What have I been up too? Sleeping in Jailhouses.

What have I been up too? Sleeping in Jailhouses.

Hej Hej everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts! I have been a busy bee the past few days.

Let’s see, so Friday’s are my busiest days in school. We start at 8 and end at 4. Why they choose to o this on a Friday and not like Monday when we get out at 11 I will never know. So on Friday I also have the great pleasure of starting my day of with gym. My school is very small, so we must go to a different building for gym. It is about a 20 minute walk from my house, so I woke up throw on my gym clothes and set off. I was half asleep, but the pouring rain soon woke me right up. I got to the gym 5 minutes early and there was no one there so I just sat by the door. 5 minutes go by, 10 minutes, 25…and still no one. I did not have a cellphone, so I just gave up and walked back home in the pouring rain. Turns out on Fridays we have gym class in a another building! My class felt really bad for not telling me and promised to show me where it is next week, so in the end it was all ok.

The next class we have on Friday is math. I go off and do my own math lessons online because I already know what my classmates are learning, but I have taken to helping them out a lot lately, They really appreciate it as math does not come very easy for them and I enjoy helping them out. It helps me to learn and forces me to explain things in many ways which deepens my understanding as well.

Once math was done it was off to lunch! (My personal favorite part of the day) I had salmon with potatoes and salad. Yummy. Etik is next on my schedule and quiet frankly is my favorite class. We talk about all sorts of issues and problems, this week focusing on animal cruelty. We discuss whether it is right/wrong to eat animals, make clothes out of them, do product testing on them, etc. It is fascinating hearing everyone’s opinions (and promising that I can understand almost everything they say in Swedish!) The class is structured more like a seminar rather than a lecture, so we all just voice our own personal opinions. Next week we are watching a documentary made by 2 Swedish guys called “The weather Man”. It is about climate changes and is suppose to be great.

We finish the day with English and Swedish, both were uneventful. After school on Friday I went home and found that Mor Mor and Douglas were there! We had a great chat and made plans to go to Gekas (will explain more later) today. For dinner Mats and Mei Mei had been craving a very traditional Swedish meal called “Pytt I panna” It consists of chopped potatoes, meat, and onions topped with a sunny side up egg. I will post a picture below. However, because that contains meat Bea and I had Cod topped with a creamy lemon sauce, cauliflower mash, and a nice salad. By the time we finished dinner it was about 8 oclock. I was exhausted so Olivia and I beached ourselves on the couch, watched ”Let’s Dance” (Swedish version of Dancing with the Stars) and called it a night.

Saturday woke up, had some breakfast, then it was off to help coach Mei Meis soccer team. I do this every Saturday morning now and really like it. This also really helps my Swedish because the little kids are not very good at English yet, so in order to speak with them I must use Swedish. I cannot wait until April when the practices are moved outside. The coaches like my help so much that they even offered to let me help out with a few other teams if I want too and take a short class on teaching soccer in a few weeks.

After soccer practice I went to the gym and had a great workout. Once I cam home I was ravenous so I made a quick lunch with consisted of basically throwing a bunch of left over things in a pan and hoping it works out. Well in fact it turned out SO well that I will post the recipe for you guys below! Maybe it was the fact that I was so hungry, but in my opinion it was amazing (and healthy of course :) ).

I spent the next few hours of my Saturday cleaning and doing errands. I had made plans to maybe go see a movie with a classmate later that night, but at around 5 I got a call from one of my fellow exchange students in town inviting me to come hangout with him and about 14 other exchange students from all over that were in town for the night! I quick called my friend and we agreed to move the movie to next Saturday and go see it in Gothenburg instead because they have better movies there and then quick said bye to Bea and ran off to go  have dinner with the exchange students!

I met my friend Gabriel who was hosting the gathering and we walked to his house where all the exchange students were already waiting. Once we got there I was great by 12 friendly faces – 5 from the USA, 2 from Australia, 1 from France, 1 from Korea, 2 from Brazil, and 1 from Mexico. We all immediately introduced ourselves and instantly bonded from there. Exchange students bond so quickly it amazes me. Like no matter what or how different they are, we all get a long so well. Probably because we are all in the same boat. It can often feel very lonely being an exchange student and living so far away from your family for so long. When we are having a bad day, our Swedish friends can never really relate to what it is like, exchange students however understand perfectly. It has helped me so much having so many exchange student friends because I know we always have each others backs. If I am having a bad day they are a short phone call away – we really become a family together, the exchange students.

After talking for a few hours we went upstairs to have dinner, where we were greeted by a feast. Pasta, salad, burgers, salmon, bread, chips, 15 sauces, needless to say we were in heaven. We had a great dinner and all went around the table telling more about ourselves and what we thought was the weirdest thing about Sweden. The answers varied from how they recycle, to the way they dress, to the shyness, to the herring, to the language, etc! Not to worry fellow Swedes that may be reading this – we all agreed that Sweden as whole is a beautiful country and we are so grateful to have the opportunity to have lived in it.

At around 10 oclock, everyone decided that it was time to walk to the hotel where we all were staying the night. This hotel was not an average hotel though – it was the fortress’s old haunted jailhouse! I have mentioned the fortress here in Varberg a lot (the one that is literally right outside my front door), but do not know if I have ever said anything regarding the haunted jailhouse that lies within it. Here is a little info I found online regarding the fortress.

The fortress was originally built in 1618 and was then used as a prison, and now currently serves as a museum. Many prisoners were condemned for life and buried on the grounds of the fortress and their spirits are said to still roam the space.

Visitors of the fortress have said that they’ve experienced feelings of both anxiety and anguish when crossing the archway outside the dungeon. And guests that have walked by the wall surrounding the cemetery have felt like invisible objects were hitting them. Apparitions such as a headless knight have also been seen roaming through the fortress.

In the museum, the most jarring image is the visible display of the Bocksten Man which features the boxed skeletal remains of a man who was at one time a prisoner of the fortress. And in an effort to keep his spirit from coming back to haunt the space, his murderer drove a wooden stake through his heart — which still remains as a piece of the exhibit today.

It is also legend that an Old French Queen that hated Varberg and the castle with all her heart, but was forced to live their until she died haunts the fortress grounds. Sometimes on a quiet night it is rumored that you can still hear her quietly singing a French lullaby wishing everyday that her spirit could return to her home land.

So back to the jailhouse itself. There are about 20 single rooms in it. They are the old jail cells, and still look true to that. We had rented the whole thing out for the night. The place itself was small, but nice. They have refurbished it a little, but for the most part a lot remains the original dating all the way back to 1600s. The doors, flooring, chandelier, are all originals. We stayed up late into the night talking about anything and everything. It was really a great time. Thankfully I did not have any paranormal sightings, others claim to have heard things in the night. Personally I think all the stories and candy we ate just got to their head.

So that is what I have been up to the past few days. It is Sunday today and I am still thoroughly exhausted from last nights festivities, but I will need to rally my strength because in a few hours Mor Mor is picking me up and we are going to Gekas! Gekas is the biggest super store in all of Sweden. In the summer tourists, Norwegians, Danes alike all flock to Gekas to stock up on food, clothes, supplies, anything! It is like a giant TJ Max mixed with Costco mixed with Walmart. They buy overstock and then sell it for super cheap. However, they also have their own brand which they sell as well. I will talk more about my trip in a separate post, filled with tons of pics and my purchases! Although I do not know how much more poor credit card can take as this week I was forced to buy an Entire Spring Wardrobe basically! The weather is suppose to be 10 C (50F) and sunny on Monday – I cannot wait!

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