Saturday, December 18, 2010

To hell and back

Today, on the last Saturday before Christmas, I had the semi-smart idea to go to the city center. And believe me, I should have prepared myself for a war-like situation. I just wanted to get some Christmas cards and since my family and me decided to have another Christmas without presents, I had forgotten that everyone else is still doing the annual shopping for presents. When I arrived at the mall, the main entrance was closed as there was too much water from melted snow. The whole floor was basically 4cm under water. So I had to walk aaaaaaaall the way around the mall to the other entrance. I was not the only person, moreover I was in a bunch of some 100 people. Arriving in the mall some idiot teenage boys threw their milkshakes down from the first floor onto the people below. This time I got lucky and nothing hit me, but some other people looked quite disgusting after the milkshake attack.

When I finally got back home, which took a while since the tube didn't work anymore and I basically walked one hour home, all I wanted was food, some nice wine and something funny to look at. Luckily my sister supplied me with some fun animals clips. Oh and in the supermarket the usual thing happened again: As soon as little Svenja goes alcohol shopping, people get a huge interest in my ID. I picked a nice wine and went to the cashier and she kept on looking at me, not constantly but every once in a while while she was scanning all the other items. In the end I just asked her "Do you wanna see my ID?" and she just answered "I was not sure, if you would count it as an insult but I am really not sure if you are old enough..." Note for foreigners: buying wine in Germany is allowed from age 16. 

I say cheers to that!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Back to business!

Soooo, finally, I have something to do again. This week I started my new job at an amazing company. So far I am more than happy: a company full of opportunities, like-minded people (most of us are "home-comers" to Germany and spent a lot of time abroad; also many people from abroad), working language is English, yummy lunch at the office, new office building, big fruit baskets, chocolate surprises for Saint Nicolas' day etc. It is pretty much the kind of working place that I have been searching for a long long time. I am still kind of adapting to being back in Germany and being in the one city in which I never wanted to be. However it does not feel bad at all, especially since I am living in a very handy location close to the subway stop (it only takes me 20 minutes from my house to my work place: booyah!), all kinds of bars, restaurants and nice shops. It is also a cozy apartment with high ceilings and timber floor boards. I think what also helps my transition is that I am surrounded by foreign languages pretty much all the time. 

This first week is dedicated to training, which means that we need to learn a lot about the booking system, regulations, the company and hierarchies. I am completely pooped every evening and feel like going straight to bed at like 7.30pm. After two months of no routine whatsoever getting back into a daily routine can be a little tough. Don't get me wrong: I am more than happy to have a routine again and so much input! Getting those rusty braincells back into action! Also getting to know so many different and yet so similar people is amazing!

Friday is the first test to evaluate how much we could actually remember. Since I need to apply all those new things soon, I better study a little tonight!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Car talk

We had that chapter before: my car. I believe after 21 years even a Volvo gets tired (although my Swedish friends keep on disagreeing with me on this matter). However, I brought it to the shop a couple of weeks ago just to have some weird sounds checked out. There was squeaking, rattling and a problem with servo steering. Well and of course my windshield wiper went missing on the motorway (ooops). I told the car mechanic to not fix anything but to give me some estimates before taking care of anything. Well, the number came and I would have been very thankful if he would have told me to sit down first: 800 Euros! The breaks are apparently fucked up and get stuck all the time, the windshield wiper motor broken and a hole in the exhauster. Great! I asked him about the squeaking noise and the difficulties with the steering. He didn't check that. And my assumption, that it could have something to do with the v-belt and the hydraulic pump just made him look at me as if I was annoying him. Well I decided to not have anything fixed after all, since 800 Euros would exceed the actual worth of the car. 

This weekend I visited a very capable engineering friend who took a look at my car. First thing he found: a 1 meter long rusty piece of pipe, just lying around in the motor compartment. It belonged to my air filter. Second thing he saw: the loose v-belt and the hydraulic pump are in each other's way as soon as I am steering causing that annoying noise and making steering the car as difficult as pushing a tank. Thanks, my car mechanic, for not even having a look into the motor compartment!
Instead of paying 800 Euros we got a new pipe for 24 euros and by this got rid of noises and difficulties. The breaks can indeed be loosened with cobbled stones. And who needs a back windshield wiper?

But cars seem to be a man's world and the only way for girls to be allowed in it is to wash it.

