Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This morning, in Lerum, it was -3C! Which is less than freezing! There was ice on the windshield! Yea, can you believe that?! Sweden IS cold! The past 2 days have been really nice, no clouds and plenty of sunshine! But definitely cold! Fredrik and I met in the park for lunch and it was almost too cold to have a picnic! It isn't even October yet!

I forgot to write about last Friday. There is a Swedish "happy hour" here and it's called "After Work". It's almost exactly like happy hour, only you buy your glass of beer and you get a plate with it and you eat buffet style food. We met 2 of the guys from my class. It was so nice! We went to a place called the Rumpan Bar, and had beers, mojitos and a lot of delicious food! Hopefully we will do it again!

The Swedish word of the day is "öl" which means "beer" and is pronounced "uhl". SO, I know this is what everybody wants to know. "jag skulle vilja ha en öl, tack" "I would like to have a beer, please!" "yah skulle vilya ha en uhl, tack!"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

For Henry and Ian

I saw this and immediately thought about the Farthing boys! They would have loved this, and they were even letting people sit in it! :)

The day in Skövde was amazing, and the train ride was so much fun! I had such a good time exploring with Fredrik. He's such an amazing tour guide! Seeing where he did his military service was really fun and interesting too! Puts a new perspective on him! I love learning new things about him all the time!

Also! Today I got my early birthday present from Fredrik's parents. Ann, his mom, took me and bought me 3 new pairs of shoes for the winter! So 3 pairs of warm shoes that won't get wet, since it will start raining ALL the time! 3 pairs of shoes in one day is like a dream come true for me! :)

The Swedish word of the day is "sko" which means "shoe" and is pronounced "skoo". To say "shoes" you change the word to "skor". In Swedish there are a lot of different grammar rules when it comes to singular and plural. Every word has an "en" or "ett" that goes in front of it and that determines how the word changes from singular to plural. It's really difficult because there are no rules, you just have to memorize all those words, and if you don't know it, it messes the whole sentence up! And to Swedes, it sounds really bad if you use the wrong one!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This weekend.

Fredrik and I are going to Skövde on Saturday morning. We will get on the "fast" train around 9am and it takes about an hour to get there. Fredrik, being the amazing man he is, of course booked us first class, since it's my first experience on the fast train. How sweet. I feel like a little kid, so excited to get on a train and eat breakfast on it! Haha. When we get there, we will spend the day looking at the military base (I think that's what they call it in the Swedish military) where he did his military time here in Sweden. Then he'll show me around the town, do some stuff, just hang out, and our train leaves at 6. I wish it were Friday, I want to go now!

On another lovely note, I just noticed the trees here are starting to change colors. It's really gorgeous, I can't wait for more to change. Right now it's just a few trees here and there with really red or orange leaves. It's my favorite time of year, and hopefully it will prove to be just as beautiful here as it is back home.

The Swedish word for the day is "höst" which means "fall" and is pronounced "hust".

Monday, September 21, 2009

2 things...

Just TWO little things I've noticed that I think you at home might find interesting:

1. People here spit, a lot. Not everybody, so I don't want any Swedes to let me have it and say oh no, I don't spit on anything, but really...a lot of Swedes do. I've never seen that before! Not in a public place anyway. You will be sitting and waiting for the train and then you look down and notice your feet are in somebody else's spit! It's really disgusting! I thought only farmers did that! My mom always told me how disgusting and rude it is to spit, so maybe that's why I'm so flabbergasted by it! You also see little snus packets everywhere on the streets and sidewalks. Sometimes they stick to the bottom of your shoe! How horrible!

2. People getting on public transportation abandon all rules of manners and being polite. If you have a bus or tram to get on, you get on it, whether or not there are many other people waiting or many other people trying to get off. No matter what, you push your way on and push your way to the closest seat. It's really something I don't think I will ever get accustomed to. I'll continue to have my small town attitude, no public transportation experience, and polite manners. I have yet to miss a bus or tram due to being polite and simply waiting on a few people to shuffle their way off!

The word of the day is "tåg" which means "train" and is pronounced "tog".

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Ahem is something Fredrik does before he switches from English to Swedish. He doesn't literally say "ahem" but he does clear his throat, and he did this unknowingly until I pointed it out. Well in my Swedish class, I have found that I say "ahem" before I have to read out loud or say something about myself in Swedish. Maybe this is the international way of switching from English to Swedish. I don't know, but it helps, I guess. :)

The Swedish word/words of the day are "svenska" och (and) "Sverige". They mean "swedish" and "Sweden". Svenska is pronounced the way it looks and Sverige is pronounced "sveriyuh"...kind of. The "r" is slightly rolled. It's more a flip of the tongue! :)
"Jag talar lite svenska"-"I speak a little Swedish". "yah tohlar leete svenska."
"Vi bor i Göteborg, Sverige."-"We stay in Gothenburg, Sweden."."vee bor ee yuteborg, sveriyuh"

Note-the "g" sound is really awkward, some words it's a weird "yuh" sound and in other words it's just a normal "g". Also, the "i" is pronunced "ee" and it comes from an awkward place in your throat that most English speakers cannot find!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jag kommer från USA

At first I said "Jag kommer från America" and was immediately corrected! No, you don't say America, you say "oooo essss aaaah" Oooook teacher!

Today, the 2nd day of class was just like yesterday. A lot of learning and a lot of focusing! I really like it though. There is something...sweet, about learning the native language of your fiance, I guess. :)

So in my class, there is a girl from Germany and a girl from Austria, they are both au pairs, which initially made me really excited but since they both speak German, I get left out! I feel like I'm in the 3rd grade again! I'm all upset because I don't fit in! Haha. But I do stick with a nice group of "older" people whom I get a coffee with on our 30 minute break. A guy from New Zealnd, a guy from London, a guy from Switzerland (not to be confused with Sweden, Sarah!) and a woman from Holland. They are all really nice and all 3 of the men are married to Swedish women, so that's kind of cool to talk about.

