Either we all scream for ice cream [Monday nights] or we all scream for…the sweet freedom of yelling at the top of our lungs out our bedroom windows [Tuesday nights]? Welcome to Lappis, and perhaps the best corridor in in the complex.
Lappkärrsberget (“Lappis” for short) is a non-university housing complex that hosts young people ranging from Bachelor’s degree students all the way to post-Doc candidates who are married, maybe even thinking about kids—-I generally fall on the younger side of the spectrum. The buildings were built into a hill about 8 minutes walk from central campus in the 1960’s. I think the abundance of cow and sheep pasture explains why to this day there is only one singular walking path paved from University to Lappis:
The buildings are divided up into corridors. Each corridor has 1 living/dining room, 1 large shared kitchen space, and 10 rooms. Each room is occupied by one person (or occasionally two…amazingly three, in the instance of our Pakistani friends). Without going on too long, I will just say that I am so grateful to have landed amongst such a lovely crew of people. There are mornings when I wake up, look like a road hazard, and simply don’t feel like talking or taking off my baggy night tee-shirt to go to the kitchen. So I don’t. I don’t put on real people clothes. I usually end up doing the talking part, though, but am almost always uplifted by non-obtrusive, pleasant morning hellos, and I start my day off in a better mood because of it.
To prove just how sweet everyone is, I take the example of our weekly ritual, “Monday Night Bake Night.” This tradition sprang up on the first week in September, when Jonatan (a local Stockholmer who lovingly breaks any rules said about Swedes being reserved and shy, to make you feel right at home) made a pie from berries he received from his grandmother before they spoiled. “It’s a Monday night! I make pie!” Somehow the words “bake night” were added to that phrase by receptive taste buds from around the corridor, and voila! Every Monday around 10 pm., we are either starting to congregate in the kitchen, quietly screaming for sweetness and ice cream and a chance to catch up with one another about the weekend, or we are receiving a knock on our door from Jonatan, the master chef, yet to be challenged, alerting us that his latest creation is ready.
Last week’s creation was a sinfully sticky toffee-plum-walnut pie (or cake?). We’re not sure, but it was delicious. Jacques also surprised us by adding a delicious chocolate cake to the table.
As a related tangent to what happens in Lappis on a larger scale, it is worth revealing the well-kept tradition honored every Tuesday night by members of my corridor…and hundreds of our Lappis neighbors. This tradition was apparently started back in the 60’s, probably as a joke at first, and eventually accepted as a genial way to share in the release of stress and anxiety from school and life. It doesn’t have a name…just an eerie, jaw-dropping, terrifyingly magnificent sound I invite you to listen to. I was Skyping with my dear friend Ethan at the time, and rudely stepped away for moment to finally record it on video (Ethan, now you can confirm that even stray black cats are thrown aback by this roar).
It is an exam week—but this is no exception to the typical Tuesday night holler.
It’s shockingly difficult the first time you do it to commend yourself to just…scream. We are so trained to think, and more importantly feel, that such a loud gesture is absurd or unacceptable. But let me tell you…once you get your scream on, it feels pretty damn good.