Monday, December 14, 2015

A Weekend in Gothenburg, Sweden

The weekend in Gothenburg was a nice mix of being out-and-about and relaxing in Kat's cozy apartment.

Kat lives in a condemned building, which is quite beautiful. It is historic and the owners chose to not sell it to the government when many buildings were torn down and newer buildings were put up. These older, more traditional buildings have been named as historical buildings now and restorations cannot be made. It's interesting. There are two apartments on Kat's floor and the two tenants share a toilet, which is in a small closet in the stairwell. The shower is in the basement and is shared by everyone in the building.

My first full day was quite rainy, so a trip to a museum was the perfect activity. Kat took me to the Sjofarts Museum (Sjofartsmuseet Akvariet). The museum was originally the maritime museum and is in an old shipyard, along the wharf. Many of the immigrants that left Sweden for America left from the port in Gothenburg. There is currently an exhibition called The American Line, which shows and tells people's stories of immigration.

The museum also contains an aquarium! I really liked the guy shown below... it's like he's giving Swedish fish kisses! Ha! (...mostly in reference to Swedish fish, the candies, which I love, and fish lips.)

I found Nemo!

Cute street decorated for the holidays.
The buildings along this street were very beautiful too - old and traditional.

We went up to the 23rd floor of one of the Gothia Towers for an incredible view of the city (and the Liseberg Amusement Park!). There is a restaurant as well as a bar on the floor and there is almost a 360-degree view. Beautiful.   : )

Fun reflection:

I had a 4-hour layover in the Paris airport:

Visiting Kat - Gothenburg, Sweden

For the Thanksgiving weekend, I went to see my friend Kat in Gothenburg, Sweden! It was a GREAT weekend.

Kat is a friend of mine from my time in Saigon, Vietnam. She moved to Florence during my first winter in Milan and stayed with me for a weekend when she first arrived. I then went to visit her in Florence that spring! This is the first time I've seen her since then. (Funny enough, looking at the two blog posts that I wrote about these visits with Kat in Italy, linked above, the first photo of each is very similar to one another -- if I had realized that before seeing her in Gothenburg, I would have made sure to have taken a third!)

It was so nice to see Kat again and have a weekend to catch up and hang out. I really enjoyed seeing Gothenburg. I like what I know of the Nordic countries... and I love their concept of 'cozy'.

My first evening, we went to see a friend of Kat's play in a show. 
I really enjoyed it! The venue was small and beautiful and the band was great!
Easy October

I liked this message on the baggage claim belt:

The perfect reading afternoon.
Rainy outside, cozy and festive inside.

The cute Kat, knitting while we had a cozy, rainy afternoon  : )

Coffee time with the Moomin mugs.  : )

Moomin is a comic book character in a Finnish cartoon. After my trip to Copenhagen last year, I purchased some of the Moomin books for my school library -- they've been very popular! The mugs are expensive but a very cute collectible.

Dinner my last night was a yummy schmorgesborg (there's a Swedish word for you!) of holiday treats. We had ginger snaps, gummy/marshmallow Santas, and traditional bread rolls. We also had a special holiday drink called Christmas Must, which is similar to Coca Cola but has a more flavorful taste (and is only sold around the winter holidays!).

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Where's the respect??

Layered and buttoned up for the winter weather this afternoon, I hopped on a bus for two stops since the bus' timing was perfect.

A man that got on at the same time began talking to me. I told him that I don't speak much Italian. Turns out, we got off the bus at the same stop. He hurried to catch up to me and kept trying to talk to me and ask me questions. ...Do you have a husband? ...A boyfriend? ...Why not?!

He asked me to go for a coffee with him, to which my answer was, "No." I then said goodbye to him (for the second time) and crossed the street at the upcoming crosswalk. THE GUY FOLLOWED ME. I was trying to be nice but seriously should have told him at that point to go away.

He continued talking to me and I continued telling him that I do not understand... I do not speak Italian. Thankfully, I veered away from him to go towards my building and once again said goodbye to the guy. At that point, he asked in Italian if he could "service me" and then followed up with one English word, "Sex?"

SERIOUSLY?! Has that ever worked?!


DuoLingo - Free Italian Lessons

I like the (free!) app, DuoLingo, for practicing Italian. It offers a variety of languages. I think it helps to have a bit of basic knowledge in a language before using DuoLingo but it's a great way to practice a foreign language and learn new vocabulary. The lessons take just a few minutes complete and there's a cute owl character that reminds you to practice each day.

Some of the phrases are funny and/or bizarre. I remember once translating a sentence into English and it turned out to be: There is a knife in my boot. (What?!?) Below are some of my recent favorites:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Lunch Date: Short Film

Garth Stein is a best-selling author. His novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, stayed on The New York Times best-seller list for 3 years! The director at my school loves this novel and contacted Garth last year. He is now set to be an author-in-residence at ASM for a week this February!

He seems to do it all: best-selling author, film producer, playwright, amateur racer, cook... etc.

Before becoming a writer, Garth was a film producer and has a Masters in Fine Arts degree in film. He co-produced the short film below. It won an academy award in 1991! I really love this film. It is worth 10 minutes of your time to watch.   : )