October 25, 2004

Never leave burning candles unattended

I just tried to post a comment on my own blog. Apparently my "comment could not be submitted due to questionable content." I'm not sure if it was the F_word (Fionnaigh) or the mention of Weir House food.

Re. Weir House - Mostly I was just enthralled to be served up three meals a day. I've never been particularly good at regular food preparation. And Fionnaigh? How is it that you have better Swedish than me?

Today I am blogging to avoid things I should be doing, like my Swedish homework. I haven't blogged for a while, having made a brave attempt to instead be doing the things I should be doing. This has got me, of course, absolutely nowhere.

Quick recap:
On Thursday, the day of the week where we 'choose' our classes for the next week (Pah! We sit around while someone come and tells us which classes we can take), I asked to change class. I've been incredibly bored with repeating the same things ad infinitum. I was told that I can't change until next week, and unfortunately my persuasive powers are greatly limited when I have to talk Swedish.

That's puttting it kindly. Basically all of my redoubtable wit and sparkling elegance with words is reduced to a five-year old's 'but I don't want to'. I have new-found sympathy for five-year-olds.

As of Friday, I have come up with a new plan. Instead of sitting quietly in class as we repeat last week's homework, I will become Little Miss Smartarse - but we've already done that . . . ohh ooh mee mee, I know the answers (think Hermione from Hary Potter). I'm hoping that they will get bored with me and want to shunt me on and out into the working world.

One of the teachers came up to me in Studiehall today, and said 'you laugh a lot' (in Swedish, of course). I said "Okay, sorry" (see what I mean about the wit and sparkling elegance?). Then he said, "no no it's good". I'm not quite sure what he was getting at, but of course I noticed how often I laughed for the next hour. It was rather a lot. It is a funny place. Who wouldn't laugh?

It's Ramadan at the moment (no eating from sunset to sundown, if you're Muslim). As it turns out, about half the school is Muslim. I can see that things might be rather grim for them, but I am revelling in the echoing space and lack of lines for seats in the cafeteria.

Kungsgatan is very lovely at the moment. The whole avenue of trees has turned vivid yellow, and the ground is covered in golden leaves. It's yellow up and yellow down and yellow all around. It's a bit like tripping into an alternative universe.

In other gossip today, I went to see Sky Captain and the World of Tommorow on Friday with Jenny. I enjoyed it (although Jenny didn't so much). It has a very unusual aesthetic, a mixture of old movie and old comic book (apparently all computer generated - cor, what they can do with 'puters these days). Plus, of course, it had Jude Law in it. :)

It was fun to have drinks with Jenny too. We visited the English-speaking pubs and competed on who could tell the difference between Swedish people and foreigners on sight. I fail miserably, as it turns out. One woman I was sure was of Pacific Island descent turned out to be from Småland (yes, thank you Jenny for asking!). Humph.

We also made a brave attempt to go to a Samurai exhibition on the weekend. Unfortunately it had moved to the Sjöfarts Museet without telling anyone (okay, I admit it, I only put that name in there because it amuses me). Instead we saw an exhibition about Stone Age people and Vikings. I learnt a lot of terribly useful new vocabulary.

Posted by eithne at 08:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 12, 2004

Frost on the grass

I love Stone Soup. It's nice to hear some off the more off-beat NZ news. Like just now, learning from beautiful monsters that Tommy have a record out. Yay. Thanks to the interwebtional magic of Smoke CDs, now all the family can have one.

I've been listening to the mp3s online and feeling homesick, remembering dancing all crazy-like in Valve, while they jumped up and down singing about butterflies and gypsies. I haven't heard any of their music in years, but I still sometimes sing the song that goes 'I'm just like you, I just don't like you' (or something like that) to myself.

Another unremarkable day in grey Swedish-learning land. I despise institutions, and I particularly don't like eating in a canteen every day. I'm told that I have hostel-living to blame . . . which is odd, as I don't remember Weir House being all that bad on the food or institutionalisation front.

One would assume that my Swedish must be getting better with all this practice, but some days I really can't tell. Deep down, I suspect that all that is happening is that my English is getting worse.

Okay, I can see that I know a lot more words in Swedish. Now I know how to pluralise a remarkable number of nouns (you can't just bung an 's' on the end of a word). I know a lot of swear words. It just seems such a loooong loooong way from where I am now to being able to hold a conversation.

I'm also afraid that I'm turning into a big whinger. Det är många saker det är inte så bra, men jag måste lära något. That was my crap attempt at a sentence that means - There are lots of things that are not so good, but I must be learning something.

There was frost on the grass today, but it's not actually that cold. I'm not sure what this means. Is it dreadfully cold in the middle of the night? Should I be afraid? My first winter in two years...

Posted by eithne at 08:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 10, 2004

Moose attack

There was a moose in the supermarket today. Before you wonder even more about my sanity, it was stuffed (full size) and advertising bread.

I walked around the corner, shopping basket full of herbal tea and salad, to find a hairy colossus astride the shiny plastic-wrapped bread section. I stood there for a moment, mouth agape, before administering a sharp smack to the back of my head and telling myself this is a perfectly normal example of our crazy advertising-driven world. I'm still not sure. It was surreal.

There has been a bit of an extended blog break while I was in London and Edinburgh. As usual, while I was having fun, I was too busy to write about it.

It was such a delight to see everyone again. I packed a month's socialising into a week. We went on a fantastic weekend trip to Glen Etive, to stay in a Gemma bothy and tromple around the hills, dance and paint and generally have a good time in the mud. There was a leetle contretemps when Elske fell off a bridge in the rain and the dark, but she recovered quickly.

Then it felt like a very short time left in Edinburgh, with just one great night of pub gossiping. I was sad to leave Edinburgh. I know ít has the worst weather in the Nothern Hemisphere, but I still miss being there.

London was good too, staying with Suraya in Brixton (I like Brixton - it feels very cosmpolitan and lively after Sweden). I also met up with George and Kim (from New Zealand), after not seeing them for about a year and a half. They look surprisingly grown up. Is this what happens to friends with a paltry year's gap in acquaintance? Next thing you know we'll all have families and white picket fences.

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