Sunday, June 04, 2006

starfishin' the north atlantic, part 4: springtime in skåne

This is the fourth segment of our Starfishin' the North Atlantic series. If you're new to the series, click here for context. If you missed the last segment, click here. For the next segment, click here. If all you want to see are pictures without the stories, click here.

Longtime readers of starfish and waffles already know that one of the main objectives of my trip was to visit Lund University in Sweden.

Spring is in full bloom in Lund, Sweden. (2006).

As you may recall, LU had accepted me into their Master's program in Asian Studies for Fall 2006. So I had figured the prudent thing to do was to visit the school before quitting on my career back here in North America.

My impressions, after the visit? Lund is a charming town and it feels like there should be a university here. Tall, broadleaf trees line a campus filled with quaint old buildings, superb coffee shops, and beautiful Swedish women! I spoke to a couple of the professors in the program who were very nice and refreshingly upfront about the all of the things the school could and could not offer potential students like myself.

But as wonderful as it all seemed, I had also promised myself that I wouldn't make the move if I couldn't clearly picture myself living in the town for this Fall ... and when I tried to picture it, well, I just couldn't. Maybe the thought of moving to a foreign country only eight weeks from now just seemed a little too rushed.

Next Fall, however, is a different story. Therefore, Sweden remains a good option for 2007. The way I see it, deferring will give me a year to save up some money and get my thoughts together so I can do things the right way should I decide head across the Pond.

So for better or for worse, you're stuck with at least another year of Canadian starfish and waffles.

Apparently, in Sweden, I'm a brand of ketchup. (2006). The fact that two of me can be had for 30 Swedish kronor (about C$4.50 or US$4.00) at the local Willy's is not good for my self-esteem.

The Main University Building of Lund University. (2006). Lund University is Sweden's largest post-secondary institution with 40,000+ students.

Wandering the medieval streets of Lund, Sweden. (2006). Once the capital of Denmark, Lund was founded around 1000. After a prolonged war, Sweden took over Lund and the Skåne region in 1658. Lund University was built shortly thereafter, in large part to assimilate the Danish population.

Bicycles parked on Clemenstorget, Lund, Sweden. (2006). Unlike in North America, nobody in Sweden locks their bike.

The STF Vandrarhem Tåget, Lund, Sweden. (2006). Situated on an abandoned track near the Lund train station, the Vandrarhem Tåget - essentially an old train - is one of the more unique hostels I've ever stayed in. There are three bunks per tiny sleeping compartment, which is fine if you have a compartment all to yourself, like I did the first night I stayed here. Unfortunately, on the second night, the hostel was full and the guy in the frighteningly rickety bunk above me must have weighed about 280 pounds. Had the bunk given ... wow, now that would have been a bad way to go, huh?

Me, inside the aforementioned tiny sleeping compartments aboard the Train Hostel. (2006). You may be asking yourself: why does Felix look so damn smug in the picture? It may be because I'm in Sweden, baby! Or, it could be because I only paid 130 Swedish kronor (C$19 or US$21) a night for a bed. Or, just maybe, it's because I'm the least photogenic person alive, and out of seven similar shots, THIS was the best one. *Sigh*

Hockey Night in Sweden aboard the Train Hostel. (2006). You'll be pleased to know I played an eleven-year old kid from Holland and mercilessly pummelled him back to Amsterdam. We Canadians take our (table) hockey very, very seriously.


  1. Awesome pictures ... you should photograph for a living ... especially polar bears and dingos.

  2. I agree with me... (as I often tend to do..). You always take great shots!

    Ahh... how great to finally put a face to the felix! What a cutey!

  3. FELIX revealed! Smug or not, you're photogenic by anyone's criteria.

  4. me, -c, and Long Division ... thanks!