Week Seven

Welcome to Week Seven! Fall is here which means perfect weather for walks and exploring all the nature Stockholm has to offer.

This week includes: Day 47: Comedy | Day 48: Doodle School | Day 49: Psychogeography | Day 50: Fotografiska (again) | Day 51: Ladybugs & Lab | Day 52: New Furry Friends

Day 47: Comedy

October 3

Monday we had no Outdoor LLC activity but instead donned our party hats and went to celebrate my friend’s birthday at the Big Ben Pub in Södermalm! Can’t completely recommend it because it smelled like feet in there, but our server was nice and the burger was good. After we ate we went downstairs to the stand-up comedy show, but they were speaking in Swedish… We should have taken this as a sign and just left, but we thought it could be funny, and we were in the back of the room. But of COURSE, the comic sees our party hats and knows he has his next bit. He sees us, says something in Swedish, and the entire room turns to look at us and now I’m in my actual worst nightmare. We laughed awkwardly and said that we don’t speak Swedish, he says something else in Swedish to the crowd, they LAUGH, and we stand there like absolute fools. He said he asked us if we were a bachelorette party, and we said no it’s our friend’s birthday, then he spoke to the crowd in Swedish AGAIN and they laughed. After that we skedaddled so we wouldn’t prolong being the butt of a joke we were not in on. 🤡

On the bus home, our group, dignity diminished but still proudly wearing our party hats, encountered this old man who was sitting there, gesturing to us and smiling. He then held up his phone as if requesting to take a picture of us — I repeat, on his phone. We were like…okay haha and posed. I thought he was going to offer to send it to us or something, but no such proposal took place. I guess the comic wasn’t the only Swede who got a kick out of our accessories. So now some old man has a picture of us on his phone. I wonder what he’s up to now.

Day 48: Doodle School

October 4

Tuesday was a beautiful day! The fika that our Medical Ethics teacher, Henrik, brings every class was made brighter by the little winter-themed paper coffee cups with tiny handles :’) We also drew some lovely doodles in lab — don’t worry, we’re always hard at work with our top secret research experiment. But we thought the lab could use a little decoration… For dinner, I had instant ramen just so you know that I’m still a college student. Back to basics.

Day 49: Psychogeography

October 5

In my Nordic Contemporary Art class, we’ve been learning about psychogeography which basically focuses on the ~psychological experiences~ of a city and how they can reveal forgotten or unappreciated parts of an urban environment. So this guy, Guy Debord (haha), was the French theorist in the 1950’s who coined the term and practiced it with a group called the Situationists who explored the concept via dérive which, long story short, is taking an aimless, mapless walk around a city for hours, letting yourself be drawn to terrains or feelings or WHATEVER as long as you let your environment guide you. So that was our assignment! Walk “aimlessly” around Stockholm and document whatever your senses are picking up, how certain areas make you feel, etc, and eventually we will make a creative map of our journey.

Because I had no Field Studies on this cloudy Wednesday in October, a friend, my Airpods, and I set off from Hornstull and let the city guide us — there are some pictures below to give you the gist of the journey! After the fact, I realized my themes focused on graffiti, mankind in nature, nature in mankind, and the ground beneath my feet. I also saw a dead bird. 🙁

The long walk made us hungry so we got Peruvian food at Maestra Vida which was really yummy so I recommend. Afterwards I took the pendeltåg (commuter train) all the way out to Sollentuna where other DIS students live to visit a friend. It was funny because their housing seems like this distant, foreign land so my friends jokingly asked to send back pictures like it was a safari or something.

Sollentuna was cool except the pendeltåg is actually evil. My friend and I were at one end of the station waiting for the train that comes every 20-30 minutes at this time of night. We weren’t waiting for very long until we see it coming towards us from the opposite end. We think it’s going to pull all the way up to the front of the station where we are, but no, it stops at the other end, barely breaching the station where there is no one else getting on. So we start running towards it which feels like miles away. We finally get close, make eye contact with the conductor — who has undoubtedly been watching us run at him this whole time — and then the doors close and it blasts off. It was actually comical. We waited another 20ish minutes for the next one, so I cannot give 5 stars to the Stockholm commuter train.

Day 50: Fotografiska (again)

October 6

On Thursday, my Nordic Contemporary Art class went to Fotografiska (2nd time for me) but got to see a new exhibit with Hans Gedda’s work! Hans is a Swedish photographer who photographed some true icons like Nelson Mandela and Andy Warhol as well as some incredible self-portraits and nature shots. Check out some of it below!

Back at DIS, our Swedish class had our group song presentations. We had to take a song and put our own lyrics to it, so there was everything from Old MacDonald to We Didn’t Start the Fire. Our group basically took the tune of “Friday” by Rebecca Black and put food/mealtime words to it — absolutely not a direct translation even though we do know how to say “Fredag, Fredag.” Our group went last and was apparently a crowd favorite, maybe because of whatever grossly addictive substance Rebecca put into her song mixing that led this song to poison the radio for, like, months and settled into the sulci of everyone’s brains. Anyway, see some of our ingenious lyrics below!

Fika, fika, 
Fika, fika,
jag vill ha en fika
I want to have a fika
En kanelbulle och en cappuccino 
A kanelbulle and a cappuccino
På frukost (frukost), 
For breakfast (breakfast),
dricker jag en kallt mjölk
I drink a cold milk
Vi älskar svensk mat och köttbullar 
We love Swedish food and meatballs

Day 51: Ladybugs & Lab

October 7

On Friday evening after lab, I put my headphones on and took another walk around Stockholm! I sat and people-watched/doodled outside a really pretty church in Östermalm, and I also made friends with a ladybug. I walked all the way to Gamla Stan to see the sun set before it started drizzling and I took the metro the rest of the way home.

Another great thing about Stockholm is how safe I feel walking around by myself and on the metro, even with headphones on — something I would never do back in the U.S.

That night I went out with some friends and had a fun time ☺️

Day 52: New Furry Friends

October 8

This week has really just been enjoying the outdoors in Stockholm! On Saturday I was out and about in Södermalm, sitting at Monteliusvägen and Skinnarviksberget which are two amazing lookout points that I’ve mentioned on the blog before. I got to meet a lot of dogs, and by meet I mean approached by the dog themselves because I would not bother a Swede to ask to pet their dog. I was also petting a lone cat that was clean and friendly and then it bit me (playfully?) which I got all on video so that’s nice. I’m ok and not infected…probably.

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading if you got this far ☺️ Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll be recounting the Affective Neuroscience Long Study Tour to Paris!

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