I’ve been wondering what to write in this week’s entry. Last week, I had so many fun pictures and experiences to share with you, but this week was quite plain in comparison. All I did during the week was go to lab and then home, and during the weekend I unfortunately fell a bit ill, so I stayed in resting. In light of the ordinary week I’ve had, I’ve decided to focus this week’s post on the daily, run-of-the-mill things I see and do in a typical week (never thought I’d be describing a week in Sweden as typical!).
I’ll start with something really basic: transportation!
This is what the inside of the busses look like in Gothenburg. During the week, I usually just walk to the lab at Chalmers. But if the weather is bad or if I’m just feeling lazy, I hop on the bus! Sometimes it’s empty like in this picture, and sometimes it’s so full I have to stand. Either way, it’s a very convenient way to get around town.
Speaking of town, there’s quite a lot of construction going on in various parts of the city. Even by Chalmers, there is work being done to build new student dormitories. I walk by the construction every day, and there is a sign that always cracks me up.
I don’t know what the sign says, but I always imagine the little construction guy going, “NOOOOOO!”and it makes me laugh.
Getting into the lab is a pretty cool experience in itself. During the summer, most of the doors are locked. To unlock them, I have a key card and code that allows me to access the locked areas. It makes me feel like a secret agent or something and it’s all rather exciting. Once I’m in the lab, I get to work, either launching a reaction, running an NMR analysis, or trying different purification methods.
One of the professors at Chalmers once said to us, “If I knew what I was doing, it wouldn’t be research.” I’m very glad he said that, because much of the time, I’m not very sure at all what I’m doing! You just try different things and write down what happens. Little by little, we learn more about the overall system!
After lab, I often stop at a grocery store on my way home to get ingredients for dinner.
It’s dangerous to go in here because they have a big wall of different breads and pastries, and it’s really hard to resist buying them all. The cinnamon buns and donuts here are sooo good! I had a tough time getting used to this store since everything is in Swedish, but I’m more or less used to it now. It’s gonna be interesting when I go home and try to shop in a Wal-Mart. I wonder if I’ll remember where everything is.
In the evening, I usually relax and maybe do a little cooking. I’ve been experimenting with different recipes. The other day, I made parmesan green bean ‘french fries’ that were pretty delicious. I also bought a glass flask at IKEA so I can make iced tea. I love iced tea in the summer, but it’s not very popular here in Sweden, so it’s very hard to find. But now I can make it whenever I want, AND in style!
I hope this post gives some good insight into how my everyday life has been here. The closer it gets to the end of my trip, the more homesick I am becoming. Three weeks somehow feels both like such a short time and such a long time. I know I will miss the people and places I’ve grown to care about, but I’ve found myself thinking a lot about my family and friends at home. I know my parents are especially eager to have me back. But I’ve got a few more adventures to have before heading home!