Categories
Travels & Trips World topics

Stockholm

In July I attended the wedding of my friends near Stockholm and took the opportunity to see the city and meet old friends. Here are the pictures of my trip through the city and its surroundings.

My first impression was that there’s a lot of water. The city itself is built across a dozen islands, which gives it a unique flair. An island for museums, one for swimming, one for the old town, one with a natural park, you name it. Approaching the airport, you fly across the archipelago with thousands of them! Very beautiful 😀

I heard a lot about high equality between women and men in Scandinavia, but seeings the uncomplicated way of dealing with femininity with my own eyes was just liberating: Women are cycling with flying mini skirts and no one gives a second look. Male toilets with nappy changing unit. Ladies toilets have simple plastic bags as bins and not those “automatically disinfecting, push the pedal, then put your pad on the flap bins” you see else often. Adults simply change into swim gear on the cities beaches and again: no stares.

The most remarkable thing about Stockholm to me was that they have instituted a sort-of human right of access to a bicycle. You simply pay 32 Euros and you get access to rental bikes for 6 months! And not those annoying 30-minute slots common across the big cities in the West – no, you get the bike for 3 hours straight!

What do do in Stockholm?

Visit the parliament for a free tour in English! Very recommended for its beautiful view from the 6th floor and the architecture. It was also very interesting to hear a few facts about democracy. For example only in Sweden and Norway the parliamentarians are sitting organized by region not by party! There’s a ladies room in the parliament showing pictures of famous “first women” in Swedish politics. The room also features a mirror, where female visitors can see the reflection of the potential future prime minister of the country. A fantastic conversation to have with school classes and other groups of visitors!

Don’t miss out on a drink on a boat bar near the old town, watching the sun set slowly between 9pm and midnight. You’ll walk home in the twilight, it just doesn’t get dark in summer in Sweden!

I also did the early morning boat tour, getting a nearly undisturbed insight into smaller islands. Below are some pictures of the defense equipment still installed on the island to protect Stockholm city (but unused).

Another highlight for me was the museum of photography with a great video installation about Chinese migratory workers.

On the day of the world cup final we were lazying around with the German friends and family of the couple. We ended up playing football. As i was in a dress and flip flops, I started carefully at first to test the shoes. Later I even scored with the left foot. We had a couple of trees on the pitch, which made it even more exciting and surreal.
Another exciting physical challenge came in form of “a slackline”. We tried to walk across a rope spread between two trees.
This weekend I really found new joy about physical mastery which I hope to continue in London 🙂

20140710_094735

20140714_082218 20140714_080829 20140713_122337 20140713_122300 20140712_094818 20140712_093649 20140711_211914 20140711_133104 20140711_121552 20140711_110948 20140711_103329 20140710_182908 20140710_174927 20140710_130458 20140714_143738

 

Categories
World topics

Grillen zum Eröffnungsspiel

Familienfest im Hochhaus in Sao Paulo

Der 12. Juni war ein Feiertag. Keiner sollte arbeiten in Sao Paulo, es sollte gefeiert werden. Ereignis war aber nicht der Brasilianische „Tag der Liebenden“ wie ich romantisch trĂ€umerisch erst annahm, sondern tatsĂ€chlich der Eröffnungstag der Weltmeisterschaft. Jenes Ereignis, was die Nation seit Jahren bewegt, was eine halbe Milliarde verschwendet hat, in einem Land in dem jeder zweite mit schlechtem Gesundheitswesen oder inakzeptabler Bildung oder Behausung lebt.

Meine Kollegen hatten mich eingeladen, am Grillen im Hof des Hauses teilzunehmen. Ein Rentner-Ehepaar hatte ĂŒber 40 Hausbewohner zusammen getrommelt. Es wurde ab 13 Uhr bis spĂ€t in die Nacht gegrillt. Die Spielerauswahl war definitiv ein diskutiertes Thema, die Proteste und Korruption eher nicht.

Alle Generationen waren vertreten: Kinder tollten umher, schwangen kleine Brasilien-FĂ€hnchen und aßen WĂŒrstchen aus der Hand. Junge Erwachsene saßen auf KlappstĂŒhlen und tranken Bier. Die Eröffnungsfeier wurde wenig beachtet. Mir wurde erklĂ€rt, dass die Hymne viele Menschen nicht anspricht, da sie sprachlich Ă€ußerst kompliziert aufgebaut ist und außerdem, aus dem UnabhĂ€ngigkeitskrieg stammend, vom patriotischen Tod und der Gleichheit schwĂ€rmt.

