30 November 2008

Re-cap: Stockholm

Travelling in the last weeks has been a bit ridiculous, what with going back to Joburg and then spending less than a week in Stockholm before going back for 6 days to Joburg and then - today - returning to Kiwi-land for the New Year holiday.

But I didn't want to miss out on posting some of the things that struck me in Stockholm:

First of all I have realised that Arlanda Airport is a place of many entertainments. Not only did Stuart find a book dispenser last time he passed through, I also discovered my favourite word in Swedish:


And while we are at Arlanda, the ticket machine makes the most laughable plops when buttons are pressed (which I can't post as his blog doesn't allow posting of sound files, so you will have to just try it for yourself when you go there, or ask me and I will send you the clip - it would make a great text message tone for your phone).

on being European

People on first meeting often ask where I am from. A difficult question to answer, or rather a complex answer is required. "Where are you from?" rather than "What nationality are you?" or "Where were you born?" or "Where do you live?" implies a sense of belonging to one location not the current one and maybe even being homesick, i.e. having a home one longs to go back to. I usually don't feel that I have such a home. So the answer usually runs along the lines of: born in Germany, lived in the UK for twenty-odd years, most recently living in x, part of my itinerant life as a corporate wife. Not a short answer by any means.

But the more I travel and live in assorted countries the more I realize where my heritage (although definitely not my home - that is a whole other blog post) is. There is nothing more comfortable to me than walking down some old cobbled street in Stockholm or enter a museum in Paris, find a cafe in Edinburgh or book a hotel room in Amsterdam. I haven't spent any significant amount of time in any of those cities, never lived in those countries, but it still feels easier than locating an rating place in Dubai or a shop in Joburg. Europe is my history, my point of reference, my yardstick however much I think of myself as a World citizen. Really I am just a European.

12 November 2008

What I'll miss - part 2

Caramel milkshakes at Fidel's, hanging out with Stuart after work and Leo any other time.

My new toy

I photograph a lot. I also draw sometimes in my diary where I also keep pictures, clippings and interesting bits of paper. So far I have not found a good way to combine the photography into my diary. Digital helps, since I can print out photos myself instead of waiting to get print back from the shop (how quaint that seems now). But usually I forget or don't get round to printing photos for ages, and them I can't find the glue, and the writing in my diary has moved on... Anyway, a minor pain, but annoying to my completionist creative tendencies. A few weeks ago I remembered that you can find anything on Google. Now I am the proud owner of a Polaroid Pogo. It's a tiny battery powered printer that makes 3x5 inch sticky photos without the need for ink cartridges. How cool is that! My life is minimally better now. Is that sad?

05 November 2008

Stuart's travel finds

I know he is not going to get around to posting these anytime soon, so here are some of my favourite photos he has sent me to keep my up to date with the weirdness of the World:


Great idea: Buy a book from a dispenser at Arlanda airport in Stockholm


Swedish environmentalism. It can be as simple as an empty bottle


"Wan kea": a whole new swear word is needed for this "bullshit off an ass hole"


Budapest - the sticker on the back says: It beats walking