I spent most of my first week in Sweden exploring Malmö and attending the various orientation events setup by my school.
For me, the biggest highlight here was a class picnic held in the shadow of Turning Torso in the Malmö harbour.
At this point, everything was still feeling quite surreal. The fact that I was beside the sea (THE SEA!) was enough to throw me for a bit of a loop. Though I didn’t think much of it before coming here, the feeling of being next to (and living beside) a significant body of water is an altogether different experience than what I had in Ontario, Canada.
Things like seas and oceans and Europe all felt very far away when I was growing up, and to have seen them all at 23 – full while knowing that some Ontarians have never seen them – made me feel extremely lucky.
I also felt lucky to have spotted a double rainbow during the picnic.
Unfortunately, this joke was never popular in Europe so all of the “It’s so intense” jokes I made fell on closed ears. I thought they were hilarious.
For ethnography purposes, I also took it upon myself during this first week to sample most of the Swedish beers available at the Systembolaget (the Swedish liquor store) and at several of the local watering holes.
With the exception of one brand – TT (Three Towns) – all of these were very underwhelming. Sweden, you may win in the cheap but stylish furniture department, but Canada is killing you in the beer category.