The Swedish word of the day is "lärare" which is "teacher" and pronounced "lahrahre".
"Jag är lärare"-"I am a teacher". " yah air lahrahre".

Note-to all Swedish speakers who might happen to be reading this, it's a loose explination of the words, and very simple one at that, so don't judge me or correct me if you see a minor error or deatil. It's ok, let it go. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jag heter Ashley

So, as you can see, I started my class today! It was so much fun! The teacher is really a sweet old lady who only speaks Swedish to us (unless it's necessary she speaks English) there are only 7 of us in the class, so that makes it easy to ask questions and get a lot of talking in, and it's in a really nice part of town! I loved it and 3 and a half hours flew by! After the class my brain was fried though! I had to think and think and think the whole time!

My notes consisted of some scribbly scrach, but what I can make out I got some good stuff...and thanks to Fredrik, some of the stuff I already knew especially my numbers. (About a year ago he sent me a HUGE document he typed up himself that explained numbers, money, etc. It was incredibly sweet and really useful!)

Jag heter Ashley (my name is Ashley)
Vad heter du? (what is your name)
Jag kommer ifrån USA (I come from USA)
Varifrån kommer du? (where do you come from)
Jag talar Engelska (I speak English)
Vad talar du för språk? (what do you speak)

How fun is that?! Haha, it's so simple and incredibly planned out, but really fun to actually say it to somebody! I take for granted how easy it is to just speak English here in Sweden, because it's an amazing country and they teach their children English at a very early age, usually around 6 or 7. So it's easy to get away with not learning Swedish. There is a British guy in my class who has lived here over a year and knows no Swedish at all! He finally decided it's a big arogant to live in a country and not even try to learn the language. So true! So I'm really happy I am doing this and hopefully after my 4 intensive weeks, I certainly won't be fluent, but hopefully I can have a strong foundation to build on!

The Swedish word of the day is "Ursäkta" which means "excuse me". I think this is a word Swedish people could use to relearn! :) You can also use "Förlåt".

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birthday boy

This weekend, on the 13th, is Fredrik's birthday! I'm excited! It's our first birthday, between the two of us, that we get to celebrate together! Me being the child-like adult I am, have already given him his 3 presents I picked out and wrapped over 3 weeks ago! I can't help it! I love birthdays, presents, and celebrations, especially for the man of my dreams! :) We aren't doing much for his birthday though. Both of us would like to take it easy, so we are going to his parents cabin for the weekend. It's beautiful country side and really relaxing. It gives us a chance to spend some quality time with each other and I can't get enough of that!

Next week, on the 14th, I start my Swedish class! It's from 9am to 12:30pm, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks! So hopefully by the end of all that, I'll have a good grasp of the language and will feel more confident using it! Being able to order for myself will be my main goal.

On the driving front, I am actually doing really well! I feel much more confident and I'm not nervous everytime I drive. I even am willing to take new paths to certain destinations, I don't panic when there is traffic or an obsticle, I even drove to a new place yesterday, the furthest away from the house I have been on my own driving! How exciting! Haha. By the end of my time here, I bet driving a stick shift will be 2nd nature (I hope).

Funny story of the day-
Yesterday I was in Göteborg and there was an older lady walking in a nice skirt that went a little past her knees. As I was walking behind her, I noticed her whole bottom was exposed and the back of her legs! I felt SO bad, and knowing a lot of older people in Sweden don't speak English I hesitated on whether to stop her and tell her, but as a firm believer in karma, I decided it would be far worse if I let her walk away. SO I stopped her and really calmly, slowly, and politely told her the problem and kind of...pointed it out! She was SO embarrassed and of course, didn't speak English, but managed to say "thank you". It was so cute and I feel so happy that I decided to tell her, hopefully if something embarrassing is going on with me, somebody will tell me!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

death shroud

Haha, not really. It was the scarf I wore on Saturday and it just happened to fit perfectly over Fredrik's body. I'm just a little bit creepy I guess. We laughed really hard after I took this picture though.

We had a pretty uneventful weekend. Attended a party my host family had to celebrate their 5th year in Sweden. It was nice to have some adult conversation and eat some delicious food.

FYI-when you got a movie in Sweden, you have to purchase your tickets ahead of time on the internet because you have assigned seats. If you wait to purchase at the theater, there is a chance you will not sit by your date. So some heavy planning is required if you want to go to a movie!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Top 10

The top 10 things I miss the most from Kansas:
1. My family and friends
2. Sonic drinks (cocnut cream slush and mango sweet tea)
3. 3 cheese mac-n-cheese
4. My beautiful black Jeep Liberty (better known as Philippe the Jeep)
5. Going to a restaurant and ordering for myself
6. Pre packaged cinnamon rolls, biscuits, and pancakes
7. Many, many, many choices of shredded cheese
8. Flavored coffee creamers (for fall Pumpkin Spice, for all seasons Vanilla)
9. Chipotle
10. Football

The top things I know I'm going to miss about Sweden:
1. Hushållsost (Household cheese)
2. Fika
3. Kebab
4. Marabou
5. Any type of Swedish bread
6. Eating a pepper and cucumber with almost every meal
7. Kanelbulle
8. Zingo
9. Feeling useful and using Västtrafik (public transportation)
10. Godis

You might be wondering why I didn't put Fredrik on my list, because I expect him to come back to Kansas with me, if not with me, shortly after me!

And Happy September! It's already fall here in Sweden. My winter clothes arrived from my mom today! Thanks, mom! You are the best!