It’s been a complete whirlwind. So many things have happened, I’m not even sure what to include in this post…
I guess a good segue from my last post would be to discuss the kula I’ve found in my lovely Residential Community :).
By the end of the summer, I had some regrets about not choosing the Homestay option. In reading past DIS students’ blogposts, I found that homestays served as transformative and connective experiences for many students.
However, just a week into the semester, I know that my Residential Kula will serve that purpose for each person in it. Everyone is so open, genuine, and sincerely excited to spend time getting to know each other.
We’ve already gone on many group excursions, had a fair number of deep, late-night or train-ride conversations, and a few of us have even planned a yoga session for this weekend. Not to mention our RAs are SO accommodating!
Lovely RAs and Dietary Accomodations
For all three of the shared meals they have planned for us so far, there have been gluten free, nut free, dairy free, vegan, and vegan/soy free options.
When Moa (the lovely RA who did the shopping for us) presented all these options, a few students laughed at the seeming absurdity of such a wide array of choices. Honestly, this made me feel a little embarrassed as the only vegan/soy free person in the room (she got that option just for me!). However, Moa plowed through the laughter without acknowledging it, continuing to point out the different foods on the table.
I later learned in my Swedish Language and Culture Class that Swedes care immensely about making sure everyone is included. Cultural norm or not, props to Moa for her incredible kindness and compassion ♥.
I had a decidedly different experience at the DIS Welcome Breakfast on Monday. We all met up early in the morning (7:54am) to head to DIS facilities for breakfast and a full day of touring the facilities and orientation. However, when we got there, the only options were apples, bananas, a cheese and veggie sandwich on buttered bread, and a meat/cheese and veggie sandwich on buttered bread. It was interesting that there were no substantial dairy free food options given that they served oat milk as a coffee creamer substitute! I had an apple and a banana as my new friends looked at me with pity.
Anyways, I’m used to having to figure out my own food options. But it was such a stark juxtaposition to the abundant meals Moa had served. Not to mention, I was jet lagged and HUNGRY and wished that someone had warned me to prepare something on my own in advance.
Luckily, the cafe downstairs had vegan overnight oats, so I snuck down and bought some while everyone ate. Also, that cafe turns into a restaurant for lunch, and they always have a delicious vegan option!
Overall, I haven’t had much trouble finding food in Stockholm, and I’m used to cooking for myself. I’ll share more on that in future posts.
Some other highlights…
- Walked the long way around to a nearby lake in Sollentuna (where I live) with a friend and…talked to a Swede and his cute little puppy!
- Went back to that same lake, taking a quicker route, for an ultimately failed (couldn’t get a fire started) but fun! barbecue with the whole floor.
- Went to an AMAZING exhibit by Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg at Moderna Museet with my core course. SO cool. I was exhausted, but I went back into the exhibit after the session with my class was over and then explored Gamla stan on my own for the rest of the day–so beautiful. I was surprised by how many Americans were wandering around the touristy town. Every time I tried to ask a Swede for directions, I ended up asking a tourist!
- Went shopping both on my own and with groups of friends in the nearby (two min walk) shopping mall! It has a grocery store, two health food stores, a juice/smoothie bar, an H&m, a book store, and lots of other cute, useful and fun shops!
“When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each color of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thanks the air that surrounds you with every breath you take” —Christy Ann Martine