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news from my extended vacation

Umea Travel Blog

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pretty snow outside my window!
My Swedish vacation is still going well. Seriously, I haven't had so much free time since I was 5 years old! The benefits of my free time is that I have become a much better cook, especially with limited selection and deciphering labels in Swedish. It's also nice to be able to take a long walk and not worry about what time you get home. Days here are definitely longer then when I first arrived. When I got here the sun was going down about 3 in the afternoon. Now it's from about 7am till 5.30pm or so that we have light. I can't wait for the long days of midnight sun! I did wake to the pleasant surprise of snow, and lots of it this morning! It's been snowing since last night, and now it's about 2pm and still going strong. It looks beautiful out though! I might have to go sledding soon!

Last Thursday I had another Swedish cultural experience. There was a play down at centrum (town center) that the international kids were invited to. It was just a dress rehearsal but it was a lot of fun. One of the main characters had lost her voice and was ordered by her doctor to not speak so the director spoke all her lines. It was a little confusing at first but still a beautiful play. The play was called En Herrgårdssägen by Selma Lagerlöf, famish Swedish woman from way back when (early 1900's). The english translation of the title is something like Tales of a Manor. The story is about a girl that dies and is brought back to life by the violin playing of a guy. The tale is about their journeys afterwards and them falling in love. The play was all in Swedish so that made it even more fun to try and follow the story. The music was great for the play too. It was traditional Swedish folk music, just a few string instruments. Overall, it was a really fun night.

I didn't do anything too exciting last weekend. Just went out to an international pub night and spent time with friends, normal weekend things. It is really nice that the international office here organizes nights for the international students to gather at the pubs near campus. I can still go out and meet some international student I haven't met yet which is still fun to do. And of course Sunday was the fika day. Every Sunday most people gather at a place called Skogi's for fika on Sunday afternoons. After fika I took a nice long walk out at Nydalasjön. I didn't make it all the way around the lake because it started getting dark and I still needed to get home, which is about another 20 minutes walk from the lake. It was a nice warm (35f-warm to me!) day out though which made the walk more pleasant.

I had a late night on Monday, walking around centrum. I found out about a book sale at midnight at one of the bookstores down there. Apparently it's a big deal! I went down there with a couple of American friends, and we went down early since someone told us there would be a big line. There was one guy waiting by the door! There was a line half a block long eventually. I ended up buying a couple of Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking author) books and the big book of why in Swedish. So needless to say I've been busy the last couple of days reading kids books. I'm definitely getting more vocabulary though. I've moved from mostly picture books on up to books with lots of paragraphs in them. While we were down there, it turned out that most book stores in centrum were open so we went to three other stores. They all had the same things on sale though. It was such a nice night out that we ended up walking the 30 minutes back to our place, instead of the bus, at 2 in the morning. Of course the next morning is the first time I actually had to get up for class. It was the earliest I'd woken up since the day I left the states! Well, that's about all the news I have for now. I've gotta get myself to Swedish class
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pretty snow outside my window!
pretty snow outside my window!
Umea
photo by: Sjoshie