Published: January 31st 2011January 31st 2011
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Gotta love Mark Twain. I did always like the sound of taking that path less travelled and now, here I am. I've been back in Sweden now for nearly a month. What a strange feeling it is to be back in a place that now seems in many ways so familiar, but also new again. A fresh group of exchange students have come this semester and many of my friends have gone home. All the hellos and goodbyes are a bit overhwhelming actually. This place has seemed like one really big revolving door for the month of January. Saying goodbye has been tough but I have plans to visit some of my new friends before I leave Europe. I've also made some really cool new friends and have been busy partying and getting comfortable.
The other night I went to a friend's corridor for crepes with a group of students from Franch and Canada.
Everyone brought different toppings to go with the crepes as well as drinks so there was a ton! If there's one thing I've learned it's that you want to have potluck-type events with a bunch of Europeans. Always sooo much incredible food. I think my personal fave was the fresh strawberries with nutella. YUMMMM.
Also got my butt to a hockey game at last. Linköping versus Jönköping and Jönköping won. I learned a few differences between European and North American hockey. Excuse me while I become temporarily hockey nerdy. I find this stuff so interesting. Apparently in Europe an icing is called without having any players touch the puck...once it travels down the ice and hits the last line they whistle it. So weird to see no one charging the puck. Also, in a fight if the players remove their gloves they get an automatic game misconduct. Apparently most will loosen their gloves waiting for the other to remove theirs. If both fight but just one drops his gloves, only that guy will get the misconduct. This meant that the most fighting I saw in the game was a bit of shoving lameness and some mean words. Real playground
Gustav, Lars, Sauna
Lars and Sauna belong to my Canadian friends :)
stuff. The hockey however was anything but playground. The Swedes are fast skaters, long passers and great play-makers. The crowd was huge for this particular game because it was some kind of rival game but in true Swede fashion they were fairly subdued. Only one section constantly sang and chanted but I couldn't spot a beer amongst the whole lot. I kept trying to imagine what they would all think if they went to a leafs game in Toronto or something. They would probably be horrified.
This past weekend I also made my way back to Stockholm and stayed in a hostel with some friends. I've been there before but every trip truly is such a different experience. On this one we just randomly walked around the city and browsed some stores on the first day, and then had a nice dinner and some drinks at a cute Italian-Swedish restaurant. We actually went back to the hostel quite early and just hung out and had some free hot chocolate. I stayed up reading a book after everyone was sleeping (addicted to my e-reader completely) and around midnight some club near us cranked their music for about the next three
hours. Lady Gaga and Rihanna sang me to sleep that night. Sunday we did some more exploring and just happened to wander over to the palace in time for the changing of the guards which was a totally amazing experience. So many hot palace guards, so little time. Once we got too cold to stand there any longer we wandered over to the ice rink and I know you will all be shocked to hear...we went skating. As in, I also participated. I havent skated since I was like 12. The first 10 times around we all had to hold hands as we wobbled along which was quite funny because everytime one of us lost balance a bit, the whole chain screamed. haha We did eventually get a little more independent and branch off on our own. I think we were there for almost an hour! It was so so much fun. VERY solid weekend.
While in Stockholm I also purchased a small viking man who I am calling Gustav. The bow and arrow have sort of become my symbol because in the sagittarian star sign (which I am) it is a symbol related to a personality type which
is constantly shooting for the next goal in life, always up for a new challenge. Little Gustav is holding a bow and arrow so it's pretty perfect. I plan to take him with me on my travels so stay tuned for more pictures of me and Gustav on new adventures. The month of February we will be seeing Berlin, Germany and Aberdeen, Scotland. Depending on school the month of March might take us to Poland and April to Italy. Woo busy months ahead. Making the most of every moment!
New Swedish phrase: Saknar dig! (Miss you!)
Word: äventyr (Adventure)
There are more photos below