Thursday, September 27, 2007

This is Sweden - The movie

Here's a 4-minute promotional clip about Sweden called 'Open skies, open minds' published on Sweden's offial homepage.

It had some press here since it includes some girl/girl action (don't blink, and no, no nudity. Dang). Otherwise it's....well, see what you think.

Some comments from

Signature: hannah, 26/9 08:02
The images are too short! If you didn't know beforhand that it was Sweden- you hardly have a chanse to notice it...

Well...yeah. That's pretty accurate. Who does, really? (It's also nice to know that someone out there spells worse than I do.)

Signature: Anna L., 25/9 23:11
As a Swede i found it a little disappointing, it was a bit like watching random slides from a neighbours vacation or something. The pictures didn't tell a story together, they just feelt random. like "Lets take som faces and put them with som naturepictures", no soul, no feeling, no humor, just some random photos

I agree and pity Anna's neighbours. Hope their holidays turn out better next year.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Rewarding thievery

This is an old story that I found while sorting through some stuff I brought up from the basement.

It takes place in the early summer of 2000, when I was living in a room in C's apartment on Bjurholmsplan in Stockholm. I was having brunch with old-time friend N down in the small courtyard-like garden that had been wedged in between four seven-storey buildings. We were just about to start when a man carrying a pack of cigarettes comes out from a back door, apparently to have a smoke.

He asks if he can join, which he naturally can.

None of us have yet noticed that he is drunk as a skunk. Later we will be told that this man is the notorious Nisse, an on-and-off alcoholic who lives in the apartment above C. Nisse who watches Jeopardy with the volume cranked up so high you can guess the answers from C's apartment. Nisse who puts up signs in the elevator asking people not to smoke there and then happily puffs away himself. Nisse who gets so furious when C asks him not to roll his cigarettes (and spill tobacco) outside his door that he sends totally incomprehensible hate letters. But of this we know nothing yet.

That he's drunk becomes apparent rather quick. He is, when all said and done, not very keen on smoking (maybe he already had one in the elevator) but rather keen on having a chat. He tells us he's lived here (where "here" is, is a bit vague, he states three different apartments as being his home) for 34 years, he has been a pastry chef (lotta biscottis y'kno', but you wudnt kno' wha' that is*), that he fell and hurt himself two weeks ago and that he shortly (very shortly, we hope) will go back in to watch Formula 1 race.

But the point of the story, the reason I wrote this entry, is the story of what he just did.

He takes out a wallet that he "found" in the front seat of a car parked outside.

- The front door was unlocked, I mean, man, how the hell can you leave the front door unlocked when you got a wallet in the front seat."

We try to convince him that the best would probably be to put the wallet back where he "found" it, but he refuses. He is going to call the owner and then return it. Why he wants to do it this way (and risk being charged with theft) becomes evident when he tells the story of the time he saw a man forget his brief case in the street.

Nisse took the briefcase home, opened it, fund the owner's phone number and called him to arrange a meeting to return the briefcase. The owner of the briefcase was so grateful that he brought a bottle of fine french wine as finders fee.

Without actually saying it it all becomes obvious. Nisse wants another bottle. He is going to call the owner of a wallet that he stole from a car, banking on that the owner will be so grateful that he will give him a bottle of wine as finders fee.



*No, he didn't speak english, what he said was "Mycke krokaner vettu, men det vet ju inte ni vad de e", but those of you out there who does not read Swedish wouldn't get much out of that sentence.

Short status report

Just got internet to the apartment yesterday - seems things take a lot more time in Sweden than I remembered/imagined. Internet took two weeks to installed. Registration with the authorities is on six weeks+ and running. Before the registration is ready, all insurance matters, mail issues, car rentals etc is a major hassle.

Otherwise it's GREAT to be home, I have this really weird craving of getting back to the 9 to 5 rat race (why is it 9 to 5 btw, isn't it 8 to 5 in the rest of the world too? Is this Dolly Parton's fault?). So no culture shock. There's a few things that bums me out, I'll bitch about that sooner or later, but all in all it's just perfect.

I'm going back to work on monday. New company, same shit. They paid a bit more and since everything is so expensive here money matters quite a lot. Will miss my friends at the old company, but I'm sure there's some decent people working at the new place also.

We've done some work on the apartment, which is now starting to look good. We've moved around a lot of the furniture and re-painted so it seems a lot bigger (it's a lot smaller than the house in Phils, 66 m2). It's good enough for now, but sooner or later we'll have to get something bigger. Housing prices are crazy here now, so we'll see how it goes. We have neighbors who sold a flat just like ours and got equvalent to 475 000 USD for it. And, of course, if you want something bigger you have to cough up an extra couple of hundred thousand dollars. Now, I make something like 5000 dollars a months - how am I supposed to even begin to pay off the mortage in my lifetime? And it's not like we're going to buy a mansion. Just a four-room flat.

We've threw out our old (25 years old) couch, which is literally a pain in the ass since we have to sit on the floor. But there are lots of nice swedish second-hand sites on the net so I'm sure something will come up soon. Will also try and get a bunk bed for the kids, their beds are taking up most of the space in the kids room, and also they smell like horsesweat (most of our stuff is really old, things that I had when I was a kid or that I/Lotta bought really cheap second-hand as students). The we got a long wishlist of stuff on the fridge (a rug, a car, a bike for me, re-painting the living room etc) so as soon as the money start rolling in there'll be change around here.

Ok. Boring entry. I'll quit now.