graceless

Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Shaking up the Gene Pool

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2010 at 11:38 pm

The invention that REALLY broadened the gene pool, at least in Europe, was – in fact – the bicycle.

Truth.

Before it, dudes were more or less limited to the girls in their neighbourhood. Families didn’t move around much, since real estate was passed down and inherited each generation before the next, and real estate is, well, stationary.

Good thing this little sucker was invented. With it, men could travel and meet gals from other villages. My, this must have been exciting. We all know that new boys and new girls are always very exciting.

THE BICYCLE IS AMAZING! The Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics, you know 😉 !

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Malmo

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Sweden’s third largest city, a short train ride away from Lund. It was beautiful but SO COLD, when we arrived.

A lot of people ride bicycles here =) It’s like little Beijing! Way cleaner and less crowded though.

We were heading to Copenhagen but missed the train, so we came to Malmo instead. Arrived around noon and ran into Charlie, who lives in our corridor and left to party in Malmo the evening before.

Check out the European way of de-guilting the burger. We all got MaxBoxes here (read: Happymeals) and they came with tall Curious George glasses! Unfortunately, we almost didn’t recognize him as his name is Nicke Nyficken here.

We found some musicians and decided to join the parading band.

It was soooo cold here that even the fountain froze!  Does it happen in all cold places?? I’ve never actually been anywhere this cold.

And I found something through the window that reminded me of my beloved Gamma Phi Betas back home <3.

Here is the wheel of Malmo. It was gorgeous when it was all lit up at night. The city has been a bit lazy with it’s Christmas tree removal, but lucky for us because it was quite breathtaking, and you could skate underneath it on a rink that encircled it, but we didn’t.

Malmo was nice, but we mainly only got to see the shopping district (in which we passed 3 H&M’s).

The Swedish Semla

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2010 at 12:31 pm

This is a Scandinavian Semla, the epitome of a delicious european pastry. It’s basically the sweetest pastry ever, filled with almond paste and unsweetened whipped cream. Traditionally, it is eaten on Shrove Tuesday, before the fasting of Lent. But after the Protestant reformation, and fasting on Lent, the Semla became a tradition pastry that could be found in bakeries in Scandinavia between Christmas and Easter.

It is too sweet for my liking, actually, but Jason loves it.

P.S. Here is my new child kidnapping target. Yes, it is the boy who did the  Jason Mraz cover:

Older cellphone photos

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm

For some ridiculous reason, Jason’s Blackberry cord works for my Nokia phone… So I uploaded photos! They are from a few weeks back.

OH, HELLO, BALANCED BREAKFAST!

OH, HELLO, JACQUIE AND HER DELICIOUS SWEDISH HOT CHOCOLATE WITH A GIANT RAINBOW MARSHMALLOW THAT DOESN’T MELT!

AND CHOCOLATE CROISSANT!!

Here is Spencer with his new favourite candy bar.

And here is the candy store in Lund. It’s full of Swedish candy and I took one of everything I think I wanted, but I couldn’t be sure I wanted them because all the labels are in Swedish!!

Here is some of what I got. It looks like I stayed safe with things that look like chocolate and/or are cola flavoured.

I am both proud and a little embarrassed to release this photo. You see, Jason and I have a spending problem. It’s mostly Jason, and it mostly involves gimicky drinks. Here is our afternoon’s worth of spending, aka entertainment budget of the week.

That chocolate milk is seriously some pretty awesome stuff, though.

As if Sweden isn’t cold enough for me…

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Just got my confirmation in the email. I am going on a road trip to Russia in April! I think we are visiting Moscow and St. Pete’s, with a stop in Helsinki along the way. Obviously the cheap European booze has made me insane, because it is snowing like The Day After Tomorrow outside right now and I am for some reason still very excited about visiting Russia.

The visa application alone for Canadians is something ridiculous, like 120 EUR (read: $180CAD). But, who knows when my next opportunity to visit Finland and Russia will be, so screw it.

On a totally unrelated note, I am so sad about missing Gamma Phi formal and not being able to get formal champagne flutes, that I had to steal some from the Kronovall castle to console myself. =D

I don’t know how I’ll be transporting this back.

World’s (second) LARGEST IKEA!!

