A True Swedish Winter

A True Swedish Winter

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@Katherina Riesner

Instead of suffering through another Scanian winter, columnist Katherina Riesner decided to take her thesis work to Thailand. But she has realized that Sweden is not that far away, even after an 11-hour plane ride.

Before moving to Sweden I never really understood what a bad winter was. Of course, I had had cold, rainy winters in southern Germany but it wasn’t until last year that I grasped the effect a lot of darkness can have on your body and especially your mood.

I grew tired of the darkness in a way I had never experienced before.

After spring finally arrived at the end of April – I vividly remember wearing my warm coat at the “last of April” festivities in Stadsparken – I found myself wondering how everyone else copes with the long, Swedish winters.

Yes, there are vitamin D pills and things you can do to keep up your spirits, but now I think I have uncovered the ultimate secret to spending winter in a Nordic country.

It’s elegant and yet so simple: Do not spend it there! Pack your bags and leave the cold behind for a few weeks and do it like so many other Swedes; go to Thailand and soak in all the sun you need to get you through the rest of the wintry months.

Having been in Thailand for a couple of weeks now, I feel that there are a ton of Swedes around. Compared to the number of inhabitants that the small country has, the amount of Swedes I have met here is more than baffling. Every corner you turn on the beach, seemingly every restaurant you walk into, even sitting next to you on the plane from Moscow to Bangkok, you see and hear Swedes.

Just the other day, two guys on a motorcycle stopped next to me and my friend and asked for directions to the beach, first in English, but then immediately asking ‘Är ni svenskar?’ – whether we were also Swedes.

So even though I am halfway around the world, overlooking beautifully turquoise water and palm trees along the white beaches, Lund does not seem far away.

Despite the miserable winter last year, I am glad that I spent it in Lund and would advise any international student to do the same because contrary to my favorite author John Green, I do believe that the existence of broccoli affects the taste of chocolate.

I am certain that I appreciate this break from the darkness a lot more, knowing what a winter in Scania would have to offer.

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