Hello, dear reader! Here at my blog you will find glimpses of joy, creativity, travels, books, food experiences, short reports on museum visits, funny and serious stuff worth noticing. With this also comes a pinch of analyses and reflections. This is a dynamic blog, meaning I sometimes go back in the archive and update the posts. If you are following my blog from a phone, click on "View web version" at the bottom of the page - it facilitates the reading. Enjoy! /Jana :)
I learned the other day that "globalisation" is spoken of as "new capitalism" in academic terms (within studies of politics). This lead me to think about how much new capitalism is displayed on this blog. It ought to be quite a lot, as a monetary transaction is pretty often made when I achieve a book from the store, try a new ice cream or travel somewhere and then tell you abut it. Yesterday, I was suggesting you can grow you own grapes (!).
Today's pro tip:
Decorating your house (in my case, the bathroom) with flowers is a success. Each time, a feast for the eye. I took a bowl, filled it with water and cut flowers available to float. This is semi-free, because I got the flowers for my birthday - hence, somebody else payed for them. But, even now, in cold Sweden, there are spots with spring flowers showing which one is allowed to pick.
A. brought berries from her garden. L. brought sweet tomatoes - and then, grapevines as well! And hers tasted like sun! This is part of a mini series of things one can do basically for free in life, or at least how to minimise consumption.
The lady is about to leave the café, but she asks me first: did I like the drink? We seem to have had the same. "It was nothing special", I admit, but I am valuing the warmth and the possibility to charge phone more. "I am just from the countryside, so what do I know", the lady continues, "but it didn't taste anything at all." The café staff pops by. "Was everything to your delight?" "No", she honestly explains. You go girl. Trendy chairs and hipster music can never replace the taste. They awarded her with a pine apple shake. My advice was to choose another place next time.
Me, about 17 years old, spent roughly a week (three-four days) translating one of Chauser's texts for a group work at high school which we wanted to perform as a play. Our teacher had not a clue about the work we (I) had put in this. When I came across the translation made by a professional, it was of course airy as fairy dust and rhymed. Not that anybody noticed when we performed the play - message was the same, but actors not really devoted and script too complicated.
It was not all too bad, is my claim, more than a decade later.
Details: I did not own a computer at this time (and people had no smartphones). I wrote it all down at the the local countryside library as an e-mail draft (Hotmail, at the time).
I am a big fan of food that can be cooked within the blink of an eye. Here are some of my own ideas or ideas from friends, and friends of friends, and the internet, to satisfy screaming bellies.
Zucchini omelet - chop and fry a piece of: zucchini, carrot, onion, garlic till almost soft. Put in a bowl, mix with two eggs. Put back on frying pan. Why bowl? because then you can make two perfectly-looking omelets for two people (or for two occasions - second lunch, picknick, as a sandwich...)
Pasta salad (de luxe) - while you boil the tastiest-looking pieces of pasta you know, chop cucumber, bell pepper, feta cheese, baby tomatoes. Mix the with pesto, flaked salt, freshly grated black pepper and (cooled off) pasta. Put in fridge. Serve with thick balsamico meandered over and for super fancyness, a leaf of fresh basil on the top. Also pasta, but not salad, a little de luxe - boil the most funny-looking pasta you like. Off with the water, sizzle all of it a little in some butter. When spiked with butter, add pesto rosso. And pieces of cheese to melt a little. Top with pine nuts. Fried fish or fish soup - takes fewer minutes than one thinks! Cod/salmon pieces with small pieces of Jerusalem artichokes, onion and potatoes, some lemon grass and some lemon juice is heaven.
We really need some sun and blingy outfits in here. So - some Spanish memories! I remember I felt so sorry for all models who have to work in a sun so hot and blazing it hurts.
We have sun in the mornings now (!) (yes, it's true, it's almost a feast on the Stockholmian streets), but I feel very... repetitive in my big jacket because of the cold weather. For next season, I will get something blingy with velvet. Gloomy weather doesn't have to match what I wear. Buuut, the clever customer naturally waits till the winter sale in spring before it leaves it's hibernation cave.