C'est la vie

It always happens towards the end of the year, that pretty much everyone of us starts reminiscing about the past year. It is also time to evaluate achievements of the year, all the ups and downs, our friendships and so on. It is also often the time when we start getting back in touch with people, at least I tend to do that. Today I heard some really really good news from the other end of the world, but also some sad news from loved ones. It often seems like good news are accompanied by bad ones, just to keep the universe in balance.

2010 hasn't exactly been my year. Most of the things went down the drains in pretty much all parts of my life. After half a year of searching the only job I found was working as marketing assistant, which is not my thing really. The "company" was crushing my spirits within a matter of days, which made me quit something for the first time in my life. And I really tried hard to get along with it. The fact that EVERYONE I worked with has also quit by now says something about the quality of this work place. Then there was trouble in apartment-heaven of Stockholm, which resulted in me being kicked out of the apartment thanks to a stupid little mistake of my landlady. Then there was the third break-in into my car since I am in Stockholm. Before that the back windshield wiper was bend down and the valve of one tire was kicked off. The only thing the thief could get from my empty car was the user manual of Volvo in German. Congrats! Packing up my stuff, leaving Sweden. Packing the car I also ended up with a parking ticket for standing in front of the house two minutes too long. That pretty much closed the deal of me leaving for good. (btw: never paid that ticket!) I simply had no idea anymore what would hold me in Stockholm. Most of my friends wanted to leave soon anyway and besides the fashion industry and the daily styling inspiration on random people there was nothing to keep me from leaving Stockholm for good.
The fact that I really don't miss Stockholm besides the good shops and the few friends left there tells me that it was the right decision to leave.
Since two months I am back home, living in my home village and it just happened last week, that something finally happened. I got offered a job at a fantastic company and I will start next Monday. I am so grateful to finally get something to do again. The bonus is that I will start before the years ends which will give me the chance to start 2011 with a brighter outlook. And I will also start exactly one month before my birthday, which I also take as a good omen.

In the meantime I kept myself busy with language courses, visits of job fairs, going to the gym, visiting friends and relatives and taking care of bureaucratic work. Admittedly I had to get used to doing everything a little slower. It was good to slow down for once. The hectic will come back faster than I wish for.

I had made so many plans for going traveling in South America but sometimes unforeseen factors enter the calculation with the result: change of plans. I was really looking forward to taking half a year for traveling, learning new languages, enjoying the company of many different people but also the luxury of being completely on my own. Change of plans does not mean, and that is for sure, that I will not take that journey someday. Just for now I need to be reasonable, start working for real, get experience, enter a new city and save up some money for the one big trip, which will come for sure! I already had the chance to meet so many fantastic people, that I want to visit: Brasil, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Scotland, China. The travelbug has bitten me a long time ago and I am convinced that this bite is incurable!

Until I indulge my travel passion again I will be happy about my new job and the new beginning!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to fix a car

Recently I had to realize that 21 years are a high age for a car. Last year I had a few things fixed to get it through car inspection once more. Exactly one year later I had to see the shop again because the car started to make funny noises. Turns out that the exhauster has a hole, the breaks got kind of stuck so they make a squeaking sound and on top of that my back windshield wiper first got bent down by an idiot (by this the motor of the wiper also got damaged) and afterwards I lost the dangling wiper on the motorway. Ooops! All in all: it would have been expensive. The costs would have exceeded the actual value of the car.

Yesterday I could actually fix the breaks: A street of cobblestone. No squeaking sounds anymore, woop woop.

Maybe I can fix the hole in the exhauster with chewing gum or gaffa tape, who knows :-)

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Maybe it is the time of the year, when everything seems a little dull and grey. Or maybe it is just my situation but I am getting frustrated... mostly with myself and my inability to make a decision. Although one decision has been made: I want to work instead of traveling. I need something to do! I tried my best to keep myself busy with short weekend trips and language courses but it is simply not enough. Admittedly I am not 100% behind my decision but it seems like the best thing to do right now. Work, earn money, gain experience, feel needed etc.

And just when I am all in my thought, completely occupied with myself I read the news: yet another suicide bomber in Istanbul and now I am all worried about the dear friends, who live there and pray to God that all of them are fine. All of the sudden so called "problems" seem so little and minor that I nearly feel embarrassed for my meaningless worries. Because after all I still have quite an amount of good things: love, health and choices!

Now I am off to the airport with my mum, getting some nice temperatures into the system in the south of Turkey. Good way also to get deeper into my Turkish language studies and trying my best to apply it.
So, stop sighing and start being happy instead:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Business before pleasure?

