Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Autumn in Sweden

Now the first day of winter has passed, I feel the sudden urge to reflect upon my autumn time here in Lund, Sweden (since I'm identifying with a sage, I might as well act as zen as one). I should probably include a disclaimer here.

In this post you will be confronted by what some whisperingly refer to as Real Life. You know, what those filthy casuals in your guild talk about when they think you are not listening (while you're AFK getting another Mountain Dew). So yeah, Real Life. Breaking news: I have one!

If you are the type that gets an allergic reaction from falling leaves, groans at picturesque towns and can't stand images that do not contain polygons, this would be a good time to alt + tab back into your game.

This is my favourite building in Lund: the university library that looks as if it has been taken out of Harry Potter. The building turns from green to red to yellow over the course of autumn. At the moment of writing the vegetation is dead, but on the picture it's still shining in all its glory.

The autumn has been characterized by two extremes for me: on the one hand a lot of pain and stress due to heavy university study load and bad news about my father's health; on the other hand joy because of Lund being simply awesome. It's strange to feel all these things at once. I'll talk about the positive aspects here and will reserve the rest for a dedicated whine post (oh joy).

The last traces of autumn in my neighbourhood, captured with my crappy phone

I still feel incredibly lucky with our apartment. First off because of its location. The studio turned out to be located at the most southern part of Lund, allowing me to take the bike to the dig site in Uppåkra each day (15 minutes)! That saved me one hour of travelling with public transport and a lot of energy - probably the reason I could take part in the majority of the excavation (which was awesome, by the way). 

It is also just 15 minutes cycling to the archaeology department (in the other direction) from my home. Cycling is so much healthier and faster than taking public transport (which I have to do in Amsterdam), so I love this. The cycling route goes through the beautiful historical centre of Lund (on which more in a later post) - poor me.

But that's not all: the shops are just 100 meters away! This probably doesn't sound very relevant to you, but for me it means I can shop myself more often instead of having to ask Conrad to do it for me when I don't have much energy or am in pain. 

And then the best part: the local folk dancing club turned out to be in a neighbouring building. No, I'm not being sarcastic. No bad words about folk dancing allowed on this blog! Turn up the in-game music and the average raid boss is pretty much a synchronized character dance, so it's not all that different. (Imagine that game music would be synced with boss mechanics - wouldn't that be hilarious? But I digress.) Dancing is a great exercise for me, it's amazing for my Swedish (I'm the only non-Swede) and I don't have to worry about the energy needed for getting there, since it's so close.

F.l.t.r.: Gathering nodes edible plants; troopers guarding our bed; my work space.

Real Life decorating

Here some pictures of our apartment that I finally finished decorating in appropriate style. I've never lived in such a stylish (not to mention dirt-free and tidy) studio before! I wonder if all that practice decorating in Star Wars: The Old Republic finally paid off? 

I bought some Star Wars: The Force Awakens posters because - duh - Star Wars and because they were dirt cheap. I love all the Star Wars merchandise that's out now because of the upcoming movie - if only I had a job so I could afford all the stuff... I also bought some plants to compensate for the lack of balcony jungle.

And last but not least: this is our gaming space, including Nora the gaming bear. Above the PC you can just about see a foot of a stormtrooper, part of yet another Star Wars poster (one cannot have too many) reminding us which game to log in to (because we would totally forget). There's also a rich supply of tea, which is our gamer fuel while playing (say what you want, but it's a lot healthier than Mountain Dew!).

I was way too busy with my studies to take more pictures of Lund in the autumn, so you'll have to take my word for it when I say it was absolutely beautiful. The next couple of posts will be about gaming, but I'll certainly check in from Lund again before I return to the Netherlands. I've been thinking about writing about winter in Lund, my challenges here (aka the "whine post") or archaeology - let me know if you have a favourite.


  1. "Let me know if you have a favorite."

    What cruel fate is this, forcing us to choose just one? So happy to hear you're able to get around so easily but have so much comfort and style right at home (and dancing just next door!).

    Hard to believe the adventure is nearing its end already. My thoughts go out to your father in the hopes of some comfort despite his health!

