Jenna asked me the other week what I missed most about home… and the first thing I could think of other than my family was door knobs. Everything here has a door handle. So what makes Sweden different?
It’s the fact there are only door handles. It’s the fact that the meat costs an arm and a leg. It’s the fact that there are no screens on the windows. It’s the fact that everyone owns a bike. It’s the fact speaking two languages in expected. It’s the fact that there are fireworks every Saturday outside my room.
The sum of the differences constantly reminds me that I am not home, but that’s not necessarily for the worse. With those thoughts out of the way, let us start the weekly recap.
Monday, or the day that Julia rocks pajamas.
I spent a significant chunk of Monday cuddling my blankets, reading, and worshiping the base god that is Netflix. Luckily, Jenna’s family was in town and they took us out to a delicious fika and dinner. It was really nice to get out of bed and enjoy being around a family. I cannot thank them enough for that evening and reminding me of how much I love and miss my family.
Tuesday, or the day Julia refuses to wake up.
I am honestly just proud that I managed to get out of bed and shower on Tuesday. For some reason my stomach has been killing me and the coughing fits in the middle of the night are no help. So I spent the day in bed drifting in and out of sleep, missing the constant noise in the hallway my residents gifted me with last year. Yeah, that’s right. I MISS their shenanigans.
Wednesday, or the day Julia’s heart races.
The morning started with a very fun discussion in my Intercultural Communication class on what the Swedes are really like, and if they are as reserved and non confrontational as the stereotype would portray them. Turns out that generalization is basically true… or at least the Swedes in the class did not try to fight the idea of the stereotype. I think that just proves us even more right.
That evening, I made bacon mac and cheese for Karl, Roxy, and Thomas. It was really cheesy and so delicious. It felt like home. After enjoying our taste of America, Karl chose a discount movie for us to go to, Don’t Breathe. The entire movie was a thriller that had my heart racing the entire time. I wish I could explain the film to you, dear reader, but maybe you should just see it for yourself. Karl is not allowed to pick movies for us anymore is the moral of this story I think. Luckily, we had ciders and milkshakes and garlic fries before we went to the movie, so it was an overall successful trip in to town.
Thursday, or the day Julia cleans.
I spent the morning doing a nice cleaning of my room. I even took the time to rearrange the furniture to give the space a new feeling. I think I like it so far. I more or less separated the space into a work and sleep section. It feels much more natural, but I will not bore you with the exact details.
After film class that evening, Karl, Thomas, Max, Roxy, and I attended a Latin American
pub night at one of the Nations. I tried new ciders to explore my new found love for the beverage while salsa music wailed in the background. People were dancing and eating ceviche, and it was just a beautiful experience. I wanted it to keep going, but being the old lady that I am, I grew tired by midnight.
Friday, or the day Julia is the family photographer.
I finally crossed it off my bucket list: going to H&M in Sweden. In case you are overly curious, it is ten times better than the ones in America. I got some new items to add to my closet, since the few shirts and pants I brought from home were becoming far too repetitive. I also stopped by the market to pick up a few items for the weekend, and biked home.
That evening, all of my friends were attending Novischfesten, a party for all the new students to celebrate the first semester and truly welcome them all in to the Lund University family. I ended up never getting a ticket to go, so I played the part I was born to play, family photographer. I felt like a mom whose kids were getting ready for prom. I walked with them across town to the event and snapped as many pictures as I could. It was more fun than I even thought it would be. I love those kids.
Saturday, or the day Julia eats… a lot.
The morning started with everyone going to get pizza. Kebab pizza with fries to be exact. I… got a bacon cheeseburger because those pizzas scare me and seem like far too much food to go on one pizza and for one person. The bacon cheese burger was massive and did not really fit in to the bun, so really we all made poor choices for lunch.
Karl headed back with me and we sat around watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine for a large chunk of the afternoon. I do not think I have laughed that hard watching television in a very long time. We ate caramel ice cream and listened to music from the 2000s. Best friends really do make your life better, do they not? Thanks for being you, Karl.
I also made zucchini noodles with chicken, and now I think I should go to culinary school.
Sunday, or the day Julia chills.
Much like every Sunday, today is a day for doing homework, writing, and enjoying the sunshine while it still hangs in the Swedish sky. As I look back on the week, I realize that those differences that stand out so much are what I love more and more about Sweden. I do not know if it is the people I call my friends or the fact that everything just seems easier here, but I think Sweden is the most charming and magical country I have ever visited.
PS I am even lucky enough to call it home for another 13 weeks!