With 26 the law considers me a grown-up. I often wonder what being a grown-up actually means. Being reasonable? Making smart decisions? Knowing what you want? To take responsibility? This all sounds so vague and some children might actually be smarter and more reasonable than me. It has been more than a year ago, that I graduated. Writing down my CV I realized that up until my graduation everything went pretty smooth, no gaps on my CV, all pretty much exemplary. It is everything that happened afterwards, that worries me. Since 15 months I am hanging in mid-air, only managed to work for four months in a place I kindly describe as "hell on earth" and I quit it to avoid going insane. Searching for a job for more than half a year and ending up in that terrible place, quitting after only a few months shattered my belief in Sweden which is why I dropped everything and left. Now I am back in Germany, back in my old room, back at the start and I wonder how to continue. There are two options: work or travel, which can also be described as the decision-making-process between reason or fun.

I was surprised to find out that my hometown offers plenty of amazing jobs, so much has changed around here or I simply see everything in a different light. However it would seem like such a failure to return to my small hometown after all the beautiful places that I was allowed to see, after all the the amazing people I was able to meet, all those exciting experiences I could make and start working here.

I of course checked plenty of job databases but no matter in which country I want to work, I will always be a foreigner. This is certainly very exciting but Stockholm taught me, that foreigners, no matter their qualification, are not always welcome. (Blimey for taking a little longer to realize this, call me naive) Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that Stockholm people are racist, that is not my message, but in my field Swedish people were always given preference. How do I get that impression? Simple: If a job ad fitted me perfectly well, let's say it required an education in the field of media and communication, some internships as experience would be sufficient, working language English and knowledge in one more language and so on... in the end it would say "Swedish mothertongue is demanded" even if it is not needed while executing the job; meaning: please no applications by foreigners. Even if it might not have been meant that way all the time, it was easy to understand it that way, especially after 6 frustrating months of searching and application-writing. BTW: why was the job ad in English if they could have written it as well in Swedish to exclude people with no Swedish knowledge?

The big question is still unsolved: What should I do now? I don't know if it is a German way of thinking but by age 26 you kind of expect it from yourself and you are expected to either have a family or a career. But is this still a realistic expectation? Why do I have the feeling that all my achievements of the past years are worth nothing just because I hit rock bottom in Stockholm?

Traveling seems like the wrong thing to do, so incredibly irresponsable, I should work instead and get some working experience. What the hell, I only have one life and I should enjoy it and as long as my life circumstances allow me to do whatever I like, why shouldn't I, right? But I also don't wanna travel and suffer from a bad conscience from all the "should's". To feel a little bit better and to trick myself I applied at a few jobs to see my chances on the German labour market. If no one wants to hire me, I can go travel without bad conscience though a little worried.

When did life become so complicated?


Saturday, August 7, 2010

tic-tac, tic-tac, the clock is ticking

My weeks of preparation are starting: my apartment is terminated, I found a potential buyer for my car, besides some small things I already sold my furniture and now I finally need to decide on my traveling route. I first thought that a round-the-world-ticket would be the smartest, but since I want to focus on central and south America a multi-stop ticket apparently is the smartest choice. Oh well, still a lot of things to figure out. There are so many beautiful countries, that I want to see. But where to start? And how to travel? Sometimes some limitations can be good because the possibilities can be overwhelming.

It is very easy to underestimate the whole planning-process: vaccinations, contact lenses, sorting out which clothes to pack... all kind of minor things but still, they require some thinking ahead. Although I am super excited to travel alone, I am also a little nervous because I know that bad stuff can happen and I, of course, want this experience to be the best time of my life. Luckily a friend of mine recommended that amazing website to me. It is called (backpacking in heels) which is a website from girls for girls. Since hours I am reading all the entries, which includes tipps on how to best pack your backpack to some safety rules to avoid being robbed the first day, how to save money for upcoming trips and so on.

I will continue with my research and hope to be more clear about my destinations soon...
This song is accompanying me lately:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Living in a globalized world

Most of my friends and me have one major thing in common: we left our home countries to travel or to live abroad. Once one starts with traveling it honestly becomes difficult to stop. This is of course not a bad thing, especially since there are so many wonderful places to discover. Just to be clear: I am not talking about 2 week all-inclusive kind of holidays, but long journeys of a couple of months or moving into another country entirely. 

