One of the joys of living in Malmö is being able to have lunch with Phil on a regular basis.
In my first years at university, the days would start with 8am maths lectures. My classmates and I were sure this was a form of hazing meant to test our commitment to our newly chosen careers. By midday, differential equations and Ampere’s Law swam before our eyes. Listlessly, we all watched the clock slowly tick around to twelve signalling a welcome release into the sunshine.
Phil and I would take every opportunity to escape the university grounds. First stop would be Mothers, the stalwart corner lunch bar that fed a never-ending stream of hungry students. Their specialty was a fried chicken roll complete with beetroot, pineapple and lettuce accompanied by thick, hot chips that we’d drown in chicken salt and enough vinegar to wash away the bottom of the box.
On the sweltering days of February, Phil would drive us down to the beach. We’d sprint across the burning sands into the cool, glassy sea where we’d drift until it was time to return to classes. In more temperate weather, we’d sit in the car at Pelican Point. The windsurfers would fly back and forth across the river while we kept up a running commentary on the comical efforts of the beginners in the shallows. When longer breaks allowed, we’d rig our Lasers and take to the water ourselves, shouting in joy as we whipped down the bay racing the waves.
Since those days, work and distance have separated our lunch hours, so it’s wonderful to be able to share them again. Last week I met Phil outside his office and we wandered into the main square. It was alive with the clamour of an international food market. I was delighted! I’d loved the food market that graced the main square in Wimbledon on a regular basis, but I thought that was one of the things I’d have to give up as part of my move to Sweden. Turns out I was wrong!
A giant kangaroo towered over the Australian stall. We both laughed at the fact that they were selling wildlife burgers – kangaroo, emu, crocodile, buffalo. We’re reasonably well travelled Australians and we hadn’t eaten half the things on the menu. People often ask if we eat a lot of kangaroo in Australia, to which we laughingly reply that it’s usually fed to the dogs and the tourists!
Settled on a park bench in the square, we enjoyed a delicious Japanese meal of yakiniku and yakitori. We washed it down with a fresh piece of British mint fudge, which was so good Phil had to go back and buy some more to share with his colleagues.
Malmö is decorated with sunshine, flowers and laughter at the moment. It is the perfect time to start a new life here, but I’m curious… how do you spend your lunchtime?