Archive for the ‘Sweden’ Category

One Expensive Dinner.

On Friday afternoon I took a train to Stockholm. Two old friends of mine live there, a third one was there because of work, and I wanted to be there as well. I arrived to Stockholm at 16:20, just after realizing I apparently had been sitting behind famous Swedes (Josef Fares and Torkel Petersson). I met with one of my friends, and we took the subway to one of the friends living in Stockholm. As always, there is a lot to speak about. And so we did, while drinking wine and getting ready for a dinner out. Before going to the restaurant where my friend had reserved a table, we met up with the last friend (we haven’t met in… five years at least, during which she has become a mother of two!) and the sister to one of my friends.

We had our dinner in restaurant Caliente on Fleminggatan 22. As you might guess from the name of the restaurant, it was a Spanish restaurant. Most of the dishes in the menu were what I’d call typical Spanish. A few were more south American influenced. I did order one Tortilla de patatas and one Plato de queso con membrillo. Two things I miss from Spain. I did a mistake. I did expect to get the same as in Spain. But I didn’t. I expected to get one whole Tortilla cut in small pieces. I got less than 1/8 of a Tortilla, covered with some kind of tomato sauce. I expected to get a plate full of sliced Spanish cheese. I got three slices of Spanish cheese. Well. This is Sweden; where it’s fancy in some restaurants to get half empty plates. At least the taste was what I expected! And I didn’t leave the place hungry. The restaurant was full when we arrived around 20:30. It’s necessary to make a reservation. To hear what everyone around the table said, was little difficult in the beginning. But when people started to leave the restaurant, it was really nice to sit there and chat with friends. When the restaurant closed; it was time to say goodbye to the sister and one of the friends, and go “home”.

On Saturday, after a breakfast and a walk/shopping/lunch in the district called Söder (more relaxed atmosphere than in the city center), I took a train back to Göteborg at 15:06. About 5 hours later I arrived to Göteborg. Hopefully I don’t need to think that much about my economy next time, and can take the train that costs a few hundred crowns more. 3 hours in the train is less painful, than 5.

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Consumption.

Somebody has typed “what do people eat in sweden” in a search engine and found my blog.

That reminds me of when I was about 10 years old and everybody in my class had a pen-pal in Palm Beach, Florida, USA. My only memories from the correspondence are the two questions a classmate got from his pen-pal. Do you’ve polar bears walking on the streets in Sweden? Do you eat rice in Sweden? No. No polar bears in Sweden. Not in the freedom. But we do eat rice. Even Uncle Ben’s rice.

For years ago I heard somebody say Sweden is the most Americanized country in Europe. What happens in USA, happens in Sweden 10 years later. Swedish children are starting to get weight problems. Perhaps the statement could be true. Good comes with bad. And vice verse. Anyway. I was happy to hear McDonald’s had to close down their northernmost restaurant in Sweden. In a town where I lived for about seven years. They’ve had to close down in some other cities in the north as well. They didn’t have enough costumers. Anybody who has tried the alternatives, understand why.

Also Coca-cola is unhappy with their sales figures around Christmas time in Sweden. That I’ll tell you about some other day.

So, what has happened?

The weekend 6-8/4 I spent in Umeå with Alfredo, Emeline and Fernando.
We went there to see the city and to have a change in the night life. These were really windy days in whole Sweden, so as well in Umeå. Almost all the snow was gone, but the nature still needs some time to wake up. Therefore everything looked grey and sad. I could not find anything really interesting to see in the center of Umeå. There are some touristic things around Umeå, but too far away for us. The fact that it was Easter did not make things easier. Anyway, now my friends at least can say they have been to Umeå! I have been to parties in Umeå ,and had a great time, before. But this time we got disappointed. All bars close at 02:00 in Umeå, one hour earlier than in Luleå. It was not only that, something was missing this weekend. We did our best, and at least I had a nice weekend. It is always nice to be with people you like!

Except for that… nothing special has happened. Everyday life, as always.