But, as always, there are two sides of a coin. With every journey one gets to know new people, new traditions, new cultures, new difficulties and excitements. On the other hand, with every further journey you loose friends, or let's say companions, which apparently were only meant to be in your life for this particular period of time. This also concerns relationships. How many relationships broke in my surrounding mainly because it started in one country and then one of the partners went back or somewhere else and the couples tried making the long distance relationship work... unfortunately often this did not go too well. I am loosing my faith in those kind of long-distance-relationships. I admire those couples that actually manage to stay together and after years finally manage to move to one country and start their settled lives. It is good to know that it CAN work but still, they seem to be the exception. Or it was meant to be, whatever this mystic sentence actually means.

Well and for all of us, for which it apparently is not (yet) meant to be: what is left to do? Enjoy the time as a single, live life to it's fullest, enjoy meeting people, enjoy being at amazing places because one thing is for sure: starting with the settled life can happen faster than expected and often happens when you least expect it!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

At a certain point it is just enough!

First of all, I am more than familiar with the popularity of Sweden and Stockholm in particular. I know, that it is a popular travel destinations, especially amongst Germans. For some of you it might come as a surprise, but just because I live here does not mean that I am a hostel. And just because we grew up in the same village or went to school together does not mean, that I am your personal tourist guide. Seriously, when we did not even hang out in school times, or just because we are facebook friends does not mean that we have to be friends in real life. I graduated from highschool seven years ago. All those years you freeloaders did not give a rat's ass about how I am doing, neither did I care about you; mututal disinterest. But all of the sudden (or more in the moment that you booked a ticket to Stockholm) you remember me. And of course you were wondering only how I am feeling and how great it would be to meet me again and hear all about my life. No, certainly, it is not to get a free accomodation, it is just about me and refreshing the (before non-existing) friendship.

Honestly, do you think I was born yesterday? I also learned the lesson that you shouldn't tell new facebook friends "Sure, when you're in Stockholm give me a buzz so we can meet" because it apparently is misunderstood with "Great, book your 2 weeks vacation and stay at my place the entire time even though we did not see or speak to each other in 10 years". And with the 2 weeks self-invitation I am not exaggerating, this is based on a true story.

I know this all sounds very negative, but believe me, after 4 years in a pretty amazing city, you have heard all kinds of self-invitations and honestly, I consider my time a little bit too precious to be hanging out with people that only contact me, because they want to save money on an accomodation. I rather spend this time with my real friends, which can crash at my place any time they want to because I know that if I need a place to stay they would do the same for me. Again, don't get me wrong, I think it is a lot of fun to meet childhood friends again after a long time, but those people that just contact you for a free accomodation most of the time won't contact you again after their pleasant stay. If this initial reunion was to actually catch-up and renew the friendship, of course, then I am the last person to decline this opportunity, but unfortunately this is hardly ever the case or to not over-generalize, this has hardly been true for my case. The result is of course that I am not that open anymore with letting people stay at my place.

To all you freeloaders: Don't bother contacting me if it is just for saving money and GET A HOSTEL because that is what they are there for!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Primates ahoy!

Since the Worldcup started, I got super excited again about football. It just feels good to be proud of the own nationality again and not feeling weird about showing the German flag when my friends and me paint our faces and put sticker tattoos on. Especially when you grow up in a country in which showing flag is not too common. However all the cheering has also one downside. Old grudges between certain countries grow stronger again. Some particular people from particular countries (I am writing cryptically on purpose to not offend anyone) would rather cheer for anyone but for Germany despite them getting along with Germans perfectly fine. When it comes to football their "primary grudges" against Germany seem to re-awake for no apparent reason. Don't get me wrong, I do not want everyone to cheer for Germany only, that would be completely silly and the tension before those matches just heats up the emotions and that is also one part that I really love about international football matches. Still I think that one of the general thoughts should be that the whole world (or in case of the Eurocup whole Europe) is participating in one competition and through that feels united; everyone is getting excited about football; people all over the world are following the matches and media all over the world cover one main topic for weeks. Well of course, this is still the case, but those negative vibes, which of course are unavoidable, feel rather disturbing, especially when you get them from people that you used to get along with so well...

Just checking out facebook and recent posts amongst friends show a clear picture: during the Worldcup the competing teams/countries become the enemy. People write nasty remarks, make fun of each other when one team looses, become jealous when their nationality just lost and so on. Sure, some people do not take football that seriously and therefore don't take any harm in childish remarks from their "friends", but some actually take the competitions very seriously and do take those comments amiss.

