Monday, September 27, 2010

Men are equally annoying wherever you are in the world

You know these people who feel they can just say a thing or two about your life, without knowing you and without you even asking to? Wise-asses. When this happens in the Netherlands it's bad enough to come up with a snappy reply, but in a language you don't really control it's a different thing. Unfortunately. Because this ignorant person really deserved one.

I was in the hotel lobby, changing the channel on TV because it was time for the Simpsons. No one sat there so who would miss the handball game (!) on TV anyway? As I was looking for the right channel, this complete stranger, a man (obviously) comes out and makes some remark about me not going to watch sports. As polite as I am I just smiled politely but that was before he had to say that of course we wouldn't watch the sports, we were girls.

All I could manage to get out was "Jag gillar sports!" which indeed means I like sports and I do. I bet he wasn't in the stadium last week watching the football but even if I had been able to come with something much better to say, he wouldn't have heard it because he had already left the hotel. I just can't stand this kind of stereotyping. What a loser that guy was and how it annoyed me it really affected my mood as well. The Simpsons made up for it though.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's red and suddenly doesn't suck so much anymore

Isn't it just typical that whenever you don't plan anything you end up with more than when you go outside with some plans which you don't end up doing anyway. To illustrate, I wanted to go to the City Art Museum but still haven't done that. But I really want to go you know. And I still haven't made a picture of a tram here. Not even a bad one. But at least I took one by accident today. I got 3 more days to do that. Let's see if I find myself cursing all the way to the airport because I didn't take that picture. There's about 12 tram lines in the city. There's always a tram going. There simply is no excuse. Except for it being way too easy.

Today we went out without a plan. Well, maybe going to Liseberg, the amusement park which costs 75 kronor just to get inside. Only to drink an overprized soda, buy overprized candy and decide endlessly whether to go on the rides (you need to buy coupons for that) now we're there anyway. Amusement parks have become a carousel of choices. Maybe it's because I'm older and I'm now able to consider my choices and their consequences. The last time I've been on a ride was after I had eaten some cotton candy. Do not get on a rocking ship after eating cotton candy. Just saying.

Today was lovely. Today was highly creative. I wasn't out to buy a notebook saying “The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner than the average person” but I did just that because it said that (and it has gray pages with white lines, how cool is that?). I wasn't out to get a Burger King meal but I did and yes it was damn good too. I also wasn't out to buy a bag from H&M but I did anyway, it's ready to be customized. And I certainly wasn't out to buy a CD by Kent. But talking about creative!

It was the limited edition of their 2009 CD “Röd”. One thing, the CD is shit. I wouldn't even cared about it if Kent hadn't been that really great band from 1995 to 2006, playing amazing alternative rock songs, was the best live band ever to step on this planet and well, if you'd meet them all you want to say at them is the very same thing Peter Griffin told Kiss “You. Are. Gods!” To which they probably would have answered “Yeah we know.” Thing is, they went synth. The way they make Depeche Mode look like a real tough heavy metal band. They released 3 synth albums since 2007 of which the 2010 one “En plats i solen” is the first one which is actually doable. It features the amazing “Gamla Ullevi” and with that song alone they managed to get me over the whole music change they made (it's radical, believe me) and look for their albums. And suddenly, there was this cardboard box. What on earth was in there? I tell you what is in there: the album on 3 LPs (2 songs on each side), on CD and on a USB stick as MP3s. As if the art work of the LPs wasn't gorgeous enough, it featured a book. Filled with photos made for the artwork. More than 100 pages (different sizes as well) with the most absurd and abstract photographs. You just ooooh and aaaahh yourself through it. It's amazing. It's incredibly creative. It's ART. It's inspiring art. A box filled with art. And I certainly feel inspired.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

One week in Göteborg

I'm in Göteborg, Sweden, for a week now. It feels like I haven't been here in like forever but in reality it's only been a few years. I've been wondering about how little has changed but also how much has changed. I've lived in Göteborg for about 18 months just before the change of the millenium and I've wondered about how much that supermarket has changed. The Gamla Ullevi, the football stadium, has changed drastically, it's been completely rebuilt. The last time I was there we stood on wooden floors and we jumped to the point you actually wonder if the wood would hold on and we got in for 80 kronor. Now we sat in a real stadium on plastic chairs and paid 200 kronor. The travel system has changed (rants on that later). There's this massive Wheel of Göteborg which gives you an impressive sight all over town. You can buy chocolate with licorice flavour (seriously!).

On the other hand it's still a big city with a small town feel. You can still buy the super ice cream in Nordstan (for more, obviously). The sausage stand at the bus station is still there (and equally good). The trams are all the same. IFK Göteborg is still the number one football team in town. And my Swedish still isn't as terrible as I think it is. You impress people by saying that you speak a bit Swedish because you lived there but you never think it's good enough. It still isn't good enough for my liking but I'm not a helpless monkey like I am when I'm trying to pay for a croissant in France. I just give 20 euro and have faith that I get the right amount back and hope to actually find a croissant in my paper bag when I leave the store. In Sweden I can order a forest fruit yoghurt pie with a coffee and ask if the next cup is included for free and ask the lady at the counter if she'd prefer five kronor to make the change easier.

I have a couple of days left in this city and the weather is promising. It's dry and there's the promise of sun as well. That's all I want. I don't need an all-inclusive resort in a warm country. This is just fine.