Friday, February 20, 2015

A Walk in the Neighborhood and Meeting a Black Cat

20 Friday 2015.

Sweden is very different than the U.S. and so if my college life here. In many ways, it is the opposite: unstructured, carefree, relaxed. The only stress I have is that which I put on myself, like which nation to join and where do  I want to travel in Europe and when. 

Whereas back in Miami I worked 20 hours a week and was in class three hours a day and spent five hours a week in CRU, a Christian organization, here I have two classes for one term (10 weeks) and then classes for the second term (10 weeks) and Swedish which runs from mid-February to the beginning of May. Swedish meets twice a week for two hours, but my other classes only meet once a week for 3 hours. 

I do have school work, for any one who would ask me if I study. Mind you. Since Swedish started, I've been practicing a lot. I also have to read an 800 page book called Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens for class. 

Fika goes not exist in the U.S. It's a break in the day where you go and hang out and drink coffee or tea and eat a pastry. I skyped my roommate back in the States, and she asked me how long fika lasts. I told her it can last from an hour to three. She was like "woah." In Sweden, we have time here. Time to enjoy other people's company without having to rush off somewhere. 

I don't always know what to do with my time since I seem to have so much of it. Sometimes I think I take it for granted that I am in Sweden. I miss the first few days I was here when everything seemed new and exciting. Today, I went out to find that again. 

I went on a walk through the neighborhood I live in, which is mostly residential. I made a friend out of friendly black cat and discovered a forest. It's called Stabby Backe Forest. I didn't walk on any of the trails, because they were icy. I stuck on the exercise/jogging path. There was a field called Tavlan Plats covered in snow and trees surrounding it. I saw a lot of people walking their dogs and pushing strollers. 

It will be a very pretty place to go in summer when the snow and ice melt! The path was supposed to loop around somewhere, but I didn't find it, so I just took Tuindsgatan and walked until I got to Ringgatan which has very pretty green, pink, and yellow buildings. From there I took Sysslomansgatan (the street where the grocery store is on) back to my housing. I always wanted to know what else was in my neighborhood and now I do. 

I also met a black cat with yellow eyes. He was very friendly and fat. I watched him eat grass, cough up a hairball, and claw up a tree. We sat and listened to the birds chirping together on a empty play ground for kids. He was a funny cat. 

Most importantly, I discovered my sense of adventure again.

Later in the evening, I met up with Cassandra at Palmero, a pizza place across the street from Uplands nation. She was in a four week condensed course and took her exam this morning, so we got dinner to celebrate. We had a nice time catching up. I got a marinara pizza with mozzarella cheese and a berry cider. I finished my Friday night reading Our Mutual Friend. It was the perfect end to the day. 

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