Saturday, 30 August 2014

Скажите мне.. .

Вижу, что у меня здесь много посетителей из России.  Это очень интересно. Вы здесь, но ничего не говорите :) Иногда я пишу что-то о русским языке, но это не случается так часто. О чем я могу писать? Что вас интересует? 

My Thoughts On My Body And Other Issues

This is the final post I am writing for the August Writing Prompts. Instead of picking a particular prompt, I decided to mix and match them, in order to analyse my own thoughts on body issues and self-confidence. You may find a list of the prompts here

My first memory of being aware of my body took place in a bath tub a couple of decades plus some years ago. That was the time I told my mother that I was fat because my thighs were big.
She said I wasn't fat, besides being fat doesn't have anything to do with one's thighs, only the tummy.
I do not know where the idea and consciousness of being fat came from. My surroundings were not too obsessed with thinness. Not that I recall, at least.

I was more than a head taller than the other girls in my class. I have not grown a single centimeter since I was 11 years old and still, my ID card says that I am of average height.

My period started before I knew what it was.

I had no idea what happened to me and already then I was hiding within my shell, not wanting people to know about my thoughts and secrets. Writing about this topic is difficult because it is something I have never really wanted to talk about. All these years, I have somehow detached my body from my mind. The body is not really me. This detachment between mind and body was probably based on some type of survival instinct. Instead of having a body that the world would accept, I decided to develop my mind. A good idea, in theory. The problem with striving for perfection - whether it is physical or intellectual - is that one will never be quite good enough.

I know now that I am neither fat nor ugly. But for a long time I felt invisible. I still do, sometimes. Growing up with that feeling has made it difficult to socialize with people. I never felt the need to be called beautiful, and I do think that this is an unnecessary compliment. It is much nicer to be called intelligent. If I ever have a little girl, I would want her to appreciate such traits as kindness, intelligence, generosity and humbleness. Beauty is but a fleeing notion.

Sometimes I feel that I would like to be more daring about my appearance - to play with make-up, dress up and have more fun with fashion. One of my promises for self-pampering last week was to wear make-up, I actually did and it felt good. Who would not want to look like this:

In general, I'd rate my confidence as good. Or rather, I don't care too much of what others think. At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own happiness. Bad hair days don't exist if you don't let them. Having a decent level of self confidence does not mean that one is always happy and that everything is perfect, is more about accepting the imperfect self. Accepting the imperfections is also easier if appearance is not so important to begin with. Some people I know struggle a lot with their self confidence, and sometimes I just want to tell them that it is so much easier if one forgets about the rest of the world and focuses on oneself. At the same it is difficult to give anyone advice on matters like this one, because essentially self confidence comes from within.

Last but not least, I have one confession to make, I may feel OK with the way I look, but looking better than OK is scary. By being wrapped in my own invisibility, I don't need to feel people looking at me, I can go on with my own business in my own little bubble. So, if there is something I would like to "achieve" confidence-wise, it'd actually be the stretching of my own limits, to see how stunning I could actually be. Not because I'd have to, but because it'd be fun. Confidence, then, is more than just accepting and being happy about oneself, it is also about letting the world in.

Book: The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

Even though I love books, I must admit that I'm not an avid reader of Scandinavian (including Finnish) literature. And it is a shame.

This weekend I have dedicated a great deal of time to a book whose English title reads The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden. The author, Jonas Jonasson, gained a lot of popularity across Europe with his first novel The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. 

This second novel was a good read. In all its simplicity (as in simple and straightforward language) and fantasy (the plot), it manages to entwine local problems, global issues, history and politics into laugh-out-loud food for thought. What amazes me the most about this writer is his vast knowledge in global affairs and foreign lands. The weakness of the book? Perhaps the somewhat simple language, at times.

Interested in what the book is about? Here is what the publisher Harper Collins has to say:

On June 14th, 2007, the King and Prime Minister of Sweden went missing from a gala banquet at the Royal Castle. Later it was said that both had fallen ill: the truth is different. The real story starts much earlier, in 1961, with the birth of Nombeko Mayeki in a shack in Soweto. Nombeko was fated to grow up fast and die early in her poverty-stricken township. But Nombeko takes a different path. She finds work as a housecleaner and eventually makes her way up to the position of chief advisor, at the helm of one of the world's most secret projects. 
Here is where the story merges with, then diverges from reality. South Africa developed six nuclear missiles in the 1980s, then voluntarily dismantled them in 1994. This is a story about the seventh missile . . . the one that was never supposed to have existed. Nombeko Mayeki knows too much about it, and now she's on the run from both the South African justice and the most terrifying secret service in the world. She ends up in Sweden, which has transformed into a nuclear nation, and the fate of the world now lies in Nombeko's hands. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Feelings For This Upcoming Week

Monday again. I feel Mondays are quite nice actually, since I get to sleep in. The sun is shining and my mind is straying again in a sudden bout of wanderlust. There is so much I want to do. Sometimes I wonder where all these ideas come from.

