First things first. You better not have mentally pronounced it “jag” as in Mick Jagger; the title of the post sounds more like, “yah bore eee Lund nooh”. Yes, I’m a Swedish snob already. Well I’ve been in Lund for six weeks now, so there’s quite a bit to catch everyone up on… poor effort on my part. On the other hand, I’ve got enough stories and observations to be able to separate into logical sections. This first one will be an overview of settling in to Lund.
I arrived here on the 21st of August with a rucksack, a duffel bag, and high hopes for my long-awaited exchange semester. Arrival day was a hectic blur which went something like: fly into Copenhagen airport, accidentally take the reserved seating/intercity train to Lund even though I had a regular/local train ticket, get off the train at Lund, get driven to a university building by international mentors who met us at the station, leave luggage in storage, officially enrol/sign in, sign housing contract, pick up keys, fail to buy bedding because it had sold out, get driven to new accommodation by mentors – top notch organisation, Lund Uni! Really helped make a very hectic day quite bearable.
So there I was, standing with four or five other new students, at the entrance to my new apartment in Klostergården, slightly outside the centre of Lund. First issue: “Swedish levels”. This is a phenomena which, as far as I’m aware, is unique to Sweden (perhaps the rest of Scandinavia also?) – it involves labelling the ground floor as ground, then the next floor as level 2. Whereas elsewhere this would be referred to as level 1. However, the houses are still numbered according to traditional logic, meaning I live in room 1103, on level 2 of my building. The apartment above mine is 1203, on level 3, etc. After finally figuring this out and managing to locate my room, I opened the door and was hit by a stereotypically Swedish studio apartment; compact, neat, and 100% decked out in IKEA products. Table? IKEA. Chairs? IKEA. Cutlery/crockery? IKEA again.
After exploring my new home, it was time to head to the supermarket. It was around 7pm by then, and I hadn’t eaten in about 8 hours. Luckily for me, there’s a little shopping square a very convenient minute’s walk away, consisting of a bakery, a pizzeria, a pharmacy, and a Netto (cheaper grocery store) and Coop Konsum (all for the organic/ecological produce; bit pricier, but better fresh food, meat, and… just overall better). After visiting both the Netto and the Coop, I had some food in my fridge, and made myself a salad, which I ate whilst listening to music on my iPad – I’d managed to forget my adaptor in Turkey, so I couldn’t charge my laptop, and besides, I had to ethernet cable in order to connect to the internet. It was a bit of a lonely first night, topped off by the fact that I had no bedding, and so resorted to sleeping on a towel on the mattress, and a jumper as a pillow.
After that, things steadily improved. Kapil (a friend of one of my friends from Sydney) who had already been in Lund on exchange for a semester, happened to be living in the building next to mine, and very generously gave me a spare quilt, pillow, and a huge bag full of tea/oil/spices/miscellaneous kitchen items. What a life saver! I bought an ethernet cable and adaptor, then a bike, which is pretty much the mandatory mode of transport for a student at Lund Uni. More on my bike adventures later. The rest of my first two weeks was spent attending Introductory Swedish lessons (with the amazing Anders Andebjorn as our teacher – every lesson included a singalong with his guitar), going on a trip to IKEA organised by the uni, getting my subjects sorted (involved waiting for FOUR HOURS to talk to my coordinator), joining the gym and meeting other exchange students. My little studio apartment quickly began to look like home:
It took me no time at all to grow fond of my new town – it’s all little cobblestoned streets and old buildings and greenery. And soon enough, I no longer needed a map to find my way around (great relief, as I had to keep stopping and getting off my bike to check where I was going). Here are a few photos of Lund:
So there you have it. Introduction to Lund complete, however brief and missing several important points no doubt. Feel free to leave a comment if you’re curious about anything else in particular. Next up, I’ll introduce a few of my new friends. Expect a spammage of posts, as I really want to catch up on everything ASAP in order to be able to write about current stuff. But hey, it’s nearing exam time back home, so you can procrastinate (as I know you all are already) by reading about all the fun I’m having instead of studying 🙂