I know, this is part of the game and especially during a worldwide sports event identifying with your country and nationality becomes very important. I am simply wondering why especially football is causing such a backwards development in us? Why is it not happening to such an extend during the Olympic Games, which are also mainly about sending representatives of one nation to the games to compete against other nations. The difference between the Olympic Games and the Worldcup is obvious: in the Worldcup only men are participating.

I am also wondering, why women, who normally do not really care that much about watching sports on TV become so territorial and nationalistic when it comes to the World and Euro Cup? Could the explanation be as simple as "because it is exclusively men participating" and therefore becomes a male domain and a representations of a macho culture? Is football a "civilized" and updated version of the primary hunting instinct: 22 men hunting one ball= 22 men hunting one prey animal?
And honestly, women, many of us are watching football for one single reason: the hot men! And isn't there a part in us that adores really manly men, that scream out gorilla-like if they miss a pass or the goal and support each other in good and bad times? And men like watching other men sharing emotional moments, being a team and doing something that seems to be exclusively manly?

A big exception from the "I support my country" rule is Sweden. Just a couple of days ago there has been a survey amongst 12 Swedes on Metro and all of them support either Argentina, Spain or Germany. That the Swedish women's football club won 17:0 against Azerbaijan was hardly even mentioned in the news. How come, that in a country like Sweden with a male football team, that does not really succeed that much, no one is supporting the women's football team, which ranks 4th in the women's football world ranking? Is their success not worth supporting? Why? Are those women no longer considered as sexy women as opposed to female tennis players with short skirts? This is, besides volleyball, the only female sport that I can come up with that men are actually watching for quite obvious reasons. Why do they not even get support by other women?
I know, that I am now walking on thin ice, but are Swedes rather supporting another nationality and by this men than their own women's team because it is women that are successful in a male domain?

Monday, July 5, 2010


I just stumbled over this comment and found it incredibly funny (written by a Brit):

"What do the World Cup 2010 and WWII have in common?

The French bowed out early, the Yanks showed up late, England was left alone to face the Germans and Japan came out of nowhere."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Recently I updated myself on the website of a German scandal sheet. There was this case of a kidnapped wife of a banker. After weeks of searching and desperates appeals of the family to the kidnappers to release her, the women was found dead. Apparently there had been a struggle with her kidnapper, who in the end stabbed her. Just imagine me reading this article, being very consternated, when a google advertisement on the right side of the article caught my attention: special offer on knife-blocks. How incredibly crude is this? Of course, those advertisements are not put there by another individual but rather automatically with the help of keywords and user profiles, however it feels very disturbing. Of course I should not take this too serious considering the kind of "newspaper" I was reading, which, by the way, is in itself already the most inappropriate sheet ever. But still I am taking the freedom to feel offended and disturbed by this crudeness.

Who is still saying that this was a goal???

Sorry this just had to be ;-) Of course this was a goal, no doubt about that!

Time for a change?

Sometimes it is easy to get the impression that all signs show the direction "leave your current location and start something new". The past few weeks have not been particularly easy, neither has been the decision to quit my job. End of last week someone broke in into my car and stole the radio and some other rather worthless things. Please note, that this is the third time in 3.5 years, that this happens to me! Yesterday I got a note from my landlord saying that there had been some problems and within three months I need to move out. This leaves me down with pretty much nothing: no job, no apartment, no reason to stay any longer in Sweden. I really try hard to think positive and think of the whole "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade of them" mantra, but it is admittedly becoming more and more difficult.

So if I am pretty much at a point, where I have to start all over again, it couldn't be any more of perfect timing to pack my backpack and go travel. Something that I really need right now is positive input and an adventure. More and more of my friends are also considering moving back to their homecountries. Ok, sure, in summer Sweden is beautiful, but the winters are a major downside.

I can already hear the voice of a friend saying "Oh you simply did not try hard enough" and everyone of our mutual friends also returned to their homecounties. In her opinion all those people are just too soft and gave up too early... which is easy to say if you do not have to worry moneywise and in terms of an apartment.

