Last week I didn’t write a Friday theme post, sorry Anna, but this week I was determined to write something… But I wasn’t sure how I would interpret If I were a time traveller, I would… so I went for my morning walk and hoped for some inspiration for the theme. When I heard Backstreet Boys in my iPod (yes, I know that I should maybe be utterly ashamed but you will see below why I listen to them) I knew exactly where in time I would like to travel to!
I wouldn’t actually travel very far, only to the spring of 2000 and relive those memories of being a care-free 25-year old! I started thinking of that period in my life already yesterday when I spoke to my sister, who incidentally is 25, and has today moved to her first own apartment! I also moved to my first place when I was 25 (or rather 24½), with the slight difference that I didn’t own the apartment (my parents did!)… I remember the excitement of living alone for the very first time* and finally unpacking all those boxes after a year of living at home and before that one semester in France.
I only lived in that apartment** in Lund for 8 months but it was one of the most fun periods in my life! My oldest and best friend Å and I had a blast the last semester we studied together at Lund University – she was living at home with her parents (we were typical yo-yo kids who went back to live with our parents several times when we didn’t have anywhere to live in Lund – a city where it is almost impossible to find rental apartments!) but she would stay over at my place most nights when we went out… and boy, did we go out!! Our social life revolved around the student club ÖG’s or Östgöta Nation (that is pronunced [öschötta]) where I was the international secretary – a post I took over from Å, and the international students who we were “mentoring”, a very loose concept which was more social than academic! I have already written about our 30th April celebration that year, but the whole spring semester was great!
The main University building in Lund
Our social programme was intense; every Monday we would head to ÖGs to have dinner and watch a film on uncomfortable chairs that would make your butt very sore (träsmak!), Tuesdays and / or Wednesdays we would have lunch for 30 SEK (~3 €) at ÖGs and on Thursdays it was dinner*** again followed by drinks and dancing until late. Every other Thursday we would change nation and go to Göteborg’s club called Kålle[seum] – regardless of the place, we would meet lots of people that we knew. And we would dance to Britney Spears (“Hit me baby one more time”), Backstreet Boys (“Backstreet’s back, alright”, Petter (“Slå händerna i taket, så klart”) and Wamdue Project (“King of my castle”)… On the weekends I would often organise dinners at home, followed by eftersläpp at a formal party at the AF building (one of the main university buildings). We were too cheap to actually pay for the formal dinners (black tie balls) and would just get the less expensive after-dinner tickets! The nights would very often end at my place with tea and ice cream!
The social life wasn’t just about partying though, I remember one fun football game in Stadsparken, the local park, where the teams were French-speakers vs the Swedes & English-speaking ones, and on a more serious note we were members of the local Save the Children-branch. In May we worked for a few days as hostesses for the UNEP Ministerial Conference in Malmö and got to meet ministers of environment from all over the world, and I also continued my part-time job as a cleaning lady at the Grand Hôtel in Lund where both Kofi Annan and the Dalai Lama stayed.
It was a very busy period and I don’t know how I kept up with all the activities as well as the studies… And the funny thing is that I don’t even remember what I studied this semester (!!), it was either Development studies or Peace & Conflict but I did write my bachelor’s thesis in political science during some concentrated weeks in April and May… In June after getting my bachelor’s degree; Å, her mother, my mother and I went to Positano on the Amalfi coast in the south of Italy to celebrate our 150 years together (we turned 25 and our mothers 50 that year). And in September we both moved to Venice to do a master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation, but that’s another story!
When I think about it, I don’t really want to be 25 again – except for maybe just for a day or two? A few weeks ago I met a 23-year old American girl at a party and two things struck me: 1) I am TEN years older than her! and 2) I wouldn’t want to be 23 again. I am actually quite happy being in my early 30’s, with the life experience and the stability that I have. Nevertheless I was reminded this week of how an apparent stable life situation can change in the blink of an eye; I found out that a friend had been dumped by her boyfriend after 6 years together with no real explanation of why. Life can be so unpredictable and I think that my mother was right when she once said to me that you can never be 100% sure of anything! So, I will enjoy the here and now, and not think too much about the past or future… As they say, the best is yet to come!
This became a very nostalgic post, but check out the other Friday theme participants to see how they interpreted today’s subject:
Anki, Anna, Anne, Anne-Marie, Annika, Cecilia, Desiree, Inga-Britt, Kicki, Leopardia, Lia, Lullun, Marianne, Marie, Marina, Mia, Millan, Nilla, Nina, Petra, Saltis, Simone, Strandmamman, Ulrika, Victoria and 30+ kvinna in the city.
*) I had of course lived outside of home before but always with flatmates and once with a boyfriend.
**) My brother lived in the same apartment for 7 years and it was sold in May this year when he bought his own place. I am now the only family member who doesn’t own property!
***) We used to call ÖGs “the chicken nation” because it would almost always be on the menu – the cooking (and bartending) is the responsibility of volunteering students and both Å and I used to work behind the scenes.