Time flies. And sometimes it flies right into your face.

Hej everyone,

The sun has gone again, left us for a better place. However, no snow yet, in contrast to Belgium. Quite ironic seeing as people kept telling me to brace myself for the cold and snow in the far far north, also known as Sweden. You were wrong! Although I am not quite writing this blog post sunbathing in bikinis, I don’t think it’s been too cold here yet. And I’ve grown to kind of love the darkness; Lund has become a town filled with lights: on trees, behind windows, inside with candles,… And with the first advent last Sunday, it is safe to assume that I am all about that Christmassy spirit from now on.

Last Wednesday I went to a smaller movie theatre with Naomé. The theatre only allowed around forty people. We saw a Swedish film, which was one of the thing that I wanted to do while I was here, because it’s so much harder, if not impossible, to find Swedish films in the theatre. The film we saw was called ‘Turist’; kind of a drama but also very entertaining and funny at the same time, which was a surprisingly good combo. In other news I also bought myself an advent calendar, one with chocolates, staying true to my Belgian roots and whatnot. However, there may or may not been a night where I was craving some chocolate. And there may have potentially happened some eating of all the chocolates between the 16th and the 24th of December. Maybe. (I would’ve had to eat them anyways because the calendar is too big to take home with me, so no judgement please).

Thursday was a big night because I finally got to go to the Veronica Maggio concert that I’d bought tickets for a few months ago. I went with one of my Swedish friend, so it turned into a very Swedish night: Swedish company, speaking Swedish, Swedish music, and all of that in an actual Swedish city. I absolutely loved the concert and could even sing along to some of the songs. It was one of those moments I felt really lucky to be on this Erasmus exchange, to be in Sweden.

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On Friday I didn’t do much, some homework, some work on my bachelor paper. Just thinking of the latter makes me cringe, but I’ll just have to power through this annoying stage of confusion, I guess. I ended my day with some hot yoga, which was lovely because I haven’t been able to go as much because I am just so incredibly busy trying to make the most of my last (!) few weeks.

So that is exactly what I did on Saturday, when I went to Kristianstad, a city more in the East of Skåne. For a change I hadn’t planned anything, which is very unlike me, because I usually have everything planned out to the minute. I went to the turistbyrå to at least have some idea of what I could do. I ventured out to the city centre, which was actually right around the corner, where lots of people seemed to have started their Christmas shopping. I had some lunch, went to the museum (disappointing, not interesting at all) and soaked up the sun.

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My next stop was Naturum Vattenriket, which is a nature reserve that, as the name suggests, consists of huge parts of water. I decided to brave the cold and go on a 6km walk called the Linnérundan with the sun beaming on my face. The landscape was gorgeous, the walk calming, the sun enjoyable. After the walk I treated myself to a small fika (Pepparkaksmuffin, where have you been all my life?!). As I made my way to the train station, I spotted a gorgeous sunset at the nature reserve, so I quickly ran all the way back to take some shots, with only one (!) minute to spare before the train left. Sweden has definitely changed me; I have gone from an intense sport and outdoors hater to a yoga lover and outdoorsy person. Who knew I had it in me? I didn’t.

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On Sunday I had promised to go and help out at a Sinterklaasfeest, which is normally celebrated on 5 (Holland) or 6 (Belgium) December. For reader that don’t know about this tradition, you can read more about it here. After helping with the preparations we basically sat around until it was time to see Sinterklaas arrive. The children were thrilled. Our enthusiasm wore off quickly though, so we left early. Overall, despite some boring parts, pretty cool to celebrate this Dutch/Belgian tradition in Sweden.

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Monday brought with it another exciting event: an ice hockey game! I’d been looking to do this for ages, so when I finally found a date that worked and some company (Thanks, Molly, Molly and Lindsey for joining!), I was beyond thrilled! I was lucky enough to have my very own Canadian guide with me, Lindsey, who could answer all our questions about the game. We watched the Malmö Redhawks play against  Umeå Björklöven, and we won! That was a bonus, on top of watching not-so-bad-looking Swedish guys play hockey. My night was made.

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Tuesday consisted of my second to last Swedish Lounge. Next week is the last one, and I’m proud to say I haven’t missed one! After that, I went to Kalmar for some dinner and then to a corridor party (my first one!) at Spoletorp (other student housing) which was like a last party for some people, because many are leaving before Christmas and not coming back, unlike me. This party was another confirmation of the fact that I am absolutely no party person. Every time I think: “Yes, tonight is going to be the night I’m going to be a real party person and dance my ass off” but every single time I fail. It’s just not me. Nonetheless, it was good seeing some people I hadn’t seen in a while.

Today was a busy school day. I met up with some people from our group work, with whom I have to try and write a grammar for Icelandic, which we will also have to present next Wednesday. In the meanwhile I also have to write another take home essay that’s due on 7 January. I’d like to finish it before I leave though, because I won’t have time when I’m home and I definitely won’t have time after that, because I will be travelling. After class, Naomé and I did some work for this specific exam before heading to a free movie, “Short Term 12”. Another amazing film, with just enough heaviness to it. So you get two movie recommendations for the price of one this week!

And that’s been my week. There’s much more to come, so stay tuned.

I’d also like to dedicate one paragraph to all the things I love about December in Sweden: pepparkakor, lussekatter, lighting advent candles, lights, lights, lights, heating turned to the max, advent calendars, people rushing in and out of shops to get presents, Christmas songs, Christmas markets, glögg, Christmas activities everywhere, warm blankets, and much more. I’ve become a Christmas person now too. There is no way you’re getting out of decorating the house this year, Mum.

That’ll be it for today. No Wordy Wednesday, because I simply have no words to express how much I’m going to miss this place, this country, my friends. Slowly, it’s sinking in that I’ll have to leave soon and the mere thought puts my stomach in a knot. Better enjoy the next 13 days I have left before I have to say goodbye to everyone.. And I will!

Love,

Silke

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