>On books

I was challenged to answer to this survey by blogger/friend Marta. So here we go:

I. A book that changed my life.
My diary.

II. A book I read more than once.
Love in the time of cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He is making it ALL UP, it is SO obvious that NO love story can EVER unfold like this. At the same time it’s touching and somehow believable.

III. A book I would like to bring to a deserted island.
Probably 100 love sonnets by Pablo Neruda, the pink edition with beautiful and sentimental love poetry in Spanish translated into English on the facing page. Then on my island, I’d learn the Spanish versions daytime by heart, later cry them out into the lonely and very black night and at the same time understand what I was screaming.

IV. A book that made me laugh.
A Rough Guide to Sweden. Jeez, it really gives a person some perspective to read travel books on her own country. This handy guide states that Sweden really just needs two days, one in Stockholm and one in Gothenburg…

V. A book that made me cry.
All the thick ones, ’cos I have separation anxiety (GWTW/Mitchell, Diva/Fagerholm, Anne of Green Gables/Montgomery, A little love song/Magorian)

VI. A book I wish had been written.
A coming of age story taking place in the echoing halls of Uppsala University, some romance at the student clubs called ”nations” and a strong heroine taking her own high road…

VII. A book I wish had not.
Little Birds by Anaïs Nin, a sequel to the wonderful and erotic Delta of Venus that has the quality of a, well, sequel.

VIII. A book I am reading now.
The American Girl by Monika Fagerholm, a Finnish-Swedish writer who makes up a new language for every book she writes, takes some getting used to, but I think the effects of when you just don’t read a persons story, but read their language is powerful (Ett Öga Rött by Hassan Khemiri had a similar effect).

IX. A book I plan to read.
Late in November by Tove Jansson. Aron said it was great and I trust his literary taste.

X. Pass the survey on to other bloggers…
I think that Mamma and Nadja should get it once they start their blogs.

AND SOME EXTRA FOR THE CHEAP SEATS IN THE BACK: A book I give to a friend any day.
The Daughters of Egalia by Gerd Brantenberg. This is how equal rights should be pursued; in a crazy-witty-fantastic literary description of what life would be like if everything was different. I’m just saying – the scene when Rut gives birth in the spotlight on a stage in the Birth Temple before she leaves to go out to celebrate with her friends! I believe in visualizing the absurd. So does Gerd.

>Remembering Anna Lindh

Three years ago, right before the referendum on joining the Euro zone, Sweden’s foreign minister Anna Lindh was stabbed to death in a Stockholm department store. I remember Anna Lindh as a fabulous speaker and a political role model and her unnecessary and brutal death as a push to join party politics.

– A human being can be murdered, but ideas can’t. Our thanks to you will be to carry your message on, Anna Lindh said at Olof Palme’s funeral in 1986.

Today, I am remembering Anna Lindh and on Sunday, I hope people in Sweden remember the ideas of democracy and vote. I will.

>Back on track

Yesterday, I sat my foot down on the Uppsala soil and walked the 59 steps to my door (location, location, location!)

Summer is over. It feels kind of nice. Posts from now on will involve job searching and texts on breaking up with student life.

The slight out of focus picture is taken from the information page of Harvard’s summer program 2006 in Uppsala. Had no idea the prestigious US university drag their students to Sweden summertime. Well, their summer is over too.

>Summer break


Not a cloud
as long as the eye can see
not a drop of rain
in several days

with an ice-cream in my mouth
and sandals of plastic
I am walking in the sun
thinking of you

>Home sweet home

>I stepped off the plane and filled my lungs with the summery air of Arlanda airport, Sweden. I was back in my homeland and the feeling was sweet. The crowded streets in Paris seemed far away and as I got my luggage and slowly walked out towards a waiting car I had a moment: I had perfect spring in Paris behind me and a possible lovely summer in Sweden ahead.

>good weather

>This is just a post to show im still around. I haven’t forgot you my dear and oh-so-dedicated readers. I’ll be back soon, maybe already tomorrow after my visit to the Monet gardens in Giverny.


