Wild Strawberries

Time was passing and I was getting comfortable with my life in the farm. I named one of the sheep “Relation” so I could say things like “I have a relationsheep” or “yesterday I was in a relationsheep”.

absolut

According to locals it was the best summer in many years, even too warm to sleep sometimes. Quite often I was playing basketball, beach volley (yes in Sweden!) or going for runs in a national park.

I  kept cycling on the weekends and discovering beautiful spots in Skäne, like the Österlen area. On one of the rides, I found the new Vikings Valhalla, the Absolut factory.

Some friends come to visit and I went a few times more to Copenhagen and there were a couple of festivals in Malmö with some free gigs, like the lovely girls below.

Fact: For Scandinavian film lovers like me, the concluding scenes in Ingmar Bergman’s masterpiece Wild Strawberries were set and shot in, Lund.

 

 

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Vikings

Wow, I am one and a half year behind with my writing  (talking about Abba’s land from Chile), I am becoming the master of procrastination. You may have noticed the site blog appearance has changed to make it responsive, still waiting to find a reliable web developer that can turn it into a proper site. I did since I got some analytics indicating that 65% of the blog readers are connecting from a mobile device, 39% of which read this blog while taking a dump and 0.8% while having sexual intercourse (0.2 % with me).

Everything was going smooth in peaceful Scandinavia as summer was starting. Genetically blessed locals turned to be friendly and welcoming, difficult to believe they are the descendants of ruthless Ragnar Lodbrok friends.

Swedish mating dance
Swedish mating dance at a summer solstice celebration

I kept cycling quite a lot and on another bike trip, I visited the amazing Nimis, at the micronation of Ladonia in the Kullaberg peninsula, where I spotted the rare Swedish zebra.

The scandinavian zebra in his habitat, not giving a fuck
The Scandinavian zebra in his habitat, not giving a fuck

I liked so much the place that, after a strenuous bureaucratic process that consisted of an online application form where I have to enter my name, I became a proud Ladonian citizen.

Nimis. Ladonia is best, your country sucks
Ladonia is best, your country sucks

More pics

 

 

Dancer in the Light

After so many requests from all my fans (between one and zero), I am writing a bit more here. OK, the truth, I run out of tv series to watch and I am bored to death.

Where did I leave this…? Oh I was in Sweden, yes… Because sometimes I need to take a break from holidays and work. Days were passing and I was very smoothly settling in Odin’s land. With the spring arrival, Skane fields countryside turned into the pretty yellow color of the rapeseed flowers, such a beautiful landscape for a sunset walk or outdoors pooping.

In May, I moved to the place where I would live for the rest stay, a house with farm and eco shop. There were quite a few animals around, chicken, geese, ducks, t-rex, tropical birds and sheep… sweet sheep. Nothing cheers me up more than the sight of my sheep in the morning and, don’t think bad, I don’t look at sheep the same sexual way Welsh men do.

The flat lands and quite roads of Skane make of it a perfect place for cycling. So I started to take advantage of the sunny and unusual warm spring days. I rode to pretty Ystad including a beach and a castle on the way. Even using sunscreen, I managed to get sunburnt in May in Sweden.

Swedish wild life as seen from my window - Party - The road to Ystd - Sweet home
Swedish wildlife as seen from my window – Party – The road to Ystad – Sweet home

My first visitor came in June and I went to Copenhagen for the Distortion festival. The land of reasonably priced beer. The music was not my favourite but have to say the atmosphere was great. Very friendly and laid back people, great weather, long days. There were party buses, party boats, street parties and so on. I didn’t have very high expectations about Copenhagen and left with a great impression. Kind of Berlin meets Scandinavia. A pretty green city where the artisty vibe gets along very well with clean, efficient and calm Scandinavia.

larsThe most amazing thing happened when after leaving Christiania I bumped into Lars von Trier. I couldn’t resist from grabbing him to ask about his opinion on the references to Soren Kierkegaard Christian existentialism in Carl Theodor Dreyer masterpiece “Ordet”. I will always remember he replied to me: “Dude, I am not Lars von Trier, leave me alone!”.

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.

Pippi!
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.

eurotunnel

Looking for a Job

Jan 2014

After an in-depth analysis of the current political-economic climate, and  the situation of the job market, and, an equally thorough assessment of my skills, capabilities and motivations relevant to work placements, whatever I have written before it’s no longer valid  and can be replaced by the following:

I will work for food and/or accommodation. I accept beer as food. By working, I mean taking naps.

Dec 2013

Only 2 months after I wrote this post in the first place I managed to update my CV. You can find it below in English, Spanish and Russian (I speak many languages, did I tell you before?). Note that this resume is aimed to web development roles so I am highlighting the web skills and experiences I don’t have. Still, I think I am more honest than most of the people on it. I would like to consider other kinds of jobs I like more such as gardener, dog walker or prostitute (high-class only). I can easily make up different CVs lying accordingly to job requirements.

JB_CV_EN

JB_CV_ES

JB_CV_RUS

I have now a linkedin account. After long browsing in my pic folders, I found a photo to upload where it looks like I actually give a fuck.

As the time is passing it is for me more urgent to find a money income so I made relevant changes to the previous text. You can find them in this color (yes, I know how to change the text color thanks to my web skills, isn’t that amazing?).

