Sooo if you remember last week’s post, I said I was going to put more chemistry stuff in this entry. HOWEVER, the lab’s fume-hood ventilation systems underwent maintenance all of last week meaning we couldn’t do any lab work! So you’ve escaped from the chemistry language… for now…
With a whole week off I did have to find some things to keep me occupied! For the first half, the weather was pretty dreary, limiting me to indoor activities. I went to the cinema and watched the new Men in Black movie (I thought it was pretty good!) It’s interesting to watch movies with Swedish subtitles and see which of the words I can recognize. So far, it’s not many!
On my way home from the movies, a car that drove by me caught my attention. It was painted hot pink and it had ‘KAWAII.SE’ written in blue bubble letters. I saw it and thought, ‘Well it is a kawaii (cute) car- But aren’t we in Sweden???’ I looked up the website and found to my delight that Kawaii is a store in central Gothenburg that sells cute items imported from Japan. Of course I HAD to check it out! And it did not disappoint in terms of cuteness.
It was really cool to see a Japanese store in Sweden. I know anime and Japanese culture is popular with many Americans, but I never really stopped to consider it would be popular in Europe as well. It was a humbling reminder that I have lived a very America-centric life but also a neat example of how we can find common connections with people from all the way across the world.
Once the weather improved, I had the freedom to go do outdoorsy things (just in time as I was starting to get a little cabin fever). The first thing I did was visit a petting zoo at Slottskogen Park. I was a little hesitant to go at first because the zoo sounded like more of a child’s activity, but my desire to see cute animals won out. I had a great time petting goats, pigs, and sheep. I even made a new friend!
Friday was Midsummer Eve, a really huge holiday here in Sweden! I took a trip out the Archipelago to go see some celebrations. I found a nice concert going on and enjoyed watching the locals celebrate while wearing beautiful flower crowns and dancing around a big maypole.
On Saturday, I took a trip out to Carlsten Fortress in Marstrand. I learned it was built in the mid 1600s, and I got to walk around exploring shooting galleries, prison cells, and even a secret tunnel. It was an unbelievably cool experience. I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around how old the fortress was, and what an extensive history Sweden has.
Today was the first day back in the lab after the long break. I spent the day preparing and standardizing chemical solutions for an analytic titration. This is a relatively simple procedure and involves a lot of repetition, precision, and measurement taking. In other words, it’s a bit of a tedious task. Despite this, I didn’t even feel any boredom. I was just happy to finally be back in the lab!!!