In just about two short weeks I will be leaving Umea forpossiblyever. The semester has gone by so quickly it seems like, but then again, my life in general seems to be going by quickly. The event tonight was a Christmas sittning (basically like a Swedish Christmas party) and the final international pub for the fall semester.
To reminisce, here is a photo from the welcome dinner:
And a photo from the Christmas party… a few months later:
I was going for a look that says “Why yes, Ethan, I would love to marry you!”
I may not look much different, but I do feel a little different. And a lot more put together.
Anyways, I was late getting to the party because I was meeting Iwan who was with a group of people who just could not get themselves together. It was okay though, because I had gone downtown earlier and was running a little behind. (Go figure!) Once we got to Corona, the location of the party, we found out there was a seating assignment anyways! There were six tables in total, and I was at the very first table and Iwan was at the fifth table. Each table setting had a name, and of course mine was clear at the end of the table near the front of the room. Neither of the people to the sides of me showed up though, and one of the people next to the girl across from me didn’t show up, so we were a bit lonely way down at the end. It was okay though, because actually the girl sitting across from me is going to the Laplands next week, so now I at least know someone who is going!
The dinner served was a lot better than what we had at the Welcome Reception, even though it was still just… okay. There were a wide variety of salads, but these aren’t “normal salads” like in the U.S., these are salads with odd ingredients and even odder smells. In additional to salad, there were Swedish meatballs (super tasty!), hotdogs (really, I swear they eat hot dogs with everything), some ribs (eh, so-so), cold vegetables, eggs with shrimp, raw salmon, bread, chocolates, gingerbread, and some mulled wine.
I tried the wine, which was non-alcoholic that’s why, and it was one of the best things I think I have tried since being here. The flavor itself is hard to describe. The wine was very very sweet and fruity, but also had a spice to it, and it was served piping hot. Mmmmmore please!
We sat by candlelight and some of the overhead clubs lights in Corona. I didn’t edit any of these purple photos, so you are definitely seeing an accurate representation of the lighting that was in there. Another reason I didn’t take many photos.
Quite a lot of people!
One of the best moments of the night had to have been when I was walking back to my seat after getting a drink and I hear “Jill” shouted by someone, only to turn around and see Tobi there! Tobi was someone who was in my buddy group at the beginning of the semester and we hung out a lot, but then he changed buddy groups and I hadn’t seen him in quite some time. I was a little surprised, but when I saw him I laughed and said “I’m sorry, but do I know you?” (Jokingly and with a huge cheesy grin on my face…. meant to be like do I know you because I haven’t seen you in so long!) And he said something back of which I do not remember, and in return I replied, “No, sorry, I don’t think we do.” Smiled, and went on my merry way. He came over and talked to Iwan and I later in the night and told me that people really thought I didn’t know him and were wondering why he was trying to talk to me. It was great.
The entertainment for the night
As you have probably noticed, most of the time I go to events I go with my friend Iwan. To be honest, I am not sure exactly what drew us to each other to become such good friends while on this exchange. The first time I saw him was at one of the buddy events (before we had been assigned our groups) and he was standing there, looking all European with his gelled, combed over hair. Maybe we were drawn to the fact that we aren’t much like the other. For example, one thing that makes Iwan so special is how… frugal he is. Don’t get me wrong, he is getting his master’s in molecular biology, so of course the guy is smart and will eventually have a good paying job, but he is still humble. Last night at the party, we were “supposed” to dress up. I wore boots and a sweater, but most people had on dresses or trousers with jackets. At one point Iwan and I were standing by the bar and he started pulling out tiny coins from his jacket pocket – coins that were only 1/10 of a krown – so basically worthless. I asked him where those came from because I had never seen anything like that before, and he said the previous owner must have forgotten to take them out. I only later learned that he had gotten his jacket from a second hand store in Umea. I don’t know why, but this made me smile.
…Right now I am longing for more gingerbread and mulled wine. Divine.
A few people I had not seen since the beginning of the semester also resurfaced. One girl in particular who I knew was from the U.K. was there, and I remember her so clearly because she looked like a girl I knew back home and had the most adorable, feminine style. Throughout the entire semester though I never saw her again. Apparently she did not go back to the U.K. or get abducted by aliens because she was there last night. Funny how some people just seemed to disappear from the radar.
After the party ended, Corona opened up the dance floor. It was still “early”, around 10 p.m. or so, so not too many people were getting their grooves on quite yet. I left around 11 p.m. because I was feeling quite tired from eating so many meatballs.
It’s almost midnight now and I have Total Training and Spinning tomorrow, so it is off to bed for me! Happy Weekend!