So if anyone of you has ideas where to travel to and experiences with making some money for survival abroad (preferably Central and South America), please do send me you suggestions!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Wow, it has been quite a while since my last entry. In the meantime I actually managed to find a job and get a routine into my life. As it tends to be, you always want what you don't have. So I find myself counting down the days, as I quit my job. As it turns out, working as a marketing assistant was not really meant for me. I became more and more depressed, moody and simply sad. So I decided to take the consequences (rather early, I know, but better early than too late) and get back into my unstable life of temporary jobs, back to the doubts if I will ever find a job that I love and endless hours of application writing. Of course it can be considered unreasonable to quit a job before having found something else, but what are we living for if we are not happy. I feel like life's too short to be unhappy if it lies within my power to make myself happy again.

Don't get me wrong, I really want to work and I want to have a career but doesn't it always come down to timing? Maybe it was not meant for me yet, maybe discovering the world with an around the world ticket is what was meant for me now? Quitting this job, enjoying the summer and collecting energy for a new round of applications - who knows? However I KNOW that I made the right decision!

As disappointing as it might be to have found a job and figuring out, that it is the wrong one, the time spend in that job taught me a few things: 1. I still need to figure out a lot about myself; 2. I am not too old yet to travel around the world and enjoy being unbound; 3. There are WEIRD people out there! 4. With a cool head nearly everything can be solved.

Well of course there are many more things I found out but those seem like the most important ones to me. On top of those valuable lessons I had the pleasure to work with some truly amazing people and I am happy that I had the right timing to be working at the Embassy at the same time as them. Again, it is all about timing!

When working at a working place with some, mmmh, let's say "characters", the annoyance level can be very high, but so is the fun factor. Every person has a code name, so we have Mr. Chaplin (walks like him, behaves like them: a copy of the great Chaplin), Lasagne (as his English is on a level which does not allow a distinction "resigned" and "Lasagne"), MS (both initials and abbreviation for mouth smell), snake (unfortunately this person behaved quite back-stabbing) well and so on. Sometimes it was only one's self-control that prevented boiling blood shooting out of one's ears. At other times those character would make you cry from laughter.

For today I had booked an appointment at "The Studio", where they take amazing pictures of you after pampering you with make-up and hairstyling. Their catch-phrase is "Be a model for a day". I felt, if I am starting all over again with writing application, I need a new approach. And why not starting with giving myself an ego-boost? I was so sick of those application pictures on which I look like a 16-year old babysitter: innocent and trustworthy, babyface and not to be taken seriously. I spend hours in there and some pictures I actually like. I am unfortunately one of those people, that do not like the camera nor does the camera like me. In 90% of the pictures I close my eyes and the other pictures, well,... are mostly not that great either. Today I left with 4 pictures. Happy Svenja :-)

This weekend was also the royal wedding. Oh ho beautiful it was! Thousands of people where there, trying to catch a glimpse at the couple and I was lucky enough to see them. I don't know why this kinda corny stuff interests me so much, but when they said yes to each other, I was so touched. Such a beautiful wedding, (besides the tax money spend on it) it still felt down to earth and kinda simple, not as pompous as I expected, just nice.

Here is at least one picture, that I could shoot. As it turns out, my aiming skills are not the best ones, as 99% of the pictures show policemen and guards. Well done!

Lately I also started thinking about some people in particular. It is always difficult when one person's life changed in many ways while for another person everything stays more or less the same. This always creates tension. With some of my friends it works out perfectly fine, I can rely on them and they support me and vice-versa of course.
Some other people however showed a different face during the time when I started my job: jealousy, mean comments, back-stabbing, insults or simply childish behaviour like deleting the friendship on facebook for no apparent reason nor with an explanation. It has been pretty hurtful but apparently this is how it goes: living your life means also loosing touch with some people but it also means to strengthen the relationship to some other people and meeting new people. Loosing friends is always very hard on me but I also came to the conclusion that as long as you develop and want to become something/someone this is inevitable.
Those friendships that you describe with "man, this person has been my friend since early childhood" are extremely rare!

Well that's it for today!

Monday, February 1, 2010

CSI: Miami

I really love watching CSI: Miami, but what I haven't understood yet is the role of "Horatio Caine". He never really investigates, he only occasionally appears at crime scenes to sum up, what the others have found and appears as a kind of superman, that does not require seeing the crime scene himself etc but solves it all anyway with one cheesy comment. But really, what is his role? Jim Carrey has a perfect act of David Caruso's "Horatio Caine:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weather-god or Murphy

First of all I need to stress, that I like snow and I like winter. What I don't like on the contrary is to dig for my car. Especially not at 3.15am! It took me 35 minutes to discover my car, remove all the snow and trying to get it out the parking lot. A lovely taxi driver, that passed me by helped me with a shovel and a lot of pushing. The snow plough, that passed by in the middle of the night put about half a meter of snow next to my car which made it nearly impossible for me to get out again. Tons of ice under my tired did not really make it easier either.

