Monday, October 21, 2013

Uppsala in my heart

Uppsala, the city where it all started, was our last stop on this journey. This is the city where I arrived as a new student in August 1993 to study Arabic and orientalism. My dream was to study Arabic and Hebrew and then work with security related issues in the Middle East. Well, my not so ambitious studies of Arabic and Orientalism only lasted for a year and I decided to dedicate myself to East European Studies, Russian language, Political, Science, Security Policy and later on, law school.
I haven't been back to Uppsala since we left it in March 2006 for Singapore. It was definitely about time. When stepping out of the Uppsala commuter train (the train I would take every day to work in Stockholm), I immediately noticed some changes. The central station was a lot bigger and on the other side, where I used to park my bike in the old days, is now a big galleria.
The town centre looks the same and I caught a quick glimpse of Carolina Rediviva, the university library where I spent many hours preparing for exams. We walked through town to our hotel and I had all these emotions running around my chest; the restaurants where we went for lunch after classes, the shops I used to frequent to avoid studying, the book shop where I spent all my student allowance on litterature, the hospital where Elias was born, the central station where I commuted to Stockholm everyday once I got a job, the grass area where I used to park my bike (which is now a gigantic complex with various shops etc!)... Lots of positive memories. We also passed the city hall where I and hubby got married, the little flower shop where I picked up my wedding bouquet on may way home from an early law school class, the buses out to familiar places like Eriksberg, Flogsta, Salabackar, Årsta...
After leaving our suitcase at the hotel, we walked back into town and met up with hubby's sister and her daughter at the Svava Galleria for lunch. It was great to see them and I realized that I haven't actually met them since cousin E was born 8 years ago... We moved on to the classic cafe Storken after our lunch for coffee and dessert. This also happened to be the cafe where I and hubby had our first date in 2001!

Cup cakes from Espresso House

Joli waiting for the bus to Arlanda

A luxury shrimp sandwich at Arlanda while waiting for our flight to board

A new week has just begun, kids are back to school after the Eid Break and I'm back in the office. Fun activities are on the upcoming agenda though: Grandma and her friend is coming to visit next week and next Thursday, it's Halloween, which means traditional celebration in the compound when all the kids walk around trick or treating.

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