Göteborg, Sweden

I was last Thursday in Göteborg, with the rest of the members in my project group.

We have been working on the project during the last quarter and wanted to meet our contact person in Göteborg, before we go on with working on our concepts during this quarter.We met him in one of the company’s offices, the one where the human-machine-interaction (HMI) group is placed. In the morning we got a short presentation of one project they are working on and after lunch we discussed our project. Once again we have a more clear idea about what they are expecting from us. The visit was interesting and motivating.

Before going back to the hostel, we had 30 min to make a visit to another company. Some members in my project group knew a boy who has been studying the same as us and now is working there. I did recognise him as well, when I saw him. During the whole visit I felt that I should know him a bit better than a person I have only seen in the corridors of the university. Some of the thoughts going through my mind were: “Do we have a common friend?”, “Have we been to same parties?”, “Has any of my friends had something with him?”, “Have I flirted with him?”. In the end of the visit I got the answer. When we were saying good-bye, he told me we have done a group work together once. Memory like a goldfish…

Dear Sun, I Miss You.

I woke up at 11:00.
After one class and a meal I was tired again. At 16:00.

I need energy. I need more sun light to charge my batteries.

Today the sun went up at 09:45 and down at 13:06. 3h and 21min of daylight.

Göteborg, Sweden, via Tampere, Finland.

I wish I sometimes did plan my traveling a bit better than last weekend, for example. To have more time, and less traveling. This time I wanted to be in two places at the same time, more or less. In Göteborg and Tampere.

Well. Nothing is impossible. Not this time at least.

Took the night train from Kemi, Finland, to Tampere on Thursday. Spent the Friday shopping with my mother. On Saturday morning I woke up at 4 and took a taxi to the airport. First flight was back to Sweden, to Stockholm. From there I took a second flight to Göteborg. In Göteborg my friends from my first years at the university (yeps, not everyone spends as many years as I at the university…) had already met up on Friday. I joined them and we went shopping. After a short 30 minute “power-rest” before dinner I was ready for the nights party. We had tacos for dinner, drank red and white wine to it. Finished with little Baileys. The plan was to take the tram downtown, but for some reason we ended up in a taxi. The place we entered is called Excet. A nice place with several bars and floors. After two vodka-redbulls I had the right amount of alcohol in my blod and got a great night! Fun, fun!

What’s nice with old and good friends is that it doesn’t matter how often, or rarely, you meet them, you just continue from where you last time left it. My friends did meet last autumn as well. At that time I was in Spain, so I didn’t join them. I can’t remember when I met them for the last time. It’s probably around 2 years ago… Hopefully it doesn’t take that long until next time!

On the flight back home we had the honour to have Roger Pontare with us. Yippii…

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Snow.

August
August

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October

The first snow for the winter is always nice. The landscape gets brighter again after a few weeks of darkness. The few minus degrees turns the cheeks red. The snow make a nice sound under the shoes.

I know I won’t be as positive about the snow and cold in January/February as I’m now. Good if this mood does last for some days.
But there’s nothing to prevent me from being positive today.

Frost.

At 7 in the morning the temperature was just below zero.
Everything outdoors was covered with a thin layer of ice crystals. A whitish landscape.
The sky was blue and the sun was shining, not high up on the sky as during the summer but half way. The highest it gets at this time of the year.

The air was fresh and I could feel the mild sunbeam warming my face. Birds were singing. Just like in the spring. I love the feeling.
Life.

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Foreigner.

Today when I was walking on the campus I met a guy, who for sure isn’t from Sweden.
Not only because he was dark. Sweden is far away from 100% blond, and a person with non-Scandinavian appearance could be adopted or second-generation immigrant.
What made me understand this guy isn’t used to our climate, and did put a smile on my face, was that he had covered his face with a scarf. A bit of hair and eyes were the only things visible. He really was feeling cold. The temperature today is 5ºC. How will he survive when it in a few months will be -25ºC, or even less; when the rest of us start to think about getting out our winter scarfs?