Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
A TGS student highlights some of the activities and experiences that take place in “a week in the life,” including the trip to Åre.
This week seemed like a typical TGS week. Everyone was getting excited about the prospect of going home, but we were still trying to focus on our classes at the beginning of the week.
Monday was very normal, having Global Studies, where we began to discuss what we would be doing in Sydney, and what we wanted to study in our class. We also had World Literature where we finished discussing the book Popular Music in Vittula, which we have been reading for our English class while in Sweden. The book gave a really different view of rural Sweden.
Tuesday also was quiet, with Spanish and Science being two classes during the day. We began looking at hereditary genes in Biology and watched videos on genes.
We were all very excited on Wednesday, trying to focus during class with the prospect of going to Åre right in front of us. Our classes seemed to fly past until the evening, when we all began packing our bags and making sure we had everything.
Everyone woke tired, but excited. We had breakfast and waited anxiously to leave for the train, which took 8 hours to travel the 900km from central Stockholm to Åre, a small town in the middle of Sweden. Many of us spent the train ride sleeping, or taking photos, but the time went fast and in a blink of an eye, we were putting our bags into the Jeep to take to our cabin.
We woke up bright and early on Friday, ready to go snow shoeing. After breakfast, we all walked to the Camp Åre offices, where we were suited up with snow suits and large boots. Two vans took us up the mountain, to the large forest where we went on our hike. After getting some instructions, we all strapped on our shoes and began walking. The hike was so much fun, and tiring at points. We stopped for a break of Hot Chocolate and Saffron buns, but it all went really fast. Once we finished hiking, we went to a ski resort where we had lunch, then spent an hour or two in the hot tubs, which were very relaxing after being in the snow. Everyone spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, playing on the Nintendo Wii and reading.
Saturday was busy for everyone. We started by going back up the mountain, but today we were dog sledding. After getting onto the sleds in groups of three or four, the dogs began pulling the sled around the forests, which was an amazing experience. You see the world in a different way when you are on a sled. After a couple hours, we went to a restaurant, then were taken to a native Sami village. We had a great talk by Radar, a Sami expert, and he taught us about Reindeer, Teepees and how to use a lasso. It was a really interesting experience, and we all really enjoyed it.
Sunday was quiet, with everyone relaxing. We had lunch, then watched some movies, before beginning to pack. Once all finished, we had dinner, then went to the train. We had a great time taking the night train, and trying to sleep, before getting back to Stockholm.
Overall, this week was great. We all had tons of fun, and a great time in Åre.