Monday, June 20, 2011


Well my ordinary Swedish life has come to an end. I've been in Vancouver for over a week now and am settling back into life here. And unemployment. Sweet, sweet unemployment.

Before heading back to Vancouver, I went to London for a few days. This marked my official departure from my time in Sweden. I can't say it wasn't a teary good bye when Katreace and I left on the train from Malmo. In fact, it was pretty much from a movie. Tre and I said our goodbyes, boarded the train with our multiple kilos of luggage and stood there crying. Our friends stood on the platform, also crying, and the train didn't leave. It took about 45 seconds for the doors to close and the train to depart, but ask anyone, it felt like forever. After all our tears were shed, we boarded our plane for the last time at the Copenhagen Airport gate F for London. We arrived in London and made our way to the city centre to meet Katie. The only obstacle between us and that goal was our luggage. We literally had everything we brought with us in bags. It was so heavy. And you really don't realize how inaccessible London transport is until you're lugging 4 twenty kilo suitcases up and down flights of stairs. Anyways, we made it to Covent Garden and I was happily reunited with Katie. But sadly this meant leaving Katreace. She was heading out on a Contiki tour the next day. As we were out of tears, we said good bye in a happy way, but knowing that we were sad to part.

I then spent a lovely two full days in London with Katie and Rob. List of what we did:
- took the Thames Clipper into Central London
- walked the South Bank and experienced the Summer of Smiles
- had a lot of cider
- ate curry surrounded by school children
- browsed shops
- drank cider in Sommerset House gardens
- pub hopped...drinking cider of course
- met Rob for dinner
- ate mini sandwiches
- had a pint at 11am
- met an old friend for lunch
- went to Primark
- failed at going to Camden Markets
- had an after-work (for Rob) pint
- ate delicious sushi
- went to play in the arcades...two pent machines are the best!
- threw Slime Tyre on the ground
- consumed another pint
- watched the Canucks game at 1am..fell asleep at 1:15am

The next day was a big challenge, I didn't have Katreace to help me and I had to get to the airport on the tube. Alone. With all my luggage. Thanks to the help of some Londoners, I made it, albeit a bit sweaty. I got to my gate and eventually boarded my plane. Just when it was about time to take off, we were informed that a passenger had "decided not to fly" thus we had to deplane and remove all our luggage so the plane could be searched. This was a little disconcerting as I was about to be on this plane for 8 hours. All turned out to be fine and I was in Edmonton shortly after. My first stop in Canada...such a bustling metropolis. At this point, I just wanted to be home. I was getting anxious! I arrived home and ran into the arms of my mom and step-dad. Then little did I know, but I was surprised by my roommates as well! It was so good to see everyone. I headed home, back to real life. The jet lag was a little overwhelming at first especially as I had a wedding to attend two days after. Anyways, I coped and was so happy to see so much family in just a few short days after I arrived.

Since then, I have worked for convocation at my university, had countless meals out, seen friends, watched my mom graduate from her PhD and much more. Now I'm just looking for a job and starting a class next week. Oh, and moving in two weeks. Busy busy. Even without work. Because of this business, it's hard to believe I have only been gone from Sweden for about two weeks. It feels like I never left, which is nice, but also weird. There are still days when I remember cooking a meal with people from 5 different countries. Or dancing in Celsius to Backstreet Boys. I don't think these memories will ever fade. But they are hard to explain to people that weren't there. So if there is anything you want to know, just ask me. It will (hopefully) be fun for you, and will take me on a trip down memory lane.

OH!! Iceland, I haven't written about that. Katreace, Katharina and I went to Iceland from the 26th-31st of May. It was amazing. Cold. But the craziest, most beautiful landscapes. We rented a little Toyota Yaris and tore up the country side. 1200 km in 3 days. Weeee. Saw geysers, waterfalls, horsies, black sand beaches, volcanoes, so much MAGMA, bathed in natural hot springs, soaked our feet in mud, breathed in the stench of sulphur, walked, talked, laughed. Etc. It was truly an amazing trip. Different than any of my other travels too. Pictures to come.

As for now, I think I'm going to have to re-vamp my blog as unfortunately I won't be gallivanting around Europe to create exhilarating posts. More to come...


