5 Mar 2015

Compare apples with apples and pears with pears

There are a few things that really bug me.

The Germans talking about Sweden and how expensive it is is one of them, when it turns out that they compare shopping with REAL or even Aldi or one of the real low cost chains  in Germany vs shopping in the overpriced camp site shops or petrol station in Sweden.

That's not fair on anyone.

And then there is the fact that you need to compare a number of products. Germany is, when you do it that way, sometimes cheaper, sometimes more expensive. Potatoes are ridiculously expensive in Germany vs Sweden; Don't ask me why, I would guess we use about the same amount of potatoes per person in both countries, we are both keen on potatoes.

Toothpaste is far more expensive in Sweden than in Germany.

When it comes to dairy products Sweden wins, they are so expensive in Germany and good cheese? The matured one? Barely exists in Germany, so you pay more but you are still robbed of the flavour.

There are lots of other examples.

And don't compare the drinks when you go out on a tourist street in Stockholm to your local little pub on your street in town, where only locals go, of course Stockholm will lose out, or any other tourist street in any other country.

I admit that I found oats very very expensive in Sweden though. And a few other things - but again, with me not having been in Sweden much since I moved out, I don't know where to go anymore, so I, too, end up at the tourist traps...

Give Sweden a chance. Give anywhere you don't go often a chance. Except possibly Norway, Norway is always expensive - but on the other hand, the nature you get for the price still makes it worth it!

8 Dec 2014

You are what you speak?

According to Reuter, a German political party in Bavaria, suggests that immigrants should speak German at home?

I read it on Reuters UK edition, December, see link, but only after I read it in the German newspaper.

I couldn't believe my eyes. Or my ears, rather.

From now on I will not speak German to any German outside of Germany, the Germans study English for many years, and yet the level of English in Germany - and I am not talking about pronounciation, pronounciation  is irrellevant as long as people can understand what you are saying - I so poor.

The Germans really need to practice their English. And to do that, I will force them to speak English, also when I could speak to them in German.

No, of course I won't do that. I will speak to them in the language that we can best communicate in.

Just like parents should talk to their children in their mother tongue so that the children and the parents can understand each other. It is better to learn the other language from someone who is a native speaker, not from someone who speaks it half acceptable.

I really believe and hope that this suggestion is a joke? No one can seriously believe that trying to control what people do in their own homes is a good idea, can they?

Can someone please tell me that this indeed IS a joke?

Immigrants should speak to their children in the mother tongue, if I had children I would talk to them in Swedish,  because I want them to speak Swedish and be able to understand that side of their family, and get to know their roots. If I had children with a Russian man I would want him to speak Russian to the child, so the child would learn that language too, from the beginning.

And if we were in a German environment, the child would hear german too, and would learn it. Because that's what children do, they learn the majority language of the country they live in - because it is the language spoken around them.

Don't even think about taking away this opportunity from children. Lanuages is the greatest gift you can get.

And don't even THINK about trying to control what people do in their own homes, soon we will again have an environment where people are afraid to have an opinion because big brother is watching.

First it is the language.

Then the religion.

Then what you eat.

What you wear.

Whom you talk to.

Didn't we try that before? With disaster as the result.

And besides, if Germany wants to continue to attract brainpower, the way Sweden also needs to do, and other countries in the western world, we need to make it easier, not more difficult to live and work in a country.

The mere fact that we dont have enough people to work and support a growing population of retirees should be enough to say so, this is something we have to deal with; We don't give birth to enough children to support us when we retire.  We cannot survive without immigration. 
And the countries where it becomes more difficult to live and work will be the losers. The brainpower will disappear elsewhere.

So I hope with all my hear that this is indeed just a joke.

19 Sep 2014

Where does the hatred come from.... (Article recommendation)

A man, Tobias Swahn, has written an article on the news site "Nyheter24" in Sweden.

It is a debate article, with the headline "Avhoppad Högerextremist: Ni skapar hatet" - a former right wing extremist, You Create the Hate.

It's a well written piece that refers to the results from the Swedish elections last weekend. And it is a very well written piece.

If you read Swedish, read it. It talks about what I am saying; We need to understand and meet the people that have voted for the extreme right (or left, for that matter, a very good teacher I had once said that there is no real right or left in politics, when it comes to the extreme, it is like a circle and what we fail to see is that the both ends meet at the top of the circle).

The voters are unhappy, they feel displeased with the current situation; And we fail to meet them, my mocking them we make them feel even more outside, and when people feel left outside, they do strange things.

I am going to be honest. I am scared of the situation, scared of a world where we stop seeing each other as individuals, scared of a world where we stop talking to each other and stop listening and just preach.

We have to make an effort to make everybody feel included, make everybody feel that they actually stand a chance, make everybody feel that they can make a difference. Or those who feel they can't will take the space in other ways eventually.

We saw this before, in the 1930:s, not in Sweden but in other places, where the powerful parties were so busy arguing between them that they failed to see that another party crept up from behind, became more and more powerful as the people that felt left out finally felt that someone was listening and captured their concerns - and when the world realised what was going on it was already too late.

That ended with millions and millions dead, and with a world that was put on fire.

We have a shared responsibility for that not to happen again.

Tack Tobias Swahn for your very insighful words.

17 Sep 2014


 I am sad and very troubled seeing hte results of the elections in Sweden last weekend.

The rasist party has taken a big step forward and it makes me extremely uncomfortable. This year has been a more difficult election than any other year, there is discontent in the general public and these questions haven't been answered or not even recognised, and a lot of people therefore seem to have voted just to vote against the existing parties.

This has lead to a racist party coming up and growing tremendously.

It is not the Sweden I used to know.

And yet.

This is what happened.

