Pippi Långstrump

5 months I spent in old Europe before I had a semistable destination. One thing that stroke me is how hipsters and runners reproduced all around during the year I was out. I don’t know how these pests spread, but I feel I have been a bit infected from both.

A new period in my life started with a flight to Copenhagen, my bicycle, and a backpack. After landing, I crossed The Bridge that gives the name to the tv serie and connects Scandinavia with Europe. I don’t consider Europe any of those countries where alcohol is not sold in regular shops or supermarkets, will get back to this later.

The arrival in Lund was smooth thanks to an amazing Couchsurfer who showed me around and let me use his house as long as I needed. In a few days, thanks to CS again, I managed to get a room in a students’ corridor where I would live for about a month. Good place, good people.

The first connection I remember with Sweden as a child was reading Astrid Lindgren books. I think I had a crush on that freckled, red-haired anarchist Pippi Longstocking. The second one was sex-symbol Alfredo Landa chasing Swedish ladies.

way to go

After registering as a new attraction at the tourist office, on my first days, I could get a glimpse of the place and what to expect from it:

Positive thinking. Lund center looks like out of a fairytale, with cobblestone streets, pretty colorful houses (Villekula style) and a medieval thing. It’s very green, with plenty of parks and sports facilities, quiet, clean and peaceful. It’s a cycling heaven, amazing bike only roads are everywhere and almost half of commute is done by this mean, beating Amsterdam. There are 2 Lidls. High living standards. Half of the population are students and people are friendly. Somehow feels the opposite to London.

library - wool tree - danger locals - house
library – wool tree – danger locals – house

Negative thinking. It’s cold and gray. People don’t talk and the streets are way too quiet. Just a bunch of bars. Too many rules and not much to do. Boring. I didn’t learn from the past, is it gonna be like Hellsinki? Noooo!

Which impression would win, you will see in next posts. More pics

On my first Saturday, I made a trip to the pretty Systembolaget. What’s that? A pilgrimage place for most Swedes. The government-owned alcohol shop. Great range, but expensive and opening times suck. They have something at supermarkets they like to call beer but trust me, it is not. Quite often, Swedes travel to Denmark to buy cheaper booze, even some take ferries to Germany. I remember a conversation with my CS host about these interesting “European cheap booze trips”. We can draw some lines, e.g.: Norway-Sweden-Denmark-Germany-Poland-Slovakia, Finland-Estonia-Latvia, Switzerland-anywhere… They have a key role in European integration, like the Erasmus program, Ryanair and hating Germans.

Los Lunes al Sol (Mondays in the Sun)

With only a year delay, I am back here. Not that I had much to write about, but it looks like finally I managed to overcome my laziness. This post covers from Nov 2013 till March 2014 approx. Once back home I spent almost 3 months with the best hosts, my parents and enjoying friends. It was not a productive time and I became the procrastination king. It was not easy to deal with the reverse culture shock. As I failed to find an alternative to paid work or do something I like, probably due to lack of courage and will, it was time to take a break from traveling and look for a job. No more full-time awesomeness for a while 😦

I spent some time between Brussels and London crossing the Eurotunnel a few times. Last time I was in Belgium was 10 years before, doing interrail. This time I discovered other parts of the city like a good area for window shopping, similar to the one in Amsterdam, but rougher and not touristy at all. I shortly visited pretty Gent and Lille as well. Brussels is not a bad place and I had a good time thanks to my friends and the best beer in the world. I confirmed something I always suspected, I could be happy with a housewife lifestyle.

As much as I hate London this time it was not that bad at all as I stayed with friends and most of the time in Brixton, probably the best part of the city. My life was kind of house cat like, and I was good at it, especially at taking naps, on a good day I could take up to 5 or 6. Don’t know how the karma thing works but I feel I am in debt with a lot of people.

I was receiving plenty of calls from “lovely” bullshitting recruiters, but few interviews. Remember, all recruiters are bastards. I don’t know why but I felt many people were questioning my professionalism after one year traveling. Some were implying that work was not my main priority in life and I was doing it just to get money for my hobbies, crazy idea. After 3 months not being offered a single job, I got like 4 in 2 weeks. Jobs are like chicks, only they don’t have boobs. End of story, I went for a 5 months contract to Sweden, so expect next posts to be about Abba, IKEA, blondies…

I realized nowadays everything on the internet is about stupid listings so I may write some and see if I get some fb likes. One about top beaches coming soon and thinking about others like best cities, worst toilettes, cheapest brothels.

The only pic I have for this period is from the Eurotunnel from the inside at night and without lights. Enjoy the view of such a marvelous engineering work.