Friday, July 22, 2011


I've spent hours at work, talking to the kids about war, about death and about pain. We've talked about weapons and we've talked about cruelty. It's not how I would prefer to entertain young children, but this day opted for little else. For everyone that's lost someone today, or has loved ones hurt: all of my thoughts and sympathies go out to you.

Det gjør vondt å se Oslo og Norge slik. Og det er enda vondere å se alle som lider.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Exchange student. I want to be one. So bad. Ever since I started looking at various university subjects, the exchange semester has always felt.. important to me. And if I'm leaving my own home, driven by the academic ways of the world, I sure as hell want to have something to exchange as well. Sure, Norwegian culture has a lot of quirks that solemnly belong to us mountain and forest folks. But leaving for a European country has never tempted me. It's not different enough, it's not tempting enough, it's not.. what I've been looking for.

I've been dead sure that Japan was my dream country, up until a few weeks ago. Reflecting and thinking things over thoroughly feels like such a bad thing. The ability to think seems like the shittiest tool given to mankind, at times like these. I was, at least, sure that Asia was my part of the world. I'm not even sure about that anymore. The deadline for applying to various universities abroad is the middle of September. That's damn close, when you think about it. All I know, is that I want to go. But where?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

China: pt.4 - Shanghai

Ok, so I thought Beijing was a big city. I was convinced that Beijing was crowded, filled with smog and packed with cars. Man, was I wrong. It was like a rural village compared to Shanghai. (Or well, maybe not that bad, but the difference was none the less striking.)

Originally, we had planned to take the train both back and forth to Shanghai. Sadly, we were a tad late on ordering the train tickets, and all that remained when we came to the station were "standing tickets". 11 hours of standing in a crowded train suddenly seemed like a long night. And as my Mr.Man was convinced we'd be locked up in a wagon with goats and other funky animals, we decided to book a flight down, and then take the train back to Beijing. In retrospective I think this was smart. Smarter than smart, actually. Genius.

So, how was Shanghai? If I have to compare the two cities, I left my heart in Beijing rather than in the pulsating chaos of Shanghai. But it was a striking city! Born and raised in Norway, I'm still a bit awestruck when I'm standing in front of a skyscraper. Staring up at all the tall buildings in that city can make your neck sore. At left and right I could spot Chanel, Cartier, Gucci and Armani. In the streets I was looked at by beautiful Chinese women, in killer heels and perfect make-up. My 170 centimeters suddenly felt so incredibly tall and clumsy, haha.

I read a few places that Shanghai can be said to be Asia's New York. And even though I've never been to the US, I can understand why someone would describe it in such a way. It's the world's biggest shipping harbor, and one of the major financial centres on the planet. It's shiny, it's bright, it's pulsating, and it's a strange kind of mix between capitalism and communism, covered in dazzling neon lights.

So, how did we spend our time in such a metropolis? Well. We did pretend to be filthy rich, sipping at a drink in the sky bar of China's 2nd largest building. A drink does taste a lot better when enjoyed at the 57th floor. (It better, as the price easily could have bought us a good dinner for two at a simple restaurant. Maybe even for four.) A lot of the time in the city was spent walking, looking at the mixture of old art deco buildings and shiny skyscrapers disappearing into the clouds. The neon lights and the historic architecture blended together into something.. interresting. And very Shanghai.

To sum it up, Shanghai was huge. Overwhelming, to someone like me. The people were remarkably different from those in Beijing, and so was the city. And that's one of the reasons I'm really happy we went there. I've only seen a fraction of China, but at least I've seen a few different aspects. Would I recommend anyone else to go there? Gods, yes! Just to stare at the lights, the buildings, the fashionable people and the expensive cars. Just to pretend you're filthy rich, just to stare at the ridiculous consumerism and expensive things. Just to see, and be there.

This, by the way, is one of the waiting rooms at the train station we departed to Beijing from. Just one of them. Taking a train in Norway will never be the same - it's as if we're one step behind in the evolution of travelling humans. The train was superb, the beds had TVs in them and the Chinese businessmen we traveled with were more than polite. (I think. We didn't understand a single word they said, and vice versa.)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gorgonzola and Severus Snape

Before engaging in things that may take its toll on you, you need to prepare. So before I dragged my Mr.Man to see the last Harry Potter movie last night, we had a little Italian feast - pizza, panna cotta, espresso: everything that makes my tummy happy. (And aaah, gorgonzola on pizza is so good. I die a little every time.)

And while I've mentioned death: Sweet Buddha on a broomstick, I cried so much when Snape died. Dumbledore? Psch, I could handle that. (And a few of the deaths in the movie went by ridiculously fast. "Ow, Ron's brother died, let's not talk about that too long".)

