the followning evening. Like putting two worlds together I was the piece which combined Sweden with America, and I watched my parents talk echonomy with Dough while my brothers were teaching "my" kids how to skateboard. American bbq was on the menu and I gotta say the mixture of ages, cultures and swenglish turned out pretty well.

Arriving to the States for the first time the Thedeby´s were planning to see three of the east cost´s biggest cities: Philadelphia, Washington DC and (of course) New York. Starting out with Philly Max got to fulfill his dream skating in the LOVE-park along with the american youths with the same passion for getting bruies, out of falling off a piece of wood with wheeles, flying down a rail. While the bro was exploring the atmosphere of the legendary skatepark, the rest of us watched an interesting fight going on between some skaters and bikers about who´s park it was. When the poliece got called to the spot we decided to leave it before Max, carrying a skateboard, got arrested and headed towards the Rocky stairs. Seeing that and the Liberty bell we felt pleased with Philadelphia, and headed towards the capital instead. The weather in DC left a bit to wish for but we got to see  the White House from a fair distance, thousands of white gravestones reminding us of all the dead bodies underneath us at the Arlington cemetary and the amazing giant tooth pick. 

After getting a picture of the city from where the worlds greatest country is controled we packed ourself into the car spending 7 hours listening to the anoyingly calm voice of the GPS-woman saying "recalculating" before we got down to Charlotte, North Carolina, and our Swedish friends. There we got two days of REAL coffee, watching two-year-olds and some fun/hard yoga workout at Wii fit before getting back into the car for a 10 h drive back up to Pensylvania. After spending the night in my surroundings once more we took a fair goodbye to the car and the GPS woman, and took a shuttle to NYC. 

Even though I´ve been in "the big apple" three times before I haven´t really seen that much, except for stores and taxi cars, so the four days we spent there really gave me chance to explore and fall in love with the city with more citizens then the whole country of Sweden. With an enthusiastic father I, along with the rest of the Thedebys, got to see: the Statue of Liberty, Chinatown, Central Park, Harlem, Rockefeller Center, the Museum of natural history and Empire State Building. There was a lot of walking involved (but with converse from Australia you can do anything) but we had the greatest time. My favourites were definately Central Park, with its blooming trees and romantic atmoshere, and Time Squre. As a great ending of the trip we had two amazing nights in a row watching a real NBA game at Madison Square Garden followed by the musical HAIR on Broadway. An American basketball game has a class of its own. With 20 000 people watching live, amazing 3 pointers, cheerlearers and heaps of snackbars the experience is beyong explainability. Sports are great, but for me there is something way better - watching professional plays and musicals - and where do you go but not to Braodway if you wanna see the best of the best? Tickets are expensive, but for a once in a lifetime experience it´s definately worth it. After watching HAIR on video for the first time I had a period of hippie dreams, and seeing it live was something I really looked forward to. The story differed a bit from the one in the movie and the show was very - right hippie - with a lot of crazy dancing, potsmoking and sex-talking. In the end of the first act the cast chocked us all by taking off all of their clothes finishing the last song totally naked, and after the show the audience were welcomed up on stage to "get a hug from a sweatty hippie". It was a very special show, with a lot of amazing singers, and a super cool experience!

After watching naked people together on a Thursday night it was once more time from the Thedebys to say goodbye for a period of over two months. After having two wonderful weeks in their company I feel ready to handle two more months by myself in the States before it´s time to return home. Even though I fell in love with New York, and don´t feel a strong wish of returning to Sweden I am, and will always be, a Thedeby - cause those are the awesomest!   

Fredagstankar från Manhattan

Sitter här på Starbucks, Park Avenue - NYC, och tittar ut på de gula taxibilarna som passerar utanför fönstret. Klockan är tre, fredag eftermiddag och jag dricker mitt skållheta, smaklösa amerikanska kaffe i pappmugg medan jag filosoferar över livet. Tänk så enkelt livet kan vara som ung, oberoende och fri. Helt annonym är jag där jag sitter i mitt hörn med laptopen på bordet framför och kommer, i samma ögonblick som jag bestämmer mig för att packa ned datorn och kliva ut på trotoaren, bara vara en i mängden av människor som uppehåller sig på Manhattan denna dag. Svarta, vita, långa smala, tjocka, amerikaner, turister, lugna, stressade... Människor som driver omkring med siktet inställt någonstans, med olika mål i livet, olika bakgrund, olika framtidsplaner, men med en sak gemensamt: platsen - tiden. PARK AVENUE 04/17 - 09 - 3pm.

