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10 best and worst things about living in sweden (imo)

  I've been tagged a few times but Typepad just changed and I can't search comments! So if you kindly tagged me in the past months please don't be shy to remind me or say in the comments so I can link a thank you!! But you're always a bit stuck when you have to suddenly say ten things about yourself so I thought I'd sum up the best things I've learnt about here, and then some of the less great things!

The good...

1) The shops of course! It's just nice to have access to some new places. Also the British high street is quite common but Swedish style is plainer, so if you pass someone in the street wearing the same item, it won't necessarily look the same. Things are very ethical so people don't seem to go crazy and splurge on loads of stuff.

2) I'm certainly not a nature girl, but things are so clean and beautiful. I live in the 'ghetto' apparently, or at least the nice, Swedish version. And there's even the forest with the lakes right next door, and the other day a deer ran in front of my bus!

3) Swedish people. Everyone is perfectly lovely. I read in a few places that Swedes can be a bit cold and silent, but I've only found they are more than helpful and will always speak English with no hesitation. I can speak a bit of Swedish now and can aaalmost go through a shopping transaction.

4) It's still great to live in International halls. A Chinese guy on our floor made a shrimp and vegetable stir fry the other day and ate it on toast with Nutella?! Aww he's only 19 and we made him borrow a friend's passport to come to the (only) club here. There was this beer pong and sauna party too, but I didn't go in the sauna as I have no swimming costume or anything like that here. When I bring one back though I am totally going in the lake, even if it will be freezing!!

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5) Swedish living is very cool. You are encouraged to stay really long in cafes and restaurants and just chill and drink coffee. Swedes drink a LOT of alcohol though despite it being so extortionate, so you can guarantee everyone in the club is seriously hammered. The girls will push you because they are dancing so crazy, but are very friendly and will offer you drinks and little cigarette parcels that you put in your gum?? My friend and I acted enthusiastic to be polite, then took them out straight away!

6) The uni is very student friendly. You don't even need to open doors, they're all mechanical!! Maybe it's because it's a small uni, but life is made very easy for students and it's so calm.

7) It happens to be next to some pretty cool countries. Where to shop first?!

8) It's strange not to be around so much western language or culture. Like watching TV means you don't understand any adverts or if the bus driver stops and shouts something, you don't know what's going on. You get used to it but when I went back to England last week, it's so much easier to know all that's going on around you. But it's a good thing because I guess it makes you stronger, more adaptable, and you are more appreciative of other cultures and where you come from. Also you're not affected by advertising!

9) The girls. The fashion is more subtle too, so the girls can be totally stylish but don't stick out. Then again, to me Swedish style is always insanely fashionable and inspiring but maybe it's just normal to the Swedes! I think 'omg, a hair bun!' about ten times a day.

10) The boys. There are many stylish guys here, but again it's not so showy. I have met a Swedish boy but  it's OK, I won't start filling this blog up with that :)

The bad...

1) Of course living away from home is the worst thing. Home being your family, friends, language, cultures, customs, everything! Sometimes it's so frustrating if you need to get something from home or say if you have to contact someone or do something important like with banks, but you simply can't.

2) The post is incredibly slow for packages. It takes two weeks for a slip to arrive saying you have a package. This might not seem that long, but by the time you are able to walk the mile to the post office, half a month has already gone by. You know when you buy clothes and things online and you want them straight away, but say if I wanted or needed something from home, by the time someone in my family can post it, it's about three weeks later, nearly a month!

3) As I found last week, the plane is the easiest part of the journey home. I'm scared of flying but it's even tolerant when you have to travel to the airport, which means an extensive journey. There's all the stress of what to pack and what to bring back and leaving everything in Sweden OK but making sure you're fine when you get to England, and then getting home from the airport. Ryan Air might be cheap but if you ever travel through them, book priority boarding as people just about run to the plane to squish into a seat after forming a standing queue about 30 minutes early in departures. It makes home seem that much further away. If you're having an off day, you kind of feel quite trapped.

4) I'm really independent so it's weird to feel so helpless if you want to buy or do the simplest thing. Like if I need even some eye-makeup remover or to find a card shop for example, I have no clue where to go. You're kind of trapped only to what you know so life is a little more closed. The shops here are very few and it was EXTREMELY apparent why England is famed for shops because there, if you need a card, you go to a shop absolutely brimming with any type of card you would ever need. Or if you need makeup remover, guaranteed you'll have a shop dedicated to cosmetics and toiletries right nearby. Here maybe they'll have the supermarkets and malls, but there's no huge retail chains with flashy discounts and endless products.

