Another update on my time in Stockholm!!!
This week includes:
Day 40: Walkin’ Around | Day 41: Sweden vs. Slovenia | Day 42: Choking Down Crickets | Day 43: What’s Around DIS | Day 44: Don’t Worry, Darling (we worried) | Day 45: Cozy | Day 46: Happy Birthdays via Meat on a Stick
Day 40: Walkin’ Around
Monday night was another Outdoor LLC meet-up! This week’s activity was a walk from DIS in Östermalm all the way back to our housing in Södermalm which took around an hour and a half. It was a little bit rainy, but the evening was still lovely and Stockholm is just as charming!
- Sankt Jacobs kyrka
- Swedish Parliament (Riksdag)
- The Sager House a.k.a. the Prime Minister of Sweden’s residence
- The House of Nobility
- Statue of Gustav Vasa = King of Sweden during part of the 16th century
- Riddarholmskyrkan = resting place of Swedish monarchs
- Near filming locations in Södermalm for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- Monteliusvägen lookout
- Dinner at a great vegetarian/vegan buffet place called Légumes in Hornstull
Some thoughts: It was interesting seeing the government buildings because Sweden had their elections on September 11, and there were political posters plastered basically everywhere since we’ve gotten here in August. I also really like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and we had watched it recently because we knew some of it was filmed in our neighborhood, so it was sick to recognize the streets where Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig have stood 😌 Monteliusvägen was absolutely GORGEOUS and I’ll definitely be going back just to sit and enjoy the views.
Day 41: Sweden vs. Slovenia
Tuesday night a few friends and I ventured to Friends Arena (cute name) for the Sweden vs. Slovenia men’s soccer (fotboll) match in the Nations League. It was a pretty good game even though they tied 1-1, but Slovenia had an insane goal by 19-year-old Benjamin Šeško at the 28′, so I highly recommend clicking the link to watch if you’re interested! The only other goal was Sweden’s at the 42′, so the rest of the game was a little slow.
It was very interesting to see Swedish fan demeanor/behavior because Sweden has the socially constructed Law of Jante which basically says that you’re not better than anyone else, so don’t stand out or brag, and competitions seem to have nowhere near the level of fanaticism that the U.S does. Therefore, fans at this game were pretty tame and mild, and contrary to U.S. sports games, there were maybe one or two barebones merchandise stands to get some gear, if you dare to wear it with pride. Also, a friend tried to get her camera into the game for a photography project, and they made her get out of line and follow the suspecting guard all the way to the security office for further inspection, only for them to be cool with it. Apparent moral of the story: if you can fit the camera into your pocket, it’s not a threat 🙂
After the game ended, mobs of people shuffled into the metro station to catch the same trains. It was so crowded that we literally could not get onto a train because they were stuffed with people pushing and jostling — it was kind of scary. We decided to abandon ship and walk a little to the nearest bus stop and eventually made it home safe 👍
Day 42: Choking Down Crickets
If you don’t know by now, Wednesday means Field Study! Today’s trip was with my Affective Neuroscience class to The Experience Museum (Upplevelsemuseet) near the Tele2 and Avicii Arenas. We were trying to test our senses by being exposed to a variety of foods, smells, objects, and other sensory ~experiences~ and then examining how we felt about them. Our experiences include but are not limited to: standing on ostrich egg, poking a puffer fish, and eating Hershey’s chocolate (which has a tang of vomit to some people not from the U.S.), Sichuan pepper, and dried squid as well as a variety of insects like roasted crickets, chapulines (grasshoppers), and mealworms. We smelled skunk in a box, held the tiniest foldable phone (it cost $35) with which we called my friend’s phone, fanned ourselves with inflated Venezuelan dollars, and peered at the smallest book (in 1950) under a microscope — it contained The Lord’s Prayer in 7 different languages. Fun fact: Sweden consumes the most candy per capita with about 35 lbs of candy every year = 0.5 lb every week (picture of that amount shown below.) 😳
I WISH I could include videos on here because there were many comical taste tests and activities like petting a robot cat and “walking the plank” off a building via VR, but alas, photos will suffice.
Day 43: What’s Around DIS
A couple classes were canceled on Thursday, so we decided to have a little shopping day! If you didn’t know, the area around DIS is Östermalm which has a lot of beautiful buildings, shops, and other businesses to explore. We went to Östermalms Saluhall which is an 1880s food hall with really cool antique stalls that sell produce and goodies. We got some gelato and walked to the Adidas store in Norrmalm to get a soccer ball — a spontaneous purchase probably inspired by attending the soccer game on Tuesday. 😵💫
Day 44: Don’t Worry, Darling (we worried)
On Friday night, a few friends and I saw Don’t Worry Darling at the Victoria Theater in Södermalm! Before the movie, I tried to order a Coke in Swedish, and the cashier spoke back in Swedish to which I panicked and stuttered something incoherent about how I’m learning Swedish. She laughed and asked if I wanted her to slow down to which I, confidence regained somehow, replied, “No I can try!” — big mistake. She said more stuff in Swedish, and I looked absolutely befuddled so she resorted to English. She commended me for trying which was far too generous.
The movie had the original English audio with subtitles in Swedish which semi-restored my faith in my Swedish skills. I got excited when they said stuff I could also read which was, albeit, a rare occurrence — unless Florence Pugh was going to talk about breakfast foods or modes of transportation, the extent of my vocabulary comprehension was limited. After the movie ended, we immediately turned to each other and exclaimed how bad it was. This discussion continued in the bathroom line where a couple of Swedes also thought it was so bad that it was funny, so I’m glad that sentiment transcends cultures.
Afterwards, we took part in the cultural practice of “Fredagsmys” (literally Friday cozy) where friends/family cozy up and stay in on Friday night to eat food and recharge after the week. This is definitely something I can get behind and bring back home.
Day 45: Cozy
Nothing much happened today ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ We stayed up late the night before, so it was a lazy Saturday with Bananagrams, cooking dinner at home, and more coziness. Petition to make a “Lördagsmys“???
Day 46: Happy Birthdays via Meat on a Stick
Evidently I needed a chill weekend because Sunday was also lazy! I just went grocery shopping which has become like second nature. Speaking of nature, it’s finally fall! The leaves are changing colors but aren’t dead yet which is weird to me because, where I live in the U.S., you see one (1) orange leaf and BAM it’s winter (a.k.a. 50ºF) and everything is dead or still green somehow? Chlorophyll is wack. 🥴
Sunday night was a lively, premature celebration of a couple of friends’ birthdays at MOAS: Meat on a Stick, which I think is the greatest name for a kebab restaurant — order the Valencia kebab if you want your life to change for the better. We then devoured a store-bought cake (ovens are scarce in Högalidsgatan) and sang happy birthday to Penny and Christina! 😊
That’s all for this week. Stay tuned for the next weekly update, and the one after that post will be an in-depth breakdown of our Long Study Tour to Paris!