Tuesday, December 22

Timeless Lund for a week

Back in my old hometown. Can't believe that a year has already gone by since last time. Not really the best time of the year to visit. When I lived here last May it was perfect! This town is almost like a fairy tale. Feel like time stops here...But in the mist it could also be something of Silent Hill. Quiet and empty streets. Except now for the Christmas rush, shoppers running around town.

The office here is beyond nice. Fika galore every day and so much good Xmas food. Tasted the best Fudge I ever had. Big salute to the chef. Fat-up December it is. 
And the market is also full of mouthwatering delicacies 
 "The perfect Xmas gift" could be something like this too. At least according to the sign 
 Snow? Nope, it's been around 5-8 degrees the whole week. Global warming finally got us
 Found an amazing gym called Gerdahallen. 2 floors or machines, free weights, many rooms for different cardio training. More of this everywhere please.  

Lifting time 
 Finish with a longer run around the city. Are there any other people here? 

 Central Square, Mårtenstorget 
Lokal carpenter that's been here...half forever. 

 End of the week went to the airport to pick up Mona. They have closed the border between Sweden & Denmark now. When the train comes from Copenhagen to Malmö they check everyones passport / ID. There was a girl behind me that didn't have a passport on her and was taken away by the police. Kinda looked Indonesian or Malaysian. Wonder what her story was...Looked very nervous.
 Visit TwoPac. The whole week has been a constant grey. Sunlight last for a whole 6 hours. Going back to this after being so many years gone makes me think how people cope with it? But looking at the bright side, it will only start getting better after Christmas eve, slowly...  Sun goes up 9:15 and down around 15.  Going to work: dark, coming back home: dark. Awful time of the year...
 The miracle house that produces ProTectis to most our global markets 
 Some Fika, these buns are filled with almond paste and soooo good. I wonder how much weight I gained this week after eating all this amazing stuff. 
Lund cathedral square. They really used imagination for the reception hall next to the cathedral. Looks like something industrial to me
 Lund cathedral, it's massive! Must have been a very important spot in the old time when this building was done here. It's already about 1000 years old. 
"Lund was founded by the Benedictinian monks and the Danish kings. They chose Lund for their Arch bishop church. In 1104 Lund became head of all Christians in Scandinavia. Today one can find the remains (some brickstones) of the Benedict Monastry north of the University Library in Lund. The church was built with inspiration from the German Dome in Speyer . Probably were english masons involved and perhaps they took the story from the brittish Island Staffa to Lund by carving the Giant Fingal (killed by Thor, the Asa worrior) into one column in the Crypt" 
 This statue outside the cathedral is kinda weird....and creepy
 One of Lund University buildings 
A glimpse of Malmö
Nice farm Fred, thanks again for the awesome steaks at your place !!

Sunday, December 20

Finally home by A350! But where is winter?

Feels like a lot more than 2.5 months since being home but here we are again! Flew the new A350 by Finnair from Shanghai. Was lucky enough to hog 3 seats to myself. Just as an advice if you ever are going to take a long haul flight: Reserve a seat furthest back in the plane. The crew always fills the plane last there. Chances are highest that you get a whole row of seats for yourself if you book in the back. For me this has worked many times! Also the amount of people passing by the back is quite minimal. Had too much coffee during the flight so sleeping more than 1 hour was difficult. Not really any new movies to watch either but there was WIFI on the plane so got some work done.

Didn't really have super much time home, just 2 days to sleep the worse jetlag off. Out with my best mates one night and thats about it. It's se grey here! No snow and 5 degrees. Worse winter in many many years.

Europe's first A350! There was even a schedule when meals were served 
Not too much people in the back 
 Northwest China had coooold looking winter
 They had installed "Northern Lights" 
 Hello Helsinki...wow is this really Finland in December? Everything still green 
 Probably the only sky I'm going to see in a week 
 From here on it's all grey 
 Using the force? 
 Some pool at good ol' Chaplin
A little later we were Kings for a day
 Stromtrooper Santa in Kamppi at Teknik Magasinet
 And next day was again grey...
 There was a quick 1 hour snowfall. It melted away as quick as it came. 
 Time to leave again, this time a bit more south....Gloomy!
 Wonder if this will fly? 

