Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Road trip to Portland

The recipe is easy to remember:
1 car (max $30)
1 Portland
2 pumpkin
1 Frida
1 Petter
1 Ras
1 Moritz
1 Flavio
1 beautiful day

If you mix all those ingredients together you will get one of the funniest days I had so far in Seattle. Part of my house mates and me made a road trip to Portland Oregon. Portland lies South of Seattle and it is about a three hour car drive. Have a look at Google Maps

If you want to be part of it you need to look at the pictures and videos in my photo album: Portland
The pictures pretty much explain all the fun we had on our trip. In the end of October the Americans celebrate Halloween - so we went spontaneously to pick a pumpkin on the way to Portland. Portland itself is a really beautiful and relaxed city. If you ever have the chance, go there. But now let me write about an other thing.

Going to the gym in the US
If you were wondering why students pay a hell lot of tuition here in the US, I have the answer: To build amazing sport complexes (like this one). You have pretty much everything in there: Swimming pool, many basketball courts, many indoor tennis courts, many indoor squash courts, indoor climbing... you won't believe that you can fit all of this in one building - somehow they manage. The nice thing is that every student can get a locker for free in the locker rooms. Towels & soap to shower are for free too: so no need to carry around your towel all the time! I signed up for Squash classes and go regularly to the gym to do some weightlifting. The weight lifting room is a world for itself. Huge guys and a lot of equipment: Hammer Strength, the real stuff. Most of the guys that are serious about weight lifting drink their protein shakes after the training to build up their muscles (So the stereotype has been proofed correctly). There is actually a place right by the exit of the gym where you can get smoothies and shakes. All in all: it is a lot of moaning and a huge show off. I actually go and show off too with my new purple Husky outfit :)

I am looking forward to write more stories!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Purple and Gold - colors of a Husky

I am safe and sound in Seattle! I am actually already since about twenty days here: I got settled and I started my studies at the Computer Science & Engineering department of the University of Washington in Seattle. So it is about time to please your minds with some new stories!

7th heaven
I am living in a house with six other international students in Capitol Hill (Click here for map). The location is great because the house is nicely situated between Downtown Seattle and the University District. Our neighbors have huge houses, and nice cars - it seems to be a pretty safe area.
I was totally frustrated when I arrived in Seattle and found out that I got a spot in the university residence hall in a triple room! That means three people in one tiny room! I had a look at it and decided to find another place to live in. The dorm just looked awful and all the other people living there are freshmen (18 years old)!
By happy coincidence I ran into other international students having the same problem and I joined them to look together for a house to share... and a few days later we found this amazing house I am living in now with the coolest people. That's why I want to shortly introduce each and everyone of them: Click here for picture.

  • Frida (Denmark)
    Tall, blond and good-looking Frida is studying architecture. She has a great style, dresses really cool and likes to fool around. She talks about houses as if they were living creatures that interact: it sounds terrific and you can see her passion about it burning in her eyes! What I really liked was how she climbed on a dumping side digging for useful stuff for our house: a rocking chair for our porch! She is a great entertainer, "maker" and seems super independent. It is great to look at her when she is excited about something.

  • Line (Denmark)
    Line is the Danish princess - because she has such nice skin (that's what an Asian guy thought ;D). She married the man of her life shortly before she came here to Seattle. She likes as well to fool around, to dance and sing. She has great skills when it comes to second hand shopping and when she smiles she looks really cute!

  • Katy (England)
    Katy is a little bit more shy than the other ladies and moved in just lately. The first thing she brought was this awesome hat stand. So we can actually throw our hats on it as soon as we enter the house. She is a great actress with the greatest British accent and she should show us some more of it :).

  • Ras (Denmark)
    Ras is an incredibly nice guy. You can feel that he is happy and that he somehow understood what is important in life. He is tall and slim, just like me (and has the same problems when buying clothes). Other great characteristics: generous, helpful, great mediator and absolutely funny! He built a tennis court with his dad and thinks about marrying! That's mature.

  • Petter (Sweden)
    Petter is another Scandinavian. He is the chef of our house - he pleasures our senses with great food! He is a real gourmet. Looks good all the time and is a little bit vain. He's style is very cool and he sometimes looks like he owns IKEA - I though never figured that out. And finally: he is my tennis teacher!

  • Moritz (Germany)
    The German! He is football player and beer trinker. He actually just made it in the university soccer team! We actually manage to not talk German - which is quite magnificent. A very funny guy - he especially likes to joke about Scandinavians. He is here to party and meet girls :P... and he likes the attention.

University Life
People at University of Washington (UW) are really welcoming. I am now a grad student in the Computer Science and Engineering department. I have a desk and a computer in an office that I share with three other people! Infrastructure is pretty good here, actually just as good as back at ETH. The main reason is Microsoft which provides my department with pretty descent funding!
The campus in general is absolutely beautiful. There is a gorgeous fountain and buildings that remind you of Harry Potters school. It feels absolutely awesome to go to school here.

Purple and Gold
The colors of the University of Washington (UW) are gold and purple -the mascot is a husky. So everybody is supposed to dress in those colors and act like a husky! Go Huskies go! For me it is really impressive to feel the school spirit they have here at UW - there is nothing like that at ETH Zurich. Everybody is proud to go to school here, walks around with UW t-shirts and cheers for the college football team! I bought tickets for the whole season to watch all the games! Every game is a big festival with more than 50'000 fans that go crazy! It is insane! So check out my pictures from the football game to get an idea!

Click here to browse all the new pictures!