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Living an ordinary (Swedish) life - pt. 2

Yet another ordinary week. Winding down with classes (only 1 left!! and then critiques), and I will be done everything but my final project by Wednesday. Weeee! On Thursday, Katharina, Katreace and I are supposed to be off to Iceland, but apparently the rapture did come and caused another volcano to erupt. Bigger than last we will see how that pans out.

The week's happenings:
- Class x 2
- Paul's Birthday Celebration x 1
- Breakfast and gym with Katreace x 2
- Errands x 1
- Addiction to "Border Security" and "Banged up Abroad" x a million
- Girl's cocktail night followed by Max Burger x 1
- Crazy party (last night with everyone here) x death
- Lazy day in bed x now

Essentially that is what I've been up to. That and really thinking about coming home (as it's very soon) which is weird. I'm going to have to pack up my life in the next few weeks and come back to another one. It will definitely be sad. It will definitely be exciting. And it will definitely be part of the experience. I won't get too sappy now, but it's hard to know that this life will be over and never the same again, but I will always have time to look back on it anddddd couches to surf all over the world. Weeee.

1. When your bike gets a flat tire 2 weeks before you leave, it's really sad. Poor Stina.
2. Apparently Sweden is trying to ease me back into Vancouver weather as it's pouring rain here today. I oddly appreciate it.
3. Canucks are playing tonight at a time I can actually watch! Yeehaw.
4. Swedes worship the sun. Yesterday it was about 18 degrees and the parks were littered with scantily clad people. I guess they'll take what they can get as it's a rainpocalypse today. Smart Swedes.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Living an ordinary (Swedish) life

So much like last week, this week was pretty uneventful in terms of outrageous, chaotic adventures. Just regular life. Which is quite nice actually. Besides the fact that its been raining. Boo. It's funny, we were going to go out for dinner on Saturday, but it was raining, so we decided not to. I thought about if that was how we operated in Vancouver, we would actually never leave the house. Ever. It would be a sad, hobbit-like existence. The weather is supposed to get better starting....soon. So that's a plus. But speaking of weather, I'm going to Iceland soon and I will be going back in time in terms of seasons. It's going to be like 4 degrees. But also amazing. So it's one of the situations where you have to weigh the odds and I think Iceland will win the battle over the weather.

What else happened this week...Oh! I went to Copenhagen avec Paul to the Carlsberg Brewery. Where there were ponies! Neigh. It was in a quaint little neighbourhood with old houses and lots of trees. Very cute. One downside, no ATMs, so we had to leave a sandwich at a shop as no cash funds could be secured. Ah well. We later satisfied our hungers with McDonalds (classy and European) after only having had beers. Thanks Carlsberg!

Also, this weekend was the Eurovision Song Contest Finale! Exciting stuff I tell you. It started at approximately 8:30pm and finished at 12:30am. Long. Haul. Though it sounds stupid (and it is) you really get sucked in after watching things such as this:


or if you want to see what Sweden has to offer...

Boom. Amazing European madness. I was saying if this was broad casted in North America, people would either flock to Europe faster than you can say "So Lucky" or never, ever travel to Europe, ever again. Ever. Anyways, there were snacks provided and plenty of people to mock hilarious dance moves and mock even more hilarious singing moment (France?! wtf.) Azerbijan won. Is that even part of Europe you say? Answer: basically no. Chew on that EUROvision.

Anyways, everything is just trucking along. I don't have too much longer here, but I'm soaking up every last moment. Going to have a few good parties, a few good sunsets, and a lot of good mems. Yeehaw.

It's that time again...
1. Hagen Daaz= Gourment, Ben and Jerry's=Gourmand. Debate settled.
2. As previously mentioned, rain does impact people's lives here. Far less bikes on the road and people out in general. They would die in Vancouver.
3. In Swedish pharmacies, drugs come from the ceiling on a slide. Weeeee.
4. I can't find one of my favourite scarves. Whomp.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Det snurrar i min skalle

BORING WEEK. Well not really, but nothing super awesome like having my mom visit.

This week consisted mainly of homework and being lazy. Which was a great way to switch things up. It's really nice to have some down time and just hang out with people here. Oh Kat and Patricia and I also went shopping which was nice. We had some good family dinners, I ate a thousand crepes, hung out in the sun, etc.

I actually have nothing to write about. Well yesterday, a group of us went to the beach and hung out. The idea was good, but the wind was not. We still toughed it out and ate our snacks and drank our dranks basking in the loveliness of the sea. Then, we ventured to Mollan to find Malmos (apparently best) falafel. Of course I opted for the meat choice (Kebab). We ate it up and then set out on our bikes back home. We then played Mario Kart, and by we I mean not me as I fell asleep on the couch. I think last night was the first time I went to bed before midnight in a long time. Amazing.