Now I am wondering: How is it possible, that those massive amounts of snow always occur when I am about to use my car? Does one of the weather gods has it in for me or is it simply Murphy's law?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Living in a foreign country can be tricky in many different aspects. Foremost of course the language barrier has to be named. In Sweden of course everyone speaks English, no matter the age. This also means, that most Swedish people wonder why you even bother to learn their language. Apparently it hasn't occurred to some of them, that it is first of all exciting to learn a language and that it is also a sign of respect towards the country you decided to live in.

I sometimes get the feeling, that some Swedish people believe, just because I am not particularly eloquent I am some sort of a retard. I am, on the other hand, quite happy to finally have reached the point, where I just talk and not bother too much about the mistakes I make but rather follow the rule "learning by doing". After 4 years of learning Swedish I finally start to get a feeling for the language, for idioms, choice of words and so on. However I still make a lot of mistakes and often realize how uncertain I am with specific grammatical questions. Still I have improved in comparison to for example one year ago.

Unfortunately it does not really help if you are talking to someone, who corrects your mistakes all the time. Don't get me wrong, I want to improve and I am deeply grateful for those friends of mine that find my constant mistakes and correct them. But being interrupted after every single (!!!) sentence doesn't help at all but rather takes away all my self-confidence so I don't dare to even finish my sentences anymore. This is of course due to a recent situation I was in. I am convinced that this person had good intentions only, but it just did not help at all.

Another problem with languages of course occurs when you want to find a job. Even if the job sometimes just requires English and the office language is also just English, some employers demand perfect Swedish skills which kind of implies that they wish to employ Swedish people only. A close friend of mine found the lovely quote "Efter 20 år i Sverige har man samma chans att hitta jobb som infödda svenskar" (After 20 years living in Sweden you have the same chance to find a job as a Swedish person) and he commented it cynically with "... 16,5 years to go..." Well that would make about the same amount of years for me. I don't know where he got this quote from and to whom this is referring, but it sounds unpleasant.

In the end it comes down yet again to luck: if the person reading your CV likes your background and your skills, small language mistakes won't matter so much. If someone else however is focused on finding a Swedish person in particular I don't have a chance even if my application is error-free. But oh well, it was my own decision to come here and to try to find job!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

All about timing?

Things are slowly falling into place. My apartment is becoming more cozy, starting to work again(not work-work, but tiny-job-work-wise) and this week training finally started again. And this is more than necessary. I need my routine again: it is 1.30pm and I am still in bed...

I started reading the fashion blog of Elin Kling, who is a Swedish fashion journalist for channel 4 ( She is a year older than me, worked as a model, another year in finance, as a stylist for Idol 2009, she opened her own VIP room at Sturecompagniet, fahion journalist for Expressen, and this year she will be one of the candidates in Let`s dance. Well, and I am unemployed and happy enough to not be homeless.

This got me started thinking: is it all about the right timing? Being at the right place in the right time? Elin Kling's career started when she was discovered at a hotelreception and got a model contract. Sure, she is a very pretty woman, but still, does it all come down to luck? What is the best education worth if you don't find a job and on the contrary some people, who never got any kind of job education have a steep career? Of course Stockholm is simply the perfect city to chat about fashion, designers and the outfit of the upcoming evening. Though if you wanna change the world this is certainly not the way to do it. However, she belongs to the category of B- or C-prominence in Stockholm and especially now is quite popular as a stylist all over the internet and TV. I somehow still have the goal to do something meaningful yet fun. But who doesn't?

So the question is, if everything comes down to the right timing and a good portion of luck, do I just need to be patient? Wait until everything magically falls into place? Mmmh seriously, I don't think so, I cannot sit and wait: I wanna DO stuff! Ok, maybe not on a Sunday noon after a hard weekend ;-)

Perfect song for me to savour the lovely sleepiness and tardiness of Sundays:

Oh and yesterday evening during pre-party we had a lot of fun with a crazy witch-like lady: Kate Bush. Certainly not party-party music but seriously, what a voice, what a dance, what a face expression! Oj!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The woman living in her shoes...

