The arrival story:
On the day I arrived, after lugging my heavy suitcase up four flights of stairs, I walked into this guy in my corridor's room and freaked out when I saw him, because he was a guy and I expected to live with all women. My reaction was "oh my gosh, it's a guy. I'm living with a guy!" He was just like "oh you must be the new girl. This room (pointing) is yours."
Cassandra, Amanda, and I ended up cracking up laughing in room and the ridiculousness of me having to take my luggage on a 20 minute walk to my housing and carrying it two-stairs at a time.
So I live in a corridor with three guys. We share a kitchen. I have my own room with a big window that gets a lot of sunlight. I bought a pink plant and have somehow managed to keep it alive. The bed is comfy, and I have my own couch which I talk about a lot.
The bedding confusion story:
You know how in the States, you have a comforter, right? It's one piece. Here in Sweden, it's two pieces: a dueve and a dueve cover. It's slightly more practical, because you only have to was the cover and not the whole thing.
When we first went to IKEA, I had no idea and bought what I thought was a normal sheet and pillow case set. For some reason, in my head, the dueve was supposed to the mattress pad on my bed. Later, when I struggled to fit the cover on it, I realized I had gotten it mixed it! I went back to IKEA a second time and bought the correct thing.
Now I know!
One day when I met up with Amanda, she told me she had had two random encounters. A woman dressed in ski gear started talking to her at a bus stop, walked away, came back ten minutes later, and got on the bus with Amanda.
She also passed someone who was locked into their building, because they had forgotten the code. She had to help him get out!
Besides having fun and going to class, most of my day involves getting fika or coffee or lunch and hanging out with people. The food in Sweden is so good, especially the pastries! My favorite right now is the semla. It's a dough ball filled with almond cream on the inside and topped with apple butter jam and whipped cream. They only serve it until Lent, so on Tuesday I will go and get my last one at the nation.
There's a cozy cafe that we go to at least once a week called Ofvandals. We went there on Valentine's Day and I had rubharb pie and a shortbread cake with orange flavored filling.
On the weekends we go to one of the nations. Most of the nations have study hours during the week, but have special brunches on either Saturday or Sunday. Today, Sunday the 15th, we ate lunch at Kalmar nation. I had a sandwhich with mozarella, lettuce, and tomato along with a fruit and oat smoothie and a desert made with bananas, coffee pudding, nuts, chocolate chips, and whipped cream. I know it sounds like a weird combination, but it was very tasty!
We walked past the cathedral, along the river, and through Stora Torget. Even though it was cold and windy today, the sun was bright and the sky was blue. On our way back, we got fika at Uplands. Amanda got carrot cake and tea; I got a fruit pastry and kaffe.
Every pastry I have tried in Sweden has been delicious. I am going to try to learn how to bake, so that I can do so when I go back to the States!
I found out that I can send photos from my phone to my Google drive account, so here are some! I haven't taken photos of everything that I'm eaten, but sometimes I remember and take a picture. I will take a picture of semla on Tuesday and share it.
In terms of what I've been eating, I think I am getting enough food. What I eat isn't so different from the U.S. I've had traditional Swedish meatballs once and every Thursday I get pea soup and waffles. Every Wednesday, I get lunch at Varmlands nation with Kelly and Cassandra. One week, it was pastra and salad. Another week it was lamb stew. I also go to the pub once a week on Fridays and get cider and nachos.
Everything at the nations is fairly inexpensive, and is much, much cheaper than going out to eat. I figure I spend about 100 USD a week for living expenses (excluding rent). Pea soup and waffles is 35 krona, Varmlands lunch is 55, and the pub is around 100 krona. A pastry costs around 20 krona.
But I don't just eat at the nations. I go grocery shopping every week and a half or so. For breakfast, it's yogurt and granola with dried fruit and oats and nuts. I usually eat a sandwich or salad for lunch. I make pasta for dinner most of the time. Tonight, I had whole grain crackers with butter and jam on top, chamomile tea, and an avocado. Groceries range from between 20 and 40 USD.
Before I came here, I associated Sweden with the following: blond, attractive people, snow, cold weather, and the northern lights. I also knew a couple of other facts: Sweden is famous for their coffee lots of people speak English, and the sun sets at 4 PM. Coming here made me realize how little I know. Not everyone is blond. In fact, I think I've met more brunettes than blonds here. Snow is not really the worst thing in the world. Rain is. You get used to the cold. The first two and a half weeks it hovered around 32 degrees F., but when it warmed up to 40-45, it felt like warm weather. Maybe it's because I'm an arrogant know it all American that I had these stereotypes, but the truth is that I do not have Sweden all figured out at all.