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Nov 26

A trip to Malmö in the south of Sweden

Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2015 in My life

A few days ago, my friend from Brazil, got in touch, out of the blue, and told me he was coming to Copenhagen and would be going to Malmö in the south of Sweden, over the day. Naturally, he was hoping I’d be able to come and see him, and I told him I wouldn’t want to miss that.

We agreed that I would come on Thursday this week. I was able to work out a trip that could work. That is, if I paid a fortune for a cab at the end of the day, after nine in the evening.

The day started typically for me, with the bus being so late I almost missed my first train and might have had to rebook on the way, that is if that would be enough. If the bus had been any later nothing would have helped.

Getting to Malmö was quite easy after that, but the train, that had left on time, was late on arrival and I have no idea why. And they seems to have changed everything in that central station since I was last there, so it was hard for me to find my way. Eventually, I was able to find my friend and we started walking around in Malmö. Our first stop was a really great Chinese Vegan restaurant that is quite famous for being so good. The food was still great but a little different from the last time I was there four years ago.

A funny thing happened in that restaurant. The Chinese lady who I think owns it, came up to welcome us and indicate a table for us. She also asked what I wanted to drink and I said water (in Swedish). Then she looked at my friend and I told her he’s Brazilian but speaks English too. She immediately asked him if he spoke Mandarin, which he does. He asked me if I’d told her but I hadn’t, so how on Earth could she guess? They said something, presumably very polite to each other, which was fun to hear.

Then, actually like the last time with my friend from Scotland (who is not Scottish, just lives there) we did some sightseeing.

For a while that worked fine, but in the end, I realized I’d been overdoing it a bit. Lazing about for at least two months has clearly ruined my stamina a bit. During the hour or so before my train left, we sat in the railway station, just talking, which was really nice.

The weather was, after a few days of snow and rain and cold, actually quite nice for this time of year. Sunny and not at all cold.

By the time I got back, to my horror, I noticed that my legs had swollen up so maybe it is quite good for me to just sit around, being lazy.

I hate that we’re always going have to take a taxi to get back to the house in the evenings. This taxi service is about three times as expensive as the one we last used and the driver was such a snob, telling me all about how long he’d lived in Russia and how he’d studied national economics and Russian and generally about how great he was. He wasn’t good looking either, like that guy working for the other service. While he was going on about how educated he was, I kept thinking – what? you only know two foreign languages? I thought of telling him about my English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Latin… Not that I’m anywhere near fluent in most of them, but still…

So that was my day. I’m really glad my Brazilian friend I had a chance to meet. It’s a sort of once in a lifetime thing and despite some difficulties, we were able to make it work.

Oct 21

More whining

Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 in My life, Whining

Today I was supposed to go to the new maternity care center (that is in the new town). Though I’m very healthy this time around compared to the last time, I have had quite a run of bad luck when it comes to my appointments at clinics, hospitals and maternity care centers. First of all, it always takes about three weeks to get an appointment. Secondly, the hospital with the specialist maternity care can’t let me sign up as a patient (though apparently they can see me anyway). The last time I was supposed to be going to the ordinary clinic for a checkup of my blood pressure they just canceled on me. I told them they wouldn’t need to bother getting me a new appointment, since I was moving. Except now I’m thinking I might have been too hasty. We can’t get our stuff moved yet (for instance, the moving companies have recently been revealed to be corrupt and potentially dangerous – threatening customers, demanding more money than agreed on). So here I am. Still.

Today, the bus and train company just canceled the train, cheerfully announcing that I was welcome to take the next train (about an hour and a half after my appointment at the maternity care center). So I called them and the rude woman just said, yes, we canceled the train. There was an unspoken ‘so?’ hanging in the air too. No replacement bus, no financial reimbursment (fortunately, I think I managed to rebook the appointment online, but since I haven’t had confirmation I don’t know for sure). Also, I was going to use my bus/train card that I just fill up with money. That is, I hadn’t booked a specific ticket. I can use the money on the card anytime I want.

It makes me so furious. Clearly, their business goal isn’t to transport people, it’s just to make money. Funny though, other businesses need to provide some sort of customer satisfaction, but apparently not this company. Grr.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to get to the new maternity center now. It’s probably going to be at least two-three weeks until I get my next appointment. In the meantime I’m not signed in anywhere as a patient. Also, I will need to get a referral to another hospital, because of my previous health problems. So first an appointment at the maternity care center, then another at the hospital, hopefullly. Fortunately, a doctor at the hospital is taking responsibility for my health, but the appointments are too few and far between. At this time I should probably go every week but I’m getting checkups every other week, or every three weeks instead. Fortunately, so far I’m feeling fine and according to the doctor, I really seem to be.

