Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Week in Sweden

Well, actually, it's more like 5 months in Sweden. But this is one of the first weeks in a long time that I have remained entirely in Sweden and not ventured to some other mythical European capital. And with the exception of Kiruna in Northern Sweden (which is the capital of the Lappland province), all of my travel destinations have been capitals of their respective nations. But I digress.

I changed the look of the blog a little bit. I decided while narcissistically reading my blog that it is hard to read white text over black background. Hopefully, the new colors make it easier for me (and you) to read. I also changed the title because my previous title "What is a Blog?" is now irrelevant. Of course I know what a blog is. The new title "Utbytesstudent i Sverige" (Exchange Student in Sweden) is more pertinent and also flaunts my immense knowledge (maybe 30 words) of Swedish (see below).

This week I have been to two Swedish football (soccer, for my American readers – whoops, that's everyone I think) matches. The first was on Monday in Stockholm, a derby match (both teams from the same city) between Hammarby IF and Djugårdens IF. The atmosphere at the match was incredible, with both sets of supporters on their feet the entire match, singing and lighting off flares like there would be no Tuesday. It was a sloppy but entertaining match, and BC Alum Charlie Davies scored the second of Hammarby's goals in their 3-1 victory. I must add that the 3.5% beer we had at the match was comparable to Bud Light, but smelled slightly more like it had been scooped from a urinal.

The second match was in Uppsala yesterday evening and was contested by IK Sirius, the local team, and Jönköpings (pronounced Yenshehpings) Södra IF. Though Sirius dominated the run of play, Jönköpings had the better of the chances. Neither side could capitalize, and the match ended in a 0-0 draw, lulling me to sleep and, thus, scuppering plans to head to a pub afterwards.

But enough sports commentary. The rest of my week has been filled by class. I started the M.A. level class – titled "Legacy of the Holocaust in the Development of the European Union," a right mouthful – on Monday and was not surprised to see I was the only B.A. student in the class, as well as most likely the only person my side of 25. I was also not surprised to learn that I will soon be writing a 15-25 page paper. I'm sort of taking this as a challenge, though, and I've already begun endeavors to finish two 15-kilo-weighing books, totalling a measly 1,217 pages between them. Whether the motivation will last remains to be seen.

I should add that the weather in Sweden is improving by the hour. The forecast for the foreseeable future is for sunny and right around 20˚C, 68˚F for you English unit snobs. It also begins to get light out at 4 am and only gets dark at around 9 pm, a vast contrast from 10 am and 3 pm, respectively, when I first arrived. Consequently, public morale in Uppsala has increased significantly and restaurants have increased their capacities tenfold by putting tables and chairs outside.

Now for your inaugural Swedish lesson. The main reason I'm giving you a Swedish lesson is because I have only just learned enough Swedish words to sound like I know any Swedish, and I feel the need to show off that I know Swedish. But, hey, at least I'm honest about my motives.

Hej (pronounced hay) = hello
Hejdå (pronounced haydoe) = goodbye
Tack (pronounced tock) = thank you
Kyckling (pronounced shykling) = chicken
Göteborg (pronounced Yotebory) = Gothenberg
Malmö (pronounced Malmeh) = Malmo
(pronounced, well, who am I kidding) = Stockholm

Hope you've enjoyed this installment. Hopefully by the time of my next blog entry, I'll have learned some more words.

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