My great achievement of today was drinking water, making pancakes and sleeping. And what other way to spend a Sunday afternoon when you’ve worked the Ostkaka the day before.

I’ve told you about gasques: formal dinners organised by the nations every once in awhile. Kalmar has 3 or 4, and the Ostkaka is the biggest one. Ost means cheese in Swedish, and kaka means…  you guessed it. Cake! So it’s a cheesecake gasque in which your starter’s a cheesecake with snapps, you main dish: cheesecake with champagne and more snapps, and your dessert: cheesecake with dessert wine.

Since everyone wants this to run smoothly, mistakes have been accounted for and we end up with a lot more of everything than we actually serve. The staff (a great team consisting of some of the most amazing people in Kalmar) eats the leftover cheesecakes in between courses, and in the end we go out with a glass of wine when the guests sing the ‘Thank you” song to the kitchen. And we also have a line replying “the kitchen doesn’t one to see another cheesecake!” in Swedish. Then it’s cleaning time: finishing the bottles.

We could hear all the songs that were being sung at each toast, which were a lot. It sounded so much better than at the mini-gasques I have attended, because almost everyone was Swedish and, strange as it seems, they all knew the melodies of the drinking songs and it wasn’t a problem for them to read the Swedish text as fast. That inspired me to try to learn a couple, so they gave me a free songbook. In the near future I’m going to go through some youtube videos with this educational purpose. I mean, why learn Swedish if you don’t know the drinking songs in the end?

So today I’m happily recovering, my wise planning has left nothing important to be done, so I can just browse the net and make decisions about next semester’s courses. I am having trouble fitting in the 150% that I’m allowed to… Maybe they’ll let me do an extra internet-based course? I know I might sound geeky, but hey, they’re offering to teach me really interesting stuff! And right now I’m technically taking 150% (the maximum, coming from Advanced Neurobiology, Swedish and Brain and Behaviour) and I can tell you; it’s not like I don’t have free time 😉

Also plotting and scheming my travel plans for next year. I think my adventurous self just needed a bottle of wine to return. My ideal year would include a St Petersburg trip in the Easter vacation, trips around Bulgaria ultimately leading to Istanbul in the summer, and sometime in the summer a possible neuroscience intership project. But a look through the window tells me these warm days are far away, and what’s relevant now is fika, fika, and more tea.

Categories: Uppsala

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