Sunday, January 20, 2013

My teeth are cold.

My teeth are cold from cycling home today by myself and smiling like a stupid idiot the whole time. There's hushed talk in the streets of Lund about that crazy girl who bikes around smiling for no reason by herself. Little do they know I have plenty of reasons to smile. Little do they know that it would be physically impossible for me to stop smiling because of all the reasons I have.

Today I jumped into the Baltic Sea. Today it was -8˚C out and I jumped into the Baltic Sea. Maybe the citizens of Lund are actually right when they talk about "that crazy girl on her bike." Okay it wasn't quite the Baltic Sea but Öresund, the sound connecting the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic Ocean but it's not like I study Geography or anything... 

I went on an organized student trip to Kallbadhus sauna, a restaurant and sauna located off the coast of Lund and probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The word "beautiful" is losing all its meaning based on the frequency in which I use it. I am currently accepting any suggested synonyms to describe the places I will visit in the next few months.

This is how it went:
1. Get into sauna and revel in finally being warm for the first time in weeks.
2. Work up the courage to run outside, down the stairs and into the frozen water.
3. Scream and splash around for a few seconds.
4. Dash back into the sauna at Usain Bolt speeds.
5. Repeat.

Thus far, this has definitely been my favourite thing I have done while here but I'm sure it will soon be replaced with something else that will keep this stupid, dopey grin plastered to my face.

Coming up: Starting class tomorrow- and I do mean class singular, hoping to visit Copenhagen in the near future, and more Swedish aerobics!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hej, idag är torsdag!

"Hello, today is Thursday"

And I didn't even have to google translate that- that's progress, my friends!

First I need to acknowledge my kickin' new header that was commissioned by the world famous illustrator extraordinaire... my sister. I am repaying her in Swedish candy, my new currency of choice.

One week here in Lund and things have settled down nicely- I have internet in my room (although I accidentally bought a very short cord so I am tethered to the corner), my phone works, classes are all sorted out and today I think I've fallen in love!

Yes, sorry Mom and Dad but I've fallen in love here in Sweden. His name is Abraham and he takes me places, is very reliable and easy on the eyes (if I do say so myself.) He really just wheeled me off my feet and when he spoke it awoke my soul and I was no longer tired. I didn't know if I could handle it but he just lights up my world.

Abraham- isn't he beautiful? 

Yes, Abraham is my bike and, yes, it is true love. Biking is by far the preferred method of travel in Lund and I knew as soon as I stepped off the train on day one and spotted a huge parking lot of bikes instead of cars that this place would be more than just a'ight. Biking in the snow has proved interesting but has made it all the more fun.

So far just been settling in- classes start next week and I am taking a whopping two classes. I have finished my intro to Swedish class and the entire course can be summed up in the following video. 

***Okay I can't figure out how to upload the video... so just imagine (if you can) a very tall, very bearded Swedish man playing the Ukelele and singing "Ring Ring" by ABBA in Swedish and then everyone in the crowd singing along. Can't imagine it? Yeah I couldn't either until it happened but I think that was my official "Welcome to Sweden"! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lund is disgusting.... beautiful.

Seriously, it makes me sick every time I look outside, it takes all my effort just to walk around. The beautiful historic architecture and twinkling fairy lights make me want to gauge my eyes out, Oedipus Rex style. And those well dress models they call Swedes make me want to puke. It is very displeasing to the eye.

I will leave you in suspense as to just how disgusting it is here partly because I need to run to my first Swedish class (!!!) and partly because I really haven't had time to take any pictures. But here is a little teaser just to let you in on how despicable this place really is.

The crazy thing is- this isn't even a special building. This is just A BUILDING. 

More pictures soon.

Plans for today: Swedish lessons, buy a bike, get my phone working, and official welcome party for all international Students.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Welcome, Wilkommen, Velkommen, Välkommen

These are all the languages I have been greeted with in the last 24 hours! It's kinda like that "change one letter game" or in the case of Sweden "let's just add an accent to be different."

I wrote this post yesterday while waiting for my third and final flight of the day.

Greetings from Frankfurt!

“I love days full of airports and planes”… said no one ever- until now! I LOVE planes and airports- and this is me typing after having woken up at 5am and spending 11 hours on a plane (with 2 more hours to come) so you know this must be a deep love. What do I love about airports and planes? I had just a little bit of time to think about this today and have come up with the following list (not exclusive and will probably be added to later)

     1. Meeting new and lovely people that you will probably never see again.
For example, between my flights I went from sitting with a graduate of UBC currently living and working in Frankfurt to discussing the Tunisian revolution with a gentleman from there now living in Chicago. In what other situation besides on a plane would these conversations arise? As my friends know very well and much to their dismay (coughemiliecough), I tend to be a bit of a chatty Cathy with random strangers. I enjoy talking to people for a brief period of time, learning something new from them, and leaving knowing that we will probably never see each other again.

Future Mireille conversation:

Other: Hey who was the dictator ousted in the Tunisian revolution?
Mireille: Funny you should ask, it was Ben Ali.
Other: Gee thanks. Ben Ali is my final answer, Regis. WOOO I’m a millionaire!!

You’re welcome, future millionaire friend. (yes I know it's not Regis Philban anymore but the point is there.) 

O'Hare, Chicago

2  2. Watching lots of movies, listening to music, and reading. 
           These are all things I love and I have an excuse to just do this for 11 hours straight. Get up for a pee/stretch break every few hours and get right back to ‘er. Sounds like the best way to spend my time.  

Could I have picked a larger book to lug around?

    3. Buying and consuming inordinate amounts of junk food and justifying it by claiming “at least it’s better than plane food” (of which mine was not terrible.) 
      On the note of plane food- on my flight across the pond I was served dinner and breakfast and complimentary wine before dinner and Bailey’s (or brandy) after. Other airlines need to sit down and take notes from Lufthansa. Although, this may be the standard for transatlantic travel and I just have no idea (this being my first time). It could be the standard is actually 3 meals, chocolate fountains and fondue and I was totally ripped off- I wouldn’t know.

***breaking update*** : a man just walked by, sipping on a big ol stein o’ beer. This is cool because a) this would never happen in Canada and b) it’s 8 o’clock in the morning. You go, Glen CoCo.

So far I would say this little adventure of mine is off to a winning start- and even if I were to turn around and come right back home tomorrow I could still say I had a great time. Because I love planes.

Because there are no pictures like this on instagram already

Tomorrow (or today's I guess) post: figuring things out in Lund (which is too freaking beautiful for me to define.)