Spinning and Semlor

God, I wish this was my bike.

Yesterday, I realized I had been two weeks off the bike. Riding the crapcycle (doesn’t shift, makes scary noises, that cable that was wrapped around the pedal finally tore off) up to Kemicentrum every morning simply doesn’t count. Jogging outside is nice, but if you go too fast your face freezes off. After enduring two weeks of cycle-less desperation, I finally doled out the $72 dollars for a semester gym pass, and attended my first spinning class in Sweden. Little did I know it would be the best spinning class of my life.

I handed in my spinning ticket to the instructor a, middle aged man named Arne, and walked into an airy, open room with likely about 100 swedes on stationary bikes. So, so unlike the terribly small dungeon/raquetball court that is used for spinning in Berkeley! Even before I got on the bike, I was smiling. Can you imagine enormity of my excitement and amusement when the first song the instructor played was “Mamma Mia”? So, so much more enjoyable than having Britney Spears’ “Womanizer” and the likes blasted in your face for 45 minutes. Can you imagine how hard I started pedaling when Queen’s “Don’t stop me now” came on? And, can you imagine how good it felt to have 60 minutes of intensive exercise after almost two weeks of a semi-sedentary lifestyle? I’ll give you a hint: it felt good. Really, really good.

The rest of the day made it even better. Johanna and I visited Lena- a really cool girl from Uppsala who studies Human Ecology- in order to bake Semlor, the delicious marizpan and creme-filled buns eaten in Sweden before Lent. Lena lives in an all -female building, a place that reminded me a lot of my beloved Sherman Hall. Movie and theater posters adorned the walls, along with some cutout pictures from Pride and Prejudice, Twilight, and other girly things. I’m not usually one to out and call myself I girly-girl (I mean come on, I study physics, ride bikes, and worked as a maintenance manager), but living with all boys these last two weeks (a whole ‘nother post to look out for) has made me realized how much I truly valued the strong female community that I was immersed in at Sherman Hall. Being at Lena’s for even a couple of hours made me feel  so much  at home here.  Maybe it was the baking. Ah, yes…the baking:

Good lord, these are delicious. Maria from Malmö joined our baking party, and a couple of other ladies dropped in from time to time to enjoy a semla. I think we each ate two of them. There was a lot of good Swedish conversation, a dice game called dados, and a bit of svengelska/swenglish (the swedish version of spanglish). After semlor we watched a Swedish historical comedy about Gustav Vasa…the king who kicked out Christian the Terrible (sorry I’m in Sweden now, he is no longer Christian the Great, as he is called in Denmark.) The point of the series, called “Nisse Huld,” is to show an alternate, comedic interpretation of historical events. For example: Apparently, according to the film, the original Vasaloppet was done in the summer time. Who knew? Of course, it’s a bit harder to ski when there is no snow.

En trevlig helg- a wonderful weekend- to be sure. But it’s back to KEMI now-which is mentally trying in many ways, but still, less frustrating than Quantum. So far. There’s nothing like struggling with the language to make you pay full, direct, unwavering attention to a two-hour lecture at 8 in the morning. I’ll update you on that as soon as I master molekylar växelverkan.

Oh, and I promise I will try to be a regular Julia Childs and translate the Semlor recipe into English for those of you who would like to try it at home.

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One Response to “Spinning and Semlor”

  1. Adriana Says:

    a) semlor recipe! please!
    b) hnm. dados is dice in Spanish.

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