22:37 Mon.
9 Sep, 2013


Day 32 , 115 remain
Lulea , Sweden
11 °C
5:31 am
7:21 pm

Today is exactly one month since I arrived here in Lulea. By now I can safely say this is the longest I’ve been away from home. Though it really doesn’t feel like one month. I’ve been quite busy last 4 weeks with all the trips, exploration, parties and school. It’s really nice up here and now I’m kind of sorry I’m not able to stay up here for whole year. The only thing that would make everything even better is if Veronika would be able to come here and live with me. Then, it would be perfect!

So far I’ve gotten used to the colder climate. Although I’m really happy that I bought winter jacked yesterday. Mornings are getting really cold, especially if it’s cloudy in the morning. Days have gotten really short (compared to when I arrived), sunset is around 19.30, sunrise around 5.30. I don’t remember saying this before, but the only deciduous here is birch and the leaves on them have started to turn yellow and red. Now I can finally say Winter is coming! (haha I’ve been waiting months to say this!).

People up here are noticeably different than in Slovenia. The first thing you notice is that 4 out of 5 people are blond. The populous is in general fit and tall. You rarely see an obese person up here. The second thing I noticed is that clichés about Swedes are surprisingly accurate. They really are shyer (at least that’s how I’d described them). They love standing in lines (not a joke!). I’m sure they get double kicks when going to amusement parks, first one when they are waiting in line for ride to start, the second one when they ride the ride. When standing in line they are calm and no one tries to cut in front or jostling forward. I don’t remember if I’ve shown this photo before, but here it is (again), how swedes wait for bus:

Waiting for the bus like a Swede
Waiting for the bus like a Swede

In general people are really nice and helpful and everyone speaks English very well. I was really surprised when saleswomen/men talk to me in perfect English. And this is tested in multiple shops, restaurants, kiosks …

The prices here are quite higher compared to Slovenia, but so are the salaries. I talk to a student doing a PHD here and he told me that here he gets around 3000€ monthly salary. For comparison PHD student in Slovenia gets 800€, professor around 2400€… The food costs I would say around 20-30% more than in Slovenia, the really expensive things are different kind of services like barber for example. Here it costs around 50€ for men. Oh ye, almost forgot about gasoline: little below 2€/l.

Thus be it for now, I shall describe more wonders of north in months to come.

21:59 Fri.
6 Sep, 2013

Tasting gyros again

Day 29 , 118 remain
Lulea , Sweden
16 °C
5:21 am
7:34 pm

This week there is an international food market in the centre. There are stalls with food from different countries, mainly European but one stall wit Thailand and one with Australian food as well. Yesterday I bought some fudge candies from Britain’s stall and a gyros from Greek’s. It was really good eating it (gyros) after so many years. Last time I ate it was on Ios, 5 years ago. (Oh and the candy, I ate it yesterday despite planning on eating it throughout whole week). The food at the stalls is good, although some (especially Spanish) students keep saying that food (Spanish) is nothing like the food in Spain. They even said that they’ll cook us some real Spanish food, so I’m looking forward to that.
Today I went to the food market again and had an Australian crocodile burger, some friends had a kangaroo burger and we all agree it tastes really similar as a normal (beef) burger. I would love to try some more food but the prices are sky high.

I haven’t described the classes in too much detail last time so here it goes. The courses (at least the ones I’m going to) have around 15-30 people attending. This is somewhat similar to the ones at my faculty (FMF). Until now we only had one lab class and it looked like this; we went in to a room with computers (there were some people not belonging to our class in as well doing their stuff). We then continued working, from what we did at home, on our assignments. The professor was walking around and if you wanted to ask him something he was there, so basically the lab works is not another class (like in Slovenia) but more like consultation for assignments you have to do.

Majority of the classrooms have a glass wall toward the hallway. Not sure why is this, maybe because of light (there are few windows because of position and style of the rooms). Because of this I had an interesting opportunity yesterday. When I was searching for my classroom I was able to look at what other people were studying in their classrooms. This is campus so there are a lot of different types (faculties?) of studies in the same building. The most interesting was a classroom where students were massaging each other. When I first saw it I thought they had a free period or something but then I saw the teacher at the front of the class giving instructions. Maybe I should volunteer as a test subject for massages. 🙂

I had a lot of assignments to do till today, but somehow I managed to do them all. I’m not used to getting that much work the first week of school. I think I spent 10+ hours doing 2 assignments. Also we had a dictation exam today at Swedish course. Hopefully I did ok, despite knowing I misspelled 3 words. I just hope the rest is correct. On Monday I have a written exam.

Tomorrow is supposed to be record high temperature here, around 20 degrees. A great day for going on a boat trip.

Lastly, if you check at the upper part of the post you can see I’ve been here for exactly 4 weeks. I’ll write more about this in my next post.