Sunday, January 30, 2011
If you were Swedish, you would know.
Me again. This past week has been full of tons of things, so I'll try to sum it all up for you!
I had Monday and Wednesday off this week which was great as I was able to finally get some things done - like getting supplies for class, doing laundry, and cleaning my room top to bottom. I've finally really nested in my room which feels great and rather homey. Pictures to come soon, I promise. Oh, and the bring a dish party on Sunday was delicious. So many things to try and so many desserts! Yum.
This past week also marked the last of the Swedish classes. We had one lecture on Monday and our exam on Tuesday. The exam went pretty well as I got a VG (which means very good), the grading system is very strange here. Oh, another weird thing about the Swedish academic system...if you fail, you have three chances to redo work or an exam. My international coordinator told me that and I was like PARDON? I guess that's a titch of socialism for you. I will miss our Swedish class as our teacher was awesome and provided us with a pretty sweet introduction to not only the language, but also the city. She also was hilarious (like when we asked how we know which form of "one" we should use in a sentence and she just said "Well, if you were Swedish, you would know") and put up with my sass. I can extended my Swedish classes (10 more 2 hour lessons), but I'm not too sure yet. Thoughts?
I also had class this week. I had Image Making again (only for 2 hours!) on Thursday and my first class of Sketching and Drawing. It seems like its going to be very interesting - we already started to learn how to draw people that actually look like people. Exciting, I know. Once I produce some quality work, maybe I'll get up the courage to post it, but for now, my stick people will stay nice in protected in the safety of my sketchbooks. A great thing about classes, which I think I've already mentioned but will again, is that we meet Swedish people who are typically reserved and hard to get to know, although very friendly. The best is when someone Swedish tries to speak to you in Swedish in class...and then they realize you have no idea what's going on. It's the small things in life really. One can only hope that I will make outside of school Swedish friends who can show me around and teach me the ropes of true Swedish Viking-ness.
Some exciting things: my mom and aunt have booked their flights to come and visit me over Easter and my birthday. I really can't wait. I know my mom will just love it here. (Ps. I think you would too Dad, hint). Also, I am going to London on Tuesday to visit Katie, Rob, and Daina which I cannot wait for! We're going to see Wicked and be British. Pip. Friday, I went to Copenhagen with my friend Katharina to meet my friend from grade 8 Youth Combating Intolerance (YCI) club. It was a lot of fun as we met people from all over the world (including Estonia and Iceland) as well as some other people from Victoria. This simultaneously emphasized a weird big-world/small-world thought. We also explored the city (it's gorgeous, pictures of that also to come). I also bought the nicest boots in the entire world for $90 CDN. Amazing. I almost wore them to bed last night. Oh also, Copenhagen is kind of crazy expensive. I had a 6 dollar 12oz. latte. INSANITY I tell you. Oh and a small bottle of coke was about 4 dollars. Considering Danes appeared to be the happiest people on the planet, I don't know how they live like this. Ha.
Other activities this week included: watching handball (the world championship is on now in Malmo!), going for walks through the park (as there have been some nice sunny days, like today), cooking lots of food, drinking tea, biking, Australia day, and other bits and bobs.
Coming up next: planning a trip to Lappland - details to come. Homework until forever - drawing takes longer than you expected. Planning all the things for me to show people when they come visit! Exploring the city to find cute restaurants and cafes (apparently there's an all you can eat sushi place for about 11 dollars...we shall see how it compares to the delicious fish of the west coast.
Some tidbits from this week:
1. Swedish folk have the equivalent of "John Doe" or "Joe Schmoe" here. It's Sven Svensson. I almost died when I heard this.
2. My most commonly used Swedish besides "hej" and "tack" is "jag talar inte svenska" (I don't speak Swedish). This is generally helpful unless the mailman subsequently asks you "what language do you speak" in Swedish. I though saying I didn't speak any would be a good clue. BUT, you can basically say the same thing to a Danish person and they'll understand. Awesome.
3. The train ride from Malmo to Copenhagen is amazing when it's clear out. This rarely happens. We saw dozens of windmills in the sea at sunset. Amazing.
4. The people who work on the train (and collect tickets) here are the friendlies people of all time. I now know why Scandinavia is considered one of the happiest places on earth. I have never seen so many smiling people in my life - from 7-11 employees to strangers, it's pretty unreal.
5. People's party stamina here is unbelievable. I am not able to stay up until noon the next day. I am not a robot. I need sleep, food, and love.
6. Graffiti is legal here. It is every where. But same as in Vancouver, some is awesome and some just sucks.
7. More people still need to skype me.
Next time you hear from me I may have an accent. Be warned.