5) I've lived in Birmingham and Manchester, so coming to a tiny town is the biggest shock. There's just not a lot to do or see. But the only reason to leave the city is to shop maybe in Gothenburg, but you can't justify a shopping trip every week! I live in somewhere similar to estates, and it's not a town crammed with houses and streets, it's mainly motorway-like roads or forests. There's no corner shop to pop to or little high street to pick up a few things at.

6) This is kind of related to fashion to where it's a problem that you don't understand things around you. It's a shame to hear of all the blogger events and promos in England, because obviously they have huge fashion blogs here, but I don't know anything to do with them! There's fliers and advertisements everywhere but you don't know what any of them say. Maybe someone will say they've heard a party might be going on, or the student pub will be open, but you never really know what's going on so it always ends up to be bad haha! It's like you're outside of the loop. In Manchester, everyone knew everything that was going on. Also the headquarters of Gina Tricot are in this town and (while I was in England, so it's OK) there was apparently a MASSIVE sale there, where all the only stock was heavily reduced and people were just stripping in the middle of the shop and throwing clothes on big piles and it was insane. My friend only found out because the chef at her work happened to mention it a few days later.

7) It's weird too that I'm here for a whole year, so only need to do 15 credits a term, whereas almost everyone else is here for their whole degree or are doing 30credits in one term, so are leaving at Christmas. This means I will be graduating a year later, which means all the people that were in my year at university in Manchester and all my friends and people on my course will have graduated, so I will never see them again! Looking at photos now of my friends going out to the clubs we used to go to is so strange, almost like I should be there. It seems so far away!

8) It could be said for every nationality or culture, but you don't really know what the difference of being English is. Some people, especially guys from certain places, are overly friends and sometimes quite creepy, which makes you suspicious of everyone deep down and you wonder if they're just so keen to be your friend because you're an English girl? You started here with an open mind but a few guys have just proved steriotypes right and it's not always pleasant. Also say if an Italian or French boy joined your class, naturally everyone would want to be friend's with them mainly because of the novelty and uniqueness. So can you be sure someone likes you for you, and not because you're from somewhere else?

9) Magazines! Argh!! The problem isn't the lack of them, it's the huge supply of them! In the newsagents, they have ALL the Vogues and even Jalouse, 10, and a huge selection of men's magazines. Maybe like me, you have your monthly magazines that you always buy, but you tend to get others on impulse if you fancy one or have a flick and they look good? Well at £10-15 a magazine, I can't afford any at all! Elle UK didn't show for three weeks though so I had to order it online for £12 and it came two weeks later!

10) I miss English shops!! You might think I'm mental because of Weekday, Monki and Gina Tricot but really, the town I'm in only has some Gina's, and they're basically like a small, small New Look. Weekday and Monki have very small ranges too and don't have fresh stock coming in. I can totally appreciate how amazing the British high street is. When I went home last week I went to the Bullring and couldn't even shop! Imagine if one day you were taken to a shopping centre with all the shops you know, but also Forever 21, all the Swedish shops, every designer you could want,etc. Just imagine all the shops you've ever wished to shop in. That's how I felt. Like going from H&M and Gina to about a million amazing high street stores jam packed with the latest season's stuff, all of which I'd never seen before and it's all fresh for Autumn and lovely. And of course if someone gave you anything in Topshop for free, you would love it because everything in that store is lovely. I couldn't shop because I liked everything. It was so overwhelming. I used to high street shop at least every week but now I had no idea where to start! I went into Miss Selfridge first and could of picked up almost everything to try on because it was all just great. I forgot that on the British high street, it is quite painful to shop but you have to hold back for thing you really love and know what works in your wardrobe.

Hmm the cons seem much longer then the pros! But really the bad things are just little niggles that you think about if you're having a bad day. It all makes you stronger!

p.s. You are tagged! If you have a blog and do this tag and tell me, you will be entered into a contest to celebrate the new design of my favourite online jewellery shop, Love Hearts and Crosses! You can win this sweet Alice in Wonderland pin. If you don't have a blog, you can comment ten things about you, ten favourite things, ten things you hate, ten anything! Or get 10% off anyway by putting FLYINGSAUCER in at the checkout. A little present from me to you to say sorry for the absence :)

Alicepin


2 months

The last month in pictures.

Shoulder pads.

The Autumn market hit the town. Mainly a not-so-unfamiliar array of fake bag stands!

Why did this dress have to bunch up to give a pregnancy bump? I didn't have the (or any) boobs for it anyway. A painful return. See it looking gorgeous on Nic of She's Dressing Up! Multicoloured nails though make it a must publish pic though, despite food babies.

There's a pretty decent shoe shop here, if it is pretty expensive. I always check out these Chloé-ripoff shoes when I walk by that were all over blog lust lists a few months ago.

170SEK on bloody hair serum. That's like £15?

But cute booklets and plastic tupperware at the department store Åhléns! I think they were only 19SEK, so maybe £1.70?