Harry Potter's just the typical, slightly troubled protagonist, Voldemort the ultra evuuhl antagonist trying to take over the world. I am, and have always been, rooting for the yummy characters on the side. Ron Weasley, Severus Snape, Neville Longbottom - this one goes out to you. You're my kind of guys. So yeah, I wept like a child when Snape's lights went out. And as my 3D glasses were shaped like Harry Potter's for the occasion, I'm sure I was a sight for sore eyes. (And for those of you who applauded or laughed when Snape died: I'm sure you're just inbred, was dropped on your heads as babies, and in general can't help your behavior, even though you truly wish to behave.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

To do something on your own

A few days ago I packed a bag of clothes, some food and a hella lot of tea, and decided to leave civilization for a while. So I took my rusty old car and drove into the woods, my destination being a little cabin at a lake. No electricity, no internet, just... silence.

My next door neighbor was a jittery squirrel - a bushy tail that never seemed to stay still for more than a few seconds. But I guess that's what being rather close to the bottom of the food chains does to you, isn't it? Another acquaintance I made was a bit more self-confident: the beaver. Holy hell on a fish stick, who knew they could swim so fast? It was like a little boat/submarine that crossed the lake, somewhat molested a few bushes and continued into the moonlight.

A solitary vacation without a laptop, good cell phone reception or anything as fancy as a toilet you can flush, might seem like a dull thing to do on your days off. But nay. I caught, killed and cooked my own dinner (but must admit that the size of the fish kind of forced me to be generous with the vegetables on the side), I finally got to read a few books I've been eager to plow through (ah, nothing like reading a good book on gender mutilation on Norwegian/Somalian girls, or a family drama from Iran, stretching over a few decades), and I realized that the radio plays a lot of shitty music during a normal summer day.

But you know what? It was good. Both my body and mind needed some relaxation, some silence. I've grown up in these areas, and I do feel at home here. However, you can get too much of a good thing, so tonight I'm trying to even it out. Oslo, Harry Potter, dinner out, romance - here I come. Yum.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer strawberries

Summer, the real core of the summer time, begins when the Norwegian strawberries are not only edible, but also sweet and juicy. As they are now. The sun may scorch (but hah, since when was that a persisting thing in a Norwegian summer?), the grass might be green and the sky might be blue. But it's not quite there, not quite, until I've got strawberries in my hands, in my mouth, all over my face, everywhere. And now, now the summer's on for real.

So I'm going to pack up my backpack with books, strawberries and happiness, and head to a cabin in the forest for a few days. Fishing, swimming in the lake, generally loving life. I even envy myself a little bit right now. Hope you all have some wonderful days yourselves - go buy a basket of strawberries and smile a little, go, go, go!


It's as if I'm wrapped up in cotton - the sounds are muffled, my senses dulled. But there's no bubble around me, no cotton. I'm just damn tired. Falling asleep on your own is awfully hard when you're used to someone holding around you at night, when the silent breathing on the pillow next to you is absent. It's strange how easy you get used to things, how easy they become a part of you. Ah, I'm going to make some tea now. And listen to Opeth. Opeth is always good.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

And I was so sure I'd never do one of these

Somewhere between grey and blue. Standard Scandinavian.

A total mess with curls, waves and tangles.

When was the last time something made you angry?
I'm angry every five seconds, and cheerful the next. I'm very easily provoked by things in the news, ignorance, injustice, you name it. (The things most people should, and probably would, be angered by.)

What's the last thing that made you cry?
This. Every time it's on tv. (But I'm a crybaby, haha.)

Which movie or CD means the most to you?
Who knows? I don't stick to one movie or album for too long, I'm not patient enough. Every time I see Baraka, I feel a little different though. But frankly, I'm not sure.

Favourite song?
Don't know, changes from day to day, from mood to mood. If you want a clue however, does suggests that I'm more than average into Ikimonogakari - Blue Bird, little by little - Kanashimi wo yasashisa ni and Slipknot - Snuff. When it comes to bands, I guess I can say that I've done my share of listening to In Flames and Pendulum lately as well.

What are you good at?
Talking, if i'm with the right people. Laughing, kissing, drinking tea and daydreaming. I'm also quite the dedicated worker and student, when there is need to be something like that as well.

What do you wish you were good at?
Self-discipline could be good at times. But ah, life goes on good without it. And, there are times I really wish I had some musical talent. Sadly, I don't even think I could beat two sticks together to make a steady rhythm.

Who were you five years ago?
I don't know, and I sure as hell didn't know back then. Sixteen, huh? I was insecure, in need of fitting in and everything you can expect of a teenager, if I remember correctly.

Favorite place on earth?
Ah, yes. With this immensely tiny planet we're living on, it's a breeze to pick out just one spot. I'm not sure, to be honest. Right now, I dream of Asia again - a lazy beach in Sri Lanka or a small restaurant with quirky people in China. (If I am to pinpoint one specific place and time, it would be that one night in Kenya, when I fell asleep to the sound of goats and camels, with an African mama taking care of the fireplace, and a little Samburu girl cuddled up against my back. The smell of hides and the burning firewood, the heat and the little hut. Just... that.)