Today, I awoke nice and early to go on a road trip up the east coast of Sweden. I set out in a car full of Germans to some techno music. Good way to start a Sunday, I'd say. Our first stop was a really nice rocky cliff-y area with tress and HILLS (surprising as Sweden doesn't have many of those). We gallivanted and had a picnic before exploring a bit. Thank goodness it was a lovely day. We then moved onto Molle to a sandy beach. We all hunkered down for a bit of a nap then a cartwheel contest. Weee. Lastly, we made our way to Helsinborg to find ice cream. We ate it by the sea overlooked by Europe's flags. Classy.

Now I'm back home in my bed getting ready to embark on some work. Boo. Oh and Happy Mother's Day by the way :)

Meow. Facts!
1. This is the shortest blog I've ever written. You are welcome.
2. Gelato in Malmo at Italia is better than anywhere else. Period.
3. Weigh in on this debate: Ben and Jerry's vs. Haagen-Daz. Go!
4. Who thought I would need to buy shorts in Sweden? Not I. Foiled.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Birthday to me (and other lovely events)

Though my past few blogs may lead you to believe that my life is ever-so glamorous, it's really nice to be back at my home base with some time to rest on my hands. And more importantly it's time to get my life back in order.

Things that I haven't done in a long time/just completed:
- gone to class
- cleaned my room
- laundry
- grocery shopped

You get the idea. Thankfully, after tonight, I will be caught up with all these things and thus, one step closer to being a functioning human.

Enough of my pity party, the past week and a bit has been amazing! After I got home and had a good nights sleep after Vienna and Budapest, I was up early to clean my room and prepare for my mother's arrival. I went to the Central Station at noon and frantically searched for the correct platform to receive them at. After finally deciphering the arrivals boards I waited. And waited. And then the train arrived. I spotted my mom and aunt immediately. On the first car. Meaning I ran the whole platform. Actually ran, to meet their car. I believe one of the first things I was asked was "Are you sick?". Nope just ran to greet you! After many hugs I got them settled into beautiful (and incredibly sunny, Malmo).

We started with a hearty Swedish meal to sustain them after their long flights. Of course, this was followed by a nap. We then toodled about the city, browsing my residence, a grocery store, various walking paths, cafes, and then for a lovely tapas dinner. The next day we took Malmo by storm by bike. My aunt hasn't ridden in years, but after a little gentle coaxing, we were breezing by the sea. We went all around the Turning Torso, dipped our toes into the Baltic, checked out the bath house and generally enjoyed the amazing weather. Both my mom and aunt were expecting 10-12 degrees. They were surprised when they landed and were greeted by a balmy 19 with full sun. Thanks Sweden! This tiring day was followed by some resting, fika, and a mondo steak dinner. It was served on a plank. With onion rings. Nom.

Day three was shopping. We had to strategically plan this as to avoid Easter Holidays which meant closed stores. We pranced through the streets of Sweden looking for lovely wares. We went to shops for clothings, trinkets, home wares and more! We went to one store (where I found a dress [which was also a birthday present, thanks Nancy-Ann and Mama!] for Heather's wedding) where we met a lovely Canadian sales lady. The store, which was one of my favourites already, became even more so with the help of this lovely lady. She brought us all sorts of goodies and rejoiced when we Canadians (unlike the Swedes) hopped on the runway to look at our clothes. Proof: Cool right? Practically famous in Sweden now. We then asked her for some restaurant recommendations which were delicious as we could vouch as we went that evening. Katharina and Katreace came along to Plocke-Pinn for a delicious tapas dinner. We had seafood, and meat, and veggies galore. Along with some sparkling white. Yum. It was such a good meal indeed. We capped off the night (we meaning Kat and Kat and I) by saying good bye to Laura as she went home to the States.

The next day we packed a picnic and enjoyed our Easter Sunday as Falsterbo and Skanor on a white sand beach. We relaxed in the sun nestled in a dune with our books and bottle of wine. We spent most of the day relaxing and scoping out the Swedes on the beach. It was a nice break after walking around in the sun for so long! After schleping wine out of the bottle with my family, we headed back and my mother and I went for a paddle boat along the canals. After almost being attacked by rogue Swedish youth, we brought in the boats and had a seafood dinner. So much shrimp yum. It was a good way to end our last day in Malmo. That night we got all packed up and I got a big bag ready for my mom to take home with her. No need for winter clothes any longer! It was kind of bittersweet as it meant my time here was getting closer to closing. But alas, I still had many more adventures ahead of me.

