(Out of) LT

Three best friends and their summer adventures. Two – lost somewhere in the world and the third one, waiting for them to come back.

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Ieva. I was on Swedish TV!!!


Yeah, the title is true and nothing but true. I was on Swedish TV.  Actually, it was one of the most popular channels in Sweden. And, I guess, the most watched program on it. Sommarlov (summer holidays) on Barnkanalen (kids channel). But I was there and you could even see me. I mean not just as a tiny spot. And… before show started, one of the presenters talked to us. Okay, maybe he talked to Asle and Edgar, but, hey, I was there also! It was fun to see show shooting and everything that stays behind the screen. Crew was amazing – they talked with kids, explained what they are doing, made jokes and obvioulsy enjoyed themselves and their job.


After shooting, we went to a huge playground for kids, which was near. I guess it would have been my dreamworld if I were five. Or even ten. But I’m 19 and I felt a little bit… too big. Asle suggested me to take a bus or walk to the centrum. And… I thought that it’s not a bad idea as kids might play for a hour or two and I’d love to spend that time sightseeing instead of waiting. Now it’s time to thank my dad, because I inherited great place understanding and orienteering skills from him. I had no map, no idea where I am and no directions. But I remembered some objects and I thought that we came from west-north. And… well, I could take bus lately (as it’s quite complicated to pay for public transport in Sweden’s cities).

You can’t even imagine how glad I was when I made it to the Tourist Information Center! Glad, proud and excited. It’s great to have a travel companion, but sometimes it’s quite cool to travel alone, take that time that you need… So I took a map (a few actually, as I couldn’t decide which one was the best) and started my own little adventure.

One of the things that I love about Sweden, is order. Not only tidiness of towns and cities, but also the way they are built. It’s very easy to travel there and it’s very hard to get lost (at least I feel so) as everything has a proper order. So I made a simple route (which I had to correct a few times because of rain): Townhall, St. Peter’s church, Lilla Torg, Western Old Town, Castle and it’s park, Malmö Opera and a few other parks that was on my way. Another thing that I love here – parks. They’re on every corner. Literally.




Oh, and I was lucky enough to be 19, which meaned that I could visit Castle for free. That was really great, as I didn’t feel so bad when I bought ice cream and an amazing mix of candies (which, again, costed less than in Lithuania). With lots of chocolate and caramels. Yummy! (Or “Moms!” as Swedes would say).

Rained started just when I came out of the Castle. At first it was okey – no one died from a little bit of summer rain. But it rained, rained and… rained. I was completely wet, so I went to the library. It was a great thing to do. Not only because I love libraries, but mainly because they were selling out old books for only 10 kr! Now I regret buying only one book (as I couldn’t decide between others). Silly, silly me! Especially when they don’t sell old books in, e. g. Höganäs’s or Helgsinborg’s libraries. On the other hand, I have nearly two months left, so maybe I’ll visit Malmö again or find cheap books somewhere else.

When I had enough of Malmö (I was quite tired after exercising on Sunday, I guess), I went to Central Station. I bought ticket just at the time, as train came after few minutes. Everything seemed great – I’ve had a stunning day, saw so many beautiful old buildings (I’m addicted to old things), bought a book and had many sweets with me. It was too good to be true, I guess. So when train’s stop in Landskrona took longer than usually, I wasn’t surprised. At first. But we waited for 5 minutes. 10 minutes. 15. People started to fuss. And then TV on the train (yeah, there are TVs in Swedish trains – and I was using standart class) showed news. It turned out, that there were a bomb risk in one of Göteborg’s trains, so all trains from Göteborg to Copenhagen stopped. And I was lucky enough to be in one of them.

The good thing was that I had my e-book reader and a lot of candies. I missed half of the Sommarlov translation, though, but it was nothing 🙂


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Ieva. First discoveries


I was doing everything to avoid writing about my trip to Helsingborg. I read a lot. I watched a movie. I served my duty and talked to my mum (only with her this time as one of my brother is in a scout camp and another is our for a canoe – orienteering regata with dad). I was in the beach with Edgar today. Read more. Walked around the houre. Read. Surfed the Net. Surfed the Pinterest. Checked my email for a hundredth time. And I cannot find more excuses.  So here it is.

Few days ago Jessica asked if I woukd like to go to Helsinborg with her or Asle. They wanted to buy a scooter for Edgard as the one he already has is too big for him. I gladly agreed and mentioned that I’d love to walk a little bit there. I have already been in  Helsingborg, but we only road through it or went there for special occasions,  so I hadn’t seen a lot of.

Jessica drove me and Edgar to Helsingborg on the Saturday morning. We went to a toy shop for a scooter.  Edgar wanted a green one as green is his favorite color.  There were few greens, but the one he liked most was  definitely too small. And others were “too fast” as he explained, so we ended shopping candies. What was a huge surprise as I found out that 100 g of candies costs less in Sweden than in Lithuania. Unbelievable!!!