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm

WOOHOO!! IKEA is the world’s largest furniture retailer, founded by Ingvar Kamprad, who grew up on the farm Elmtaryd in his home parish, Agunnaryd of southern Sweden. It is renowned, of course, for selling flat-pack furniture at affordable prices. The company’s colours (blue and yellow) are also the national colours of Sweden. Their street signs are blue and yellow here too, and so are the ambulances. It had me wondering whether Canada’s signs and ambulances are red and white because they are our national colours? Coincidence? UNLIKELY!

So here is half of it:

And here is the cafeteria on the inside. Only about an eighth of it is shown.

And here is the feastiest of all IKEA feasts!! Salmon and pasta… the dinner of kings.

Not shown: Swedish hotdogs and frozen yogurt.

I bought a fantastic laundry hamper! It has hence been dubbed Squirt, after the juvenile sea turtle in Finding Nemo.

Oh, now we also have bedsheets.
And creme brulee scented candles.

Skoljmedel

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I don’t really do laundry when I’m at home. Thus, I don’t know how to buy laundry detergent, much less when everything is in Swedish. I was in the grocery store last week or so looking for laundry detergent. I decided to buy a bottle of orange detergent that had a mango/citrus scent, because who doesn’t want clothes that smell like mango and citrus??

So a few days later, Jason and I are in the laundry room and he is scolding me for not buying premium laundry detergent and fabric softener for his special tshirts. WHATEVER.

He pours the detergent into the detergent thing and we start our cycle.

Then, Jacquie comes to use the machine next to us and we lend her some detergent. We proceed to show her how to use the laundry machine because the instructions posted on the wall are in Swedish. It is then we realize from the sign that this “skoljmedel” stuff is supposed to go into the fabric softener thing. Lo and behold, my bottle of mango/citrus stuff says “skoljmedel” on it. FML.

We washed our week’s worth of laundry with fabric softener and now nothing is clean. But, it’s cleaner, having been through like an hour’s worth of cycling water…

Smatterings

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Jason is writing his 5 page geography essay about traffic.

I is super bored. Had a delicious dinner, with meatballs. Mmmmmmm yummy.

Today, I did grocery shopping. I never realized how expensive feeding yourself is!! Well, in my case, we are feeding two people. And it really helps that right now we are only paying one rent. But it is a lot of fun buying anything you want in the grocery store when you have been too lazy to sit down and actually lay out a food budget. I have bought a lot of brie and lemon soda and rice pudding and yoghurty drinks, and canned fish and cream cheese and prosciutto and crackers.

My diet here is way, way better than at home. The down side is that soon we are going to run out of money and are going to have to go home sooner =(. But this is okay, because food is important and is a catalyst for happiness.

Little town of Arhus

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2010 at 9:43 am

So there is this little town in southern Sweden, famous for producing liquor and ice cream.

I don’t know why I have so many photos of cemeteries. I think I have photos of like 3 different ones. But there was another cemetery at Arhus, and I took photos of that one too. I will spare the blog of more photos of gravestones, however. Here is the church.

And here is Jason with a naked bathing statue.

Here is the city center. It’s very small, very quiet, super quaint.

This house is beautiful!! I want to live here when I grow up!!

Just for kicks, here is a spooky cathedral in Kristianstad, another southern Swedish city.

Story has it that the Danish king was out on a hunting trip in southern Sweden back when this area belonged to Denmark, and he fell asleep under a tree. He dreamt about a big city surrounding a beautiful cathedral in the centre, and believed it was a sign from God. So, he built the city of Kristianstad (city of Christians).

Kronovall Castle

In Uncategorized on January 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm

We took a trip to Kronovall castle this weekend to relax from all our busy schoolwork (What schoolwork?!). On the drive there, I snapped this photo of a very typical looking Swedish countryside.

Here is the castle. Not as splendid as I’d imagined, but not too shabby.

Check out the moose head. The Duke lives here; I think he hunted the moose. But, the castle is also a hotel now.

They had some champagne for the guests.

He thinks he is some sort of hott stuff.

Some pure gold sphinxes, and some Baroque fancy shmancies on the 14th century ceiling.

A very exotic pineapple shaped chandelier.

And what castle doesn’t produce some wine?

And so there is a tunnel leading to the underground wine cellar.

And I saw my first stalagtites. View is partially obstructed by some guy’s big butt.

99 bottles of booze on the wall, 99 bottles of booze…

The wine guy, teaching us about champagne making.

Yeah, we splurged on a hotel room.

It was pretty grand.

And kind of beautiful.

And here is the nearby cemetery.

And this is the home of the source of some of my best young adult memories.

La fin!