Friday, September 25, 2009

Gävle! Waterloo!

well, once again i find myself in a country that speaks a language that i do not understand. not a single word. well, at some point last night somebody taught me to say "cheers", but after many cheers-ing, i forgot. this situation is worse than dutch though. i don't even know how to pronounce the name of the town i'm in (apparently it's yav-leh, rather than gavel like i thought), nor do i know what to do about all the extra little symbols the Swedes put over their vowels.

still, i was excited to go to a country that i'd never been to before. would it be full of snow and blonde girls dressed in christmas elf costumes? would everything look like an Ikea display room? would i get to have some swedish meatballs?

well, sweden's been keeping me pretty busy since i arrived here yesterday - mainly busy converting swedish kronas to euros in my head. i'm staying with my girl friend Sinead, who i met while i was in Kamloops, a totally amazing character, a piercing artist/ belly dancer / geomatics student at the University of Gävle / general awesome person.

the first thing i noticed was that once again, i had not packed properly for the weather. i don't know why it is such a surprise to me that Sweden is cold, and like a non-Canadian idiot i only packed a hoodie. it's certainly no Belgium here. the second thing i noticed on the train ride over was all the nature...actual natural nature. i guess because the climate is similar to Canada's, they have similar greenery here, and after spending all my time in manmade Amsterdam, i remembered how much i missed the wilderness. and then, i remembered that i'm allergic to nature. so, i can't report on what sweden smells like because my nose is plugged up and i always look like i'm crying. it's Victoria all over again.

we went out to the Pubes last night, which is what the students call the neighbourhood bar here (it's actually called Pubenpuben), where i tried some swedish (i think?) cider and chatted with an assortment of swedes, germans, and finnish folks. Sinead also introduced me to The Dance, i guess their version of the Macarena or the chicken dance. i was very impressed at how an entire bar of beer drinkers could suddenly perfectly coordinate their dance moves. pretty amazing.

after the bar, we randomly crashed somebody's party, where the house was so packed, you could barely breathe. a kid was deejaying in a dark room using youtube. the german boys were drinking tall thin glasses of pink margaritas with a relish that comes from coming from a country, i guess, where men can drink tall thin glasses of pink margaritas while fully confident in their masculinity. we were all having a good time until the cops were called in to throw everyone out - sinead and i snuck out and went home, sneaky as cats.

and then, sometimes you wake up the next morning groggily and discovered you have inhaled an entire bag of potato chips in your sleep.

i'm going to go into town now to hunt for ABBA. must resist the urge to shop.