With a new month came new activities for me to try here in Sweden. I mentioned in my earlier blog posts that I would continue dancing in Sweden, and after a long, restless, period of waiting, yesterday I was finally able to get back in a dance studio and had my first Swedish dance class!
Starting at a new studio is always a little nerve racking, however, after being thrown into the pit of all things new by studying abroad, I feel as though I am pretty used to facing the unknown by now. You never know how a studio will dress for class or wear their hair but I figured you could never go wrong with a black leotard and some shorts, and I was right.
My host dad dropped me off at the studio and wished me luck as I opened the door and was greeted by a nice receptionist who took my name for role and immediately knew who I was, it’s not hard when there’s only one American! I took off my shoes and sat at a table waiting to be called into class. One girl who had overheard me talking in English came up, introduced herself, and told me she had lived in California for a few years. Julia and I got to talking and before class started I had already made a new friend.
The class began by the teacher introducing herself both in Swedish and English. Like most Swedes, she spoke English well and could correct me and answer all my questions, sometimes with Julia’s help. All the other girls were also very kind and welcomed me, asked questions, and tried to talk as much English as they could.
When I got home, we had guests waiting to meet me! My host Aunt, Pia and host cousin Johanna had arrived for dinner while I was out. They greeted me with open arms, welcoming me to Sweden and we began to talk about how school was going, how I liked Sweden, why I chose to come to Sweden, and other typical conversations you have during exchange. We talked and laughed for a while over tea and dessert before they headed out to catch their train. Luckily, we will see them again in a few weeks when we travel to Gotland, an island off the east coast of Sweden, for Pia’s birthday party! After the visiting was over, I took a shower, worked on some homework, and headed off to bed.
This morning I got to sleep in since school started at 10 a.m. Normally, each Wednesday we have a test from 8-9 but since it is still so early in the semester, there wasn’t one scheduled so my day started off nice and relaxing. After classes, some of my friends and I decided to go to the library downtown and work on some math homework together. We probably should have picked a more noise-friendly environment since our laughter wasn’t received too well, but at least we didn’t stay long.
When all of our stomachs started growling, we knew we were in need of some food so we walked down to McDonalds to grab a quick bite. When we were finished with our meals I said a quick goodbye and ran to the bus stop because Lina and I had a yoga class to get to. This was my first time using public transportation alone, a big step for me!!! Buses are still super confusing for me, I can’t tell how you know where they are going or if your stop is on the list, but one of my friends told me which bus to get on so I followed her directions and made it home! I was so excited that I could do it alone and feel as though I am really becoming adjusted to and a part of Sweden, it was a great accomplishment.
I only had a few minutes at home to change before rushing back out the door to yoga. We took a restorative yoga class that was so nice, relaxing, and peaceful that I think I almost fell asleep a few times. We walked out half asleep, almost as if we were coming out of a dream.
For dinner, we had my very first Swedish meatballs with pasta and, surprisingly, ketchup! They were super yummy and very filling leaving me stuffed. Now I am headed to bed, excited for a very special day tomorrow! I don’t want to spoil anything since you will find out soon enough, but I think it may be a little hard to get to sleep tonight!