Spring is here! Well, not officially, I haven’t seen trees blossom yet, but yesterday I found some snowdrops: a sure sign of winter’s grip loosening.  I went to read in the garden in the middle of the Kantorsgatan campus today. It was nice and sunny (12°C!), but after a couple of minutes I realised the ground wasn’t as dry as to contribute to a perfect afternoon.

Not having a full time course is a lot of fun, and it doesn’t feel wierd at all. I highly recommend it for the last period as now people’s social lives are blooming (or is it just mine catching up?). Every evening there’s some event: a live band, a pub crawl, a dinner party or just friends meeting up for a drink. We had a kroppkakor gasque (and your faithful Exchange student did not fail to work at that one as well).

So kroppkakor are potato dumplings: a traditional delicacy of Småland (the region Kalmar belongs to). They are potatoes stuffed with pork and eaten with cream and, you guessed it, lingonberry jam. It seems that most of the traditional Swedish recepies involve meat, potatoes, a sauce, and lingonberry jam (“That’s just what we have,” a Swedish collegue explained). So here we were (the gasque staff), expecting enticing yellow balls of pleasure. Imagine our surprise as we are presented with unrecognisable lumps of grey colour. Well, we tried them, and I can tell you that they are great. However, regardless of my curiosity for the matter, I never discovered the reason behind their traditional grey colour.

Some people from a course I took last semester organised an international foods evening. Who knew there was a party hall in Kantorsgatan? I didn’t. Mysteries about Kantorsgatan discovered so far: there is a table tennis room, a party hall, and a gym, all hidden in different places underground in the campus behind locked doors, for which you can have the key in exchange for a deposit.

Anyway, that was a great idea. We were around 20 people and as everybody brought enough for a single meal, we had plenty of food for everyone. On of the great things about being an exchange student is that you get to pick random courses rather than follow a single programme. As a result, in each course you meet new people and end up with different circles of friends: friends from the Swedish summer course, friends from the nation, friends from each course that you have taken after. It’s not a bad deal.

I wonder what else from the past week I should mention: perhaps the growing interest in innebandy as we have more people showing up each week? Or maybe the success of Lyssna at Kalmar, where I saw an amazing funk band with lots of energy, having a glass of wine with some friends, talking in between songs? How about the walks around Gränby and the bird sounds in the morning? I feel that these are times worth being missed later.

Categories: Uppsala

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