Of apartments, choirs, credit cards and Chinese lucky biscuits

9th September 2015

Yesterday it was the movie night at university, organized by the international students association. Every week a country is drawn from which films will be chosen. Yesterday was the time of Germany (there are a hundred erasmus students coming from Germany right now) and we watched “Who am I”, a pretty thrilling film, but very interesting. Then a part of us went to the student pub to have a cozy night firstly eating outside since it was pretty warm, then playing foosball. Someone went to the lake because they wanted to see the northern lights…I was very doubtful about the possibility, but they actually saw them! I look forward to another night with a clean sky and possibility for northern lights, probably in winter.

As you maybe read in the title, today was the day of the audition for the university choir. At 15 I met a Canadian girl who is in my course of intercultural communication and we studied together at the library, then we got together to the audition which started at 5 p.m.. Following the Swedish calm, it took like two hours to examine 12 persons, and I got so bored because I thought it would have just taken much less time, and that then I would have had time to study! By the way I really had fun, we first met together to sing a Swedish song and decide which voice we should sing with, and then we had a pika and waited for the individual auditions. I had prepared Hallelujah by Rufus Wainwright and it went very good I guess, then I had to sing some notes first played by piano, and then I sang the Swedish song again with some of the former singers. They will let me know tomorrow if I came in or not.

Anyway…once outside (it was like 7.20 p.m.) when I was going home I was invited by a Chinese boy who lives at campus to have dinner with one of his friends. He prepared a fusion Chinese-Italian food (I think they put spaghetti as a symbol of respect to me), that was a spicy dish with pasta, meat and vegetables, and a plate with boiled cabbage dressed with a oyster sauce. Before we started dinner, they offered me a cup of warm Chinese green tea to accompany the meal. The leaves are supposed to be left in the mug not flirting them, and the tea tasted very good with the all meal. This cabbage dish was put in the middle and everyone while eating the “noodles” could take some of it. They gave me a fork but I asked for chopsticks ‘cause I wanted to train and show them some respect, and then they said me they learned to use forks in China because of the increasing contact with western cultures. I can see similarities with the Italian food culture, even because the guys ate as fast as we do in Italy, though today I ate in a “nice” way. We talked about Chinese culture, I was very interested (actually I got a lot of questions for them) and they were glad to talk about it. I received many informations about China, one of which was pretty funny…those biscuits shared all over the world as “the lucky biscuit” does not exist at all in China!

Regarding culture shock, Chinese students have something more to talk about then European students use to do. Here for them it is not just about change of weather, sometimes too silent and schematic people to get to know, or a language to learn. They come here already with a big difference of time zone, destroyed by hours of jet lag, and their first thing they see, or maybe I should say they do not see, is an alphabet different from theirs.

Maybe as a fruit of stereotypes, I thought that in China everyone could perfectly talk English, because you know, they are such a “schematic, business concerned and collectivist (this is true actually) culture”. An important struggle, always present when meeting different cultures, is WHEN TO LEAVE after a dinner, or at an appointment, or a date.

The new category I created on the blog is called “Culturactive dinners” and is going to host a numbers of articles about the knowledge of different cultures, particularly relating to food and learned through the international dinners that we international students are sometimes going to prepare. I also had a particular idea today. Since in a month I will be moving to an apartment by myself, in order to get both a little of company and a lot of knowledge about different cultures, once a week I would like to host an event called exactly “Culturactive dinner”.

Today I saw the Swedish prince in the Aula Magna of the university!

Right know, yes it is 00.20, I am eating an Egyptian dish with liver, onion, chilly and tomato, made by one of my roomies, after have eaten waffles with raspberries jam and cream. Be intercultural!

If you are interested, I jumped into this link some minutes ago. Let’s smile a little!

Now it is 00.38 and I feel I need to sleep a little. I still did not find a routine that puts together enough hours of sleeping, but i hope I will manage it…btw even when I am tired I cannot sleep…excited by the study?! 🙂

Today I signed the contract for the apartment, and on Monday I sent a letter to get the residence permit. Tomorrow i am going to study with a friend at the university, then at 14,30 I am meeting with some of my course mates for a group assignment on academic culture. Then study and then “Final welcome period party” at Nöjesfabriken with my roomies. I have got really to sleep a bit now

See you tomorrow with some more news!

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