We caught the train across the bridge to Denmark the next day. After dropping our things at our quaint little apartment in the city, we walked over to the canals to find a boat tour. We purchased our tickets and found a bite to eat at a sidewalk cafe in the sun. After fueling up, we hopped on our tour boat to learn about Copenhagen from the sea. We saw all the sites, castles, statues, opera houses etc. We stopped at the Little Mermaid Statue and wandered around there a bit then over to Our Saviour's Church and Christiania. We scaled the steps of the church to a tower on top for a view of the city. We also got to go for free as we were the last people up so we locked the doors on the way down too. VIPs on the top of the tower! We then caught the boat back to the city centre and refreshed at our apartment. We wanted to find a nice brewpub but it was closed due to the holiday which turned out to be a good thing as we found a quaint little French bistro that was amazing (let me know if you want the deets). We had mussels which Nancy Ann had been craving and the server was amazing (especially in regards to his hot chocolate making abilities!).

The next day was (drum roll) MY BIRTHDAY! Yay. We started the day off with some pastries and yogurt (our favourite in Denmark - their dairy is just so good!). Then we hopped on a train to Hamelbaeck to go to the Lousiana Museum. It was a lovely ride through the country side to this small little town. We wandered through and stopped in a couple of shops before getting to the museum. It was a beautiful little building, but after entering it was quite the juxtaposition between old and new. The big exhibit currently is Picasso (specifically his pieces with a political influence). It was such a large collection - pretty amazing an 85 year old could make 2000 pieces of pottery in a year. I don't think I'll ever make any in my life. Ha. We wandered through some more bits including a drawings on iPads and iPhones (cool) and then had lunch in their cafe which was largely on a beautiful terrace overlooking the water. There were sweet sculptures and seniors abound! We pranced through the rest and headed home. We toodled around to some shops and then went back to the hotel to put on our faces and party dresses for the evening. We tried to get a table at Noma (the best restaurant in the world, no joke), but they were booked so we went to a place that backed onto Tivoli called Nimb. It was beautiful! Lovely terrace and lights and prettiness! We had a nice little drink then moved on to our four course meal. It was so delicious. Wine pairings and all. And of course again, we finished with hot chocolate. We took a walk through the gardens and called it a night.

The next morning we woke up and decided to find a nice local spot for breaky. We ended up walking through the red-light-ish area to a local hang out. It was cute and delicious. Portions were huge, but traditionally Danish. I think we were the only Anglophones in the whole place - authentic. We then walked through a cute boutiquey area before heading to the main shopping streets to find a dress for my mother. At the last second (before we were supposed to meet Jacob), we found it! Just our luck (as we'd spent a lot of time looking and trying on awful dresses). We then scurried to meet Jacob (who lives in Copenhagen) who took us around the city. We hit up the Kings Garden, Castle, Botanical Garden, Student area of the city, and a nice square. It was nice to see some spots we wouldn't usually see, and it was even nicer to enjoy some beers in the sun. I then had to get home to have a Skype interview (which my mom and aunt kindly left as to not distract me during). I met with them after, greeted with some bubbly. We then we on to our last supper - hot dogs and beer by the canals. Lovely indeed.

The next morning we were off the airport. I dropped my mom and aunt and my giant bag off and saw them on their way (with a few little tears). It was so good to have them. So nice to show people around and have family see what my life has been like. (This blog is getting more and more sappy as I get closer and closer to leaving, apologies). Love to them both!

I came back on Thursday and started to get my life back in order. That is, until people convinced me to go out and have some drinks. That turned into going to two clubs and having a lovely time with friends I hadn't seen in a while. That resulted in Friday being spent mostly lounging in bed followed by a sushi picnic. Delicious. Friday was low key as Saturday was Valborg. I don't really know how to explain what it is exactly, but basically a celebration of May beginning. So on the last day of April, in student towns (Lund and Upsalla) students gather in a park, dance, and drink their faces off. Essentially the most amazing concept ever. We hopped aboard a bus at 9am (not student-like, I know) and set up camp for the day. Deejays started playing, drinks started flowing and before you knew it, it was 7pm. Needless to say I was quick to bed that night. Sunday was an Art Day with Ingrid (more catching up on reality). And now today, I had my first class in over two weeks - reality bites they say.

