Heard: In conversation with my host mom, right before going to panta ourselves at a local supermarket. To panta is to recycle, essentially, but also to get cash back for your recycled bottles and cans – you put your empty plastic and aluminum and glass containers into a fancy machine, and it prints out a voucher to be used at check-out – each can or bottle is worth 5 SEK or something like that – it adds up quickly, especially considering the impressive amount of Swedish Diet Coke my host family and I drink. (It’s different than American Diet Coke – I’m not sure why.)
It’s been a minute since I’ve posted – classes have started, and everything is now in full swing. I’ve been a bit busy with readings and planning for the semester, which is already into its week-two. Oh how time’s flown by! It feels like I’ve been here for two days or two months – I can’t quite decide which.
As a bit of a break from my studying and reading, my host family decided to show me to a rather “Swedish” day on Sunday. We began with a nice panta (see above) and parallel grocery-store run, and then we drove about fifteen minutes north to the traditional Swedish home where my host family celebrates Midsummer every year. There we had a fika and listened to some traditional music and had a little tour of the classic-red Swedish home.
enjoying a fika in front of the Maypole (and Swedish flag!).
We finished the day with something a bit less Swedish than American – sunflower picking. My host sisters visit this farm to pick sunflowers every year, and I was honored this year to be a part of the action.
The though of school is overwhelming sometimes, especially at the beginning of the semester, and especially when you’re not in a place as familiar as your home institution. But it’s days like these – days you have with people you care about – that remind you there are more important things than worrying.