Today marks exactly one more month in Gothenburg before winter break begins, and then another month exactly until I'm back in Sweden, and I realize how much of an attachment I've grown to this city and the people I've met here. When I got here, I knew I would make friends, but I also knew that they would leave and I would leave and, well, studying abroad is a pretty temporary situation. When I booked my travel tickets this morning, though, and thought about not seeing some of these people for the rest of my life after this month, I'm not going to lie, I teared up a little. I made a conscious decision for the next 30 days to see as many people as possible, to talk to friends I met in September and haven't seen in quite a bit, to spend every possible minute in the company of someone else, and to do all the things we said we'd do.
Jessica is one of those people that I met the first day, and then almost never saw again. Since we're both from the States, we both avoided hanging out with the other one to eschew association of "The Americans" or "those American girls," and plus, we didn't want to hang out with what we already know from home. We figured out last week that this was silly, since every nationality has their own little clique here, and if we get along, why shouldn't we be able to grab drinks?
Upon Jessica's suggestion, we went to Ölhallen 7:an, the oldest bar and last remaining beer hall in Gothenburg. Established before today's bar and pub regulations, it serves neither cider, wine, nor food, just beer. Ölhallen was exactly what I've been looking for in Gothenburg: a warm, small, comfortable local bar that's quiet enough to grab a beer with someone and have a good chat on a weekday night. The bartender was super friendly, and let us sample the beers before we finally settled on Leffes. We're looking forward to going back, since the atmosphere was so great and the regulars there were so inviting. At closing time, they all bought us drinks and let us stay late, chatting with us like we were some old Swedish friends that had walked in. This was also the first time that a stranger has bought a drink for me, because usually I give off DO NOT APPROACH ME, I CAN BUY MY OWN DRINK, NOT INTERESTED, THANKS vibes, but you know what? Getting purchased drinks is awesome. I'm never going back. It sets back feminism like, at least a couple of decades, but free beer is undeniably great.
But yeah, back to making the most of things. Items on the docket for the next month:
Ping Pong Mondays at the bar
Dying my hair
Iron Chef Gothenburg with Joy (this week is fried rice, next week is pie)
SO MUCH ICE SKATING
Hitting a new club on Wednesday
Return to Ölhallen