Apr 8

A bit of whining…

Posted on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 in My life, Whining

On Monday, my sister and I went up to see a house, very close to our cottage. Yes, I know that sounds weird, but our thinking was that this house has indoor plumbing which our place doesn’t. Considering how expensive these things can be, we thought we might be able to save a bit on that (at least if we could bid lower than the owners really want). Instead, we were uncomfortably reminded of how very isolated both houses are. So we probably won’t make a bid, even though it’s a very nice little house, just not quite as awesome as our own. I just wish someone we knew, some friend or relative would want it, but we don’t really have anyone like that.

That’s not what I was going to whine about though. When we were getting ready to leave the bus, we pressed the buzzer and stood waiting by the sliding back door. We thought we did everything right, but the driver just kept driving past our stop and one other and wouldn’t have stopped there either, if I hadn’t started calling out and a nice passenger got up and yelled at him. He stepped on the brakes and let us off, without a word of apology. I think that he was running late and didn’t want to bother with letting us off. Bastard. He left us in the middle of a rather intensely trafficked road (one not built for all that traffic), trying to avoid being hit. One more reason not to move out there, unfortunately.

Another reason is that even when we did get to the nearest town, there wasn’t that much to choose between in the shops, especially for us vegans. Still, both shops were open, even on The Second Day of Easter (whatever that’s called in English…?).

Nov 9


Posted on Sunday, November 9, 2014 in My life

Recently, I had to go and have a few tests done. A very tiring day turned out to be a success in the end. I hadn’t slept at all before leaving for Gothenburg. (The tests are for my big project, that most of my friends will be familiar with by now). I was totally exhausted even when I left, not to mention when I got back.

On the way to Gothenburg, just as we (my sister and I) had got on the bus, there was this guy who missed the bus by only a few seconds. He waved his bus card, but the driver ignored him, even though my sister called out to tell him what was happening. A few minutes later, the guy caught up with the bus at a red light, but the driver still ignored him. That guy looked so disappointed. I’m wondering why the driver couldn’t have been a little more accommodating.

On the way back, we made such good time we ended up back a couple of hours early, by, among other things, getting off at an earlier station and walking really quickly.

Fortunately, it didn’t rain, though we’d been told there was a risk of that. We were also really lucky that the train was on time both ways (though there are delays or complete stops almost every day).

So now we’ve finally done the tests (except, sadly, one – a difficult one, not sure what to do about that). After a while, we both got a clean bill of health, which was a relief and a printout to send to Estonia.

Then the other day, we set out for a little outing – this time to the next town, Thn, to go and hear a lecture that sounded really interesting – about Sweden during WWI (which, as you probably know, we weren’t actually in). On the way there, again, the driver asked if we were adults (over 19, apparently, LOL).

Before the lecture was supposed to start, we managed to go to a store and buy new gloves. I got a pair of new red, touchscreen gloves. My old gloves were beginning to look a little worn.

When we entered ‘The People’s House’ (fancy name for a house dedicated to culture, in this case a library, a theater and lecture halls.), we had trouble finding the theatre, though we’ve been there before, several years ago, and walked back and forth in the foyer, and up and down the stairs, no doubt looking confused. When we returned to the foyer we found that someone had written in red letters on the whiteboard announcing the lecture, that it was cancelled.

Feeling a bit let down, we decided to go out to the big mall that is right between the two towns and try to do some shopping (for food, since the other shops would be closed). We finally managed to get our favorite vegan products (fake meat and cheese) and some chocolate.

It’s getting colder now, so I suppose winter is coming. At least there’s no snow yet. The trouble with snow is that in such a humid place as this, it instantly turns to ice and that’s no fun to walk on. So now I’m switching to my warmer scarf and I’ll be wearing my gloves every day. I’d already started wearing my parka. (TMI?). Don’t worry, this is it. Blog post over. 🙂

Jun 27

Out and about

Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 in My life

Today we went on a little outing. We were going up to our cottage to meet an inspector from the insurance company. However, when we were about to change buses, the man called and said he’d had a cancellation and was just a few minutes away from the cottage. Since we weren’t there, he went up anyway. It seems our house isn’t the sort of building that can be easily accessed to be approved for the higher insurance (no basement/cellar) so we said we wouldn’t bother about it. He gave us some advice about the exterior of the house and left. That meant we didn’t need to go, after all. So we didn’t get on the next bus and stayed in the town we were in, to do a bit of shopping.

