Tag Archives: Lund

Saturday “!!!” smörgåsbord

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Initially the Saturday Smörgåsbord was intended as some kind of “happy news” item since I read this post by Jane from They call me Jane in which she sadly had to discover that while bad news is free, good news seems to come at a price. Literally. So I thought: why don’t I try to gather the positive things I read on the internet and post them according to some theme? But I quickly started to digress and instead just came up with whatever 4-5 items I could find on whichever theme came up in my head this week. So while I’m gonna try to return to that original spirit in the future, this week I’ll give you some things that may not directly make the world a better place, but that make me happy – which in a way is selfish, but as I often say: it is hard to make other people happy unless you’re happy yourself. So here goes my !!!-list:

 
Being with T makes me happy. It is not easy – it never has been and I don’t think it ever will be: 2 sets of female hormones multiplied gives not linearly or even squared, but exponentially magnified emotions. We are very different, we come from very different backgrounds and we have different interests, I sometimes feel we have more stuff keeping us apart than we do keeping us together. But in the end, after 2 years (yes, that’s a record, applause!) it’s still us. Her and me. Me and her. Us. We. And it makes me happy.

 
My new friends here in Lund make me happy. Many of them will be leaving soon, because that is how it goes in science: projects of a year, 2 years – people come and people go as the seasons change. It is hard for me, I like to build up something durable, friendship that lasts, and I find it not so easy to invest in a relationship which you know will end in 2 months. But that’s what I’m here to learn (well… partly) and judging by the people I’ve already met, I’m sure I will meet many more, interesting, lovely new friends.

I love snow! I admit – I had forgotten all about how wet and cold it can be if you actually have to wait for an hour to catch the bus after a Lady Gaga concert at 1 am, but there are few things that give me such pleasure as taking a long walk through a snowy landscape on a freezing clear blue sky-morning. There is something about the serenity of it that is soothing, and calming. So I was very happy when yesterday I woke up and saw the snow whirling from the sky… it only lasted a day, and I am so looking forward to the thick blankets of snow I hope will be covering Lund soon – and long. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to ski again this year … . Now thát would make me happy.

Dancing the Lindy hop in Atascadero, Californi...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned my love of dancing before, but just in case I didn’t: I LOVE dancing. Tomorrow will be my last class of Lindy Hop this semester, which I’ve been dancing as a lead (never like a guy to tell me what to do :) ), and while it’s becoming more and more challenging, I’m already looking forward to the second series next year. For those who don’t know Lindy Hop: Wikipedia and YouTube are your best guides. The best thing is you can dance solo jazzroutines, if you like, or grab a partner – anything goes. Also: it is one of the few partner dances where the girl actually also has a say (unlike the stiffer ballroom dances I have done before). I love watching, I love the jazzroutines and I love the partner-Lindy, there is just so much joy to be found and variations are endless. So if you like dancing and haven’t done it yet: do Lindy Hop. You’ll love it. I promise.

“From November 10 to 20: Change your profile picture by a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do likewise. Why this game? So we can see a real invasion of childhood memories on Facebook!”
I am normally not one to follow Facebook-statuses… but I did this time, and so did many of my friends. And it indeed brought some great childhood memories back.

 
(For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.)

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A tale from the road

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My apologies for leaving you all post-less last weekend, but I wasn’t exactly in the mood for blogging due to the circumstances that sent me home unexpectedly, and neither did I have time to prepare some scheduled posts – but for now regular posting is back! (well, at least until the end of the month)

As I said, I had to return home unexpectedly last weekend. And I took the train. From Lund. To Ghent.

A 17 hour journey*.

To this moment I have no idea why exactly I chose the train. It wasn’t that much cheaper (although, to say it with Tesco: every little helps!). Or actually… T told me to take the train. So I did.