Please excuse me if I forgot certain events. They most likely included: laughing, hugging, drinking beverages, and eating. All enjoyed by all. Also at night, when the old lasses retreated to bed, I generally caught up with my exchange amigos as I had missed them dearly on my travels.

1. New Canadianism - "fair enough".
2. I really wanted to vote, and I really tried, but they didn't send me my papers. Sadness.
3. Dairy here is actually so delicious. I think I am going to miss it the most (besides the people, I guess).
4. I have no facts. Sorry.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Budapest + Vienna + Sun burns + Amazing

So I just got back from a week away. An amazing week away at that.

Last Thursday, Ingrid and I embarked on yet another journey. We left class a little early (after bonding with our teachers), and headed to our favourite airport ever, Malmo Sturup. We were once again delighted with Wizz Airs state of the art planes, but were comforted by a nice man describing the delights of Budapest to us. We touched down in Budapest and weren't exactly wooed by the airport. There were various men yelling "Taxi Please!" at us, but we knew the train cost about 30 cents and ventured on to find that.

After walking to the train station, and then to the other platform (as the ticket machine was broken), we discovered that none of our credit cards were being accepted. Cue brainstorm. We decided to go back to the airport (and through the taxi men) to find some change. We bought our tickets at a tourist booth and were again on our way. We had to sprint to make the train so we ended up in a weird section of a car that was first class. And because we obviously aren't first class citizens, we stayed in this little compartment near the bathroom. The start of our adventure.

PAUSE, my mother is currently about to board her flight to come visit me and I am so excited. Ecstatic even. Annnnd resume.

We got to the centre of Budapest near our hostel and clumsily found out way there eventually (after calling and asking for directions). We were greeted by friendly staff and an adorable cozy hostel. We got settled and immediately found a place to eat. This is when we were introduced to how delicious, meaty, and cheap Budapest is. We had an appy, entre, half-litre beers, and a dessert - for 12 Canadian dollars. Truly amazing. We were stuffed and tired so headed back to do some planning for the days to come and get some sleep.

The next day we started off with a walking tour of Budapest. We saw a lot of major sites and got tipped off on the things to see and do as well as tips to have the best time in Budapest. One of these was to go to the central market to have cheap, delicious lunch. Of course we complied. We were joined on this excursion by an American girl on exchange in Paris. We had some eats and browsed the wares at the market. After we parted ways, Ingrid and I decided to head to the famous bath houses. We wandered to a big city park full of museums and attractions to Széchenyi Baths. We dove right in (literally) to all the pools, steam rooms, and saunas. There's even a big outdoor section. We spent a couple of hours there relaxing and trying everything out. As well as taking some great pictures, obviously.

We were quite relaxed but decided that going out was essential. We went to a ruin bar (bars that were built in old, delapitated buildings) and had a great time taking in the atmosphere with some girls from out hostel. All and all a good first day.

The next day we decided to check out the shopping scene and went to a local mall. After getting some goods (including a new spring coat weee!) we headed back to the central market to browse some leather goods. Ingrid and I both purchased real leather bags for a screaming deal. We also had some Hungarian treats. Yum! We then scaled a large view point and spent a bit of time at the top admiring the view, taking photos, and sketching. It was so nice to be somewhere so green as Malmo isn't quite there yet. We hiked down and up another hill on the Buda side, to the castle. We checked out the Budapest history museum and then went into the labyrinth. Which is literally a maze below the castle, that you navigate with a gas lantern. It was freaky. And cool. But weird. Ha. We watched the sun set from the top then walked along the Danube and watched all the city light up.

The next part was a little tricky. We were on a quest for a restaurant that was recommended to us. And we didn't have a map. We wandered a bit as we were told it was by the Opera house. When we found ourselves at the Parliament we decided to try to find some help. First suitable people we found? Police officers. Unfortunately, they didn't speak much English, so I had to sing Opera to get them to understand me. I'm sure they were impressed. I'm actually surprised I didn't get scouted at that moment. We got pointed in the right direction, but decided to find a hotel to get some proper directions. After finally finding the restaurant, we were happy to find out it was delicious and a table had just opened up. Yay.

