Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer is off to a start

Yes I'm still alive and kicking.  I think I've come to terms with the fact that writing here on my blog just won't happen as often as it once used to.  Life has a sense of normalcy about it now that I've been living in the country for nearly 2 years and 8 months.  It's difficult finding new and interesting topics to speak about.  Some of you may have noticed that I use the blog more as an update for those across the pond who may still wonder about what I'm up to over here. =)

Swedish Midsommar just passed this weekend.  J and I spent it in Stockholm, as mentioned previously.  We picked up our good friend O on the drive there, and thankfully we got to take the faster highways back to Gbg since O took the train home a day earlier than we wanted to come home (he came back on Saturday, we left Sunday morning).  It was a bunch of fun!  I always love getting out of town and getting out of the normal routine of things.  We have a few friends who live in the country's capitol, so we decided to spend Midsommar with them, celebrating in some of the traditional ways.  We devoured a lunch of pickled herring that came in jars resembling these, along with boiled new potatoes and sour cream and chives along with onions if you desired.  During this lunch you also tend to drink snaps, which is called nubbe, tastes pretty awful in my opinion and comes in a variety of flavors.  Later in the evening we grilled some meat and ate a big, fresh salad with it and finished off with rhubarb pie and vanilla cream for dessert.  Yum!  We did not, however, go find a maypole and dance around it on Midsummer Day.  Instead, we decided to enjoy beautiful downtown Stockholm and ate lunch in Gamla Stan.  We finished off Saturday evening by playing a board game called Settlers of Catan (first time for me, I'd heard a lot about it, and it ended up being quite fun!), and devouring fresh Swedish strawberries with cream and sugar! Mmm!  Here's a single shot I took while walking over the water on our trek from Gamla Stan to Kungsholmen.

Even on a cloudy day I find Stockholm pleasing to the eye.  The buildings and all the water are just beautiful.

Thus has summer truly begun!  Midsommar was the first major event I was looking forward to and it felt so nice to get out of the daily grind here in Gothenburg and see some friendly faces we hadn't seen in quite some time.  It felt like a mini vacation and that it was much needed!  Luckily, in a little less than two weeks we're headed to Norway so I have another big event to look forward to this week and next!  I suppose I feel like I need these things to keep me going through the summer as so many are now on vacation and it feels a bit "bleh" to be working all through the summer until mid-August, and then "only" getting two weeks where many take four, five or even six at a time.  At least at work it should be pretty easy going now that so many are on vacation - not so much mail to be delivered!

That's just a quick update to keep you all in the loop!  This weekend nothing is on our plate (thankfully, we've had nonstop busy weekends for many weeks in a row now).  I plan to finally start clearing out what we don't need to bring with us for when we move in one month's time!


Luki Caprica said...

Happy Belated Birthday J!!! Sorry this is a couple day's late, but be assured, we all thought of you Sunday, but it was too late to call/Skype. Which brings me to this question; we have never Skyped, would you want to help us try it out tomorrow, Wednesday? What is the latest, your time, you would be up? If it's too late tomorrow, maybe Saturday (weekend I have kids), so we all can wish you a Happy Happy Birthday in person. Let me know, Aunt L.

City Jackdaw said...

Hi, I came across your blog through a google search. (I am actually on Wordpress-I hiss!!!
Anyway, it was an old post of yours that I was directed to, about how since learning Swedish you have been able to understand Norwegian.
I am thinking of learning Swedish as a second language. Just wondered if you would recommend this, any thoughts, etc?

Jessica said...

Hi City Jackdaw! My extreme apologies for responding so late, I somewhat took a hiatus from the blogging world. In regards to learning Swedish, what are your motives? I most definitely understand Norwegian mostly on TV since learning Swedish, and the one Norwegian I visit with I can speak to in Swedish while she speaks Norwegian back. In Norway, though, they do have a bunch of dialects that are pretty much impossible for Swedes to understand, as well.

Regarding learning Swedish, for me it was not so difficult, mainly due to Swedish being a cousin of English and also because I love languages. If you love language and have the drive, it wouldn't be too difficult for a native English speaker. The most difficult things I would give a heads up for are pronunciation is difficult at first, as well as grammar. The grammar can be a bit tricky. But if you're really for it then go for it! Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. And if you've already gone ahead and decided to start learning, well, good luck!