It’s been ages since my last blog, so much has happened, were to start!
After I returned from Spain I moved out of student accommodation and into an apartment with a Aussie and his Swedish girlfriend. Summer didn’t kick in until July really; however we went to the beach a couple of times in June. Halmstad is a total summer town and the population swells over June, July and August! The nightclubs swell and it’s a big buzz in Halmstad and Tylosand (Sweden’s Ibiza you could say).
Mid July I headed off to Hong Kong and Thailand. Hong Kong trip was to help out an old employer and I flew down to Thailand to meet up with my sister. It was great to get some surfing and sun in after months out of the ocean!
Once I returned from Asia I went straight to Warsaw in Poland. My Swedish girlfriend was working there for a few months over summer and it was a great opportunity to see another culture than Sweden. I spent two months living in Warsaw and it was amazing! I totally fell in love the city. The culture is amazing and the people so friendly. Drinks and dining out was so cheap compared to Sweden and Australia by that matter. I think we out 6 nights a week usually at our favourite sushi place. The night clubs were totally cool with such a different atmosphere to Sweden, the Polish know how to party and drink VODKA!
It was sad to leave Poland and head back to school in Halmstad but that’s what I am here for. I’m now spending some time in Helsingborg where my girlfriend lives. In Helsingborg you can see Helsingor, Denmark across the channel and it’s about $10 for a return ticket. Last saturday we headed to Copenhagen (1hr by train from Helsingor) for the day to shop and have lunch.
This is what I really love about Europe; it’s only a hop skip and jump to another country, culture and language. I’ve only got a couple of months left now, so I am just trying to make the most out of my experience. Before I know it I will be back on the coast and at USC for my last semester.
Spending a birthday and Easter away from always makes me kinda homesick. My new Swedish friends however helped me keep homesickness at bay, with the help of a little Pask Most (Swedish Easter drink).
Glad Pask (Happy Easter) is Sweden is more of a big deal than a home. Families all get together for the weekend and eat typically Swedish food such as meatballs, salmon and sill. All the trees in the town have colorful chicken feathers intertwined in the branches making them very colorful. This gives a real festival feeling.
The Swedes don’t really give chocolate molded Easter eggs as we do in Australia however have these large plastic eggs which they fill with a variety of chocolates and candy.
I was lucky enough to combine my birthday (grattis på födelsedagen) with a Swedish friend of mine. It was a cool pre-party then we all headed to Roberts (a local café which turns into a nightclub once a month). I like that about Sweden things aren’t always as they seem. Cafés sell alcohol and sometimes becomes a bar on particular days of the month. It would be weird at home going to coffee club on a Saturday night to party. The most interesting thing I found when Swedes sing you happy birthday you have to sit and they stand over you it’s a different feeling.
I had a great night and my friends helped me feel better about turning 26.
I’m off to Spain at the end of the month and hopefully get some warm weather it’s still around max +10 here.
The past few months have been an adventure, Perth, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Prague and now settled in at my new home in Halmstad, Sweden. It’s spring now and still bitterly cold. I’ve never experienced such cold weather but enjoying the benefits that come along with it, such as snowboarding and hot chocolates.
The snow is starting to melt and I am now starting to be able to see the true landscape of the area. The town I live in Halmstad is a small summer town. It’s quiet during the winter apart from the large international student population. It’s a real melting pot here, I’ve made so many friends from around Europe. I’ve learnt almost as such about mainland European traditions and customs as I have Swedish. However, as the International school is kept away from the Swedish student population, I have made a real effort to make friends with Swedish people. Now have some good Swedish friends to hang with. Being Australian in Sweden has its perks. Everyone in Sweden is fascinated with warm weather and surfing.
The university work is different than Australia, you do two classes for half the semester then the other two in the second part. This makes the classes intense but short. I’ll be also starting night school shortly studying Swedish. Nearly everyone in Europe can speak at two languages and it’s a real motivation to learn another language. However everyone speaks great English in Sweden thanks to American TV and their school system. My ‘Swedlish’ however is coming along and I can now order drinks and the bar and coffee shop two important forms of communication.
There is always something going on here party wise, and plenty of people who are keen to travel on the weekends. Next month I am heading to Stockholm for my birthday celebrations with some French, Brazilian, Swiss and Dutch friends. Then off to Barcelona late April with a Swedish friend who is also keen for some sun!
It’s exam period now so I better knuckle down and get some study done!