What is Happening?

One afternoon not long ago,

I was walking down the street going from Engleska Parken (humanities campus) to the main library and as I walked people appeared on the side of my path and kept shouting at me trying to hand me flyers, loads where chucked on the ground and similar posters littered the surroundings. Another person went along with a loud radio, 2 guys were walking up and down with a massive sign. This had never happened before! Loads of people were shouting, I could not understand what they were saying, but honestly neither was I interested…

The day was grey, it would not stop raining, a bus driver carelessly sped through a puddle and drenched me in muddy water.

As a consequence my light-coloured trousers were stained, but nobody took much notice, I think… There was a girl with a smartphone in her hands, that might have been taking a picture of me. What if she did?! No doubt I would most liked post on ‘Spotted’..

Once I got to the PC cluster I immediately had to check the all-telling page. Nothing there, possibly a comment could apply to me, but no way to be certain; at least there were no photos!

So many people surrounded me, a feeling of self-conscious paranoia prevailed, as if everyone was judging each other.

I decided I could take it no more and decided to leave.

Outside there was a starless sky, the cold darkness and dampness surrounded me together with a sense of unease and fear, as if something bad was bound to happen.

The people I saw earlier had disappeared instead they had been replaced by others: some were puking; people were pissing on the street;rude, aggressive gorillas were arrogantly perched outside the over-rated club doors like giant gargoyles…

You get the picture?

Soon after, a group of blokes in hoodies with glass bottles in their hands congregated.

They glared at me, why?

I did not know…

They started to edge closer and closer, I felt powerless, so I started running, panic stricken I ran and ran but couldn’t keep going…

They started punching and kicking me;

What did they want from me?

I gave them my phone, my wallet, my bank cards, the pin codes and even my jacket but still they didn’t stop…

What more could they want?

I gave them all I had but they kept punching and kicking me, angrily, as if I had something they could not have.

The final blow was strong, I lost my balance and whilst I fell I realised that what I had was ‘hope’, a ray of light that maybe one day I might succeed in building myself a bright future, as I want it, something they all didn’t have and by hurting me and depriving me of my belongings maybe they wanted me to be the same as them…

My heart was beating fast, I kept on falling for a surprisingly long time, I wondered when I would reach the ground, then with an odd sense of relief I hit the pavement.

Press Play on The YouTube Video for musical background.

My Student Room

I jolted up and as I opened my eyes, a ray of sun-light blinded me. I saw the familiar east-facing window with the half-open blinds, I realised…

It was all just a dream Alex, nothing but a nightmare. You are still in Uppsala, it is nowhere near and nothing like the gorgeous city in which you normally live and study.

This fictional dream is dedicated to the ‘Manchester Study Abroad Team’ that are doing an AMAZING job in encouraging students to take the opportunity to go on exchange somewhere in the world, far far away from the charming city I know and love.

 

The Museum has ‘Evolved’

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Visiting Uppsala’s Evolution museum I was amazed to discover that the cafeteria had free tea and coffee, a microwave and a large seating area for its visitors.

This is an evolution of the museum I’m used to as not only it was free for all students but even this small gesture of offering free hot drinks and creating a warm environment  makes a positive difference to the overall ‘cultural experience’.

Museums are a temple to human knowledge and discoveries and in them men of all cultures and academical background should feel at home and learn about the achievements mankind has reached in the course of the centuries.

The Good Society

Quote by Swedish politician Per Albin Hansson (1885 - 1946).

This is a quote by Swedish politician Per Albin Hansson (1885 – 1946).

His ideas are at the heart of the Swedish society that was ‘created’ during the course of the 20th century.

What do you think? Would you like your society to be more like the Swedish one? What would you sacrifice to work towards it?

 


This post was written by Alexander Maxia on the 13th of March 2013, two months into his exchange studies experience in Uppsala.

Washing Dishes

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Everyday you learn something new..

The other day I went to my friend’s flat and noticed that when he was doing the washing-up instead of squirting the liquid onto the plates or sponge he sprayed his dishes with a  washing up liquid diluted in water.

I bought a similar one for my flat and tried it out; it really works well! It uses less product and it applies it in a more efficient way as you use a small spray on the exact spot you need to clean instead of doing what I normally did (put a load of liquid on the sponge) that partly got wasted going straight down the sink.

Try it at home!

These little things help the environment whilst saving you money…

 

More posts about Sweden.

Rubbish Money

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It might not be much, but still £0,30 is not bad for chucking 3 cans of beer.

In Sweden Cans and Plastic bottles have ‘Pant’ and depending on their size the amount of money you get varies from a minimum of 1kr (£0.10) to a maximum of 2kr (£0.20). Still, if someone was to collect loads of rubbish they could make quite a bit of money by being ‘environmentally friendly’.

Kebab Pizza – The Real Deal

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Last night finally got round to trying an authentic ‘real Kebab Pizza’ in the local pizza house.

After having tried a ready-made version last week.

My Italian side immediately thought the combination was odd but must say I am really quite surprised how nice it is!! You have the classic Margherita base (tomato sauce and mozzarella) plus Kebab meat, green chillies, peppers, onions, slightly spicy red sauce and ‘tzatziki’ (the white, mild sauce).

I tried doing a Google search to see what came up with typing ‘Kebab Pizza’ and apart from a few blog entries there was nothing substantial about its origin. My guess is that it originates from when immigration was strong here in Sweden and foreign restaurants and fast food outlets were opening. This is the likely conversation between the 2 Swedes who invented it:

What take-away shall we have tonight?

I don’t know, you decide.

Well the choice is between Pizza or Kebab, no; you decide!

I did it last time, it’s you turn now.

No I refuse, you decide.

OK LET’S MAKE A COMPROMISE: We will have Pizza with Kebab on top.

No doubt this conversation has really happened a few times and the solution to the problem is solved.

Swedes love to compromise, not worth arguing, when you just need to find a middle way.

Swedish Positive Attitude

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It has been an amazingly sunny day in Uppsala with blue sky all around and many people, like lizards, going out doors to admire the rare wonder of nature.

Temperatures were quite warm, I was in a t-shirt! Needless to say that I was indoors trying to finish my essay last minute after having stayed up all night… It was a nicer view then usual from my window.

On top of that, the ice cream van drove-by; a little bit of sun,blue skies and off it goes!

Ice Cream?

Why not! (Mental note: must eat quickly before it becomes rock solid).

 

 

Swedish positive attitude, so sweet.

Kebab Pizza

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Apparently this is the most popular pizza in Sweden.

I can’t say I’m trying ‘the real thing’ as it was a ready-made 10kr bargain from ICA.

It’s actually quite nice, next time will need to try a freshly made one to give a better judgement.

I eventually tried the ‘authentic’ Kebab Pizza and wrote about it in this other post.

Cuppa Soup

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Nothing better then a hot cup of tomato soup to keep you going, whilst desperately trying to write an essay (last minute, what a surprise!).

Here in Uppsala most of the university shuts at 8pm and even the main library is shut by 9pm. The only part that remains open are the corridors of the buildings which are equipped with study areas, computer clusters vending machines and also kitchenettes!

Not a security guard to be seen, no visible CCTV camera. This really makes me think about how lost Swedes would be, the moment they stop trusting one another..