The House of Up
Trip Start Jan 07, 2010
31Trip End Jul 19, 2010
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On Monday night, we had our weekly corridor dinner. Lots of people seem to be away this week, so it was a relatively small gathering, the Californian, the three Singaporeans and myself
Tuesday and Thursday were like little replicas of each other, they could easily be interchanged for the other without me noticing. Déjà vu really. Class, class, class... moving on.
I went for a swim on Wednesday! Yes, I know that sounds crazy in a Swedish winter but I am feeling sluggish and sleepy without exercise. I walk everywhere here, which amounts to a fair amount each day, but it just isn't the same. So I joined the local indoor pool, which turns out to be within eye shot of my apartment. Walking home after my swim was absolutely freezing
I went for another swim on Friday. During the course of my swim, my suspicions were confirmed. Swedes just aren't great at swimming. They sort of paddle back and forth holding their heads above the water. I am by no means a great swimmer and yet was overtaking them all. Before long I had a lane to myself because I moved faster than the rest of them, and yet I move so slow!! Just before I finished my swim, what looked liked a swim team arrived. They jumped in for a couple of laps but were by no means strong swimmers, which is weird for a swim team, right? Turns out they are the diving team, which makes a lot more sense, considering the pool is mega deep with mega high diving boards. So Swedes dive but don't swim. After going home and warming up, I headed out with some of my corridor friends to VG's where another stand-up comedy night was happening. We met up with the French Canadians (Québécoise) at the club and had a fun night, mostly because the American (from last time) set his cheat sheet on fire and didn't notice for ages even though we were yelling it at him, and also because our favourite Canadian was back
After spending Monday morning working on more essay, I decided to spend the afternoon in Malmö. I had some shopping that I wanted to do and just needed a change of atmosphere. My friend was supposed to come but I think he didn't wake up in time!! When I got off the train, I took the wrong exit and came out on the wrong side of the station. Instead of turning around I decided to use my amazing sense of direction (ha!!) to find my way from there. I'm glad I did because I made a monumental discovery. I found the house from Up!! There, right in the middle of a busy construction site, was a perfectly cute little yellow house with a red roof. Ok, its not identical but the similarities are too precious to be picky. I had a good poke about Malmö, it was much more easy to navigate than last time. Perhaps its just a function of being accustomed to Sweden now
As usual, I had my normal Tuesday classes today - Medieval Life & Death followed by a break then Swedish. I have issues motivating myself to go to the medieval class, but its almost over in a couple of weeks so I think I can hang in there. But I make sure I take something else to do during the class should it become too much to bear. Today's distraction was a sudoku... it didn't last me long enough. I am still really enjoying my Swedish class though
This week our corridor dinner was set for Tuesday. Last night I went around with Nick and stuck post-its on the doors of people in our corridor that we haven't met yet, inviting them to come and bring food that starts with the letter 'c'. Our weekly dinners now have themes and today's was the letter 'c'. Haha that sounds like something off Sesame Street. Dinner went really well. It was super rowdy and there was tonnes of weird and wonderful foods starting with 'c', for example curry, chilli con carne and corn salsa, chicken (Malaysian lemongrass style, I think), carbonara, cucumber & yoghurt dip with pita bread, cidar, creamy peach pudding, and cookies and cream ice cream!! There was also an Iranian spinach dish that started with a 'c'... I think the best moment of the night was when Nick laughed (which is really loud and sounds like a big bird of some sort), and the Iranian girl (who was new to the party) looked at him in horror and said "so its you that I can hear laughing at 3 in the morning and I always wish that you would shut up!!". The horrifying bit is that she lives on the next level up from us and can still hear Nick despite our building's amazing soundproofing qualities. Everything about Nick is loud.. he can't help it but he was pretty embarrassed nonetheless.
Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday. How is it Wednesday already?! The days go so fast here, it is actually freaking me out!! Today I tried to get another of my paper's written for class. It wasn't that exciting but was one of those things that I just had to get done. But tonight I went down to the local arena to watch a handball match with whole bunch of friends. I'd never seen handball before and thought it was something along the lines of the game we played in junior school, bouncing a ball back and forth across a chalk line.. hand tennis I guess. I was seriously misinformed! Handball is a very fast and surprising rough game that could be described as a handball-soccer hybrid of sorts. It is played indoor (obviously, for a sport played in Sweden's winter) and the two teams have to pass a mini basketball back and forth, trying to get it into the opposition goal (like a small soccer goal). The players were super fast and jumped and spun to get the ball through the opposition and into the net. They also seemed to faceplant a lot when scoring. I don't know why, but whenever they leaped in the air to score they ended up face first on the floor. And the goalie would do little manic star jumps to cover the goal, then he would fall over a lot too before jumping up into his crazy star jumps again. I'll admit it was pretty entertaining to watch!! Although.. rough!! There were two moments in the game where I really didn't think that the felled player was going to get up again. The first guy went down really hard and was in such genuine distress. I thought he'd easily fractured his tailbone or worse, his pelvis. He had to be carried off. Then while the medic was trying to treat him, one of the goalies fell and whacked his head with a very resounding thud. I think it stunned him because he didn't get back up for a while. I think they need two medics at this thing, one is clearly not enough. He was ok though after a bit.
So, the match was between Lund (the local team) and Malmö, and since there is great competition
between these neighbouring towns it was a very energetic match. We were going for Lund, the underdogs. Unfortunately we seemed to be seated in the Malmö section. The "gentleman" (and I use this term with serious sarcasm) seated in front of us brought along a drum. Now when I say drum I don't mean some tiny little tin box. I mean a serious drum out of a drum kit. He was barracking for Malmö and everytime Lund had the ball he would whack it like there was no tomorrow in this annoying beat that increased in tempo the longer Lund had the ball or closer they were to the goal. The drumming was made worse by the fact that this man was a giant and thus hit the drum with alarming force and that the drumming reverberated and echoed around the gym, making it all the louder. It was supposed to psych Lund out but only succeeded in damaging my calm. It was so seriously annoying. I wasn't alone in feeling like snatching his stupid little drum sticks and beating him over the head and seeing how he liked it!! Somehow we refrained. Instead we took satisfaction from cheering all the louder when Lund scored (which was a lot). By half time the score was 18-9 with Lund in the lead. I hoped that this score would make the "gentleman" realise that his tactic was not working. Alas, this was not the case. Towards the end of the game, the score was very very close. In the last 5 minutes there were always just 1 or 2 points separating the two teams. The Swedes around us got angry and started jumping up and down and yelling angrily at Lund when they scored or when Malmö missed. I have never witnessed an angry Swede before and now know why the Vikings were so scary!! Eeek!! Anyhoot, Lund won, which made us all happy. The angry Swedes were calm the instant the game was over and packed up and went home. I think it wasn't the drumming itself that annoyed me but the bad attitude of trying to distract the opposing team. If the drumming had actually been successful and Malmö had won, would it be a true victory if the other team was disadvantaged so? I wouldn't think so. Its not so much winning as the other team losing. Overall, I had fun, it was a really good game and very fast paced. I am hoping to go to an ice hockey game next.. they sound fun too!!