Rickards sammanfattning



My name is Rickard Erlandsson, and I was one of the three students that got to participate in the 2012 RIM exchange project. I am glad that I got to experience this, and I only wish for it to have been for longer than what it was. I didn’t want to them to go home when they did and I didn’t want to leave when we did.


The few weeks before their arrival were really tense. I worried a bit about speaking English, but mostly I worried about how it would be overall. If we would even get along, or if we would dislike each other from the start, but everything turned out better than I thought. We let Cody sleep a well needed long sleep when he got to our house, and the next day I showed him the surroundings where I live. He was mostly impressed by the lack of smog, something that I after being in California have come to appreciate.


We had three what I would describe as awesome weeks during the American exchange students stay in Sweden. We went to see (and pet) moose and went to Storsjöbadet, the local, in lack of a better description: waterpark. We went to eat together at several occasions. In short, we became friends.


Then one sad evening the left us, but I kept thinking that we would see each other in about a week.


When we left for California I think we all were equally excited. But on the twelve plus hour flight between Munich and Los Angeles all form of excitement disappeared. It was unbearably hot and for me and my circa 194 cm, there was not a lot of legroom. When we finally landed after what seemed more like two weeks than twelve hours we got a rental car and left for the mountains. Finally I managed to sleep a little bit. After waiting for, what to me seemed like a bit more than an eternity, halfway up the mountain for snow chains, we finally each arrived, one by one to what was going to be our home for the next few weeks. I fell asleep instantly.


When I woke up, me, Cody and Kelle, went to see a movie. I got my first “American sized” drink at the movie theater, something I had no problem getting used to. They showed me the area and we had no problem getting along.


That first week I had my “practical education” at a family company called Don’s Auto Parts. They were extremely nice and we spoke about everything between politics and snowmobiling. I also taught them a fair bit of Swedish, when I heard that they thought it was a shame that the hadn’t in earlier years.


The next week and the week after that I was at Twin Peaks Auto, a small mechanics shop that, believe it or not is in Twin Peaks. After a while they asked me if I thought I could replace a turbo. I said yes, and when they heard that I had done it before the where surprised. I guess that’s because there is only a very few American teenagers that has done the amount of work that we get to do here in Sweden. Something that I found very different about USA compared to Sweden is that when you have achieved something, you get told that you have done a good job. In Sweden you mostly only get told that you have done something wrong. All and all I think they liked me at Twin Peaks Auto, and I hope I get to meet the guys who work there again.

I had an amazing time during these weeks and as I said in the beginning, I only wish it had been for longer. If I had the money, I would go back this summer, but I know someday I will. I look forward to meeting the friends I made over there again, and I know I will, sooner or later.




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