We then headed back home and were whisked out again by a group at our hostel. We went to another sprawling ruin-type bar with tonnes of rooms and types of bar/club styles. There was really something for everyone. All and all a good night.

The next day was when I was heading for Vienna. We checked out some monuments, the parliament (for real this time), and finished off by having lunch at a cafe, on the patio of course. It was so sunny and delightful. After that, I was off to the bus depot to find my way to Vienna. The bus ride, about two hours, was going smoothly until we passed the Austrian border and the bus was stopped for a passport search. A burly police officer came aboard the bus and took everyone's passport who wasn't an EU citizen. I had to refrain from saying "BUT I NEEEED THAT!" He took our passports off the bus and returned, but not with all the passports. Luckily, mine was returned. But after about 40 minutes, one man didn't make it back on the bus. That was awkward. But we were on our away again and I was closer and closer to seeing Jen!

I arrived in beautiful, sunny Vienna to beautiful, sunny Jen. We headed back to her place to collect ourselves and find a place to eat. This started the common thread of our visit - food. We were recommended an Asian restaurant by one of her local friends and were both more than excited to have some oriental cuisine back in our lives. We both pretty much died. This cute, modern restaurant delivered true asian delights. Considering we hung out at the restaurant till closing, we headed back home and crashed hard (she had just returned from a tour around Ireland). The rest of our trip basically consisted of the following: eating, touring, seeing sights, sitting in parks, drinking, eating, eating, eating, sun bathing, drinking, eating, eating. Yum. We had gelato, pastries, deli delights, sushi, Austrian cuisine, and much more. We checked out a lot of parks, a market, shopping areas (necessary after spilling sangria on white shirts), and some bars. We met up with Kristin and Daniel (a local Austrian) one night and it was really great to have someone who spoke the language and knew the city. Vienna is absolutely beautiful. Sunny. Great transit. Could be a contender in the list of European cities Emily would live in. And of course, the cherry on top was sharing it with a good friend from home. Did I mention we sun tanned, and got burnt? Sorry, is it snowing at home? Oops.

Now I'm practically dying of tiredness in bed. I flew from Vienna to Riga, Latvia and had a layover there. I just about missed my flight because apparently Latvia is on a different time zone. But it's okay, I'm here now. And tomorrow my lovely mother and aunt will arrive. And shortly after is my birthday. Oh and it's supposed to be 17 degrees tomorrow. I guess you could say I'm looking forward to this week. Oh and I don't have class until the 28th. Woo.

Facts for your amusement:

1. Being in Hungary makes you feel like a baller. Their one unit of currency is worth 0.005 of a dollar. I took out 40,000. Gangsta.
2. I'm done my Swedish course round two. Had my exam last week. We shall see how we did, I'm not fluent, but I'm way better than before. And after being away, I've realized how much I miss the language when I'm gone.
3. I'm going to be old in a few days. Tragic!
4. I know this may be obvious, but the food culture in Europe is just far superior to Canada. I'm going to miss the inexpensive freshness and quality.
5. Gelato is delicious everywhere. I've had marzipan, pistachio, and coconut. Yum. More flavours to come.
6. It's finally spring here. Trees are almost green. How I've missed it.
7. These facts aren't fun. Forgive me?


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Week Emily Fell off the Face of the Earth

PSYCHE. I didn't actually, but it's been a while since I've been around here. I blame it on the fact that I have not been updating my blog on Sundays, as per usual, therefore everything gets thrown off. Also, April is probably my craziest month here...trips...homework...and the like.

Anyhow, what have I been up to since the end of March? Well homework, enjoying the sun, praising the beginning of bbq season, laying in the grass, etc. etc. Some random baking, skyping, and partying has also been thrown into that mix.

Now I'm sitting on my bed on Sunday morning with the Swedish sun streaming through my window thinking of all the work I have to do today before I head to Budapest and Vienna on Thursday (with a couple of assignments and a test between now and then). But of course, I made the time to update all you lovely people (read: approximately 4 people).

The big news this week? I went to Poland for three days! Ingrid and I headed to Warsaw on Tuesday after class and flew with the sketchiest airline of all time: Wizzair. I swear my seat pocket was held together with gum and the arm rests were glued on. Barring that, we arrived safely at the Chopin Airport and made our way into the city. We gladly paid approximately 70 cents for the bus (about 30 minutes) and rejoiced with our introduction to this cheap, cheap city. Thanks Eastern Europe! After finding our hostel (full of middle-aged men), we went to the old town to find pierogi of course!