Three things you want to do before you die?
Look back on my life and be pleased with it. That's it. My dreams and wishes tend to change from day to day. I want to see the world, and learn about its people. I want to taste the food and smell the air. I...I'm too indecisive to just mention three things out of the blue. "Live". I think that's it.

Superfast jellyfish

When I grow up, I'm going to be a jellyfish. Because then, then I'll be awesome. And as I suspect them of lacking the ability to think much (but what do I know, I study social sciences), it's got to be a rather relaxed life. If they know they're living, that is.

Pictures are taken at the Beijing Aquarium.

The end of the rainbow

Get off work at 23, and begin the next day at 07. Coffee cups, coffee cups, coffee cups. In a ever so distant future, there is a big pot of gold waiting. But damn, right now, the end of that rainbow seems far away.

And ah, it's almost a month until I'm a student again. There should be alarms howling "geek geek" with a red flashing light at the moment, but I actually miss university. (I will deny having uttered anything close to this when I'm up to my neck in books and papers though. I'll deny it like a frenzied ferret. Rrrrahh.)

Oh god. I should sleep a little while.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


"You know, you are such a pretty girl. And so kind! I'm blessed to know someone you!"

It doesn't matter that it comes from a lady that hardly remembers my name. It's not relevant that she might tell every person walking in the door the same line. In that moment, it might be the most heartfelt thing in the world. "The real truth is spoken by children and drunkards", we say where I'm from. But I like to think that it can be found in old people as well. It makes my days a lot better.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Girl crushing

Totally girl crushing on Lykke Li these days. Not really my kind of music. Or maybe it is - I'm not quite sure what "my kind of music" is anymore. Sure isn't anything static and unified, that's for sure. Tonight, it's Lykke Li. Might be my Swedish genes shining through.

Lykke Li - Get Some

Lykke Li - I Follow Rivers

Lykke Li - Dance, Dance, Dance

Never said I was faithful

I'm a notorious cheater when it comes to my various projects. That's how I roll, I suppose. Yesterday I decided that even though I need this blog to be in English, partly to pratice on the language, and partly because my mothertongue doesn't seem to cover all the needs I have in a language - I can't seem to find one language that fits all my needs. There are certain ramblings I feel more comfortable to do in Norwegian. Don't know how long it'll live, don't know how good it'll be. But I'm giviv it a shot all the same. I'm guessing this one's more interesting for Norwegians though, (but google translate is a wizard if you're desperate.)

Well. Click here and it'll take you there. If you're interested.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Little moments

When I turn my head, you've fallen asleep. We were just resting for a while, listening to the whisper of the waves, the chanting of the gulls. Over our heads the sun was scorching, I think about sunscreen for a millisecond, but then I realize I don't give a damn. The air is humming with insects, with the scent of flowers and the occasional breeze that makes the heat bearable. No, scratch that. You make the heat bearable, we make it bearable. The dulled sound of waves lazily hitting the rocks makes it bearable. So I close my eyes and let the gentle unconsciousness of sleep take me away, while your head moves by the rhythm of my breath. You're resting your head on my stomach, I'm rested by the fact that you're with me, and I fall asleep.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In the middle of the sea, there is a heaven

What you see here, is summer perfection. It's tiny islands, it's the sea, and it's the sun. It is the Åland Island, in the western archipelago of Finland. And it's where part of my family comes from. Over the years it's been the base of everything from pirates to munks, fishermen and tourists. It's amazing, and tough at the same time. (When members of your family die out there, you have to dig the grave yourself, ring the bell by your own machine. Do it yourself - or it won't be done.) Sounds like a brutal place, but I can assure you - it's heaven.

Personally, I have my base at an island called Kökar. A unique kind of scent seems to linger there - flowers and dirt, cows and trees. Everything that's good in the summer. While I was out there, I think I mainly lived on a diet based on tea and ice cream, as Finland kicks Norway's ass in the making of ice cream cones and things to put in them. That, and liquorice. Finnish people make some mean liquorice. Ah, there's so much good to say about this place, but I think I'll just let you see the pictures and use your imagination. Do it.

Just like the world is ours

You know it's gonna be a good weekend out, when the first thing you hear upon entering a place is "can I get you ladies a drink?". Gentlemen: that's a great way to start a conversation. And a night.

Another ingenious way to boost a night out, is a game of chess. While dancing, laughing and being a generally wonderful collections of girls, we were suddenly approached by a guy who wanted to play chess with us - and who were we to deny him that pleasure? By the time the doors started closing, we could clap our hands together, giggle and yell "checkmate!". Did he let us win? Sweet mother of kittens, I surely hope so, because I suspect we were awful. Did it boost our confidence up, up and away? Yes, yes, yes. So thank you, chess man, you were awesome. And so was this weekend, yum.

How was yours?

Edit: haha, I love how we appear to be the geekiest bunch of kids ever to hit town.
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