This could be something! Airports will love me.
Another key word is "fluffy."
All vegetarians happy: the rest of the animal is still alive.
I have come to like the ads and trailers before the actual film you came to see starts, because each is a miniature piece of work that requires a lot of effort. Like a cake - you took ages to bake it, but could chew it in seconds.
I sometimes get seduced and forget - well, think that THIS time it will be an exception - my rule about trailers: the more bad the trailer is, the better the film. Even more importantly, the opposite is true almost every time.
So Matilda and I made ambitions. The Swedish film "Eld & Lågor" (Fire and Flames) is based on an itself amazing story - two amusement parks in Stockholm that competed with one another, and the son of the owner of one park married the daughter of the owner of the other park. This happened in the beginning of the 1900's, and the cinema we went to - this very cute house outside of Stockholm, in Vaxholm - is from 1917! Perfect match. And the costumes were amazing, the historic shoots at the end were lovely, and I don't think any Swedish film has contained either so much magical elements or so much fantasy - but the story was thin like silk thread.
The story about my travel to the north can now continue! From Gällivare, we could take a bus to Kiruna, where Vildana had found us an air b&b which also offered dog sledding for about two hours. If one is lucky, one can see the nothern lights! Aurora borealis come on a yearly basis though - and this is not the harvest year. Still, dog sledding is great. Some of us went (not me) and some chose to sleep (me). All of us had the same opinion: SO WORTH IT.
You get to borrow particularly warm clothes during the tour, don't worry.
The breakfast was great: apart from the great variation, the oat porridge was flavoured with some jam. I felt like a child being tricked into eating vitamins, in a good way.
Just below the hotel (our air b&b outsourced us to a hotel for breakfast) were the "children sculptures" (this is the snow castle) and not even the locals knew where the supposed "adult sculptures" were to be found. Many of us looked. Daytime and nighttime. No results.
And wondered, if these are for children, how big are the other sculptures?!
I should tell you that I heard an explosion the previous night. My fellow travellers were deeply asleep, so I could report: the mining is audible and doesn't appear dangerous that first time you hear it. Then we quarrelled about the guided tour of the mine with fellow bus passengers. On a Saturday! At 10 o'clock! How many more visitors the mine could attract if there also was at least another tour on Sunday! We reasoned.
Next, it's time for a brief "museum mission" blogpost. We went to one of the most unstable "museums" - the ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi.
So there is this sock making machine that can spit out super many pairs and costs 850,000 sek (about 7900 euros) and it's worth it if you plan to make many socks. But how much does the machine that makes the sock-making machine cost, and how many do we need of those? Will any book written during the past 60 years become a famous classic that will always be reprinted, like the ones we know from the 1900's? (Anna Karenina & co, for comparison.) Suggestions for candidates, anyone? What habits are not (well) documented (enough) and hence will leave future generations long ahead clueless about why we did certain stuff, or even more interesting, what is so natural to us right now but will go missing in the history and no one will know we did those very things? How would a world without patent look like, when we could use each other's inventions freely? I think what we call "development" would then speed up even more and reach fantastic, new heights.
This blogpost will contain quite some ice. And snow. You might want to get a cup of hot chocolate and a blanket before proceeding with the reading?
Everything was covered with frost. My brother noticed one spot where the snow-covered street had melted because of some hot pipe, and we could clearly see: because of the packed snow, we were at least five centimeters above ground.
The mandatory "look , I am pulling a twig, it's snowing!"
We were probably the first at the market. Clock was maybe nine, vendors were preparing for ten. This was the biggest fur "shop" - reindeer furs, reindeer caps, and - wow, coloured in blue, yellow and green - the furs of SEALS. Illegal to slaughter outside of Finnish coast, so the vendor cleverly imported them from Greenland.
Most people found it cold, but not all.