Ingrid and I each had 10 dumplings, an appy, a beer, and dessert. It came to about 28 dollars. If that isn't a steal, I don't know what is. We followed dinner by meandering through the streets of old town and decided to call it a night. We headed back to our dorm and we greeted by the sound of a snoring symphony. Hurrah.

The next day, we started out to a museum, the Warsaw Uprising Museum a little out of the city centre. It was really cool (and educational of course), but the best part was the 3D film of what the city looked like during the war. And by best, I mean probably most depressing, but really interesting. And we got to wear really cool glasses. Nice. We then got lost roaming the streets but bought delicious treats to console ourselves. The old town once again beckoned us for some lunch and shopping. We bought some polish handi-crafts and amber jewlery (which is really cheap - $30 for a sterling silver ring, woo!). At lunch, we realized we were too polite for Poland as we didn't beckon the waiter for the bill. This wasted about 20 minutes, but we really got to experience the...culture? Sure. After, we walked back to the centre and went to the Palace of Culture and Science to go up to the roof top terrace for a view of the city. The complicated part? This building has about 45 entrances all for different things. After trying about four and having English signs tapped for us, we found our way and coughed up the largest sum of our trip - $5. We took some pictures of the city and went on satisfied. Out into the rain, blah. To lift our spirits, we again got some treats and went shopping. Haha. After this brief stint of retail therapy, we walked to a big round about with a fake palm tree in the middle and a monument of Charles de Gaulle. Strange, I know. We then wandered to find a place to dinner where we again learned quickly we were too polite and also had to take a stab at whether a circle or triangle represented the women's bathroom (surprise, it was the circle). On our way home we bought some Krupnik (Polish Honey Liquor) and decided to start our night. We hung out with people at our hostel til the wee hours of the morning and consumed liquid honey alcoholic deliciousness. Fortunately, this consumption of alcohol allowed up to sleep through the snoring.

The next morning we met up with some people from the night before and headed to a very Polish establishment, McDonalds, for breakfast. The language barrier really came into play here when I was trying to order a McCroissant and hashbrown patty. There was a lot of jumping and pointing involved, but I got what I ordered about 20 minutes after the Playboy earringed cashier rung through my order. We gobbled down our food and then headed to Lazienki Park. We tried to pay for the bus there, but couldn't figure out the system...apparently the ticket checkers couldn't either as they boarded the bus and didn't bother to check anyone's tickets. Oh Poland. We wandered through the park stalking peacocks and strange squirrels, saw the sites and enjoyed some inner-city greenery. After our stint here, we headed back into the city as I needed to catch a bus to the airport. We grabbed some lunch, did some sketches and got distracted by H&M on the way to the bus. I made it on time, don't worry, but was intimidated by all the airport workers wearing camo pants and combat boots. I picked up some duty-free liquor and was on my way home. Warsaw was pretty cool, a lot of history (they basically rebuilt the entire city) neat buildings etc. Something that was not neat? The language. So confusing. A 'y' is basically equivalent of an 's'. Strange.

Oooh also, last weekend we went to the bath house. It was pretty cool. We hung out with a lot of old sweaty Swedish ladies but got to sweat it up in the sauna and jump into the Baltic Sea. Naked. Ow ow! Katreace, Katharina, Alyce, Elise, and Lauren all had a fabbity weekend together. We also had our first experience at a Swedish club. This basically consisted of all us exchange students going out and having the equivalent of one of our parties at the club. Amazing.

Anyways, I'm off to start my productive day and I will talk to y'all when I'm back from my travels to greet my lovely mother and aunt! Cannot wait!

It's that time again...
1. In Poland, they only eat meat and starch. And cabbage. Whatever that is qualified as.
2. We are all fiending for summer so bad. We had a bbq last night and stayed outside as long as possible even though we were shrouded in blankets.
3. Voting while overseas is extremely complicated. My recommendation to the government you ask? Online voting! Yay.
4. Alcohol is so so cheap in Poland. A 750ml bottle of Vodka is about $5. For the good stuff.
5. Happy Birthday Sophie!!!
6. It's pretty funny when you're going into the bathhouse and someone you're with yells that "It's stupid!" that we can't wear bathing suits. Especially when the employees response is "No it's not." Haha.