>Sunday – a day for rest?

When a young girl in Sweden, I remember that all stores closed in the early afternoon on Saturdays. Errends had to be taken care of during the week or in the morning hours of that day. Now all that has changed, most stores are open late on Saturdays and on Sundays and with the malls one can do shopping also in the evenings.

Here in France, shops are still closed on Sundays and it has an interesting effect on the French way of life. A sense of tranquility spreads. Sundays are for pure joy and relaxing, going to the park or visiting friends.

Normally, I am not the person advocating for time to be tuned back (nor using biblical headings). But is it really a good idea to have access to shoppning every day? What weekday is for relaxing and going to the park in Sweden?


>I need no more. I’m done, I’m well, je suis contente!

I fell upon the most magic evening. A friend and I went to Belleville to watch the open ateliers – once a year the artists of Belleville open their homes and ateliers for the public. Suddenly, we were in a crowded room, free kir (white wine and flavour, the classic is cassis/blackcurrent), colorful people, kids, paintings and a sound installation with chanting birds. Someone made a “cling-cling” with a glass and wished us welcome to the concert next door. We went into a church room, beautifully decorated in all white with white candles everywhere. Over the stage it said in gold “Dieu est amour” – God is love. A goodlooking guitar player with an even better looking guitar came in, sat down and started to play. A redhaired singer came in, put on her guitar and started singing French chansons lika an angel, the texts were funny (I could understand quite a lot!), I befriended the older man next to me, and when people sang along…

It was a moment which is hard to explain in the blogformat.

>*******Vive l’Europe!*******

>What is up in rest of Europe? France is in celebration mood after the somber rememberance of the victims of the second world war yesterday…8th of May and 61 years since the war ended. Here in France it is of course a national holiday. That the day following the 8th of May has been named “Fête l’Europe” just seems self-explanatory. First there was a war, then EU was created to never have war again! (The Schuman declaration was signed on the 9th of May 1950 and was the beginning of the coal and steel union) Let’s have a day for Europe!

– How the French celebrate it? They light up the Eiffeltower and the Arch de Triomphe in blue!

>Get inspired by George W. Bush

>Bush is often critizised for being a stupid guy. This week, he didn’t try to prove anyone wrong, he just went with the flow. Do as Bush, embrace what is you. Do as Bush, love your shortcomings. Do as Bush, laugh at yourself.

Um, yeah, and follow this link so you know what I am talking about… http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2006/bush-bridges-p1.php


These little hang-ups that form a life. When you go to live somewhere new it is like blowing your routines up with a big bang. But the funny part is that when the dust settles, new, fresh, little greenish, habits are beautifully framing your life, once again.

After a few months in Paris the dust has settled and I wake up every morning to my sister’s voice. She is saying “Tjolahopp” (not possible to translate) in a recording on my cell phone. Then I turn it off about three times before I get up. I shower in the most despicable shower with small flies on the walls – I endure them by singing ANC-songs from the Apartheid times. That makes the flies seem like a tiny problem. Then I get dressed – nowadays fancy office wear – and drink a yoghurt on my way to the Metro. This is a good way of “eating” breakfast even though you have slept away the time to do so. In the Metro, I grab the free paper 20 minutes. It is a competitor to the Swedish success Metro and has won me over because of the simple fact that it is half the size and thereby possible to read in the crowded Metro. I always make sure to look up to when the Metro pass the Eiffel tower, that’s a view I can never get tired of…When the weather is good I get off a station before mine and walk past fruit shops, mailmen, school kids, dog owners and everybody else on the lively 16th arrondissement street. Turning round the corner, I stop at the quartier boulangerie and buy a croissant (I promise, I do) which I eat in front of the computer when checking my emails.

I work. That is also a routine now.

On the way home my routine is not to have a routine. I always try to find a new way home. Today it will be taking Metro 6 to station Franklin D. Roosevelt, changing to M2 which will take me to Place de la Bastille. Ok, this isn’t really a straight track home, but rather to a rendez-vous with other OECD interns and with a glass of white wine.

My lovely routines which I will soon blow up.