YFU Switzerland

„Es schneielet es beielet, es goht รค chueele Wind…“

Finally a new blog letter!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry if it took me so long time to write this time, but the last few weeks I was quite busy (and I had other priorities; I say „priorities“ because a lot of people (me too sometimes) say that „they don’t have time to do that… bla bla bla“; but it’s not a matter of time or not, it’s a matter of priorities!!!!). Yes… better to leave aside such a talks. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now, as I sad before I have a lot to tell you with this letter; I just hope that I am not too boring or that I explain in an easy way… ๐Ÿ™‚

Very unexpected (I mean that it is not usual at this time of the year), snow has come in hole Sweden (also in the South, where it can also happen to have winters without snow…!!)! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here in ร„ngelholm we got about 20 cm (not a lot, but still to appreciate!!). ๐Ÿ™‚ In the beginning/middle of December, we had also a period of two weeks with constant cold temperature: it never went over 0 ยฐC and the minimum was around -15ยฐC… (brrrr, really cold)! But I really appreciated the „real winter whether“ (when the snow remains!). ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, the last week, it was warmer (over 0ยฐC), with rain… so, unfortunately all the snow smelted. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ˜‰ I really hope that „the white winter“ will soon come back also in Skรฅne!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually the hole rest of „big-Sweden“ is „under snow“ (just not in the South); and by looking pictures of other exchange students, I see that they have a lot of snow!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I envy them; I am jealous!!!!! ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here in ร„ngelholm, „the street cleaners“, don’t use to put salt on the roads (maybe only on the highway and some important trafficked streets)! Because of that, the snow doesn’t smelt, from the roads, so fast as in Switzerland… ๐Ÿ™‚ On the „secondary“ roads, you could do „cross-county skiing“! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And everyone rides bike and drive on snowy roads (on hard pressed snow)! I found this a really funny and nice „experience“ (difference with Switzerland)! ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, that the snow has gone, on every street you have some coarse sand.

In Sweden, they have a politic that alludes to have tires with little spikes (2-3 mm long). Actually it isn’t so good for the environment because it ruins more the asphalt (and creates more fine dust…).

The 13th December, we celebrated (in hole Sweden) St.Lucia! It is actually an originally Italian festivity. Now a days it is celebrated mostly in Sweden, Norway, Finland and a bit in Denmark; also in other west european countries and in Italy, there are celebrations, but they are not so important.

Here you have a short description about St.Lucia, from Wikipedia… ๐Ÿ˜‰

„The modern tradition of having public processions in the Swedish cities started in 1927 when a newspaper in Stockholmย elected an official Lucia for Stockholm that year. The initiative was then followed around the country through the local press. Today most cities in Sweden appoint a Lucia every year. Schools elect a Lucia and her maids among the students and a national Lucia is elected on national television from regional winners. The regional Lucias will visit shopping malls, old people’s homes and churches, singing and handing out pepparkakor (clove-cinnamon-ginger cookies).

Now boys take part in the procession as well, playing different roles associated with Christmas. Some may be dressed in the same kind of white robe, but with a cone-shaped hat decorated with golden stars, calledย stjรคrngossarย (star boys); some may be dressed up as „tomtenissar“, carrying lanterns; and some may be dressed up as gingerbread man. They participate in the singing and also have a song or two of their own, usuallyย Staffan Stalledrรคng, which tells the story about Saint Stefan, the first Christian martyr, caring for his five horses.

A traditional kind of bun, „Lussekat“ย („St. Lucia Bun“), made with saffron, is normally eaten on this day. (That day, our gymnasium bought a huge amount of „Lussekat“, so we had those little cakes and „julmost“ (Christmas must; very sweet and similar to Coca-cola) the hole day! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Although St. Lucia’s Day is not an official holiday in Sweden, it is a popular occasion in Sweden. The evening and night before (so called „Lusse-vigil“) The Lucia Day is a notoriously noisy time. Hight schoolย students often celebrate by partying all through the night. At many universities, students hold big formal dinner parties since this is the last chance to celebrate together before most students go home to their families for Christmas.“

What Wikipedia says is actually true, and is also happened this ear! ๐Ÿ™‚ Just one little correction: I didn’t participated at the party time on the St.Lucia-eve (as many of my classmates did)!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ That night I was actually at a fantastic floorball match in Helsingborg!! The 12.12.’12 was the first floorball match in the new Helsingborg Arena! A fantastic new and modern Arena! That night there were 4’613 spectators (and the Arena was not full!). ๐Ÿ™‚ I went there with my floorball team from ร„ngelholm. The best part of the evening was also that FC Helsingborg won with 10-6 against one of the best Swedish teems (Warberg)! A FCH player did also 6 goals (only in that match!!!!)! ๐Ÿ™‚ That evening, I also bought my first Swedish book (which has become my „before-sleeping“ lecture (every night!))! ๐Ÿ™‚ Its title is „Innebandy Piraterna“ („floorball pirates“); it is a novel about a floorball team that partecipates on the WFT (World Floorball Tour). The reading difficulty isn’t so hard (a really good level for me to improve my Swedish:) ); and the plot is also interesting and intriguing! ๐Ÿ™‚ The novel is actually a trilogy; therefore I am really looking forward also to read the other books. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s return back to the St.Lucia celebration! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The St.Lucia girl, is always dressed in white (as all the other members of the coral) and she heads the procession; what makes her special is she wears a crown with candles (real burning candles!) ๐Ÿ™‚ ,ย while others in the procession hold in their hands only a single candle each.

