Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’
I’m still amazed by how easy things are for us Swedes in Norway.
We are attractive employees and tenants, in a foreign country where we can speak our own language and make more money than we would anywhere else in the World.
I’m almost ashamed to admit that the only two minus; the lack of food culture and the high prices, can be fixed with a quick trip across the Swedish border.
So on Saturday, spontaneously, as everything these days, me and a girlfriend borrowed a car and drove 1,5 half over to Strömstad, a little seaside town on the East coast of Sweden where we packed the car with food and booze.
The next day, Sunday, my friend threw a brunch party that inspired to more spontaneous madness.
Monday, I went to see about a room in a shared apartment I had just found out about. It was perfect and I instantly got a great connection with the other tenants, two Icelandic women.
Tuesday they called and told me i was the chosen one and asked if I could come sign the contract the same day.
Tomorrow, I’ll have the keys!
As for the room I’ve stayed in for the last month there is nothing wrong with it but this new place was just a better deal. I get both a bedroom and a living room in one of the most attractive areas of Oslos, right on the square of Grunerlökka for the same price.
I need someone to take over my old room as soon as possible but just after sending out a simple message on the Facebook group “Swedes in Oslo” tonight I had about twenty replies in 10 minutes.
After seven months of travelling without a chance to update my iPod I’ve been craving new music!
There were two things I missed more than anything during my time abroad.
(Friends and family are, after all, always in reach)
Needless to say, I’ve stayed up way too late with my Mac in my lap, getting lost in the endless labyrinth of songs, only to come out with the most amazing new discoveries, especially Scandinavian ones.
Norway’s Alfred Hall, Highasakite and Kid Astray.
Sweden’s Last Lynx, Mariam the Believer and NONONO.
I skip around town with headphones on, the early spring breeze in my face, feeling high on life!
This is your heart, it’s alive, it’s pumpin’ blood!
Love me the most when I least deserve it because that’s when I really need it.
I am at my dad’s house in Rättvik, Dalarna. The sun is glistening on the snow-covered fields outside.
I keep warm by the fireplace inside.
Five days ago, I arrived Stockholm looking like a Christmas tree with pink shoe laces, a pink and purple hoodie and a multi-coloured embroidered yoga mat-case.
Around me, everyone was wearing dark designer coats, leather boots and fur hats.
But my grandfathers wife, Ursula, generously gave me a cashmere wool coat as a belated birthday gift and soon I was one of the flock.
In Stockholm I did what I always do on my return-visits: run around the city catching up with friends and family until everything becomes a blur of subways stops and coffee shops.
This time my Norwegian friend and colleague Karoline was in town so we made the most of it, meeting up for lunches and after work drinks with my friends Micke and Pontus.
I also made time to see Bibi, Lito and Jesper. And my cousin Filippa and her newly born daughter, Otilia.
It was love at first sight.
People’s lives have changed while I’ve been away.
I guess mine has too.
Although, while I travel on these trains in Sweden, carrying my luggage from place to place…
It all feels very familiar…
I know I may be the only one smiling,
as the snowflakes whirl down on the streets of Stockholm.
Other Swedes can’t wait for winter to be over!
But I have missed this.
First of March hits like a stone thrown at my pretty glasshouse.
It doesn’t brake or shatter my world completely, it just creates a little crack through which I can start to see the long flight home, the bare streets of Stockholm, the silent train ride home.
I have been gone seven months and admittingly, I’ve gotten used to this life. My feet have gotten used to flip flops and soft sand. My liver to late nights and coctails.
The real world awaits me two weeks from now with colder temperatures and undoubtely more expensive things.
But don’t get me wrong. I am looking forward to going home. Even starting working again feels exciting and I can’t wait to get back to the gym. Get some routine and all of that.
(Oh the things you miss when you’re away)
This is the beginning of the end of my trip.
The time when I start reflecting on what has been and what’s to come. If you have followed me through the years, you will know what I’m talking about.
I don’t have any photos from the first month in Cape Town with its Christmas and New Years parties and catch-ups with old friends. I lost everything when my camera and usb-stick got stolen. But its all very clear to me, on the inside.
Like the features of my new found friend, and the precious moments the two of us have shared.
