Seventh week – My Scandinavian semester

Welcome to week seven! Autumn is here, which means perfect weather for walking and exploring all the nature Stockholm has to offer.

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

Day 47: Comedy

October 3

We didn’t have any Outdoor LLC activities on Monday, but instead put on our party hats and went to celebrate my friend’s birthday at Big Ben Pub in Sodermalm! I can’t fully recommend it as it smelled like feet in there, but our server was friendly and the burger was good. After eating we went down to the comedy show, but they were speaking in Swedish… We should have taken that as a sign and just left, but we thought it might be funny, and we were at the back of the room. But of course the comedian sees our party hats and knows he has his next track. He sees us, says something in Swedish, and the whole room turns to look at us and now I’m in my worst nightmare. We laughed awkwardly and said we don’t speak Swedish, he says something else in Swedish to the crowd, they LAUGH, and we just stand there like absolute jerks. He said he asked us if we were a bachelorette party, and we said no, it’s our friend’s birthday, then he AGAIN spoke to the crowd in Swedish and they laughed . After that, we zigzagged so as not to prolong being the butt of a joke we were unaware of. 🤡

On the bus home, our group, with diminished dignity but still proudly wearing our party hats, encountered this old man who was sitting there, gesturing and smiling at us. He then retained his phone as if asking to take our picture – 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 offer came through. Guess the comic wasn’t the only Swede who liked our props. So now an old man has a picture of us on his phone. I wonder what he’s doing now.

Day 48: School Doodle

October 4

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

Day 49: Psychogeography

October 5

In my contemporary Nordic art class, we learned psychogeography which essentially 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 1950s French theorist who coined the term and practiced it with a group called the Situationists who explored the concept via derive which, in a nutshell, is about taking an aimless, mapless stroll through a city for hours on end, letting yourself be lured by terrains or feelings or WHATEVER as long as you let your surroundings be your guide. So that was our mission! Wander “aimlessly” through Stockholm and document everything your senses pick up, how you feel in certain areas, etc., and we’ll end up creating 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 out from Hornstull and let the town be our guide — here are some photos below to give you the idea. travel essentials! Afterwards, I realized that my themes were centered around graffiti, humanity in nature, nature in humanity and the ground under 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 delicious so I recommend. Then I took the pendeltåg (commuter train) to Sollentuna where other DIS students live to visit a friend. It was funny because their accommodation looks like this distant and foreign land, so my friends jokingly asked to send back photos 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 which passes every 20-30 minutes at this time of night. We didn’t wait very long to see him coming our way from the other side. We think it will go up to the front of the station where we are, but no, it stops at the other end, barely crossing the station where no one else gets on. So we start functioning towards her who seems to be miles away. We finally get closer, make eye contact with the conductor – who’s no doubt been watching us run towards him this whole time – then the doors close and it takes off. It was actually comical. We waited another 20 minutes for the next one so I can’t give the Stockholm commuter train 5 stars.

Day 50: Fotografiska (again)

October 6

Thursday my Nordic contemporary art class went to Fotografiska (2nd time for me) but got to see a new exhibition with Hans Gedda’s work! Hans is a Swedish photographer who has photographed true icons like Nelson Mandela and Andy Warhol as well as incredible self-portraits and nature shots. Check out a few 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 it was everything from Old MacDonald to We Didn’t Start the Fire. Our group basically took the tune to “Friday” by Rebecca Black and put food/meal words into it – absolutely not a direct translation even though we do know how to say “Fredag, Fredag”. Our band came last and were apparently a crowd favourite, perhaps because of the grossly addictive stuff Rebecca put into her mix of songs which led to this song poisoning the radio for months and ending up in the air. settle in the furrows of everyone’s brain. Anyway, see some of our ingenious lyrics below!

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

Day 51: Ladybugs & Lab

October 7

Friday night after the lab, I put on my headphones and took another walk through Stockholm! I sat and people-watched/doodled outside a very pretty church in Östermalm, and also made friends with a ladybug. I walked to Gamla Stan to see the sun go down before it started to drizzle and took the metro the rest of the way back.

Another great thing about Stockholm is how safe I feel walking around alone and on the metro, even with headphones on – something I wish never return to the United States

That night I went out with friends and had fun ☺️

Day 52: New furry friends

October 8

This week is really about enjoying the outdoors in Stockholm! On Saturday, I was out and about in Södermalm, sitting at Monteliusvägen and Skinnarviksberget which are two incredible views that I have already mentioned on the blog. i have to meet a lot of dogs, and by meet I mean approached by the dog himself because I wouldn’t mind a Swede asking to pet his dog. I was also petting a lonely cat who was clean and friendly, then it bit me (playfully?), which I got on video, so that’s fine. I’m fine and not infected…probably.

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far ☺️ Stay tuned for the next article where I’ll tell about the long affective neuroscience study trip to Paris!

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