As Carrie Bradshaw once expressed her horror, so did I have to face my inner freak: I am going to become the woman living in a shoe! At the point when I started packing up my shoes into boxes, it seemed like my closet is neverending, like Santa's bag. More and more shoes came out of the closet. A male friend of mine asked me, what I am doing with all those shoes: I wear them! But to be honest, I am not too sure I really do need all of them.

Those are things I am going to take care of as soon as everything is in the new place and I unpack everything. I cannot wait to get rid of all the stuff that I did not remember I had and certainly don't need. Moving seriously has one big advantage: being forced to go through all your stuff and sorting out rubbish. Moving can be so incredibly relieving. I wonder what would have happened to my place if I wouldn't move every once in a while, well, eight times in the past 6.5 years. My sister already described me as a borderline-slob, but I believe she just said "borderline" to be nice. Every single time when I packed up my things I was swearing at myself why the hell I kept so many useless things. I love to call them "memories", but the best memories are not some stupid tickets of a concert but the pictures you take with your mind or memories that come up when looking at a photo or when listening to a song. The rest is simply going to flood your homes.

But why is it so damn difficult sometimes to let go of such small, unimportant things? Why are we sometimes keeping certain clothing items, although they are already tattered, discoloured and sometimes simply ugly?

One thing is for sure, I need to figure out a way to not flood my place again with stupid things, sorting things out before they end up just laying around. And another thing seems to be of major importance: before I go shopping again I need to sort out my closet. And for every new item that enters my closet, at least one old needs to go. That is my big fear of tomorrow: packing up my clothes, and I only have four boxes left. That is never going to work!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Welcome to a new decade

Unbelievable, we are writing a new decade. It has been 10 years since the computer panic due to the change from 1999 to 2000 and as it turned out it was unfounded. Now we can also ask ourselves, what was significant for the last decade. The 80s and 90s certainly had their specifics, but what made 2000 to 2009 special? And how should we call that decade? Eighties, nineties... all clear but what do we do with two zeros? Some suggestions are "Ohs" (00s), two-thousands (2000s), the noughties (derived from "nought", a word used for zero in many English-speaking countries)... mmmh they all don't sound too catchy.

What comes to my mind first of all when I think of the "noughties" are the big fear of terrorism attacks (Al-Qaeda), discussions about sustainability in particular of energy resources and the credit crunch. It was also the decade of natural disasters, in my opinion, thinking of the tsunami in Thailand and hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. When I look at this spontaneous list it looks like a pretty dark decade. However, it also had good outcome with the election of the first African American president in the US and the first female chancellor in Germany.

Doing some research I found out, that we also celebrated the first landing on Mars and we deprived Pluto of his title "planet" and replaced it by "dwarf planet". How sad is that after being known for a planet for 76 years?

The rise of social networks became also kind of important. Nearly everyone I know is either on facebook, studivz, myspace, twitter or has at least one own blog.
What else happened? Oh yeah, animal originated diseases spread: mad cows disease, bird flu and recently the swine flu. It seriously seems like this was the decade of disasters.

Looking back at a decade always means to sum up the fashion and trends. I could not come up with anything significant, but wikipedia can :-) Here the fashion is just a very short list of crocs, ugg boots, skinny jeans and Fauxhawk hairstyles. That is bad, very bad. Crocs, seriously??? They don't even belong anywhere close to fashion!
In a separate article about fashion it even says, that the 00s did not have one particular style like the decades from the '40s to '80s, but rather a recycling of styles from past decades as also the 90s had. Sad, we couldn't even come up with anything original. How uncreative did we become or has everything honestly already been there? On the upside this also means, that we could forage our parent's closets and reuse their old stuff. We also revived the leggings, an item that so many of us swore to never wear again, ever! Well so much to that. Right now I have more leggings than tights and lazy days are simply made for a big jumper and leggings, like in the good old time in elementary school in the 80s. Otherwise the summary of fashion is rather characterless. It seems like everything was allowed, especially stuff that we did not like at all in the 90s. Tattoos and piercings were popular all the time, although the tramp stamp is now rather something to be ashamed of. No offence against anyone with a lower back tattoo meant!

For me the new year starts with some changes: new apartment and continuing my job hunt. I am just getting started with packing my stuff into boxes and reminisce about the past 2,5 years that I have been living in this room. It really feels like I have a special year ahead of me, everything new like the new flat, new age (yuck! why?!), so excited to see where everything goes.

Now I should finally get moving and get things done. Last I have another music recommendation: Mumford&Sons, a brilliant folk rock band from London. Enjoy!