So although I’ve whined and complained about the dark, I have actually had a fantastic Fall and thought it best that I tell you this explicitly so you don’t think I’m a cranky person. Because I promise I’m not!!
Firstly the number one thing that keeps me happy is my classmates and friends. Obvious, right? True. But I’m a sap and like to make sure they know they are special to me. I have been so happy to meet everyone in my class and they are all fabulous contributions to humanity and make my life better every day. It also helps that I love them because I do see them every day. From 9-5. Every day of the week. And sometimes I even CHOOSE to see them after class AND on weekends! So that MUST mean they are pretty special.
Secondly I am not a cranky old lady because I have invested in a gym membership. Invested is the right word to use as it cost me and arm and a leg for this year-long pass but it has already paid itself back in the number of good moods I’ve been in despite challenging days (everyone around me is appreciative of this). The summer months are WONDERFUL for running and generally doing activities outside. Stockholm is quite pro-cycling and the outdoor activity level of people here is quite high, they are always outside or being awesomely active that it makes you want to be a great physically active specimen yourself. So that part isn’t hard. But you can’t reeeeeally do this all year long, unless you have a very flexible school schedule (which I do not) that gives you free hours during the day when there it is light out and don’t mind the frigid air and tearing off layers as you warm up. This is not something I’m into so I bought a gym pass, like a lot of my classmates. We are all happier people because of it 🙂 So I do that a lot…
In between classes and studying and such we like to find fun cheap ways to entertain ourselves. This usually means a potluck dinner party at someone’s house since that isn’t too expensive. Stockholm can burn a hole in your pocket at lightning speed if you’re not careful!! On such event was Can-Mercian thanksgiving, which was sort of kind of smack dab in the middle of Canadian and American thanksgiving, capturing both events (don’t ask, I don’t know why we have to have different dates for the same event) in one dinner! Since I’ve never cooked a turkey before, I thought that doing it in a foreign country for the first time was the super best idea I’ve ever had. So I google translated what a turkey was, bought a 5.3kg bird, and spent all day checking and re-checking the recipes to make sure the bird, stuffing, gravy and pumping pie (!!) weren’t burnt. Luckily I have awesome roommates and they helped and kept me from insanity and everyone who came brought a side dish and it was by far the best thanksgiving I’ve hosted 🙂 it’s the only one I’ve ever hosted but so far the best one! It’s funny how your traditions from home mean so much more when you’re abroad, I don’t think I’ve ever made this much of a deal out of thanksgiving but this year I was all over it and it was a really nice piece of home.
Another event has been the watching of football, and by this I mean what Europeans call football, aka soccer to me. Sweden unfortunately us out now but we had a great time watching them play Portugal (close games!) and it was yet another reason to have a potluck!!
I don’t have any pictures for this but I have a few friends who are a bit nuts about rugby and there is an Irish pub on Gamla Stan that plays the rugby games Sunday or Saturday afternoon. Not that I remotely follow rugby at all, but it is a nice atmosphere to get caught up in and to be honest, really funny to hear English, Australian, Irish, and New Zealand accents all around me! Not that Britain is really home home but it is still a reminder of familiar things and something I really enjoy doing. It’s a nice afternoon activity with friends, cozy and warm and friendly 🙂
I may be jumping around a bit with the timeline of my autumn but on November 1st it is All Saints Day here in Sweden (we don’t celebrate it at home) and some lovely KI students organized for us all to meet at the cemetery and walk around. The cemetery was all lit up with candles and it was beautiful! Some people even lit lanterns and let them go into the air 🙂 despite being one of the first cold nights in Stockholm, it was something I’d never done before and a lovely sight.
Now that fall has been so wonderful, winter is allowed to come now 🙂