Alex's Alliterative Adventures

Thoughts on Programming, Life, and Travel

Archive for the 'Sweden' Category

Sankt Lars anniversary dinner

It’s been three months of pain, three months of suffering, and almost three months of repeatedly broken appliances and suspiciously absent spoons, so we decided to have an anniversary dinner the day before the anniversary of our being here for three months. Why the day before, and not the day of? Well, that just wouldn’t be crazy enough for Sankt Lars, that’s why. That, and somebody probably fucked up.

I’m off to Stockholm at 6:28am tomorrow morning. That means I’ll be waking up before most of you bastards go to sleep. I may blog this weekend, I may not. With any luck, team WaterLund might just have a bit of success at the Northwestern European Programming Contest.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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Sweden: the weather

My friend, lab partner, and future neighbour Felix recently blogged about Swedish weather. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Germans are assholes

A German physicist lives across the hall from me. She’s really nice, I have a great time hanging out with her, and she seems to be pretty damn smart. She’s currently studying quantum mechanics, so I took it upon myself to repeatedly bug her to teach me quantum mechanics, since the concepts behind it intrigue me so. She hooked me up with a little video that covers very, very basic quantum mechanics. Although the video does a great job of scratching the surface of quantum theory, it didn’t really answer any questions for me, so I dug through the video’s comments. One of the comments offered something that sounded like a plausible explanation to one of my questions, until I realized that it was incredibly wrong. A response to that comment lead me to a quick googling, which lead me to a wikipedia page, which then lead to thirtysix other wikipedia pages.

I can’t stop reading, and I’m not going to be able to sleep for a month. That German girl is such a jerk.


A shocking change of position

I impressed someone with my cooking today. I didn’t really see that one coming, since the dish that caught her eye was grilled cheese sandwiches.

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I impress myself

Even during my “free time”, I manage to be never-endingly busy. Programming contest in a week, two assignments due every Tuesday, trying to nail down housing, idly playing with the idea of a trip to Ireland and the UK, and just life in general.

In other news, I recently watched Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, and I thought it was extremely well done. It managed to give you just as much information as was required to get you worried about the issue of climate change, while still managing to keep things simple enough for the general audience to find clear and understandable. Admittedly, there was a bit of damn lies & statistics going on, since he showed a lot of powerful graphs without giving any indication of the range or scale of the data and he contrasted photos from generations past without indicating when the photos were taken, but I’d like to think that his message was relevant and worthwhile in spite of these things. Yous all might want to give it a watch. I, on the other hand, will take my new socially responsible outlook and use it to laugh all the harder when introducing my floor to Shawn of the Dead.

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Homeward bound

With a little bit of luck, I’ll be back in the Great White North before the witching hour on the 19th of December. I was originally planning on spending a bit more time traveling before coming home, but apparently other people had the same idea before I did. I can hardly believe that I’m planning my departure already, it seems like I’ve only just arrived and there’s still so much I have yet to see. I love the fact that I learn something mind-blowing about the rest of the world almost every day I’m here; it’s nice to be reminded how little I know and how much knowledge is hidden away in the cultures of the world, like ancient scrolls waiting only to be unfurled. I also enjoy how Swedes are just really weird.

That being said, there are some things I won’t miss.

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An adventure of epic proportions

When people started planning the third costume party at Sankt Lars, the Halloween party no less, it was generally expected that it was going to be big. It was going to be loud. It was going to be packed. It was going to result in a lot of shit getting broken. While walking down the streets of Lund, I heard people talking about the party that “the whole city was showing up for.” That being said, I don’t think anyone really saw that one playing out as it did.

The cops gettting called was nothing revolutionary, but the fight almost breaking out at 3am isn’t how I’d imagine most people like to end a party. We probably won’t have a sequel to this particular night.

The good photos will come when I can steal photos from one of many people that own real cameras.


The midday nap

Sleep is a blessing and a curse. It’s a giant waste of time, taking up roughly a third of our life. Imagine the things you could do each day if you just never slept. The places you could go, the people you cold see, the things you could accomplish; your view of the world would be so drastically different from your current mindset that it almost isn’t worth talking about. On the other hand, sleep just feels so good. It’s like a natural drug. You just give in, dim the lights down low, and drift off into a place where you forget about the real world for a few hours. When you’re exhausted, it’s hard to think about anything other than faceplanting in the nearest giving surface and passing out until rudely awakened by an alarm, housemate, or ferral dog.

I’m gonna go nap before the Halloween party in Sankt Lars tonight. You Canadian folks had better be saving some candy for me back home.



Hot damn, it’s going to be a good day.

Well, cold damn, I guess. Who cares, it’s snowing!

edit for snow:



A series of questionably influenced decisions led me to a weekend in Göteborg with some close friends. Rocky, Mika, Dougal and I hopped into Felix and Annina’s camper for two days of loosely planned awesome.

Saturday ended up being more or less rained out, so we enjoyed the Universeum, one of Göteborg’s many museums. This one focused on poisonous, deadly, or otherwise exciting wildlife, so it was pretty cool.

I was kind of rushed when it was happening, but in retrospect, touching a stingray was pretty amazing. There’s just something that feels so natural about interacting with the beasts with which we share our planet. I mean, I hate cats. They’re naturally evil, they activate my immune system’s self-destruct sequence, and they’ve taken out chunks of my flesh and tried for my best friend’s eye. That being said, anyone who can control the urge to rub their face in the belly of an appropriately cute cat isn’t actually a person at all.

We saw lots of fish:

We decided to end the evening at Delirium Café, a house of over 2000 beers. They only had the shitty Canadian beers, but my readings tell me that this was true of the selections from most countries.

On Sunday we wandered about the city enjoying the sunlight and October winds. Some of us were warmer than others.

Our last official stop was the Göteborg Stadsmuseum (city museum), where I felt older than I ever felt before. The previous record was when two of my high school friends got engaged, but seeing a Dell with a CD-ROM drive in a display in a history museum made me clutch at my heart while I yelled for my pills.

Overall, I had a great weekend full of interesting sights and conversation more philosophically and intellectually stimulating than I’ve had the pleasure of in years. In other news, this cooking thing isn’t that bad. If only I wasn’t so lazy, and so unimaginably bankrupt…

Oh, and since I apparently didn’t make it clear before, I’m going to be working in London, Ontario in January, and I’m currently planning on returning to the house of pain in the summer.

“Maybe the churches huddle together to fend off the cold wind of athiesm” – Dougal


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