And it started out great – the first train was 15 minutes late. Not when I got on, but for some reason or another, it stopped every 10 minutes. Without there being a train station. We stopped on the øresund-bridge, we stopped before getting into the tunnel, we stopped when we got out, … honestly, this train had issues. I was starting to fear I’d miss my connection and wasn’t exactly thrilled by the idea of missing my grandfather’s funeral because of a train with issues. So once in Copenhagen I started to run – well, you know, the kind of run-hop-walking you generally do when you’re in a hurry but got a big backpack on your back and a full handbag on your front which bounces along happily. The platform was found easily enough, but this was the longest train I ever saw (not really… I saw a Guinness Book attempt for the longest train of over 70 wagons… but for the sake of this post: it was loooooong) and my coach was the very last one. And when I finally got there, I wish I hadn’t.

The wailing which greeted me coming from the train was just… mind-blowing. Think a 2-year-old which has been taken its lollipop, only this was an adult. And I’m pretty sure she wasn’t going to stop even if you gave her 10 lollipops. She was sitting in a couchette with her husband and 3 children, and was completely freaking out. The conductor was in there with them, trying to calm her (and her kids, which were getting really upset because, well, their mother was upset), so I wiggled my way past to try and find my couchette, hoping it would be as far away as possible from noise. It wasn’t. In fact, in passing the conductor I had already passed my spot.

It was there.

The one remaining seat in the couchette occupied by HER.

Please, no, please don’t tell me I have to spend 12 hours in a tiny couchette with a freaked out woman and her 3 kids. She has probably a very good reason to be upset and I’m a kind, tolerant person but please…

And then they got out. For whatever reason the lady had decided she would not continue her journey and she got out, her 3 kids and husband following her silently. I couldn’t believe it – not only did I not have to share a couchette with Mrs. Wail, I GOT A WHOLE COUCHETTE FOR MYSELF! Ah, bliss … .

And then they got back in. Apparently 3 ticket guys combined had been able to convince her to still take the train (strangely, her husband did not say a singly soothing word to his wife, let alone give her a hug or a kiss, rather he seemed embarrassed by the whole situation).

No… please… no… .

Fortunately, both the lady and the conductor had the same idea – it wouldn’t be healthy for me to spend the night in her company. Pfieuw…. for a second, I thought I would be assigned a private bed, since the couchettes seemed pretty much full, but I ended up sharing with two Croation women which fell asleep as soon as they found their seats.

The Thalys was late. And the train to Ghent was late. But I was home. And sometimes, that’s enough.

* For the sake of comparison, Copenhagen-Brussels takes 1h20 with the plane – 6 hours door-to-door.

The new kid in town

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So, here I am. All by myself. And I don’t know anybody. Which was painfully pointed to me by the lady in The Phone House when I wanted to buy a Swedish SIM-card. Just something, the cheapest. “What network do the people you know have?” Welleuhm…

At the corner of the first floor, there's me!

Still, I think I might get used to this town. I categorically refuse to let it be my home – my home is back in Ghent. But this could be my second home. Lund is a splendid city (well, as far as I’ve seen it, that is), very green and cosy. The walk from here to the city centre (some 10-15 mins?) is almost literally a stroll in the park, passing from one old and stately university building to another. Simply beautiful. Obviously, with the sun out today was a beautiful day, which always helps to see the best of the city, but still I’d say the average age is around 25-30, and on my short walk I heard English, German, Swedish (well, I’m supposing it was Swedish) and Italian. I need to get a bike, though, I’m not gonna walk that distance (notice how the “short walk” has suddenly become an insurmountable distance?) anytime I wanna go grocery shopping.

By the way, on that grocery shopping… I need an iPhone (there I go again). No, seriously! Either that or a decent Swedish dictionary. No, on second thought, a Swedish dictionary won’t do. Fillmjolk, statfill, … I just want semi-skimmed milk! It was Croatia all over again. I do admit, most packaging is bilingual. Swedish/Norwegian. Not helping! And thus I need an iPhone. To be able to choose between semi-skimmed and whole milk, to understand the error message given by the self-scanning machine (the guy supervising had to come to my rescue TWICE), to be able to read the instructions on my frozen meal (thank Larry Page and Sergey Brin for Google Translate), … Indispensable, that little thingie.

Or maybe I should just learn Swedish.