Unfortunately, the shop we wanted, the one with the delicious Belgian chocolate, wasn’t there anymore and we don’t know if’s been moved or just closed down. Then we went on to the big mall where we can usually get some special vegan foods. Some of those weren’t available either, but we did get some plus some fresh vegetables. And some other stuff we needed. On the way back to the bus stop we were caught by the rain so we waited and before the bus was due to arrive the rain had stopped. That happened twice before we were back at the house. It rained and we were under some kind of cover, which was lucky.

We were also (hopefully) able to advice a foreign visitor (who didn’t speak Swedish and almost no English) about which bus to take.

A funny detail: each time we got on the bus, the driver asked if I was an adult. The age limit has changed several times over the years, so I wasn’t sure if they meant was I under 16, under 19 or under 26. It turns out that they were talking about under 19. So apparently I look about 18. 🙂

Aug 15

A day out

Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 in My life

Yesterday I was going to Gothenburg, to a clinic, to re-take a blood test that they’d taken but neglected to send along to the lab, or at least so I’d been told. When I’d already booked a return ticket and was sitting on the train to Gothenburg, an apologetic nurse called and asked me if I was already on my way. They’d found the test result and I didn’t need to come all the way there. Great. I lost money on that, and the trouble is this was the second time I was going there to re-take tests they’d made a mess of. More money lost for me… Not that they’ll ever compensate for that, that sort of thing doesn’t happen here. I barely got an apology. And just to make it clear, this is a private clinic.

Mom wanted me to get off the train and return home, but since I was already in this other town where I sometimes go to do some shopping, I decided to stay a while. I’d still be back long before I would have if I’d gone all the way to Gothenburg.

This town is more than twice the size of the one I live in (suffer in, more likely) and there are more shops and far more choice when it comes to – well, just about anything. I found some delicious vegetables (and berries) that I hadn’t seen or dreamed of buying for years. I also made a visit to the health food store and found some veggie stuff that I can’t get anywhere else (or rather this is the closest place for it).

On the way back, the bus driver pointed out that using the credit card to pay my fare, would be far more expensive than getting a bus card. I told him I don’t travel very often so it wouldn’t be worth it. It turned out that he recognized me from when I used to ride this bus far more often. I said it’s too late now anyway, since the bus was about to leave. He said: no, it’s not, I’ll wait for you. So I hurried back and refilled the bus card and got back on the bus. That was so nice of him. I’m sure that no ethnic Swede would have been quite that nice about it (I don’t know where he’s from, but it was obvious that he was an immigrant). He was nice to the other passengers too, offering to help a girl get her baby and stroller off, but in the end, another passenger did it for him.

So, all in all, my day turned out a lot better than I’d imagined and at least did something to compensate for the failed trip and the grumpy old man and the surly old woman who glared at me at the bus stop. This town is famous for its unpleasant, unreliable and ugly people and I certainly can’t argue with that.

Jun 27

A little outing

Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 in My life, Other

I went on a little outing yesterday and spent half the day on buses and trains, but managed to do a bit of shopping, which was kind of fun.

On the bus to Gothenburg, I ended up having one of those awkward attacks of coughing, that I tend to get when I’m tense or nervous. Two youngish men who sat in front of me got up and left rather hurriedly, which reduced me to a fit of laughter. I wonder if they thought I did it on purpose to get a little more privacy.

On the way back, the bus drove straight into a thunderstorm. One minute, the sky was clear and it was quite sunny, the next everything went dark and the rain came down in sheets. I ended up getting completely soaked in the few seconds it took to get from where one bus dropped me off to where I’d be waiting for the next. My shoes were completely submerged, even though there were drains here and there to get rid of the excess water. :/

I really need to get out more, and since the weather is just ‘unstable’ as opposed to just rainy, I might try to cram a little fun into the next couple of days. What I really want to do is go to some historic monuments or museums, but a bit of shopping will do, I suppose. I’ll see what I can manage.


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