Tycker om det här. Känner mig konstigt lugn, trots att dagen inte varit den bästa. Sa för en timma sedan hejdå till familjen, en andra gång. De har nu förbrukat sina två veckor i staterna och har gett sig av till Newark International Airport för att bege sig tillbaka hem till Sverige. Själv stannar jag här. Två månader har jag kvar innan jobbet som au pair är över, och då väntar 2 veckor på västkusten innan det är dags att återse det kära hemlandet. Det är konstigt hur lite jag längtar dit. För ett år sedan ville jag inget hellre än att vara där, stanna kvar i Nässjö, stoppa tiden så att jag slapp bli vuxen, slapp ta ansvar. Nu har jag ingen brådska hem. Visst var det tufft att krama om familjen, efter bara två veckor tillsammans på de närmsta 10 månaderna, och se dem hoppa in i taxin för att åter lämna mig att ta hand om mig själv. Som ytterligare en byggsten i ångerst-tornet står det faktum att jag inte vet om jag kommer att komma "hem" dv.s tillbaka till Landenberg. Tanken var från början att tjejerna skulle komma upp och att vi skulle ha en girlsweekend i NYC med clubing på agendan, men ibland blir saker och ting inte som man tänkt sig och jag istället boka en bussbiljett till Wilmington 4.30pm. Problemet med detta transportmedel är att det krävs en biljett för att hoppa på bussen, och en sådan har jag - på mailen. Har ännu inte iversterat i en skrivare i miniformat, utan räknade med att kunna skriva ut biljetten på hotellet där jag tillbringat veckan med familjen. Detta hade jag också blivit lovad, men inte utav surkärringen som ansvarade över skrivaren, så nu sitter jag här - biljettlös med en timma kvar tills bussen åker, med eller utan mig.

Vad gör man ensam i NYC utan bussbiljett hem? Enkelt! Sätter sig på Starbucks med en kopp blaskigt kaffe och skriver ett blogginlägg! Är det något året i USA har lärt mig är det att att allt löser sig. Efter att ha tagit mig in i detta järnridå land utan rätt tillståndspapper är att ta sig hem från NYC utan biuljett "A piece a cake". Med pengar, mobil och ett leende på läpparna kan man lösa det mesta. En dator är så klart inte heller helt fel att ha. Har kollat upp och skrivit av bokningsnumret från mailen. Skulle inte det räcka får jag helt enkelt langa upp pengar och betala en ny biljett på bussen. Skjuts från Wilmington har jag redan lyckats ordna, och med gott om tid bör jag nog lyckas ta mig upp till 34th street med bagaget tills dess att bussen anländer. Och om jag inte kommer med bussen? Tja vad gör man i en stad med fler människor än hela Sveige, med caféer, restauranfer och hotell öppna 24-7, med pengar på fickan (tack igen mamma!) och ett telefonsamtal ifrån en supportande röst vartsomhelst i världen...

Som sagt - Starbucks, Park Avenue, fredag eftermiddag. Kaffet börjar ta slut, nya människor passerar förbi - allt är gott...

The day of horror

Sunday March 29th was the day of fear. Would I handle the preassure of going to a Broadwayshow-tryout in the United Staes of America - the country of all great shows and movies...?

7.59 Sunday morning, after a long sleepless night, I woke up by the phone ringing. On the line - Australia - who wanted to wish me luck. After a fiew minutes moaning and comforting words I felt ready to step out of bed beginning the day I was convinced would be one of the most humiliating in my life. At least that phonecall gave me something else to blame, the deal which we made in Miami, insted of my own stupidity.

Forcing my thoughts as far away from this day as possible I took a shower, ate a big bowl of oatmeal and made a quick phonecall to Cat´s to check if it was alright to sneek by and borrow the GPS at 9 o´cklock in the morning. After a lovely "Feel no preassure" from the kids I left for New Jersey and my doom, singing as loud as I could in the car to shout down the pessimistic voices in my head telling me to go back. At 10.30 I arrived (thank God for the GPS or I would have been lost at some highway to nowhere), found a parkinglot, took a deep breath and walked towards the singn screaming BROADWAY at me. Got shown to a room for "sign up" and sat down to wait along with a bunch of other youths. After listening to the information about the test I realised I could sing to the CD Í had been practicing with and rushed back to the car to get it. As to show me how much it really hated me after putting in a CD with the High School Musical soundtrack, or maybe as a try to stop me from commiting the terrible misstake to commit public suecide, the CD player refused to hand me the CD. After 20 min swetty tries to, with help of  tool such as hair needles and keys, I had to consider myself defeted. With one last angry punch against it I haeded back to the others with a heart rate way above normal, and an inner voice yelling  disparaging words about me.

