So, not everything about traveling abroad is exciting and glamorous and fills your Instagram with artsy photos.

Like the flu.

For the past three days I’ve been at home in bed, battling aches, a on again off again fever, a cough, and now a ridiculously runny nose. But as dull as this sounds I’m going to write about it anyway.

While I’ve obviously been trying to stay on top of the work I’ve been missing at class, and at the same time as rescheduling several meetings, there’s only so much you can do when you have chills and are blowing your nose every five seconds. Because of this, I have gotten to know Swedish Netflix intimately, and have almost finished (almost! No spoilers!) my second Swedish Crime novel of the semester: Henning Mankell’s Faceless KillersHowever, I must admit that as charming as Wallander can be, Mankell’s character really is a bit of a downer. Thus, I’ve mostly been focusing on the number of my favorite kids movies that Swedish Netflix has that (I believe) the US Netflix does not: Strange Magic, all the Shrek movies, Mirror Mirror, Matilda, Quest for Camelot, etc. strange-magic-official-poster

But to be honest, I’ve mostly just been sleeping. Or trying to fall asleep to a Harry Potter audiobook (I finished The Prisoner of Azkaban for the one hundredth time).

You may be thinking, oh poor you, all alone in Sweden and down with the flu for what looks like it’s going to be a whole week. However, I can tell you that it would be a whole lot worse if I wasn’t living with my amazing host family. Instead of being alone in an apartment with limited groceries and tissue boxes, I instead have all the love and care of two host parents and two host siblings. They have been so wonderful, popping their heads in every so often to see what I was watching and if I needed anything. I don’t have to struggle to the nearest Apotek for medicine, I don’t have to trust my dizzy head with working the stove, and I’ve have their assurances every day that “No you’re right, you shouldn’t go to class you look so sick go back to bed.”

Thus here you have a side of studying abroad that maybe you don’t get to hear about as much. I currently am lying in bed in my chunky wool sweater, surrounded by blankets and the two stuffed animals I brought from home (my “Cow Cow” and my sky bison Cabbages), flanked by packets of tissues and a whole grocery bag filled with used ones. Yuck, I know. But illness happens, even when you’re abroad, sometimes especially when you’re abroad, and sometimes you can only wait it out and try not to let it get you down. It’s okay to be a bit of a kid again in these situations. Sometimes it can’t be helped.


Oh, and I’ve also been told two places in Stockholm that I can get boxed mac and cheese. Thank you fellow Americans studying abroad.

Sometime tomorrow I’ll write a post about iceskating – but for now… I think it’s time to move on to The Goblet of Fire.

Audiobook cover from here. Movie cover from here.


2 thoughts on “One Wallander Novel, Two Stuffed Animals, and Three Days with the Flu

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