    1. The "What cruel fate is this" comment made me chuckle! Thank you for the kind words.

  2. I am with Daniel Pavlick on this. Don't make us choose! Just post about all three topics!

    Anyway, seems like you got pretty lucky in the living department. Not only it is a nice place it is conveniently close to everywhere (that matters) too!

    As for all that decorating practicing in Star Wars influencing in real life... quite possible. I certainly have been thinking a lot more about decorating in real life since I got into decorating in Everquest 2 years ago. I just haven't tried anything in real life yet. Unlike in game decorating in real life can get quite expensive if an idea doesn't work out. >_> <_<

  3. I absolutely love Sweden! Thanks to my dad who have lived for a few years in Stockholm, I had the chance of visiting what I would call one of the most tidy, organized and cool countries to live in. Your pictures are very beautiful (long life to photos taken with crappy phones!), I like especially the one of the university library which really has a Harry Potter glow about it.
    And I confirm, one has NEVER enough of Star Wars posters :D

  4. Ahh, looks beautiful. I have never been disappointed with my trips to Europe. It all seems so beautiful. And I agree with the others, don't make us choose.

  5. Oh I love the photo's now I really would like to visit Lund. I really love the university building. And your appartement looks so nice, Star Wars poster :D, :D (I still have to hang mine :P). And I have to agree your gaming space looks freaky clean, I mean it is unbelievable how clean it is :P. It looks very nice though (and more Star Wars :D). And as the rest I will not choose a topic everything you write is awesome :).

  6. I agree with everyone above that your flat looks incredibly clean... like something from an Ikea catalogue almost, only with more Star Wars. :D

    And more posts are welcome either way.

    1. The funny thing is that I'm known for my chaos and untidiness among my friends at home, while my friends here are all like "OMG you're so tidy!". Not sure how to categorize myself anymore.

  7. Sorry to hear about your Father, Rav.

    I'm jealous of that library; I could get lost in there for hours.

    As for folk dancing, what type? Yes, I'm a Yankee, so to me "folk dancing" can mean dancing in the style of any one of a whole bunch of nationalities. And while I've got two left feet, I can appreciate good dance when I see it. (Outside of Country music line dancing, that is, although that's more due to the sound of Country music itself than anything else.)

    Oooo, that reminds me... When do you think you'll be heading out on a dig next? In the Summer or Spring? Yes, I'm living vicariously through you, and even the research that goes on prior to a dig would be much more interesting than what I'm doing right now for work.

    1. I'm doing traditional Swedish folk dances. Something new for me as well (I could only do a polska prior to moving here), but I'm picking it up quickly. Sweden has a huge traditional dance culture, so I can't really explain it in a few seconds, but here's a movie of a song that I love (played on the nyckelharpa, of course) that will show it's quite different from line dancing:

      As for the dig... I don't know if there will ever be another dig for me considering my health. This one was very taxing to me and I've tried to enjoy it as if it was my last. Who knows, I might be involved with more digs in the future if I manage to find a job in the sector, but for now it costs a bit too much energy while I also have to study.

      I'm sorry to hear your job isn't very interesting at the moment. I'll make sure to write a post about the archaeological work I've done the past months then with you in mind. It's good to hear I have at least one reader who won't fall asleep halfway (unless I really mess up)! ;)

    2. Well, I'm sure people would look at my job description and think "Oooo... awesome!!" but it's not nearly as exciting is sounds.

      Lots and lots and LOTS of paperwork.

      (And no, I don't talk about my job --or what it is-- openly because of the nature of the work. And non-disclosure agreements.)

      That aside, I really liked the clip! I think you've got your work cut out for you, but it looks like it should be fun!

    3. You do realize that only increases the enigma, right? I'm now fantasizing about a job as private detective, or secret state services... criminality... (*cough* "public relations" *cough* - guess that would fall under a 'non-disclosure agreement') ;)

  8. Congrats on getting the apartment! And it's awesome that Conrad gets to room with you. The pictures are gorgeous (despite the crappy phone camera:P) and I can't wait to see more. You're right, that library looks straight out of Hogwarts! I've always had a soft spot for libraries, I can see why that one is your favorite building in Lund<3

  9. That library!! I'm swooning over that photo alone. The apartment looks great.

  10. Wow, so many comments. Thank you all so much! I hope you guys are very very sure about wanting all of the planned Sweden posts - especially the whine post!! :P


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