Poetry circle, literally. Coffee for free.
At the market, you could watch reindeer races (poor reindeers, we left) and go by helicopter above town (we were denied access to go for no reason, so don't go with the company Fiskflyg).
But do try the local "kebab" - suovas, reindeer meet in bread. It's a wild experience.
And shop what your heart pleases! There is cloudberry marmalade, thick cheap woven covers, even reindeer salami. This market has been a gathering place for the Sami people since 400 years and hasn't got that press which Christmas markets do.
We were very content, got on a bus with the sweetest driver and went to...
- Found out that some roses sold in Sweden are imported all the way from Ecuador! That is FAR, for flowers. - The recycling system in Sweden gives you a crown or two back when you return certain plastic bottles to the store, but technically you paid that extra coin yourself first and it is stated everywhere. But, did you know the same thing is done for gadgets? A certain percentage of the price for your new TV goes to covering the costs of recycling it later. - It's normal to wake up from mine explosions in Kiruna city. - Boden, a Swedish city in the north, has a store with the concept to rent out all its winter equipment for free - except the stuff in the display window. Ice skates, skis, helmets, you name it. - Apparently, I am good at telling bedtime stories. Reviewers have said "it's not the story as much as the voice". Note: they all have a happy ending
Even railways has dentists. This brush is CUTE. Spotted in Gällivare.
In Jukkasjärvi, where the famous ice hotel is! As soon as I can upload photos, I will probably show you the rooms called "oh deer" and "mermaid fitness". Most of the rooms are unique, with its own theme, and yes, the bed is a huge chunk of ice, with a mattress and a reindeer fur on top. No heating. The hotel itself refers to them as "cold rooms".
I don't do -21 very well, but I made good attempts: double socks, not standing still, knitted my own cap to stand winds and not slide away above my ears. Now more than an entire night's travel awaits back home.
World government is what will happen in the future, several scholars predict, Swedish philosopher Torbjörn Tännsjö being one of them.
Ehat about the aid of a robot? Will that happen? I think yes, it's likely. Right now it's popular to use the term "rational" for humans, though humans definitely are not, or at least often choose not to be. Then why not have a robot to choose among the current problems on the table to solve, foresee coming problems, let it prioritate and also present possible optimal solutions. It could help local governments or the world one, and people would assist the process to make the final decision about the data (taking complicated factors in account, like I dunno, bribe if it's not gone yet and how realistic it would be to implement the suggestions) and security staff will make sure the robot's system us hacked and manipulated. Could be good to boost economies, no?
- Wore my sequin top and NEVER have so many people greeted me as that day, even when I have worn it before. A lad referred to me as "the walking discotheque". I answered: "You are welcome" and walked away and was super cool. - Got the perfect entrance shelf, for bags to be dropped off on and for shoes and it fits as if tailored. - Decided to make my own chocolate. I will start with the beans, proceed to the filling etc etc. This if course will take ages and there will be very little chocolate, but it will be exactly (let's hope) as I want it. Let's get back to this in a year for evaluation, shall we? It's surely super difficult. I imagine myself turning up at parties with my own chocolate and people will either love it or avoid it with the best excuses. - Have thought over my style of clothing. Life is obviously too short for ugly clothes, but what I actually want and what I want among what is available are completely different things. One thing I loosely have adapted to is to avoid anything that is not on sale in any way. I think it's ridiculous when something can cost X one day and X/3 some other day. Sale, however, makes it even more difficult: my sizes are usually sold out and selection in general even more limited. But it's an interesting thought, that we just one day accept the value of certain items to be one way, and just a couple of hours later it will alter completely.
It's my birthday! One year older, wiser, street-smarter, all that. Am full of ideas (and implement many of them). Speak better (and more correct) Russian. Good job, Jana! But I am not celebrating, I am postponing to maybe...July. August? Maybe September. In fact, I might have forgotten it altogether till this hour. Nevertheless, contrary to last year, I have a long wishlist. One of the immaterial bullet points is to keep the new year promises!
