I had the incredible opportunity to attend two concerts of some of my favourite artists in February and March. First was Halsey, a concert that I had been looking forward to since September or October (I can't remember, but it was a while). I went with a girl from my class, and it was seriously incredible - I've been listening to Halsey since before coming on exchange, and her music definitely made the subway a lot more fun for the first few months of exchange.
I then had the unbelievable opportunity to attend a concert by The Chainsmokers...for free. While I was in Ronneby with my counsellor and her family, I had seen on The Chainsmokers' Facebook page that they would be in Stockholm, and that if people wanted to be put on the guest list they should send an email to a certain address. I was slightly sceptical, but it ended up being totally legitimate and I was able to see one of my absolute favourite artists for free (and I even got free food and drinks, and got to be in the front row).
After returning from Falun, I had the incredible opportunity to spend a couple days in Ronneby with my counsellor and her family. It was very grey (which seems to be a trend in Southern Sweden), but so beautiful and I had an amazing time.
Well, it's been a while. There has been so much going on here in Sweden that I totally neglected this blog, and now I have so many photos and posts to catch up on (but I guess better late than never). To begin, over the Swedish March break (Sportlov), Lou and I took the train up to Falun, where we hung out with Niki from Colorado, and ended up going skiing at Romme, a small ski hill just outside of Falun.
This post is extremely late, but on January 28th, my Canadian friend who is on exchange in Turkey arrived in Stockholm for a Rotary District 7040 reunion during his break from school. We saw a lot of cool things around Stockholm, and even got the opportunity to visit another exchange student in Denmark, where we met up with another exchange student from Turkey who then returned with us to Stockholm. Here are a whole bunch of photos we took (mostly with the Canadian flag).
It's currently -15 degrees, and I'm sitting in the kitchen after a relaxing day off school. All three of my memory cards are now full, and in deciding to go through my photos and transfer them to my hardrive, I came across some nice photos of what winter has been like so far. In my last post I shared some photos I took before Christmas, when it was still warm enough to wear a light jacket (even if you were going to be outside for 3+ hours) and there was no snow on the ground.
Shortly after changing families, however, the temperature dropped pretty drastically and we finally got the snow that everyone had been waiting for. (As a side note, yes - I did end up changing families somewhat unexpectedly, and now live in a different area of Bromma).
I went for a walk on Djurgården with Jacob and thought this looked super cool. Even though I currently hate the ice (I fell three times while walking home one day), it looked pretty.
I then went for a walk with my host parents from the house to Alvik, and the sunset was super pretty! After, because it was so cold, we had an incredible lunch at this really cute cafe on Stora Essingen.
Then, today, as I was sitting in front of the window, I saw that the sun was setting, so I ran down to the small boat club sort of in front of my house and even though I was too late to get the actual sunset, I though this looked sort of cool.
Also, I tried this thing where you take the lens off the camera and you can take some interesting photos like that. Here is a flower that used to sit in the kitchen window.
And finally, here are my playlists for December and January.
I think I've come to the conclusion that Spotify is probably my favourite Swedish invention. I mentioned in my last post that I spend a lot of time listening to music, and thinking about it I always really liked sharing my "new favourite song" with my parents or my sister (and considering the fact that I have a new favourite song every other day, this happened quite frequently. Also - yes, I know my music taste is pretty basic). I think this website is super cool, so I thought I would share my "results" for a couple reasons; 1) so my family can go listen to some good music, and 2) so that I can look back on this and remember parts of my exchange through the music I was listening to. As you can tell, Halsey was a clear favourite this year, and since April 26th (or so my Spotify says) I really have been listening to her non-stop. I am so excited that I will be able to see her here in Stockholm - 57 more days! Also - The Chainsmokers! I seriously just love everything they produce, and from their music to their videos everything is seriously so good.
Here is all the music that I have saved over the past 4 months and 22 days.
Well, I guess it's been a while since I've posted anything here, on YouTube, or even on FaceBook, so in honour of the start of winter break, I've decided to sit down and actually write something. To be honest, I did not take many photos or videos after returning from Sardinia (which feels like it was so long ago) and only started again at the beginning of December, so I was going to make one of those "sit-down" videos because I feel like that would be easier and more in-depth than writing everything down, but I really don't like seeing videos of myself/hearing my voice and instead decided that this will have to do. If you follow my Tumblr you will probably have seen most of these photos, but I wanted to write more about them than what I write on that blog.
The day after we came back from Italy, I went to school and ended up going to this really cute cafe (of which there are actually several different locations around Stockholm) with Saga, Alexandra, and Filippa. This blueberry cinnamon bun was so good, and I really should try and recreate it some day. Because it was Thursday, we ended at 1:20 and instead of going home I met up with Jacob (which I actually wrote about in my last post). This was day 1 in the search for a winter coat for Jacob.
Again, I wrote about this in my last post, but Saturday was Jacob's birthday, so Lou and I met up with him at Beyond Retro again (which was day 2 in the search for a coat), after which we ended up at COOP (where Lou bought some French bread and cheese, and we saw a whole section of tubed food) and then had fika at a cafe that had good coffee but really dry chocolate muffins.
The following Tuesday, Lou and I went to Thurston Moore's concert at Debasser Strand, which was really hard to get in to, but really fun once we did get in. Seriously though, shoutout to Lou for getting us free tickets and the chance to meet the band - it was super cool! Even though I don't ever listen to that kind of music, rock concerts are seriously awesome.
Then, the following Thursday, Jacob and I went to the fotografiska museum which was so beautiful and even though it cost 90 SEK to get in, it was totally worth it. There was a really cool exhibit on portraits, some of which I recognized from National Geographic, and then there was the room with photos of refugee children - they had turned off most lights, I'm pretty sure they made it cooler in that room, which added so much to the whole experience of seeing and reading about the children's stories. We then went back to Åhléns for the third day of looking for a coat.