In the beginning of December, there was the floorball World Cup in Switzerland!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Pity that I missed them life; but because floorball is such a great sport, the official international-floorball-federation showed all the matches live on streaming (on internet)! ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course I didn’t looked to all the games; but I didn’t missed the most important ones!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ That was a great week with a lot of floorball! ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately, once again, Switzerland didn’t reached the finals. My national idols, lost in the semifinals 4-3 in the prolongations against the big Finland! ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ˜‰ That evening, I felt very sad for Switzerland! It was unjust! Switzerland just played better than Finnland! They deserved the finals; but no, once again (two years ago it was Sweden!), a bigger „fish“ has lucy on his side and wins…! ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ˜‰ That evening I thought: „wait some years, until I become a floorball champion (this would mean much much better than I am now!), and than the gold medal will only be for the Swiss“!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚ (It is good to have some dream moments…) ๐Ÿ™‚ The day after it was time for the final. On italian I would say „i finlandesi le anno prese“ („finland got a big defeat“)!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, the final score was 11-5 for the Swedes! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was very happy about that! ๐Ÿ™‚

On one hand, a week before Christmas,ย I had a very good floorball game! ๐Ÿ™‚ (but only on one hand!!) Let me explain. It was a normal game with the U18 team, against FCH (the best team in our tournament!). First period I got to played only 3-4 changes. The second period I didn’t played at all (very „sad“). The third period I played only the last 5 minutes, 3 changes. And in this 3 changes I did 2 goals!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ At the end we still lost the game, but I was very happy for my first two real goals!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ (I say „first real goal“ because I also scored some points also in previous matches, but only in „friendly-matches“…). I hope to continue on this way! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But most of all, I just hope that the trainer gets more confidence in me, and let me play more!

On the saturday before Christmas we (all the family and other 5 guests), went to a very nice restaurant to eat „julbordet“ (Christmas table/buffet). This is a typical Swedish tradition; the restaurants serve this buffets from November to Christmas. First you get some „glรถgg“ (mulled vine / vin brulรฉ) with almonds, raisins and ginger-biscuits („pepparkakor“). Than you pass to the first course which is mostly „composed“ of different types of herring fish („arringhe“ on italian) in different sauces, some types of salmon and some other fish patรฉ/terrine, with crispy-bred and sweet Christmas bred (spicy with raisins). After that you continue you dinner/meal with potatoes, other cooked fishes, meat, „julskinka“ (Christmas ham), half cooked-eggs with caviar, smoked eel, smoked salmon, the typical swedish meatballs, different types of cooked cabbage,… (maybe I forgot something… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Than of course some cheese… and later on (if you have still some place left in your stomach) some desserts: rice pudding/porridge, ginger-cookies, clementines, biscuits, swiss chocolate (toblerone! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), Christmas candies and coffee. Swedes are one of the population that eat more candies (the hole year long) and also with the coffee they don’t „go slowly“… And with this amount of food swedes never drink vine; here we (those who are allowed; not me!) drink beer, beer mixed with „julmust“, or only „julmust“, or schnapps (but this more on Christmas eve, at home…). But of corse, for those who also think about their health, the restaurant also serve happily fresh water… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚ . Yes, and so it was… (if you want to see some pictures, just look at my Facebook images…).

At Christmas eve, we (the Wiik family (7 components) and me) celebrated here in ร„ngelholm. We had a very nice afternoon-evening all together. ๐Ÿ™‚ After a little walk outside (before it becomes dark! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), we had also our „glรถgg“ and snacks; I also prepared one (snack): I prepared the nice and cute little mice! Everyone was very surprised and they appreciated it! ๐Ÿ™‚ From 3 pm. to 4 pm, we sat in the sofa and watched (as the most of the other Swedish families) to Walt Disney(!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ): Mickey Mouse, Ferdinand, Robin Hood,… That was nice! ๐Ÿ™‚ Than on the late afternoon, we also had our „julburd“ (Christmas buffet); not so big as that one in the restaurant, but still good food! ๐Ÿ™‚ During the hole meal, we also sang Christmas carols! The tradition is that everyone dance and sing around the Christmas three, but we skipped that part (we just sat on table and sang…) ๐Ÿ˜‰ . After every song, everyone says „Skรฅl“ (which means „Cheers“) and the men („the old men“) grab their schnapps glass… ๐Ÿ˜‰ . At 7 pm, we watched another Christmas cartoon movie (nice one, with a nice message/moral). Later on, accompanied from cookies, chocolate, thee, coffee,.., we played the „julklappspel“ (Christmas-present-game): everyone putted his parcels (that he had prepared before) on the middle of the table and then the game started with a die! ๐Ÿ™‚ When you got a 6 or a 1, you could pick up one parcel! ๐Ÿ™‚ … I think that the most of you, probably already know the game… so you probably know the happiness when you get a 6 or a 1… or the sadness when someone takes one of your parcels… ๐Ÿ˜‰ That was quite fun! I also got some nice and useful presents; others are to „give again away the next year“… ๐Ÿ˜‰

