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.

5 May 2014

Hanging with the girls

I have a flat mate who wants to hang out "with the girls".

Great.

Except I don't hang out with "the girls". Never did.

I hang out with the people who share similar interests, or who have interesting stories to tell, stories I can learn from. Or just generally, things I can learn from.You know, fun people.
I don't care what my friends have between their legs, so to say, they are my friends. End of story. 

Not that I don't have female friends, just not female friends who "want to hang with the girls".

I don't even know what to do when you "hang with the girls". I have a feeling we are talking different languages.

So what DO one do when hanging with the girls?

4 Apr 2014

smile

My new hoppy is photo bombing. It's fun.... :-D
Especially in Asia. I am photographed anyhow so I may just as well make something funny...

17 Feb 2014

I will never get a fixed line again


I will never get a fixed telephone line again.

I don't plan to live in one place long enough to have one - and also, I will never again give my contact details to a Telecom company.

I have nothing but trouble with them.

For the longest time I thought Deutsche Telekom were the worst - and that's said after I had my share of problems both privately and from a company point of view - but O2 has proven to be even worse.

Or have I just forgotten how bad Deutsche Telekom was?

Anyhow, would I ever move back to Germany I would never get a fixed line again. Not even with a cancellation period of 1 month, which was what I used to have, but despite having left Germany and sent my provider evicende, they charged me for several months extra.

I left in July. They charged me until September, or was it October.

Had I had the energy to fight them I would have but it is taking too much energy, especially when one isn't in the country. I would to be honest rather pay to never ever have to talk to them again but don't tell them that.

I have other things to do with my life.

Which is why from now on I will only always have a prepaid phone line, and skype. I plan to continue to be on the move anyhow. I don't want to get rooted. It doesn't suit me.

And I especially don't want to ever live in Germany again. I will come and visit but I never ever want to live there, not the least because of that; German administration and bureacreacy.

And German telecom companies. 

He who said Germans were efficient didn't know what he was talking about.
Everything, really EVERYTHING in Germany has been complicated to get out of, every company tries to be difficult, tries to force you to stay. Not "tries to keep you" but "tries to force you to stay". All from health insurance companies to telecom. These are fights I never want to take again. I swear Germany has shortened my life with a few years. Good thing I have other things that have compensated for it...

It's interesting how you can love a city the way I used to love Düsseldorf and enjoy things in a country and still grow to despice it in so many ways; Many people are nice when you get to know them, it is centrally located, there is a lot of variation; And yet, when you move, that's when you see the real side of Germany and German bureacreacy.

I expect my next will be when it is time for retirement, because theoretically I should get some retirement funds from Germany. By then I am sure they will have come up with a way to get out of that too but that's something I will worry about then. Hopefully I will have made enough money so that I can retire also while fighting for my retirment funds in Germany - but we shall see. Quite a while until THAT is relevant anyhow, and who knows, things may have changed by then.

Things DO actually change.

I have heard.

*End of rant*


11 Feb 2014

Curious - vegan food

So... I am not a vegan, not at all, but I do think we eat too much meat and I think it would be beneficial for everybody if we ate more vegan or at least vegetarian and I really believe it would be healthy for all of us if we had at least one meat free day a week - there is even a movement for that, Meatfree Monday - here is a link to the .com site, but the movement exists in many countries. Here is Meatfree Monday UK, here is Meetfree Monday Australia, Meatfree Monday New Zealand and so forth.

I don't bother so much about the day but I have meat free meals as well as meat free days through-out the week myself.

But looking for inspiration online and participating in vegan group discussions I see so many different versions of "fake meat" or dishes where they use "meat names" - bacon, chicken and so forth. Personally I have always had a hard time getting just that; If you don't want to eat meat, why do you want to eat something that looks and maybe even taste like meat? Sure, if you have an allergy I can understand, then it wasn't your choice to avoid meat; Just like lactose intollerant people use lactose free milk drink, and cream, those forced to not eat meat would of course want fake meat.

But the others? Well, maybe it's just me but if I eat vegan I want a lot of flavours and something really tasty but I definitely don't want it to resemble meat.

Then again I am not a big fan of processed food anyhow, and I know how to cook vegan food pretty well, and maybe that's partly the difference. The only time I can think of pretend-meat making sense would be when you are out with a big group and want to grill sausages, then there is "non-meat" sausage. Nice if everybody can have a sausage, when the sausage is something social, and not just a meal. Other than that I can't quite get it - but everybody to him/herself, of course.

I saw a recipe of "Home made soy chicken" that made me think about this, you see, I thought it was chicken made in soy sauce, or the second thought was that it was soy chicken the way corn chicken normally means "Chicken that was raised eating corn", but it turned out to be a "Chicken" made of soy.

Odd.

I am not going to try it.


8 Feb 2014

When you leave Germany no one will get back to you

I learnt the hard way. Once you have left Germany, you are no longer interesting. No one will get back to you. And I am not talking about friends, although that happens to some extent with friends too, everybody is so busy with their lives that they don't really have time for he/she who left. But on the other hand, we are so busy setting up our lives that we hardly have time either.

But what I am talking about it companies. There are the ones that you send your deregistration forms.
There are others that you just try and get hold of.

No one will pretend that the life outside Germany exists. The people that you sent the deregistration, because you wanted to get out of the contracts as they were no longer useful, well, guess what: They used to communicate via email, but they instead switch to sending out stuff to the address you are no longer on, bothering the next person to move in or just letting things getting lost, it seems to be a common thing.

The other ones? The ones you try and get hold of? You ask them to contact you, you hear absolutely nothing.

The BANK I did get hold of once though, they did answer emails. At least a few. And then I tried to get to talk to them as I had some questions. N O T H I N G. Absolutely nothing. They said they would call back but never did.

And now I am temporary visiting Germany.

And guess what. Three months later, when they spot that I use my bank card in Germany, they call me to "invite me for a coffee and a talk".

No, I am not going to meet with them. The question I had has totally played out it's role and is not relevant anymore. But I DO find it EXTREMELY creepy that the bank has had some sort of monitoring on my, checking my movements, to the level that they know exactly when I - unexpected and on short notice and in a way that there is NO other way that they can know - I enter the country.

IF that isn't 1984 then I don't know what is.

And to all Germans that are so worried about data privacy: That's right, you shold be, if you live in a country where such tracking is even legal. It's after all not just the system that knows, it is really the people at the bank... Scary. And very uncomfortable...