Oct 2013

I already booked my return flight tickets and looks like pretty soon I will be needing a job so I am taking advantage of this blog huge audience (millions read it every day…) to get some help. I will be available from beginning Oct. Don’t worry, I will keep posting about the trip, Central Asia is coming soon…

During this time, I was looking for alternatives to the labor slavery and I have got some ideas, but, unfortunately, all of them are either illegal or highly unethical. Seems that working is the only way I have left to get those papers you can exchange for food and beer at shops.

My last job was doing web development (WordPress and other shit) but I am happy to consider any kind of well-paid job as long as I am not expected to work hard. If you know about anything in this line, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you recommend me, I will buy you a beer two beers,.

I will update my CV as soon as I can, but that would take some time as I will have to add all the languages I picked on my travels. The fact that I am currently around countries where vodka is plentiful certainly won’t help speeding things.

In the meantime, please find below a list of personal skills that make me a fairly good employee. Please note that I try to be honest and not boasting bullshit like most people do:

  • I shower every day and brush my teeth after each meal, true story
  • I am quite punctual. I arrive within 30 min from my starting working time most of the days. If I am very late, I am happy start working upon arrival and postpone my breakfast, news reading, and fb checking
  • I always leave on time, so the company doesn’t have extra energy costs
  • I work well under pressure, actually it is the only way I will work
  • On average I go to work sober and not hangovered 4 days a week and I usually don’t drink more than 2 pints during working hours. I improved a lot on this
  • I dress well, and most of the time keep my pants and shirt on
  • I don’t steal office equipment to resell it, just take what I need for my personal use
  • No matter how busy I am at work, I will manage to spend at least 10% of my time researching online for fun stuff to amuse my working mates. I have  contacts that provide me regularly with such contents as well.
  • I pee in the toilet bowl
  • On Mondays, I will ask my colleagues how was their weekend and will reply That’s great!!! No matter how lame their life is. I can do weather talk and pretend interest in their personal issues.
  • I never get sick so I will only throw 3-4 sickies a year to extend weekends
  • I am pretty good with deadlines. I accomplish 90% of the tasks I am given to with no more than a 50% delay in the time given. Better than most politicians!
  • I can pretend I like my job and show interest in the company affairs. I can make my boss feeling smarter by being fool
  • I am happy to interrupt a working nap if an urgent task comes up
  • I may make some remarks about my female coworkers breast, but it won’t get further. I was never reported for sexual harassment
  • I am a great team worker. I can improve my colleagues performance by reducing mine so they will feel important
  • At company parties, I get drunker and do more stupid things than anyone else, so others won’t feel so embarrassed about their behavior.
  • I am loyal. I won’t leave unless I am offered more money or better conditions somewhere else
  • My farts don’t smell

All the companies I worked for still exist. That proves all the above true. From my skills, you may think I am overqualified for most of the jobs you know, but don’t worry, I am very down to earth and happy to consider non-challenging positions.

Working hard
Working hard

The Making Of

Two months later here I am writing and still missing Asia a lot. But let’s be positive, here it is possible as well to do nice things and have new experiences… bullshit!

Anyway, I am writing this post to tell about how it felt to do this blog, how it was done, the magic behind the scenes and all that crap. I found a great and pleasure and relieve in writing. I could say that I did it for friends or whatever but no, the truth is (contains Breaking Bad spoiler):

The blog was written in 3 different notebooks which probably will end up in museums when I become famous. You can see in the pics. From those to computers mainly at internet cafes. Many times when typing in the night loneliness I was feeling a bit like a mix of Uncle Traveling Matt from Fraggle Rock and Doogie Howser (Neil Patrick Harris before awesomening up to Barney Stinson).

IMG_20131126_191234[1]

When I had some idea I was writing it down (the part I liked, beer helped a lot) and later when I would feel like, I would try to wrap those into texts. That was the most difficult part, as my skills are not the right ones for that task. But it is important to keep things tidy I guess, that’s why when I go to a bookshop I try to place the Bible under sci-fi and Coelho’s in the dust bin.

IMG_20131126_191255[1]

I am very satisfied with the feedback I got and the audience, more than expected. Though sometimes I thought about including terrorist threats to get Obama and the NSA to read it.

IMG_20131126_191202[1]

There are a few future developments I have in mind. They are very unlikely to happen though, mainly because of laziness:

  • Making it stylish (web design-development, WordPress… I don’t like)
  • More pictures
  • More sexual jokes and racism
  • Writing about other subjects of my interest, such as international politics, beer, Dostoievski, sheep, green energies,  German porn, Ingmar Bergman, curling…
  • Goats and donkeys
  • Adding posts from previous trips
  • Hashtags (the international looking for attention sign)
  • Including the word beer in every single post (not many missing). Some people told me these days that from the blog they got the impression I was involved in much drinking and general debauchery (I just learnt this word, liked it and wanted to use). Not at all, just a few times but then it’s when interesting things happen, no good story ever started with drinking tea.

It was not always easy as many times I was running out of ideas and happenings to post about but then who cares? fuck it!, after all I am no writer just another dude with another lame travel blog.

Hard working
Hard working in Katha, Myanmar

OK, now the truth. I just stayed at home, photoshopped myself into some pics of places and hired a 10 years old Chinese boy to write the blog.