After that I was left alone in the center of Helsingborg.  I was showed where is Tourists’ Information Center and where is Central Station. Actually, it was my first spot – I took some maps and flyers about city. Then I sat down in a lovely “green island” in the square and made my route. And ate some cupcakes that I took from home. Some good, unhealthy homemade bakery – that’s what I longed for the first week here.


I knew only few objects that I wished to see – church, tower and City hall. And just walk and walk and walk as Helsingborg with its huge sidewalks,  beautiful green parks and a path by the sea. Gorgeous! Helsingborg is full of statues and sights, it’s a mix of old and new buildings, different people and expensive cafés. Yeah, I know, it’s Sweden. And I’m Lithuanian that is used to small wages and small prices. I cannot help myself converting krona to litas. My minds works like better than any calculator.

Okay, now, a little bit more about Helsingborg.  It’s v er y beautiful,  very tidy, very attractive. The only problem was… me. I love small towns, narrow streets and cozy cafés.  Helsingborg has many of tbe lasts, but not that many narrow streets. It looked too big for me. But still, I enjoyed every minute there.


The tower was pretty amazing. I love old buildings, so I walked slowly around it and even slower in it – to prolong that lively feeling of history. And the view from the tower was amazing! I would love to go there again.



When I had enough of Helsingborg… Jessica and Edgar had already left the town. As they have shown me where is the station, I had to find my way out. Jessica lent me her Scania JoJo card, with which I could travel cheaper and more comfortable, but still. One can fill JoJo card using some kind of automatic machine,  which, thanks God for Swedish internationalism, is available not only in Swedish, but in English as well. It wasn’t that hard to use it, but it goes for trains, busses and even boats, and I didn’t wish to end up somewhere in Denmark. Even when I had ticket in my hand, I wasn’t sure whether everything is okay. I waited for the bus, got in and said to the bus driver in Swedish: “Hey, I’m not local. Is this is a bus to Höganäs? ” He nodded.  “I have a ticket” said I as a total idiot. In a poor swedish (as he was imigrant) he explained me that I have to use my JoJo car,d as ticket is only for me and the card has information about my travel. Well, or at least that’s what I understood.

But! Bus drove to Höganäs.  Hooray,  hooray, hooray. And tomorrow I and Edgar travel to Göteborg.  Oh, my!


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Ieva. Checked!


Before coming to Sweden,  I surfed the Net for a few days and made a “Must see” list.  I saved it as a word and… didn’t bother myself more.  But,  people,  don’t trust in your computers. Trust in the Internet. Or old good notebooks.  Or notes. Or your own memory. Never trust in computer.  They tend to break when you need them most. I have experienced this a few times already, but it’s hard to learn from your mistakes,  isn’t it?

So now when someone asks me where I would like to travel, I shrugge my shoulders and say a boring and predictable answer: Stockholm, Göteborg,  Malmö.  And travel around he Re,  of course. Yup, that is… what anyone could say, even those, who don’t know anything about Sweden. But I studied Swedish (and Sweden) for 9 months already.  I should be original.

So when I was asked if I wanted to see Lund, I almost jumped. Lund! It was on my “Must see” list. I have heard a lot about Lund. It’s the oldest city in Skåne’s region – Lund is believed to be established around 990, when Skåne belonged to Denmark. Lund is famous for its old university and a huge cathedral, which is about 900 years old. And, despite this, it’s a very old town with lots of old buildings, streets and beautiful parks.

Would I like to see Lund? Who woudln’t?

We visited Lund on Monday (yeah, it took a lot of time to write this blog, but I have a perfect explanation – sea is only 10 minutes from me). It was a warm, sunny day – perfect for walking around. Oh, and Lund met us with a surprise – students celebrated their gymnasium’s graduation.  I’m not sure if you have ever seen anything like this. Our Swedish teacher have told us about their celebration traditions, but it wasnt exactly what I expected. They rode in tractors and trucks in white clothes and with white students’ caps with very very very loud pop music. Dancing, shouting and fooling around. They seemed very hapy when I took pictures.


As I said before, day was great. Sunny and warm – perfect for walking. This is exactly what I did for a hour or something. I made a huge circle around Lund. I visited a beautiful botanical garden, two or three parks (one with amazing playground for kids – Sweden has a great infastructure for them), tens of squares and alleys.  And, of course, Lund’s cathedral and university.




P. S. Hey, maybe someone knows more about university of Lund? Is it good? I would like to study in Uppsala or Stockholm as Erasmus student, but maybe Lund could work also?..

