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Arriving at Stanford

19 January 2016

This post will be a lot like a diary entry, so if you’re not into that you can consider yourself warned (you can still check out the pictures of course). Alright, enough of disclaimers for now.

Me and Vidar arrived at Stanford this Friday. We’ve been quite busy setting up all the things that you have to set up when moving to a new country. It turns out to be a whole lot. Therefore I haven’t had any time for the blog, but here is a post now finally.

Even though these things takes a lot of time (the contract I signed for renting had 60 paragraphs, filled over 10 pages and required 11 signatures), I’d say things have gone pretty smooth considering. When we arrived at the airport, Ulf (a family friend) was superkind and picked us up at the airport in Oakland. We had dinner with his family before he left us at our locations in Menlo Park. I quickly felt asleep since I had been up for over 24 hours.

On Saturday we took our bikes and explored the area a bit. We got phone contracts (which we might change later for cheaper ones; these things are so hard to get right at first try), lunched at Umami Burger (which was great) and did some grocery shopping at Downtown Menlo Park. I got set up in my residence and worked a bit on my bike (feeling unnecessarily manly). After the first full day in California I think both me and Vidar were extremely tired, so it felt good to go to sleep. I slept for a few hours and then woke in the middle of the night feeling super alert. Damn you jetlag! (I managed to go back to sleep so it wasn’t that bad though).

On Sunday Ossian (our fellow PhD student who has, just like me and Vidar, studied Engineering Physics at Uppsala) hanged out with us for a bit. We started off by having lunch and watching football at a classic American bar. Later he showed us the Stanford campus and some of the building of interest to us, but we only saw a very small part of the campus all in all.

It’s actually hard to grasp how big the campus really is, since it’s basically a small city. There is a shopping mall and a church, which feels very exotic and weird for someone used to Swedish Universities. The big gift shop selling cups and clothes (and much more) with the Stanford logo could not exist in Sweden for sure. It’s comical to imagine such a store with Uppsala’s logo. It’s kind of a bummer though and I’m sure I’ll buy some merch in the end.

This Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, meaning that there was no school for us, so we decided to take the train to San Fransisco. Most of the stores and museums took the day off as well, so we took the opportunity to walk around the city. We walked a lot and I was really tired (especially in my feet) when I returned home, but we saw a few cool things. One of the first things we encountered was a protest march. We walked with them for a bit and I took some photos, which you can see below.

We continued past Union Square and ended up at Pier 39, a pretty cool place where we had lunch. After eating at a fish restaurant we continued towards Golden Gate. We realized however that the view wasn’t the best that day, since there was a lot of mist. Instead we walked back to the train station. It was nice to see San Fransisco and I’m sure we’ll return a few times to see more of the city. We still have the mayor attractions left to explore and I’m really excited to get a closer look at both Alcatraz and Golden Gate.

That brings us all the way to today, which has been the first day at Stanford. We met up with Eric, got our Stanford Id’s and American bank accounts. Tomorrow we’ll hopefully start to get going with our project. It feels really good to have most things setup now and I’m really excited to resume the work.

That’s everything I had to say for now.

Take care.

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