What we have to do now is actually listen to the people who placed the votes. Because whatever we think about the results, it IS a democracy we have and we have to respect the results and do what's best with what we have. There is no other way. None.

And whatever we think about the results - I am ashamed to be Swedish, be part of the collective today, but I am proud that I voted, proud that I tried, and I will always stand up for my right to do so  - there is one thing to be proud of.

That so many people actually take the elections seriously and vote.

I don't need to respect the opinions of the people who chose to vote for the nationalistic party, the right wing extremists, the party I see as racists, but I have to accept that they have the opinions the do have. I do respect their right to an opinion. But I will never accept that others are treated badly. And I refuse to lower myself to there level, I can chose whome I socialise with but hope I will not turn my back on anyone if I meet them outside, in a different context.

I will always take the discussion with them, Face to Face, when they stand up for who they are, and I will accept that they think differently than I do. I will not allow myself to be silenced. I will expres MY opinion, everybody's equal rights and everybody's right to exists. Together.  However I will always try and hear them out and get a constructive discussion.

I don't believe in marginalise the voters.

In the end we are all human beings, and I don't believe anyone is born evil. We all became the ones we are somehow.

But I am scared. I am very very scared.

Cold winds are blowing over Sweden. Cold winds are blowing over the world.

But I will respect them for going to vote, also when I disagree with their views,

Now Sweden - we - need to understand how to move on.

2 Sep 2014

I LOVE sushi - here is how to really eat it

I love love love sushi, and when I found this video on YouTube, I got hungry...
One of the best sushi dinners I have ever had was at a small restaurant in New York, where I wasn't even allowed to chose my own sushi, the whole concept was that the chef decided based on what was fresh, and in season/had been caught right then.
And you didn't know what you would pay either.

And it was amazing.

To let the fish be what touches the tongue and to not mix ginger with the sushi but let the ginger clean the palate and make sure that you can feel the flavour of each separate piece of sushi is part of what I already do. It seems I haven't been doing it all wrong.

But really - watch and enjoy. And next time, enjoy the sushi even more! 

22 Aug 2014

Election Day

In Sweden election day is coming up and it is the most difficult election and the most important, I have ever been through.

In Sweden the cold winds are blowing and a racist party were voted in for the first time at the last elections.

I cried.

And now they have grown stronger, as they have learnt to build on people's fear and the feeling of being left alone. That together with a fear of what is new, a fear that we to some degree all have, have created a foundation for such a racist party. And now it is election time again, and looking at the polls they will get more votes than before, which is why it is so important that everybody actually DO vote.

A voice not used is a voice not heard.

But what makes this election so difficult is that you vote for a block, not for a party. On paper, no, on paper your vote is for a specific party, with specific questions on their agenda, but in reality? None of the parties have their own majority, they are all having to cooperate with the others, something I actually like. Life is about making choices, prioritising, deciding, compromising from time to time. But there are some things one can't make compromises around, and that's when it gets difficult. A vote on a smaller party more or less equals a vote for the bigger party on the same side, within the same block. And that bothers me. I am still switching, and not clear on what I want to vote for, and the blocks also makes it difficult. Each block have certain questions that I absolutely don't agree with. Each party have questions that I either don't care so much about or that are not in line with my believes.

But most parties have at some questions that I feel strongly about. Some fields where I prefer them.

All but one party, that is.

And the other parties... What I really wish for is a humane political situation, where the parties push for what is best, and not block any questions just because they don't want to support a party they don't normally cooperate with. But I realise that may not happen.

I have to choose the least bad, in my eyes, and stick with that. Hope for the best. And pray that whatever happens in the politics, it is going to lay the foundation for a society where we care about each other, embrace each others differences, embrace and include different cultures - as I strongly believe that's the winning concept and what we need to do, for humankind - and, important to me, make sure we have a sustainable situation, something we can build on rather than tear down and start again with every election, with every political wind that is blowing.

And I hope that enough people vote, and really think about what they vote for, so that a racist party doesn't get a key role.

But whatever happens, we have to remain a democracy and the society is really built on what the voters say. So vote. Whatever you do, whatever you lean towards, vote.

If you are travelling, you can vote in the consulates or embassies, as long as you have your Swedish ID card.

Just do it. Don't create excuses. But you have to vote before the election day if you aren't in the country.

Vote. It is the most important right we have.

6 Aug 2014

This may be the most important video I have seen at least this month...

26 Jun 2014

Water usage

And also, how do you explain to someone that they won't get any more clean just because they shower for 20-30 minutes in the morning, after having showered in the evening as well? In a normal, not very warm climate.

Sustainability, my friends, sustainability starts in your own home and with your own habits.

I realise that I got a lot with the milk, born and raised in a big family these things come natural, you can't block the bathroom for 30-40 minutes every morning. It just doesn't work. Not when others want to share it too. Unless you want to get up at 4. And which teenager does?

I keep being surprised by the fact that some people never seem to have gotten over the super long showers.

Plus it's really bad for your skin, dries you out.

(Not that I don't like to once in a while have a bit of a longer shower, or a bath, but I DID say "once in a while". Not every day and definitely not twice a day.)

25 Jun 2014

When your flatmate is obsessed

When your flatmate has developed a crush on your other flatmate and your other flatmate is out picking up girls on a regular basis, life is getting more complicated than it has to be.

When you discover that she has printed out a photo of him and put it on her wall, you get even more uncomfortable.

And discovering that she is going in to his bedroom when he is gone and then having to listen to how much "she misses him" when he is just out for the weekend, you are afraid you have a bunny boiler in the house.

And now I keep my fingers crossed that it's just my paranoia or that they actually find each other and move in together and just... Just live happily ever after. In a while, not quite yet, I like having flatmates.

Just not every second.