Saturday, February 19, 2011

Very Cold.

Last night the temperature fell to -25°C. Currently it is -19°C. Maybe we will venture outside a bit to enjoy the very crisp air.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Food Filled Fridays: Strange ways of preparing food (Swedish Style)

Since coming to Sweden we found that the food we have here are somewhat different from the food we had when living in South Africa. This is in part explained by the differences in produce and ingredients. However, with surprise, we found that the method of preparation may also be contributing to some of the variation we experience. The following video may provide some answers…

We still have to master some of the tecniques used in Sweden :)


Sunday, February 13, 2011

More winter...

At the end of January the temperature increased a bit and much of the snow melted. However, the temperature continuously dipped just below 0°C and the world became very interesting.

When below 0°C, all the water (and there is a lot of water everywhere) freezes. But before it freeze, all the stones and gravel that were scattered everywhere by the city to help with grip when driving, cycling or walking, sink. The result is an extremely smooth surface which is excellent for ice skating (see video below). Unfortunately, while skating on the lake is fun, it is not so much fun on the sidewalks.

The alternative, when the temperature is above 0°C, is also an "experience". Most of the walking surface is not as slippery (and in this the danger lies since you are caught off guard by hidden ice patches). The whole world then transforms into a dirty snow, mud and gravel slush-puppy. If you are an unfortunate victim of the hidden ice lurking below the slush you are sure to be completely soaked. Additionally during these meltdowns, raising like zombies, all the frozen and forgotten "dog logs" reemerge to remind us not to blindly jump into snowdrifts.

BUT, during the last week the winter returned. The temperatures dropped and currently it is -13°C. We also had serious snow during the week and many people had transportation issues.
Note that there were no snow on our bicycles or where they stand (last weekend) and we cycled to the shops one week ago.

The city of Uppsala also started with an ice festival to celebrate the wonders of winter. Below are a few pictures of the ice-rink and ice sculptures in the city:

After spending more than 30 years in almost perpetual summer, we feel that the winter is not too long yet and will not mind if it remains cold for a couple of months.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Swedish Exam

The last 2 weeks we have been quite busy studying Swedish. This is because we wrote the final exam for our first course on Thursday last week. Next week we have the oral exam, and if we pass, we can move on to the next level. We will then be qualified to speak Swedish in public-places but may only introduce ourselves, count to 100, buy food and furniture and use some other everyday phrases.

Luckily I share an office with a real Swede called Mats Pettersson, and the following video contains a few of the phrases he thinks everyone should know:

(please excuse our accent and pronunciation, but some of these phrases are a bit tricky)

Also in preparation for the exam we watched 2 Swedish movies this weekend. The first was an Ingmar Bergman classic, "Wild Strawberies", which is very good, touching on various aspects of morality, kindness, love and death. The second, "Slim Sussie", is a strange blend between a comedy and murder mystery. We found it a bit weird but quite entertaining.

We will have a short post later this week, to update you on our exam results.