P. P. S. Sorry for pictures. I have only tab and it’s not very comfortable to edit pictures with it.

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Ieva. Sweden National Day


Today is Sweden’s National day. Here you should stop reading,   go to YouTube and listen for Swedish anthem “Du gamla, du fria”.Thank you!

I was warned by my Swedish teacher that Swedish do not celebrate their National day as much as e.g.  Norwegians. Or as much as Midsommar.  But it’s 6th of June is public holiday and this means that people are forced to notice why they are free on this beautiful summer day.

Of course,  maybe it would be different, if it were a beautiful summer day. Morning was beautiful – warm and sunny,  though windy.  It rained yesterday (just when we were out to cycle!), so sun gave me faith that today everything would be perfect. I wished to walk a little bit around and visit National day’s events in Höganäs.  I wished to much I guess. Above all thing I was warned about the weather here in Sweden. There are a few rules.  First, weather is topic no 1 here. Second,  weather is unpredictable.  It might be summer all around the world except Sweden.  Great,  isn’t it?

Morning was really beautiful, I even thought to go jogging (although my laziness won and I didn’t). But then wind started to blow, sky darkened and it became clear that my wishes would not come true.  What a pity! Anyway, we did what we have planned.  Asle came back from butique earlier to take me and Edgar to the event,  which was held in one of Höganäs parks. By the way,  Höganäs has some really beautiful and well organized parks.  Festival have already been started for a few hours,  when we went there.  But it was upon all my expectations.  There were a scene,  few tents with food and activities for kids. Some local talents were playing on the scene (by the way, one  performance with drums was were good!) and some locals were listening. And when I say some I really mean some.  I guess there were more people who attended Sweden’s embassy’s event in Vilnius than here in Höganäs… not kidding.  A few kids with their parents and some pensioners. Of course,  it rained,  but it was a National Day! A-National-Day.

It was explained for me that Swedish love a free day and love going out,  shopping,  visiting friends… And then in the evening they open a bottle of wine, have some sweets and mark National Day in a perfect simplicity.  It’s the Midsommar that they take seriously. On the other hand,  my Facebook is full of Sweden’s official page posts on how King celebrated National Day and how it was marked in Stockholm.  I wasn’t there and cannot know for sure,  but it looks like there people had a bigger celebration.

I may have expected more from this, but it was cool enough for my first Sweden’s National Day 🙂

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Ieva. Swedish, Swedish and Swedish again!

My first day in Sweden almost ended.  I found out quite a lot since the last time.  First of all,  my luggage was only 16 kg weight. That means I could have taken additional 4 kg as luggage and 5 as hand baggage. Oops! But that’s okay,  I’ll survive. Flight was great,  but I have never had any problem with flights.

Secondly,  it happened that my family is the best ones au pair could get.  Not kidding.  They are lovely,  helpful,  understanding,  and the kid is really cute and smart.  Today Jessica (the mother) worked for the first half of the day,  while I, Edgar (the kid) and Asle (the father) went for a little trip till Söderåsen National Park. It is so beautiful there! If not bearing my love for Vilnius,  I’m a real nature kid.  It was great to walk in a beautiful forest and breath deeply the scent of pure air. Leaves were covered with tiny rain drops that sparkled,  though day was overcasted.


I could not stop thinking how different if it’s from Lithuania. My family is outdoor lovers,  so believe me,  I often spend time in forests and fields.  So the forest itself was just like Lithuanian – lots of different kind of trees,  moss and bushes. Lots of insects,  especially after reason.  We followed a small river, full of rocks.  Ducks swam here and there,  we saw a few swans.  But,  on the other hand,  I could never see such banks in Lithuania.  They were very high and steep,  covered with sharp rocks. Simply beautiful. I have a huge affection for mountains. Rhett were no mountains in the park,  but it was more like it than anything in Lithuania. Don’t understand me wrong,  i live my homeland,  but it’s very beautiful in other countries as well. Oh,  and I drove back from Park to Höganäs.  I have never been so afraid to drive.  The car worked fine and it’s a pleasure to drive it,  but it was completely new car for me,  new road (new country, actually) and if that’s not enough – I had somebody’s else child in the back. Yay!

After our trip we shopped some food and had lunch.  Then father changed mother at the boutique, while I and Edgar watched a movie. It was Lego movie about Betman! Yeah, I have heard about that new Lego movie (who haven’t? ), but it looks like there are even more of them! Jessica suggested to “Ta det lungt och gör vad du vill” (take it easy and do what I want), what I did.  Although it’s not easy to go to my room and try to occupy myself with something,  when there is so many things to do,  to try and to see.  I really wanted to go and explore the town,  but I decided to leave it for tomorrow.