My mind has decided it wants to learn either Arabic or Japanese (which one would you pick?). I try to reason with it, but it does not listen to me. I still need finish my Summer Language Project - Russian is left - before I can even consider other languages.

It would also be fun to test a new sport. The thing is, the job pays something called "friskvårdsbidrag", i.e. they pay certain amount of money that can be applied to (only) sports. So, it would be silly NOT to try a new sport.

TRAVELLING! We have two trips planned for September - to Vilnius and to Gdansk - and since September is approaching, I am starting to become excited. It will be so much fun!

In short, the week ahead seems to be exciting. There are some great plans with friends, the sun is (still) shining, etc etc etc.

Have a good week!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

August Writing Prompt #9: I will never part with...

#9 PHOTO POST: what's one item in your closet you'll never part with?*

I will give you three....

  1. Colourful scraf. This one is from Budapest and I am so in love with, both for the colour and the memories it bings
  2. Leather jacket from Zara, I like the cropped sleeves and the colour
  3. Funny pants. Really! Nothing brightens the day as much as a pair of trousers that are a little bit out of the ordinary

* This post is a part of Britany's August Writings Prompts, find more info at

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Skriver du?

- Skriver du?

Två par solglasögontäckta ögon vände sig frågande mot mig. Väntande? Ointresserade? (Varför ska folk ha solglasögon på sig när de pratar med andra människor?). Två par ögon vars ägare var vana vid att ha, och att uttrycka, åsikter.

- Ibland. Svaret kändes inte gott nog på min tunga. Det var blekt på något sätt, intetsägande. Det klingade lite falskt och mycket osäkert.

- Jag känner mig lite språkhandikappad. Jag kan inte uttrycka mig som jag vill, sade jag till sist. Ärligt. Men jag tror inte att de förstod vad jag menade. 

Last Stop Before Home: Stockholm

The stop is right outside the station building;
no other bus stops here.
People are gathering; they carry blue bags from IKEA, black garbage bags, colourful plastic bags. They pull trolleys, or push them.
The women hide their long, dark hair inside scarves - red, green, patterned, blue. Their faces are tired, teeth are missing.
They talk, they shout, they bicker and they are.
They dress in pink and yellow and orange, in any colour you can imagine. The men are more neutral, more polished, more black and white. They seem protective, but about their words coming out of their mouth, I can say nothing.
The sign at the stop reads one word only: Romania. 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Election Time!

It is again time for elections in Sweden. Sweden will be electing a new Parliament on September 14th and I am having a lot of fun observing it. On the same day local elections will take place. As I'm not a citizen I don't get to vote, instead I have been running around like crazy, attempting to eternalise the posters.

Here's a small selection of what I've gathered this far.

The Social Democrats focus on education, jobs and safer welfare. The candidate representing the Christian Democrats speaks of tax deductions

I have noticed that the vast majority of women representing the Moderate Party (which is also the major component of the ruling government) are blondes. Not that it matters. This was speaks for a more beautiful, safer and greener Stockholm. 

Folkpartiet (the Liberal People's Party) is also sitting in the current government. However, they don't seem to have many promises for the electorate. 

And this is where all the posters go - I wonder what the Green Party has to comment on this? 

Clouds Over Stockholm 20/8/2014

24 godziny w Polsce

Ostatnio miałam mały projekt – ulepszyć mój polski. Dla mnie, język polski to jest coś wspaniałego. Tutaj, w Sztokholmie, często słyszę jak ludzie mówią po polsku. A ja wtedy zawsze myślę, że ja też chcę.

W piątek kupiliśmy sobie bilety do Polski. Za kilka tygodni będziemy w Polsce. Jeden dzień, 24 godziny będziemy w Polsce. Ja tylko jeden raz byłam w Gdansku. A teraz nie mogę się doczekać!

So excited about our trip to Gdansk in September!