Will this be the last proper Erasmus blog post I write in Lund, Sweden? It might be. In exactly one week I go home for Christmas and when I come back I will be travelling a lot, so I won’t be spending much time here. However, I do not want this to be the end of my blog, because I enjoy writing it so much. My plan is to keep writing about travels, books, places, everything that I think is worth writing about.
But to business now. Thursday night I went to Kalmarspexet with Andrea and Svenja. Svenja had been helping out all week and before with the props, so we decided to go and check it out. For those that have no idea what spex is, it is a type of student theatre. It is basically a parody of a famous play or story, it involves a lot of singing, which makes it resemble a musical, but it also involves a lot of improvising. The audience can shout ‘Retake’ at any moment, which means the scene has to be re-performed in a slightly different way, nonetheless just as funny if not funnier. The spex is a very old tradition in Lund, and I’ve never seen anything like it. Apparently it even dates back as far as the 16th (!) century. Kalmar’s spex is, since this nation is so international, the only one in English. Although it would’ve been fun to see a Swedish one, I think this was still a great experience. And I might not get all the jokes in Swedish.
On Friday I ventured out on my own again, this time to Denmark. Just north of Copenhagen is a small town, called Humlebæk. The town itself is not very interesting, but they do have an excellent museum. And I really mean excellent. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is one of best thought-out and prettiest museums I have ever been too. Its location is perfect as you can find it right near the seaside. I mean, it is literally on the beach. Don’t go picturing any white sand and palm trees, but still. The second thing so great about it is that you could just walk around, keep following all the rooms, without having to go back and forth in order not to skip anything. Everything was well laid out and easy to follow. On top of that, they had the most delicious choc chip scones and an amazing museum shop. And oh yes, good art too. Oops, I feel like maybe it can only disappoint if you ever end up going now. Anyways, worth a visit.
That same evening I went over to Naomé’s house for the first time because well, she has a sauna in her building. Even though it is a pretty far bike ride, the thought of this warm cabin was very welcoming on this rainy day. However, on my way there, everything went wrong. Let me just sketch it for you. I bike to an area I’ve never been to before, with a map in my bag to be sure. It is completely dark, because well, we are in Sweden and it gets dark here at 3 in the afternoon. I end up cycling way too far, past the turn I was supposed to take. So there I stand, at a road where the cycling path suddenly stops, with only my bike light to light my map. This map is soon drenched from the rain and because I have no idea where I am, it is of no help. I cycle back to a corner, decide to take out my phone and try the gps function on it. It tells me I cycled too far. I try to text Naomé, but my phone gets so wet the touchscreen refuses to work. I cycle back,to the right turn, don’t even put in the effort to put on my gloves again and eventually get there, looking like a wet dog. Words can’t describe how nice that sauna felt. After our sauna session, we made some delicious food (vegetables, yay!) and started the stressful but oh so enjoyable task of building a gingerbread house (pepparkakshus). Once the hard part was over (the gluing the house together with sugar), the fun could begin. We divided the house up in two parts and both our competitive sides came out. Our house did look amazing, if I may say so. Pictures to prove it can be found below. Oh and also: I found my way back home no problem.
Saturday was not very exciting in the daytime but quite the opposite in the evening. It was the evening of the Vinterbalen (Winter ball), organised by the Economics department of Lund University. Although I have absolutely no connection to this faculty, my friend Siqi suggested we go and so we did. I had Lindsey help me do my hair, before I biked to Siqi’s place, which is closer to the AF Borgen (AF Castle) where the ball was held. Of course I didn’t bike in my dress. (I could totally imagine some scenario’s that wouldn’t end well for my dress, or me.) Instead, I changed there and we went straight to the party. First there was a reception, where we got champagne, before the dinner (very similar to a sittning) would start. We had our picture taken, collected our tickets and medal and looked at the seating arrangements. Every ball you go to , you can get a medal, which you then pin on your dress or frack (tail-coat) and wear to other balls, optionally. Usually, during the dinner, the seating is arranged this way that a guy sits between two girls and vice versa. However, due to the lack of gentlemen, Siqi and I were seated next to each other.
The dinner consisted of 3 delicious courses,which we were served professionally. The dinner itself took about 5 hours, with two 15 minute breaks, which involved a lot of queuing for the bathroom (and a lot of retouching make up for most). After the dinner, we were allowed to go up to the smaller room, where they had the sexa, which is a smaller, less fancy meal served to keep you going before the dancing begins (in this case pyttipanna). The evening also included a lot of wine, beer, cider and snaps. It goes without saying that some people were pretty drunk and thus knocking on tables, singing, … during the dinner. I went home pretty early, around 2 am, got changed at Siqi’s and cycled back home, where I was happy to crawl into my warm and comfy bed.
On Sunday, I met up with Naomé again because we were going ice skating. As soon as we got onto the ice, I remembered why I didn’t like ice skating and why I am usually the person to look forward to the hot chocolate afterwards instead. Anywho, it was another thing I could cross off my list. And it was really fun to see the miniature hockey players, whose equipment was bigger than they were and who needed a whole suitcase (with wheels) to even carry it. We then headed to Kulturen, where we expected to find a Christmas market but instead found a completely deserted, rainy and cold outdoor museum, where the only sign of Christmas literally was one unlit tree. Sad. At least we had some mysig (cozy) fika. I then headed home, determined never to leave my room again, because the weather was so miserable.
I did leave my room, but not my building, for some adventsfika with my corridor mates. If you didn’t know yet, the Swedes love Christmas, so they turn their countdown into a weekly feast with candles, good food and greater company. Every Sunday of the four weeks before Christmas, a candle is lit and fika is had by all. I guess they kind of have to because it gets so dark here and they don’t have Sinterklaas to look forward to. I really enjoyed this happening, because it felt like I was really home. And the majority of the conversations were in Swedish, which made me even happier. Kind of looking forward to next Sunday already, hoping we will have some adventsfika again… This event also links back to the title of this blog, because when we asked one of the Swedes in my corridor what advent actually is, they explained it by replying “Basically, waiting for Jesus”. That pretty much sums it up: one long fika in the awaiting of Jesus. Couldn’t have explained it better ;)
The past few days have been pretty boring. I’ve been doing mainly school work. I did manage to go to yoga again, which I couldn’t last week because I was so busy, and I did a 95 minute session. Today consisted of more school work but also the final Swedish Lounge. I’m sad that I won’t have this place every week anymore to go and speak the language that I still love (if not more). Guess I’ll have to keep up the speaking myself now! I also took some pictures of the Christmas decorations for you tonight.
Tomorrow I have a presentation and it will also be the last day I have to go to class. I still have two exams to finish, both take home essays, one of which I am almost done with. The other I have to do in January. *Sigh* It really is almost over. But no time for sighing, gotta go enjoy my last week.