… Uppsala. Sweden, Day 29

The last working day of the week and a wonderful morning! In the morning everything looked great, however during the day obstacles were accumulating in my way.

The first obstacle actually started yesterday afternoon while cooking and it was also the funniest one. I had a feeling I was loosing my cooking enthusiasm during last few days, so I decided to cook even on Friday instead of going to Logen Restaurant at the campus. This way I would save a lunch coupon for my last week, since I expected the situation to get only  worse. To make my cooking easier I bough a package of powder mix for “Spaghetti Bolognese” sauce. It was promising four portions only for 11,90kr. The cooking instructions came in all Scandinavian languages but not in English. Since the instruction were only three lines long and accompanied by two pictures, which I understood very well, I could not see any problem. Until I started cooking.

Spaghetti Bolognese Mix

For some reason I decided to translate the instruction and this step brought lots of surprise to my face. The first line of instruction did not say “450 g pasta”, but “450 g burger” instead. Where should I get burger? With barely four weeks of cooking experience, I was forced to use my fantasy. I fried my last two weenies on a pan. After opening the package of magic mix, I guessed how much one fourth of  it might be and diluted it in some boiling water – pretty much like doing instant soup so many times before. When I liked its consistency I tasted it and realized it was way too concentrated. Adding water until I liked its taste, I prepared rather soup than sauce. I poured the stuff to the weenies on the pan and let it cook for some time. A miracle happened and soup started turning into sauce. The last step was to add some garlic. How simple! This I can do three more times, in other words once a week. Nice.

I used my “new” pasta to go with the sauce for the first time. I bought it, because I was getting tired of spaghetti. It is not only of a different shape, but its also colorful. This kind of tricolor noodles (regular ones, tomato and spinach ones) is usually quite expensive, however not in Sweden: regular noodles were only 0,05kr cheaper in Willy:s.

Tricolor Noodles

The final dish looked really nice, since it was so colorful, and also the taste was surprisingly good. I named it “Tricolor Bolognese Noodles”,

Tricolor Bolognese Noodles

I do not think I really enjoyed this working day, since it was microscopy again and no good results again; followed by some more planting of seedling which were even smaller than the ones yesterday.

The second obstacle: one of the guys from my lab, who returned from his vacation only two days ago, asked me about my plans for weekend. When I told him I would like to visit Sigtuna, he came with couple of arguments why it was not worth visiting. Frankly, he decreased my excitement about the trip quite a lot.

The third obstacle: cleaning my room again. I was told quite early after my arrival that there was a problem with bedbugs in this corridor, which I translated as a problem of the whole building. Although I was assured the room I am renting has never ever been infested, any mention of the bugs make me scared and leads to cleaning my room again and again. An insect running on the corridor yesterday evening captured my attention. Albeit it most likely was not a bed bug it made me feel it was time for another round of serious cleaning, including awfully smelling¨floor disinfectant.

The period of very nice weather continued today, although Swedes would probably call it a heat wave. I did not feel like for more roller blading, but still wanted to enjoy it. So, I went to do my shopping today. And since I had a great trip planned for Saturday I decided to buy a bus ticket as well. This would not make my walk not only longer, but I also would not have to go all the way to the Central Station morning tomorrow morning.

And here we come to obstacles number four and five. As I wanted to check my trip itinerary I realized I had left it in the office. Great, let’s search for the bus connection again!

The fourth obstacle needs a bit more explanation. My trip to Stockholm teach me that buying a ticket at the ticket agent is a bit more expensive than doing so online. The company, whose bus I planned to use this time, has however ticket machines available. So, I used one of them to get my ticket. The very unpleasant surprise came, when I read on the ticket it got valid at the time of purchase and was good for only 90 minutes. The company had an office not far from the machine, so I went there immediately to discuss with them. But it was Friday afternoon, July and Sweden, so why should it have been in open? The good side of spending 45kr for this lesson on public transportation in Uppland was that it was quite a small part of estimated trip costs (for the trip I would need four tickets in total, two of them for 100kr).

This day had also a sixth obstacle for me, however this time it was rather a pleasant one. When I returned from the shop, Christoph and Mitra just finished backing their breads, so I was invited to do the tasting with them. Homemade bread with pumpkin seeds inside, white poppy seeds on the top, and German honey was a too great offer to resist. While eating delicious breads, we chatted about lots of things: from white poppy seeds and poppy seeds in general, to bread quality to names of pasta to Christoph’s biking trip which he starts tomorrow.

Wasted money, necessity to go to the Central station tomorrow morning again (about 50 minutes long walk) and my itinerary lying on the desk at my office, I gave up planning the trip. Maybe it is the right time to “do nothing” for a while.

That was the story of how a great trip planning turned into a plan of sleep as long as you want.


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