It's been warmer here in Sweden for the past week or two. I think I've finally let myself hope and wish for spring to come. Some people were speaking about and wishing for spring back in February or March, and I just knew better than to think about that so early in the year. Even though this has been my first winter in Sweden, I made myself expect the worst!
This weekend we went to J's parents' house to dogsit on Saturday, and I noticed all these little snödroppar, or snowdrops, all over their backyard. J told me that in Sweden, those are known as the "first sign of spring." They were so charming. It reminded me of all the tulips and daffodils that have surely already sprouted in Ohio. Not only have the spring flowers come out of the ground, but the weather has been fairly nice for the past week or two; and if the forecast is correct, it will continue to be nice and warm. Nice and warm being 10C, or 50F, as the high temperature of the day. It's been raining on and off, but that's spring, you can't complain about that. We also switched from winter to summer tires yesterday! So I've mentioned not one, not two, but three signs of spring. =)
Swedish traditions to be mentioned since the last time I posted: Friday, March 25th was national waffle day here in Sweden. Everyone apparently makes these cute waffles, and they eat them in what I consider to be WAY better than the American way. They whip some heavy whipping cream and procure some raspberry jam/jelly/preserves and top the waffles with those, as you can see in the picture I've linked. They taste way, way better than syrup! No, I did not take part on national waffle day, however, yesterday J's grandmother invited us over for waffles. Maybe I got spoiled since it was grandmother cooking, and who has ever had a grandmother with bad cooking? Needless to say she is quite a sweet woman.
The other Swedish tradition I wished to mention is April Fool's Day! I was glad to hear they do the same thing on April 1st as in America. Except they don't say April Fool's, they say "april, april, din dumma sill!" Which roughly translates to "April, April, you stupid herring!" When put into English it sounds a bit harsh, but really it's just a silly saying to let someone know they've been duped. And yes, I meant to spell April in lower case letters when typing in Swedish - for some reason they don't feel that months or days of the week are true names that actually deserve capitalization. The Swedish media even took part in the joke-playing on Friday. I was tricked! I read this article on The Local, which is an online newspaper of Swedish news in English. I exclaimed to J all about it, and then later saw this article and realized I'd been fooled. Way to go, Swedish media!
I don't think there is really much else to say about my life here in Sweden. I continue going to SFI Tuesdays - Fridays. Our group of friends in that class have bonded even further, we even do stuff outside of class/school time, now! A couple of weeks ago one of our friends had us all over for fika, and we had some really good conversation going. It was quite enjoyable. I helped that same friend find a bakery just last week so that she could secretly order her Swedish boyfriend a birthday cake and surprise him on Sunday. I saw the pictures on facebook, it all turned out well! She ordered what here in Sweden is known as a princess cake. I've never had it myself, and that vile shade of green makes it look not so appetizing at first. Here is a recipe, and the main reason I link it is so you can actually know what is inside of it. Maybe I will attempt to create one at some point?
Well I think this will have to do for now. I need to get ready and go meet a friend for fika soon. Here is another cheer for having free Mondays!