Oh,  and the last thing.  Swedish! Oh,  my god! Shit. Shit. Shit. It’s not that I don’t understand them (although I not always catch what the father says to me,  and I have to listen very carefully to understand the kid – he speaks in Skåne’s accent, while I’m used to more “bookish” Stockholm’s). I tend to forget so many words and phrases! Sometimes I have to think for a minute before saying something, because I’m not sure which word to use.  And I often forget is the subject “en” or “ett” and I make mistakes with adjectives (mostly because that “en”/”ett” thing) and plural subject forms (there might be two categories of “en” words endings in plural). And irregular verbs. I’m stupid, stupid,  stupid.  God help me.  I try to fix my mistakes and ask new words,  but I forget them after five minutes if I not repeat them for 20 times.  And usually I don’t.  Oh, and worst of all is that the family is very understanding and they don’t fix my mistakes,  barely the rudest ones.  Tomorrow I will have my phone with me all the time – I havea great Swedish dictionary there l maybe it will help.

Wish me good luck tomorrow!


Ieva. Tottaly messed up

As you might have understood from the title, I’m totally messed up. First of all, I had my last exam today. It was Swedish oral exam and it took only 20 minutes or so.  But it means a lot.  Every exam means a lot,  actually.

I’m also surprised that my first study year ended so fast. It was September when everything started. Nine months just… vanished…  I could talk a lot about my studies and what changed during those nine months. But study year is over. I’m free until September. Wow.

And today I fly to Sweden. My luggage lies in the middle of the room, clothes all around it. I’m not sure what to take with me. Will it be hot? Warm? Cold? Windy or rainy? Should I take umbrella, or maybe I could live without it? How many shoes I need? Do I need to take a warm hoodie ? And… how much is those 20 kg, which I am allowed to take with me?

Argh! This is so hard! How people manage to travel somewhere for a year or even longer? I know that I can buy everything that I need in Sweden as well (it’s not a middle of jungles after all). But it’s much cheaper in Lithuania, so it would be better to take everything that I need. That’s why I’m making lists from Sunday evening,  putting things on and off  the list, in and out of luggage, trying to make up my minds and foresee what kid of summer it will be.

Oh, and one more funny thing. I’m trying to eat everything that I have at my flat in Vilnius. I know it’s stupid, but my roommates said not to leave anything for them. They won’t use it.  And it’s illogical to leave everything for autumn, isn’t it?.. However, I will blow up if I need to eat something more.

That’s strange that I feel so great. I’m excited and thrilled, and maybe just a little bit afraid. After all, I’m not sure how it’s going to work out. What will I do there?  Will I get on well with the kid, Edgar? Where I will travel during free time? Will I miss home, friends and family?



Ieva. Here I am

Jo, here I am. (Read “y” as in “yes” and “o” as in “moon” – “yoo”)

Who am that “I” and what I have to do with a strange, unknown word? It’s not that easy to answer to the first part of this question. But I can gladly explain the second part. “Jo” is a Swedish word that stands for “yes, sure, well”. Or at least I use it in this way. God knows how and when Swedish use it. Just (almost) kidding.

As you can understand, I’m not a Swede. Nor Englishman. (You see, I’m going to make grammar mistakes, use inappropriate words and my writing style might sometimes make you sick. Sorry!)

My mother-tongue is Lithuanian. That means I born (and still live) in Lithuania. N. B! It’s not in Africa. And we aren’t part of Russia (we have been in a Soviet Union, against our will, but we fought our freedom. Twice). If you haven’t checked that wikipedia link, I’ll say that Lithuania is in Northern Europe, to the East of Baltic Sea and to the north of Poland. It’s a beautiful, green country. The capital of Lithuania is Vilnius, one of the most beautiful cities in whole Europe. At least for me. I live and study in Vilnius since the end of August. However, I felt in love with it many years ago, maybe from the very first glance at curvy lines and tall churches. I love its parks, its narrow streets, its architecture, its brightness and lightness. I live apart from my family, as my mom, dad, two younger brothers and our spaniel live in Vilkaviškis, my hometown. I’m fond of the Center of Scandinavian studies, where I study Swedish.

And here I am. Writing so much about nothing. This is something I can do. I’m not a chatty person, really. I’m introvert and I might be quite shy. But everything is easier when I’m writing. I used to dream about becoming a writer, when I was little. Maybe one day. I never give up on my dreams. This long, messy post was supposed to explain a little bit about me. Just a little bit, as you will learn more later. Now – the most important part.

This summer I’m going to Sweden to work as an au pair.

This is my first summer out of Lithuania. It’s crazy, thrilling and exciting. And too good to be true. Wish me luck.


P. S. Oh, I haven’t introduced myself properly. My name is Ieva. It’s Lithuanian version of  English Eve, Swedish Eva (it’s also common in other European languages) and Russian Ева. Use whichever you want.