That weekend, I visited Häringe Slott with the girls group I attend every Tuesday at the church super close to where I am living. As can be seen on my Tumblr, the weekend consisted mostly of food. We seriously ate so much good food, it was great. Really though, all of the girls are so nice, and it was a really fun and relaxing weekend.
The next Thursday was my turn to buy a coat, and required yet another trip to my now-favourite store Åhléns. After seeing a girl from the girls group/church group wearing a super nice sweater from a brand called Sail Racing, I looked it up and decided that I wanted a new winter jacket which I almost certainly didn't need but really really wanted. I had decided on the one I was going to buy, went to Åhléns, and after finding out that they didn't carry the women's line I ended up purchasing a different jacket from the mens section (as pictured above). I then met up with Kaya, Lou, and Dana to go see Mockingly Pt.3 (which was pretty good but definitely not my favourite). We then took Dana to our favourite Mexican restaurant (well, favourite restaurant in general because it's so good and so cheap). So, Thursday was pretty great, and then on Friday I went to another church group with two friends from school (shoutout to Kassandra and Gry). I would just like to mention that no, I have never attended any sort of religious event in my life, however these groups are actually such a nice way to socialize and meet people, and I really do love spending time with the girls from my class (and yes, my class is almost all girls).
Saturday morning I actually returned to Åhléns to exchange the jacket for the one I originally wanted, and then spent that weekend at the scout house a few minutes away from where I am living, for what they called a "hike". We first went shopping for groceries, then we baked some stuff and put together a traditional Swedish julbord. We also watched two of my favourite movies (The Imitation Game and Inception), and did other things that I don't really remember. I've mentioned the scouts before, and said I would write more about it, but I still don't know what to think if I'm being honest. There are some really nice people, though, and again - its a reason to get out of the house and socialize. Anyways, right after returning home, I baked a really weird apple pie and my host family and I went to an exchange student/family party that Jacob's family was hosting at their house (which is also in Bromma). Again with "being honest", even though I did a lot of things that weekend, I think a whole bunch of small things sort of added up and it was probably the first "not so great" time of my exchange. That's super non-detailed, but I guess the whole "ups and downs" thing does happen and it wasn't horrible but it just wasn't the best weekend/following week.
On Monday, I returned to my favourite place in Stockholm - Norr Malarstrand - to take some photos, and I SAW A BEAVER THAT LOOKED LIKE A NORTH AMERICAN BEAVER. It was super cool, and it was right int he middle of the city?? Anyways, whenever I want something to do, walking around Kungsholmen is always one of my first ideas because it is so beautiful and I just really love it there.
And then - the hilarious Thursday. Jacob and I went to three grocery stores looking for pumpkin puree because it was American thanksgiving and Kayas birthday. We finally found it in Lilljholmen, and returned to Jacob's house to do some baking. We made two pies, had trouble fixing hist host family's Christmas decorations, ate 1/3 of a Daim cake each, dropped the second pie (as can be soon in the photos), ran to buy a baguette and cheese for dinner and fell running up the stairs to the subway, and then we were running to the movie theatre to meet my friend from school when we dropped the baguette on the ground (😔). The movie (Victoria) was really good though, and the theatre we saw it in was really cute (although apparently it used to be a porn cinema??). Anyways, it was a German indie movie that was shot in one take and I think everyone really enjoyed it. Then, I missed the subway by seconds and when I got on the next one I fell right on top of a man and it was just a really horrible/embarrassing experience.
Then, on Friday, James, Chace and Erik came down from Malung/Falun. We met up at MAX, then Jacob, James and I went to Sergelstorg to visit the julmarknad (where we had glögg and peparkakor and maybe saw Julia Dang from TheLineUp on YouTube - I'm pretty sure it was her). We then went to Kayas for dinner, hung out in Östermalm, after which I spent the night at Emily’s (we watched Forrest Gump), went to Täby centrum for McDonalds (I only had to pay 7kr for a medium coffee because the cashier had no idea what he was doing, and then we got a free balloon). We all met up at Odenplan to take the bus to Skansen where we soon learned that it cost way too much money to get in to see the julmarknad. Instead, we went to Nordiska museum because it was free, and then got kebab in Södermalm, before Emily and I went back for a huge dinner at her house and watched three movies (Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Girl Next Door, and John Tucker Must Die). The first day of Advent was on Sunday so we had a really nice breakfast, then went to meet Jacob at Alvik. We stopped at McDonalds (which was hilarious), then went on Nockebybana to Ålstens gatan to visit a really small julmarknad. We ended up buying a gingerbread house kit and candy, but we didn't end up making the house.
Later that night, I went to a really strange violin thing on the island Skeppsholmen, I took a really quick video, but basically my violin group just sort of sat at this table and we played these traditional Swedish songs and other older people were able to join in and yeah, it was strange but sort of fun I guess!
The next day was my oldie Jack's presentation at our rotary club. He spoke in Swedish and it was really cool to hear about his year in Sweden.
Sometime also in November, we made a gingerbread house at Scouts which was pretty fun and turned out so well, and then the following week we ate it which was also fun.
Finally, I would just like to mention how wonderful my friends at school are. I found these really nice photos on my phone, and yeah, they're great. 💗
As an afterthought, this is my November playlist which I think is pretty fun to share. I honestly spend most of my free time at home listening to music and trying to discover new music on Spotify. So yeah, these were some of my favourites from November.
Fun Fact: Roses by The Chainsmokers has literally been on replay since August, and I think its the longest I've consistently listened to one song. So, if you want to know my favourite song it is probably Roses.