Everything was free, here in Uppsala, yesterday. Yes, I am exaggerating but it’s true that many things were free yesterday in a program called ‘Uppsala Student.’ organized by the Uppsala Municipality to welcome new students in the Uppsala University. Various stalls from different organization were placed inside a big hall. Some organizations were health related, some dealt about housing, some offered to search jobs and anti-discrimination organization was also there. Similarly, in addition to many other organizations that I have now forgotten now, NORDEA bank was also there where we signed-up for our bank account. NORDEA has pledged with us to send our bank account number, in a week, to our postal address. In addition to providing information about self, the most important aspect about all these organizations was that they were offering bags, chocolates, key ring, mouth freshener, tooth brush, fruits, etc for the one who listens to them. I listened to them as much as I can and in return, collected more than I should have. In the beginning, I was a little nervous to take away things that they were offering because I never had experienced that sort of ‘free distribution’ in the part of the world I belong to. But, after a while, I grew in confidence and started collected everything that was on offer, sometimes, without even listening about the organizations. But, don’t think that we were the only students who were so mad about collection things. In fact, there were a bunch of Chinese students who were more active than us. However, the European and American students were showing some resistance towards the free distribution.
At around 6:30 pm the stalls started packing up and there was free lunch on offer. When the free lunch was actually announced, we could see the shift of the human mass from one place to the ‘free lunch’ space. The shift looked like that the whole mass was just waiting for the announcement of the lunch. They had many different ideas on offer for the lunch. I think, there were almost two dozens items. I took chips, boiled corn, chapaties, cheese, yoghurt and chicken for my lunch. I also had some other things in my plate but I don’t know their name. But, while selecting meat, I was cautious to avoid beef, not because my religion doesn’t permit me to take it but because of my respect for that animal.
At around 7:30 pm we left the place but not without addition something to what we already had. This time, we took two doughnuts each and then I wrapped it with tissue and kept it inside one of the four bags that I had collected; I was happy to have something to eat tonight. After we reached our room, I immediately started taking out all the things that I have collected. When I put all the collection together, it weighs around 2-3 kilograms.
Now, I have something that I can use for at least a month and that too I have collected for free. And, yes, I also received a 4GB flash drive for free while we were queuing up to get inside the hall before the start of the welcome program.
Except visiting the ‘free distribution ceremony’, I wrote a book review of the book – State of Conflict and the Democratic Movement in Nepal, in the morning. In sum, the day was brilliant.
Today at 5:00 pm we are going to see an American football match. I just know one team from the match because this team was there in the exhibition yesterday. The team was distributing free tickets for those who agreed to wear their jersey and helmet and pose for a photo to be taken by our own camera. We grabbed the opportunity to look like an American footballer and with that we got free tickets as well. I think that was an exciting opportunity. I like the idea that team had applied to collect supporters for today’s game. I am excited about the match and am supporting 86ers today. I love 86ers J
So, until next time, it’s goodbye.
1st September, 2013
3:00 PM in Klostergatan16, Uppsala