Am meisten beeindruckt war ich vom Feuerwerk, was bei jedem Tor ĂŒber der Stadt zu hören war. Eine große Tradition in Brasilien, wie mir erklĂ€rt wurde. Eine Nachbarin betrieb frĂŒher einen Feuerwerksladen und erzĂ€hlte, wie Fußballfans ihr drohten, den Laden abzufackeln, sollte sie an die „falschen“ Fans verkaufen. Als ich von den strikten Regelungen zum Verkauf und der Verwendung von Feuerwerkskörpern in Deutschland erzĂ€hlte, wurde ich (erwartungsgemĂ€ĂŸ) fassungslos angestarrt.
Nach dem Spiel erklÀrte mir ein Àlterer Herr im feinsten Portugiesisch, dass ich wieder kommen soll zum Grillen. Nicht nur ich, sondern auch meine Familie, Freunde und alle, die ich kenne. Herzliche Gastfreundschaft!

Die WM ist im vollen Gang. Die Menschen haben sich damit abgefunden und bauen sie eben in ihr Leben ein. Viele meiner Freunde sprechen sich gegen FIFA‘s Klammergriff und die Geldverschwendung aus und haben trotzdem Stadion-Tickets erworben. Die PrĂ€sidentschaftswahlen stehen im Oktober an, es besteht Wahlpflicht.

image

Categories
World topics

Wurst in heaven

This Saturday night out in London I’m following the invite of a friend who’s tagged along some other folks.

I meet them in a restaurant, after introducing himself he says that he likes my earrings. I was wearing the red ones, obviously with matching shoes and hand bag.

He’s 1.86 m or so, the perfect skinny, a cool hair cut and is well dressed.
We leave the restaurant and queue outside the club where we’re hoping to watch a concert of the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest.

He runs a tech startup in London and tells me of the expansion and VC raising plans. He offers chewing gum. Intelligent guy, witty and well mannered.

After passing some high touch security checks we head in and unrequested he gets me a drink. He’s from Manchester. Explains the accent, I think!
The crowd moves to the music and so do we. It’s getting full, several hundreds of guys in their twenties are here waiting for Conchita to sing a few cheesy love songs. Everybody here has a story and many moved countries to find the space to live their story.

People want to be close to the stage and keep pushing forward while the club fills up and the AC does her job.
Is it the anticipation to rise like an eagle? That the heart will go on?

He dances, I dance, the crowd does. Suddenly a guy chats him up, quickly they laugh and talk like old friends. Then they start kissing.

And nobody cares, cause this is heaven.

Categories
Travels & Trips

4 relaxing days on Menorca

Together with my friend Caroline I went on a long weekend trip to Menorca. As the spring season had just started, we were nearly alone in the hotel, the beaches, the car parks… Instant relaxation! We enjoyed the history, amazing food and landscape.

Colour code = blue, green and white!

Categories
The deep, emotional stuff

Celine Dion on the Underground

These terrible commutes.
Twenty six minutes in an underground train flying through tunnels but the only entertainment is pregnacare and mortgage ads.
The only?

Don’t think I can’t feel that there’s something wrong.

Opposite the black guy with his hair in lines and shoulder long braids. Tired face and eyes jumping around the floor. Returns my gaze first briefly then more steadily.

You’ve been the sweatest part of my life for so long. I look in your eyes, there’s a distant light.

Over there a mid-aged English guy with round glasses and a golden ring on the pinkie finger. Black long trench coat and somehow uneasy in his seat.

You and I know there’ll be a storm tonight.

And this Robbie Williams type of guy with headphones is sitting right next to the door. He’s very upright in his seat and ready to jump up and out.

Baby, this is getting serious. Are you thinking about you or us?

Holding the rolled up free newspaper with his one hand and controls two suitcases with the other. A traveler, randomly shaking his head and staring towards the dark window.

Don’t say what you’re about to say. Look back before you leave my life.

Now getting on is a black old professor type with a checked blazer and a briefcase. Two litres of juice in a shopping bag, pictures of mango and pineapple shining through the white plastic. Silver curly hair above the ears, closed eyes.

Be sure before you close that door. Baby think twice. For the sake of our love, for the memory.

image

Categories
Movies

Philomena

Religion, family, Ireland, family drama, Judi Dench as always amazing!

 

Categories
Movies

Forgetting June

Nigeria, love, friendship, a life full of drama, nollywood, predicatable but really cute.

Categories
Travels & Trips

When it’s raining flowers

A garden museum near Waterloo station? In an old church next to a palace?
How random, but triggering our interest to enter.

And suddenly it was raining flowers on us!

Let’s treat ourselves and enjoy small joys like world wonders!

image

Categories
Travels & Trips

A day with mum and the Seven Sisters

image

My mum visited for Easter and with another friend we visited England’s south coast. Three German ladies out in the wild.

A lovely day on the cliffs imagining life on the south downs with lots of sheep before electricity and piped water.

Categories
Movies

Nordfor Solar

Norway, nature, winter, male friendship, seaside, only 45 minutes!