My old friend Malin arrived like a hopeful letter from home, a package of childhood memories, silly jokes, girly conversations and lots of laughter, and she is staying here for the remaining of my trip.
What a beautiful transition.
I woke up way too early in my friend’s apartment with last night’s makeup and an aching head. But the sun was shining and I had an important Skype date to attend…
No matter the distance and the many years that go by, there is no place like my best friend’s house and that hour when the morning sun reflects on the snow outside.
And no comfort as the familiar sound of her voice and our hometown dialect, as we share stories and secrets meant for no one else.
Mio and Minna are growing up to be the most charming, loving and wonderful children and Frida and Andreas keep finding ways to grow and evolve, even after fifteen years together. They are a source of inspiration and a place I will always call home.
Saknar dej bästis och ser fram emot att mysa med hela familjen Löfling snart! Älskar dej! <3
It’s the day of departure.
My bag is packed, my boarding pass is printed.
I have booked a place to stay for the first night, a spiritual little retreat in Ubud, right next to where I will go for yoga classes.
I am so excited!
Again, a feeling of gratitude fills my being.
This last couple of days I have received so much love, I feel like my heart is brimming and ready to spill into the World.
I have stayed with Ursula, my grandfather’s wife, and we have enjoyed wonderful little quiet breakfasts with soft classic music playing in the background, talked about life and toasted in Champagne. She showed me photos from when she and my grandpa were in Bali, Pakistan and India, 30 years ago. Priceless!
In 3 days I have managed to have lunch with Anja, cuddled with her newly born and picked up her son Aston from kindergarten, met up with my room-mate Lina from the school years who was in Stockholm for the weekend and got a pretty bracelet for my upcoming 30th, and even seen my best childhood guy friend Fredric for a quick hug at the Central Station.
I have also attended a traditional Swedish crayfish party, with hats, snaps and the whole shebang. It was a surprise party for a girlfriend who is going to New York to study.
And Stockholm offered a wonderful treat as me and a few friends were having a vegetarian dinner buffet at the super cosy Herman’s café on Södermalm on Saturday night; a stunning view with fireworks over Gröna Lund.
My friends joked and said they had organized the fireworks, just for me.
I got a pretty heart and lovely card from my girlfriend Beatrice and a self-made necklace from her Jamaican husband Fabian.
Yesterday I ran around the city for hours and bought smart travel gear and electronic equipment that I needed, but also had time for a last coffee with my best friend Bibi and endless hugs and kisses.
I need to say goodbye to this little Mac for six months, which is a good buddy and one I will miss a lot, but I think this trip is just too long and wild for a computer.
I will try to keep up the blog, but don’t count on much.
Instead, I am going back to my roots with a traditional diary, pen and paper.
Thank you so much for reading!
Love and Light,
What can I say?
Way Out West was amazing!
So many of my favourite bands and friends in one place!
We were nine people in Nicolas and Stinas apartment, which was only a ten minutes walk from the festival area, and I ran into so many friends from my home town Hudiksvall, school years in Båstad, work years in Stockholm and even a friend I made in Cape Town.
Together we watched some of the bands I’ve listened most to over the last couple of years: The Black Keys, Florence and the Machine, Feist, Bon Iver, Blur, Ben Howard, Miike Snow, Hot Chip, Deportees, De La Soul, Common, Ane Brun, Laleh, Kraftwerk, Nneka and Lykke Li’s new project Ingrid.
I couldn’t have wished for more.
I was dead tired as I took the bus back to Oslo on Sunday morning and went straight to work.
Monday I woke up with a major flu which took about a week to recover from, but either way, it was worth it.
If I had to name one band that has continuously spun my stereo over the last 15 years, Kent would be it.
Kent represent my country, my language and culture, the good and the bad.
They have had a lot of radio hits back in Sweden and in many ways they are for the great masses, but who cares? They have given up on being difficult and these days they play for the mere fun of it.
Me and Malin caught their show at the Oslo Opera House roof last Saturday. The weather forecast had predicted a perfectly sunny evening but 5 minutes into the show a storm drew in.
We only had one poncho, which we shared sisterly. A sticky, fun experience.
After the rain the sky turned beautifully pink, creating a perfect back drop to the old and new songs, the past and the present.
The final song, “Utan dina andetag” from 1997, had a new back beat, but the same bleeding beauty.