Five minutes later I found myself standing on a stage, number two in line, listening to a guy singing his heart out wondering how the h**** I was doing there. Luckily there was no time for my inner war to end, in which case I think  my soul would have been something like a city after a nuclear explosion, because my name was called and I realised there was no other way then the hard one. With a determined mind of doing the best of my remaining time alive I walked across the stage, handed the music sheet (which at least the evil car hadn´t got a hold on) to the pianist and said "I have never been singing this song to the piano before". He gave it a look and answered "I don´t recognize it, but let´s try". He started playing to check if I got it, and apperantly I did, so step number two was to enter the centre of the stage, place myself at the big X, say "hello" to the five juges curiosly watching me and start singing. After 1 shaky minute in which I only stopped once I heard the brutal "Thank you!", and off the stage I went.

Safely back behind the satge I get welcomed with a "Good job!" and some smiling faces which, enen though they might be lying, makes me feel a bit better while I watch all the remaining applicants. Some are actuallt worse then me, som e are better and some are WAY better. In the group there are some really talanted singers with a confidence that shows that this is not their frist time in the spotlights. The performenses are short and the "Thank you!" is heard in the same abrutp voice no matter if the singers are stars or just beginners like myslef. Fifteen minutes later I find myselt sitting at a coffeplace across the street texting "Singing is done and I´m still alive" to those I know will be calmed by this sign of life.

Three hours, and the same digit cups of coffee, later I once agian find myself in the waiting area with a bunch of youths, this time the number is a lot bigger, warming up for the dace test. This time I feel even less perpared when I look around seeing people in ballet-shoes stretching their legs over their shoulders. My body is haking as a reslut of too much nervousness, coffe and too little to eat and I sink down on the floor at the far end of the room making myself as invisible as possible. "Do you know what song we are gonna dance to?" a girl to my right suddenly asks. She says the name of a song I´ve never heard of and tells me it´s from Legally Blond the musical. "It is the workout-song and I´ve heard the choriograpy is going to be super hard." GREAT!  With pictures of splits and backflips in my mind I stand up and follow the rest back to the theatre where we get split up in two groups, of which mine gets shown up to the second floor´s corridor to learn the moves. During five minutes we get thought a serie of moves which i try to practice as well as I can whitout knocking someones teeth out moving my arms outside the 1 foot space I have to myself. After really considering asking for help we get shown down to the stage once more, devided into groups after first name (which means I´m first in line) and are asked to do the moves to music for the first time. I have been told to have fun so I smile my face off while trying to do my best remembering when to twist at which direction, and after two tries it´s time for the second group. Ten minutes later it´s time for jugement and I try once more to show how much I enjoy dancing, while doing the moves as big and controlled as I can. The last time I actually feel like I´m starting to get it, and find myself having fun, but of course then it´s over.

We get told we can leave, I grab my stuff and head back to the car, chatting with a guy from my group I managed to not hit in the face, with a big si´mile on my face. The gray moist sky that hung over me on my way there got swithed out, and is now clear blue. Sun is shining and thermometer shows 20 degreece Celsius. I leave Pitman with a feeling of pure happiness, singing my loudest to every song comming up on the radio, no matter if I´ve heard it or not. While focus is not on the GPS I end up driving on a five-lane highway, but that doesn´t bother me at all, and I enter the road-costum with "I´m yours" on max voulme and hand over the 90 cents to the guy with my most glossy "Have a good day!" The demons of my mind are blown away. Only the feeling of pure happiness is left, and I am proud of myself for doing this, for pushing myself to explore the way to my dreams, even though it´s not the most glamorous one. I didn´t to terrible, I did ok and that´s enough for me. I don´t expect getting the phonecall asking me to come back for another tryout, and that wasn´t my goal either. I just wanted to give it a try while I´m here, in the United States, to see if I could do it and come back with one more amazing experience. That was my goal and I reached it. Well done Alex!

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