I have an eyelash addiction. It's gone to drastic levels. I found these in a Taiwanese shop.

I think there are wasps' nests on the roof here because if I ever open my window, one will always fly in to investigate. I sit at my computer and they fly into the window trying to get in. Eeek!

I'm used to rain in Manchester, but there is no absence of it here.

 

I felt so far away from all the hype. I bought the t-shirt on whim to get to see part of the collection, but have found it's the easiest top to wear ever! I thought I'd offer it away as it's quite horrible, but I like everything ugly right now. It must be the shape, because it's the perfect travel wear. And by the time you've layered, you can't even really see the print. Haven't scared anyone yet! You got free stickers if you shopped online.

The first time I saw the infamous McQueen SS10 collection was on the train to the airport for a week at home. Woah!

I'm luckily managed to sneak past Ryan Air check-in with a LOT of hand luggage.

This is Gothenburg. More industrial than you might expect. That day I got a bus, train, coach, plane, train, tube, train, and a taxi, from 9am-8pm. Then went to a party!

I went out at home for my best friend's Loulou's 21st. Tom and I had matching nails. Gum?

I stayed over in London with my other best friend Melissa before the Saturday flight back from Stansted. We went to Shoreditch, but we're impressed by this sign in a club toilet. Or the club!

My absence has been due to exam week. ?!?!. There's four exam periods here. I've been revising 'til late and napping instead of sleeping. It's worth it though for a November with only three classes. Maybe I'll travel the Scandinavian shopping spots?

 

Doing recycling (pictured left). Sweden makes you very environmentally aware. I think 50% of the exchange girls have this Monki tee. This is a fall back out, always skater skirts and girly tights.

Hate revising!

I always wonder why other's are up late too?

Someone stole my salad dressing. Fridge thieves are in every country!

The flats are made up of crockery and bits that people have left over years and years. We listen to '90s techno at dinner on the boom box.

Do return for a more frequent blogging schedule! Back to revision...


gossip girl series 3?

Gossip girll

I don't live with any Gossip Girl watchers so why not share the love! How good is it to have a Chuck fix again?? And now that he's all nice yet still up to his naughty dealings, it's all good!

But seriously, the rest of the characters are a bit confusing. For one thing, why has Blaire become a sex addict? And why does Dan have some kind of perm? I suppose it was high time that people actually realised Dan would be quite cool in real life, but Blair should never be the loser! The whole college things is a bit lost so far anyway, have they even gone to class yet?

Serena is her usual whiny self; why do they always refer to what a party girl she is, but in the programme she's always 'taking a break' or talking about when she did party. Show us some parties!!

Now that everyone's changed though, I wish they'd really find something to do with Nate. It feels like they don't know exactly what he's like, so throw him into these weird love stories. Isn't the Bree Buckley story line a few million years old? Shakespeare needs his stories back!! Nate always meets these girls/women and totally falls for them. Did he forget about Vanessa? She looks so unbelievably stunning this series! Would it hurt to have Lilly and Rufus' son to be a bit less boring? I don't even remember his name!

I quite like Georgina, even though she has taken Blair's place as the queen bitch. I think she plays her character so well, whereas Hilary Duff actually plays an actress but to me it's not buyable. I won't even mention Tyra's appearance because it was hilariously painful!!! What do you think??
 


a little about karl

I'm not really a Francophile and had no real Karl love before we saw these videos in one of my classes! It's a total pleasure to experience a different style of teaching to reading theory off a power point and then having a forced seminar where everyone is too scared to talk. I've had zero time and I've been dying to post these videos, I finished that class last week! Seems weird to complete a module when in England I would have only just started them. It's really gutting to see freshers week going on in Manchester though and it's sad how I won't ever party again with all the people from my uni year as they will graduate before me!

But these are from the class where the husband and wife teacher used to play a youtube video at the start of each lesson. It was a really cool module despite classes being 9-4, argh! But one day the one teacher randomly showed us the H&M advert way back when Karl Lagerfeld did a collection and it's totally fabulous, I've never seen it before!

Also I've never seen the film below, Signé Chanel, which follows the making of Chanel couture. Before you think it might be a bit stuffy or you're not really interested in fashion design, it's the most charming documentary ever! It goes right through every stage, from Karls initial sketches, through all the drama of the fittings and the patterns and then onto the actual show. The ladies who make the couture pieces are so cute and have strange little traditions like if you sew a hair into the wedding dress means you will get married, and every time Karl comes they're like eeek! Also it shows a woman who's been doing the signature Chanel braiding for years and years on her obscure farm. You can find the whole thing on YouTube! Sadly one of the parts has no sound but there are many episodes so if you find you really like it, you can always buy the DVD. And that's only one part out of about 20! I always watch youtube videos when I'm drying my hair.