What I miss (part one) 2006 September 26Posted by @jennyjenjen in Food & Drink, Home vs. Sweden, I miss..., Miscellaneous.
Although I’m having a blast here and it’s a great time, I’d thought I’d write about a few things I miss quite a bit:
- Peanut butter. Sure, you can find it here in Sweden, but it’s kind of expensive for the rate at which I’d be using it. My mum says she’ll ship some to me.
- The mountains. Even the hills here are sorta weak. Though, I have to admit, there are some advantages to being at this lower altitude!
- Good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. I mean real rock ‘n’ roll. There’s really no such thing here. There are some great musicians, yeah, but it seems like there is no familiarity with “anything with a guitar.” Bergin and I were talking to a French student about music and he didn’t seem to get the fine lines between rock, folk, bluegrass, country, etc., and it’s pretty much because you can’t find too much of it on this particular side of the pond. It’s like it gets lost once it hits the UK. Of course the bigger acts are known here but it’s not necessarily the bigger acts who have the best rock. Anyways, there’s a good amount of hip hop and house at the clubs, plus some of the good 80’s stuff and decent pop, but it seems it’s either that side of the spectrum or really angsty metal music.
- Baseball and American football. Practically nobody around here would know what the heck I was talking about if I talked about blocked punt returns, infield singles, the seventh-inning stretch or rushing yards.
- Driving. It’s not so much being able to get somewhere by car, it’s driving itself. I’ve always loved driving and I am a pretty good driver at that. I think I would love highway driving here.
Swedes elect new ruling party 2006 September 19Posted by @jennyjenjen in Home vs. Sweden, Politics, Swedish News.
After being bombarded with election information since the second I stepped off the plane, I’ve witnessed a Swedish election firsthand and managed to learn quite a lot about the political system here. The election was held Sunday and the “Alliance” challengers have narrowly won the vote of the Swedish people in a race that has ended the 12-year reign of the Social Democratic Party.
As a non-Swede, it’s not that passionate of an issue to me, to be completely honest. On the contrary, it was almost much more interesting than it was frustrating to watch a national election; I’m used to wringing my hands at the American election results and either being incredibly disappointed or completely joyous. Due to my status as a non-citizen, it seemed to me that I spent a lot more time listening to the candidates’ views and analyzing how those views were constructed, instead of rooting for my side.
Since I’m taking a Swedish politics course right now, we’ve been discussing the parties and how elections are conducted. It was certainly a great time to take the course. Our professor, an instructor that was stepping in for the person originally intended to teach the course, was actually on the local ballot for the Moderate Party (Moderata Samlingspartiet, or Moderaterna). The Moderates were the leaders of the “Alliance” that defeated the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterna) and are considered a right-leaning/conservative party. Of course, this definition is all relative, but newspapers were declaring Sweden to now be “blue” (the color that represents the conservatives, contrary to the United States color associations).
Flogstaskriket 2006 September 11Posted by @jennyjenjen in Corridor Living, Miscellaneous.
Every night, at 10:00 pm, there are screams.
And more screams. And more screams. It goes on for about five or ten minutes, and if you didn’t already know what was going on, it can be really, really confusing.
It’s the Flogstaskrik, or the Flogsta scream. It happens every night around 10:00 pm, and it starts with a few howls from a group of people who were likely watching the clock and eagerly anticipating the chance to scream their lungs out at nothing in particular. Then another building will answer, probably a group of people who were waiting for that initial scream. Before you know it, there are screams from every building, and in some places, the noise is nearly deafening.
Flogsta is a student housing center, so it’s not much of a bother to students. How others on neighboring streets feel, I don’t know, but I have heard that a few there, too, take part in the Flogsta scream.
Nobody knows for sure when it actually started, but there are a few good guesses:
- Students in the 1970s were so frustrated with exams that they started screaming out the windows during exam weeks to get rid of their frustrations.
- A few students in one of their courses read that there was a misunderstanding as to how prayers were offered when Uppsala was Christianized in the 12th century. So they decided to imitate this in Flogsta.
- Others have said that this started when a student committed suicide by jumping off of one of the roofs in the 80s. So now people scream about it. (We’re not sure if someone was just being morbid in spreading around this one.)
So I have included for you all a sampling of the Flogsta scream:
Who goes to Sweden and doesn’t stop at IKEA? 2006 September 3Posted by @jennyjenjen in Corridor Living, Food & Drink, Helpful Hints, Travel.
There is no such thing as a complete trip to Sweden without a visit to IKEA. No. Such. Thing.
IKEA, for those of you who aren’t terribly familiar with it, is a Swedish home furnishing retailer that specializes in cheap – yet functional – furniture. It was founded by Ingvar Kamprad, and the name IKEA stands for Invgar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (you can read more at Wikipedia). There are all sorts of ideas behind it, going as deep as the foundations of modern Swedish society to as light as making a stylish life affordable. We were mostly just there for a little style and some meatballs!
After quite a bit of pondering about when we should go to IKEA, we finally picked a day and set off. I went with Christian, Kerstin, Timo and Katharina, all German students. We knew it was going to be a very fun trip.
IKEA in Uppsala is located in Boländerna, which is a two-bus journey (one has to switch buses in town to get there when coming from Flogsta), so I would highly recommend visiting by car as opposed to taking the bus. We commissioned Christian for the driving task, since none of us have cars ourselves. We figured it would be less of a hassle, anyways, having to carry things back. Christian thankfully obliged.
I had my eyes on a few specific things when I got to IKEA, but there was one thing I couldn’t resist checking out first: kitchens!