They say that culture shock sets in about a week into your stay. I've been here for a week.
I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is exactly culture shock so much as just intense homesickness and a bit of loneliness. I've never lived in an apartment by myself and I don't really know what to do with myself. Yesterday I went to class and then came home and made a collage. Today I went to class, stopped by a bike store and made a fool of myself asking if they had a bike for 600 kroner, and then I came home. I don't really have an excuse to leave the house and, if I did, I'd have to walk there. Getting to school today was already two hours of transportation by foot. (I really fucking want a bike).
I've made some friends here and I really like them but they just don't feel like my group yet. We are friends because we are Americans and live in the same apartment complex, or friends of someone who fits this criteria.
I've been thinking a lot about the places in my life where I have really felt like I belonged. Where I didn't have to put a smidgen of effort into being somebody I wasn't and was still accepted and even liked. These places are intermediate dance class my junior year of high school, all of my high school French classes, a group of friends from college that for some reason I didn't choose to be my main group of friends, church, and Chauncey Ranch, the summer camp where I worked this summer. I really just miss that. I've had a week of trying to be the friend strangers will want and I'm just tired of trying. And yet I still want the companionship the effort brings.
I have met some people that I do feel could be true, effortless friends but I just need to get the nerve to be like "we are kindred spirits. Come hang out with me."
Maybe someday. I still have a year ahead of me, although it seem that I might be heading either home or to another country after a semester. There just aren't enough English classes here for me to not get behind.