Friday, October 23, 2009


(I tried publishing this post earlier today but blogger didn't work then for some reason).

The contrasts between my life in China and my temporary (I’m-here-on-a-visit) life in Sweden are quite distinct. If I get a day off in China I tend to go to Shanghai and hit the French concession for some coffee drinking before I go shopping, and then finish things off with good friends and wine at a place like Eno Teca. Sure, this isn’t how it goes every time, I sometimes get funny ideas and spend a whole day preparing for going for a long run around Jinji Lake (15-17 km), eventually get sick of procrastinating and head out to do it, and spend the “aftermath” feeling warm and fuzzy while eating all the junk food that I then feel I “rightfully deserve.” It also happens that I catch a train somewhere and spend a day getting lost and being confused, while taking a lot of photographs in the meantime. And, not to be forgotten are of course the countless hours I spend with various language partners at cafés, restaurants and shopping streets while we hit each other with bad Chinese/English, trying to keep the spirit up. At occasions I also indulge in getting foot massages (although to be completely honest, I mainly go to get a chance to chat to the massage guy in Chinese. The actual massage is just a bonus), watch DVDs (although this doesn’t happen too often, seeing that I don’t have the patience to watch TV), write, study, eat spicy food, hang with friends and my significant other, call friends from back home… and so on. Oh, and not to be forgotten is the time I spend on the gym (and the time I spend thinking about going to the gym).

Shanghai shopping

….Then I get to Sweden and I turn into some kind of forest bug. Every single spare minute I get I want to spend outside. I go for walks, I go for runs (sometimes I do both, like yesterday that I started off with a 6 km walk, followed by a 9 km run), and sometimes I simply go outside and sit somewhere, just because I can and because it feels better than sitting inside (although not lately, because it’s so bloody cold out there). I rarely feel like going shopping over here, unless it’s for food. When it comes to catching up with friends, I’m also a bit of a bore… I want us all to hang at someone’s house, share bottles of wine/cups of coffee and engage in long talks about this and that. Sure, it often ends up with us going out, but the nightlife in Malmö is so bad compared to Shanghai, that I normally don’t enjoy it too much. I know, I know, it’s all about company and stuff, but a good club sure helps when it comes to having a good time, don’t you all agree? Sure, I could go to Copenhagen (a mere 30 minutes train ride away), which is a paradise when it comes to nightlife, entertainment and shopping. But seeing how weak the Swedish currency is compared to the Danish, it’s currently not an option (many Danes are nowadays living in cheap Sweden and working in Denmark where their salary gets doubled when they exchange the money to Swedish kronor). If I decide to go home for Christmas, however, I know I’ll head over as a Christmas decorated Copenhagen (especially the entertainment park “Tivoli”) is something out of the ordinary.
Swedish country side

Today I’ll continue my life as a nature geek by heading out to the country and visit my aunt and uncle who live in one of those cute little country towns in Sweden where you could line up all the citizens and count them using your fingers and toes. It was between that or heading to the city for some shopping. Seeing that the wedding is tomorrow I chose the country stuff and I’m hoping to get back energized (except for the fresh country air there will also be some seriously yummy cakes to go with the coffee that we’ll spend most of the time drinking -what else do you do out there?) and ready for tomorrow’s Party Of The Year. If I have time (meaning: If we get back before it gets dark, not an easy thing in Sweden at this time of the year), I’ll do a long run (thinking 13-14 km) run tonight. Have a good Friday everyone!


Little Tiger said...

Copenhagen is another place I'd like to go. When you go there what language do you use to communicate?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Little Tiger -yeah, don't miss out when u r in the area.. very close to Malmö anyways. maybe u could fly to Copenhagen, spend a few days there and then catch the train to Sweden? (Malmö). Very convenient and simple, trains leave 24-7.

I use Swedish when I speak to Danes and Noggys.. they understand me, sooner or later :)

Little Tiger said...

Yes, that was my rough itinerary. The impression I got of Copenhagen from your old posts was that there wasn't anything special to see because you always seemed to pass quickly through the airport when going home! Your description of CPH in this post at Xmas time sounds magical though. I hope this trip happens sooner rather than later 'cause I'm dead excited.
That's mad that the Danes can understand you when you speak to them in Swedish. I always knew they were very similar (from comparing languages on the back of shampoo bottles when bored in the shower) but didn't think they were mutually intelligible.
Even though French and Italian are quite similar too, you wouldn't get very far speaking French in Italy or vice versa!
Actually, speaking any other language other than French in France wouldn't be advisable lol

Anonymous said...

Is shopping in ShangHi expensive?

I have never been to ShangHi before and I would like to visit there in the near future.


Redbabe said...

I think it's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

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Continue the great work!

Anonymous said...

Have you considered the fact that this might work another way? I am wondering if anyone else has come across something
exactly the same in the past? Let me know your thoughts...