Through my posts already I have highlighted many aspects of life in Sweden that I find amusing. Chalmers, being the Swedish institution that it is, does adhere to the Swedishness, even while working with a student group with a major chunk of foreign students.
Student life at Chalmers, after six months has only attained a perfect equilibrium. It is like tuning your guitar, and this guitar strums awesome with every passing day. The overall infrastructure, faculty, facilities all being the best they could be, I shall again focus on some of the less spoken details that help us students immensely, although in seemingly small ways.
Restaurants and cafeteria
Each department has a uniquely popular cafe or a restaurant. The Signals & Systems department I hail from brags with Cafe Linsen, and the pub Kajasabaren : both are favorites among all us S2 people. For a good coffee and Fika, as I have learnt from my Swedish friends I do not mind walking to the next building – the M building to the Cafe Bulten – their roast ground coffee knocks me out! I am not certain of the veracity of this claim, but there is word that Cafe Bulten sells the second highest number of coffee per day in all of Gothenburg; I am not surprised at all!
Then there is Einstein, and the restaurant/pub in the Student Union – JA Pripps – that’s where I first snacked at Chalmers (now Linsen does not let me wander outside, except for the coffee). With the student card, we end up getting a small discount on most of the items, which is also nice.
The Xpress lunch at the Student Union is a life saver on days I end up starving. Love their humble, yet delicious menu.
If you talk to students from other departments, of course they are going to brag about their cafeteria! I love the ones in my department 😉
Okay, firstly lunch time is at 11.30 AM in Sweden! That’s odd, but now not unusual. During my first few weeks, the department had arranged for a dinner and it was supposed to be at 5.30 PM. I had work in the lab, and decided to reach at 6 PM, hoping that I would of course not miss any food, because even 6PM was super early for a dinner.
I had to scrape through the dishes for the last of everything, except for the coke! The dinner was REALLY at 5.30 PM. So, the most lively time in the campus is from 11.30 AM to 12.30 PM, wherein you will see swift walking students into the Student Union building, and walking out with brown or white paper bags with the Xpress lunch!
Second, the art of queuing of course as you already know has been perfected by Swedes. The longest queues during lunch time are at the microwave ovens! Firstly, it is so thoughtful to have scattered numerous microwave ovens and even refrigeration to store lunch carried from home. The chat in these queues usually is amusing, more so when the person behind does get to peep into my “crazy Indian lunch box”!
Not to forget the library! The kitchen in library is amply provided with storage and ovens. I love the eating area there.
Chalmers App and PingPong
The Chalmers App for students with maps, menus from cafeteria, schedule and bus/tram timing is so handy. I was disappointed initially to see that it was available only for iPhone. Now, before a couple of weeks the app is available for Android too! It is quite handy to figure out the maze that Chalmers campus is!
And finally, the master app that usually has a threatening quality attached to it – the interface where courses are conducted, but as if to mock calls itself ”PingPong”. Assignments, evaluation, scores, deadlines and lecture notes are all housed in this intuitive LMS. It is extremely useful, and very well used by most of the courses.
These are simple things, yet again. But just imagine eating cold, packed lunch in Swedish winter! My appetite dies, already 😉