I actually also got some very nice present from my host family!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am very happy about that and thankful! ๐Ÿ™‚ (I have to come back another Christmas here…! ๐Ÿ˜‰ haha, no, just joking). ๐Ÿ™‚ And from Switzerland I also got two BIG parcels!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again to everyone, for all the presents and the Christmas cards!!!! I am very thankful! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am just wondering how I will bring all back to Switzerland!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ My suitcase was already very full and heavy on my journey to Sweden! My host family suggested me to invite here my sister, and say here to come with a big and „NOT full“ suitcase, so that at the end of here holiday she can help me to bring my things back home… ๐Ÿ˜‰ We will see… I don’t want to think already now about my journey back. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Four days ago, I had one of my best days! ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me explain. Henrik Quist is a swedish national floorball player; he plays in the highest swedish floorball league with Pixbo-Wallenstam (Gรถteborg). He also played in Switzerland some years in the best swiss team; and on december he wan his 4th gold medal with Sweden!!! Now; the biggest floorball shop in Sweden (Klubbhuset), is very active on the social medias, mostly to bring floorball to people and its fans… never mind; some weeks ago, Klubbhuset, mad another competition for floorball fans. To be won, was Henrik Quists floorball stick that he played on World Cup (in Switzerland, this last december); and the question was simple: „give us (to Kulbbhuset), the best motivation, why really you would be the best person to win Henriks stick“!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course I participated and gave my most sincere motivation… After on week, they (from Klubbhuset) ran through all the motivations (a lot, maybe more than 400… I don’t know.) and they chose one, the best one. This last friday, they posted the winner on Facebook. I read, without thinking, and see „Enea Moretti“…!!!!!!! WHAT???!!! read again: „Enea Moretti“!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ „I almost died of happiness, on that afternoon!!!!“ ๐Ÿ˜‰ I couldn’t believe it! But it was true! ๐Ÿ™‚ So, in two/three days I will get (with the post) a stick of a master, of a champion!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I felt (and still fell) like a king! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am still smiling now! ๐Ÿ™‚ The stick will hang in my room as an object with a lot of value!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

That same afternoon I also went in a floorball shop in Helsingborg and bought a new stick (to use!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ); I used a „gift-card“ (that I got on Christmas) and the stick was on sale… ๐Ÿ™‚ And now I am very happy and satisfied with this new stick! ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t felt good with the previous one… And that same evening, I also went to see a floorball game of FC Helsingborg (and they won again)!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ That was really a great day! Unforgettable! ๐Ÿ™‚

This last days, „the God of the wether“ wasn’t so happy: he had cold, so he had so wear a lot of dresses (clouds), and he was also quite sad, he cried a lot (rain)… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Should I try to tickle him… ๐Ÿ™‚ so that he will smile, get warm and take of his clothes…?!! ๐Ÿ™‚

The swedish-winter days are so short!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ At 3:30 pm – 4pm it is already dark, and it feels that it already evening and soon time to go to bed!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also noticed that I sleep much more that I do in Swiss winters. Okay, we are on holiday, but still…: I sleep about 11 hours a night, but when I go up I still feel tiered and I could sleep more… Probably, in the summer it will be the opposite… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, finally I feel that I am getting closer to be able to click on the „publish“ button… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sorry that I was so „un-diciplined“ this hole month of december (with my blog)… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m looking forward to do better in the new year. I also hope that this blog letter is understandable, because I wrote it in many different times… so maybe the timing isn’t so correct. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just understand and remember that I am on exchange-year and that I feel more stressed than I was in Switzerland. Maybe „stressed“ isn’t the wright word, but I mean that there are so many things that I would like to do every day, but one day has only 24 hours… and I have to choose my priorities… ๐Ÿ™‚ Not easy at all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Meanwhile, since the new year is „at the door“ (as I would say on italian „alle porte“), I wish you, to everyone, a magnificent 2013 full of love, happiness, smiling, hugs, laughter,… all what you wish! And HELTH!! (I can’t forget that)! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚ But don’t forget to look back to the „old“ year, and be happy and proud about it!! Just, feel good with what has happened in your 2012! See positive!! ๐Ÿ™‚ First be proud and happy about what you reached in the past (and the present!), be happy about that and enjoy that moment of satisfaction!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Only after, put your goals and project for the future! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am really looking forward to write again soon! Because there are so many things to tell!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will tell you about the new years eve, the holidays and about everything… ๐Ÿ™‚

„Cheers“ to celebrate 2012 and „skรฅl“ for the new year!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great time!!

I think you a lot! ๐Ÿ™‚