This almost feels like discrete advertisement for the bag named B.
It's super snowy in Stockholm now. I am going up north in less than a week and am almost fully equipped - just the gloves and some robbery mask for the face left, to breathe in without it hurting. I will be sleeping on the night train - sitting. My cotravellers think this is "nah" - we will be perfectly fine! I think my camera will not work, I think there will be ice on my eyelashes and I really wonder how dating in really thick jackets works. You get inside a café and both need ten minutes just to peel the first layers of sweaters off, is that an official thing?
Bull market - financial term for a security that is expected to rise. Fill or kill/FOK - an order to buy or sell a stock immediately. Sjangdobelt (swe) - elegant, fint. Avhändande (swe) - sumpa, abdikera. Duplitecture (eng) - duplicated architecture. Copycat-ing! Blue Monday - the third Monday in January, which supposedly is the most depressing day of the year according to an airline company. If this is true, it is maybe not surprising some webshops have a sale they call "Blue Monday". Syndesmosis - "a slightly movable fibrous joint in which bones such as the tibia and fibula are joined together by connective tissue". A part of my body I didn't know about before, excellent.
Kleptocracy - (I don't know how I missed this word?) - is the kind of governing when the government takes money from their citizens to become rich.
One day, the girl found out on the Internet that silk cushion covers are more gentle to the skin when sleeping than cotton covers are. So she spent an eternity on the other internets to find something suitable - the same eternity it takes to grow the silk, weave the fabric and sew the silk cover. She even went to three shops with little luck. The shops always were closed, no matter the time or the days she came. But one day, the girl googled for two covers, coloured like a pink but grey but transparent soft dusk and the other like diluted champagne:
The Danish website Silkeland (link to photo) was eternally grateful for the order and offered the girl to track the journey of the covers from Denmark. So the girl did exactly that. She guessed that the covers would come with a night train and wrote down the times and the locuses to have the most exact fairy tale in the world. 11.14, the silk covers started travelling from Kolding. 17.06, the silk covers were happy to have come to Herning. It was a short journey, but alas, they were not alone and it was crowded. They already were longing for Stockholm. 15.22 the following day, the silk covers found themselves in Malmö. Would they have to pass by Göteborg first? The silk covers kept their silk fibres crossed. 05.36, they took off and so finally landed at 09.10 in the girl's hands, and now the girl could sleep on wonderful silk cushion covers happily ever after.
Matilda was quite right in her advice: Hospitaltorget in Linköping, a square where the old hospital used to be, has a bunch of cute animals here and there to smile at. They are spread out on different heights and some are not obvious at first sight - the more interesting. My friend and I spotted a rabbit, a squirrel, a deer and what we are not sure what it is but is not too unsimilar to a polecat with its fur thoroughly combed (so actually not a polecat).
Then I was told the reason behind this restaurant's name. Can you guess why it's called Hakepi? It stands for hamburger, kebab and pizza. Why not :) maybe more restaurants and cafés should do the same? Cacote (cake cookie tea), Labisc (lamb, beef, scampi), Hamuto (halloumi, mushrooms, tofu).
I am just here for the night and some additional hours - I came by train and am helping a friend to move places. (And I suddenly fell ill in the afternoon shortly before going, slept emergency sleep, took a pill, fed myself with a saving croissant so now I am better.) Saturday afternoon, we will have driven the mini van back to Stockholm already. Saturday eve I planned to surprise a friend (who doesn't read this blog) with Stockholm Ghost Walk, a theatralic guided tour with cute horror (this is the kind of friend who watches horror movies for fun, not to stay awake at the cinema) but we had to reschedule. Linköping has a cheap flower market (compared to Stockholm prices and if you talk to the right vendors with the right suppliers), so maybe I will be able to get some lovely big roses for the perfect spot by my window? I hope there will be time. Friend M. also send me instructions for a place with statues to explore! Hospitaltorget is the name.