Thursday, December 17

Last week in Shanghai 2015

A year goes by again, time really flies. I feel like I just moved here but that was already last year summer. Wish you all the best of luck in Sweden Fred when moving away. A decade in China has shown you things that you never though would happen or be possible! I'm proud to have you as a friend! A big thanks for the moving help and everything else.

There was a looong que to the airport, first I thought it was just a lot of people traveling this day. Nope, a bus had set itself? on fire. Wonder what really happened here. 
 One of the more clear weekend days with blue-ish sky. 
 Fix some clothes at my tailor. Suits go for about 70 euro and shirts 15. Quality is pretty good too. If you have the right tailor that is...
 Gymming like Bond
 But not ever day has been sunny...Rain kept coming down for 4 days straight 
 A feast! 
 Moving my stuff, this all I own at the moment. Some clothes and 2 xboxes. Everything else I just got rid off. Not taking more than this with me when leaving China soon. 
 Your stand up debut is now viral! 
Awesome man! 

Monday, December 14

Jiu Fen - Inspiring Spirited Away

I would say that this movie has drastically changed my whole life. When we were about 13 or 14 Micke bought this Japanese movie called Spirited Away. He said it was directed by Hayao Miyazaki a, no idea what your talking about dude? Well that was close to 20 years ago already.

The movie starts with a girl going with her parents to a small town market, the parents end up eating so much food that they turn into pigs. Maybe this is a reference from the bible on Gluttony? The girl tries to save them so the butcher won't make pork chops out of them. Lot of things happen in a world full of magic and fantasy. The soundtrack is just amazing, I used to repeat it countless of times long long ago. Still good :)

Anyway, coming back to the point why this movie changed my life? It was initially from this one I got interested in Japanese movies and other Asian things. In a way this movie combined with One Piece the serie is what made me go to China (because there were no partner schools in Tokyo). But soon I'll be going to where I originally planned. 

So what does a village called Jiufen next to Keelung in Taiwan have to do with any of this? Well, Miyazaki came to this village long ago and it inspired him to direct the movie Spirited Away. So in a way this small old village about 50 km outside of Taipei is one of the main reasons I am where I am today. Came to Jiufen twice 2 days straight as a "tour guide". First day it was cloudy but second day nice and sunny.

Gorgeous place! When you visit, go to one of the view spot coffee shops or restaurants. Walk down the old street and make sure you also swing by the massive temple on the way up to the mountain. MUST SEE if your in Taipei. 

This restaurant view is just fantastic 
 Rain started coming down and there was suddenly this bright rainbow around the corner. Picture has not been edited, the colors were super strong. Too bad didn't see more than this
 Temple in the woods 
Over the hills and far away. Pretty!! 
Day one 180 degree widescreen, not very sunny here
 Had a very traditional Chinese meal 
 The old streets are narrow and the whole place is just really cozy
 If smells could be recorded on photos! Looks like the girl to the left isn't a big fan...Loads of the stalls are making "stinky tofu". If you wonder it's called that, it's because it really stinks. Lot of this in the streets of Beijing too but not so much in Shanghai. 
 Popular tourist spot
Overlooking the old street 
Caramelized peanuts, some kinda ice cream wrapped around dough . Really good!! 
Local painter, making really nice stuff 
Spicy shrimp anyone? 
More tofu
Pork on a ball. Looks tasty yeah? 
This is like a copy from Spirited Away
 Love these temples, too bad that most were destroyed in mainland China during the culture revolution 

We added some prayers for good luck in 2016

 Jiufen village from further away
 What a sunset!!
 Gorgeous in twilight
 There was an old lady who told us to follow her. She took us up on the roof. After talking to her a while I discovered that she has been in this temple her whole like over 60 years. So sweet to let us up and see all of this. 

 The inside was just so detailed and filled with gold. Amazing 
 These traditional doors should be used more! 

In most temples you will also find fish! 
 Best time to go here is just around 5:30 and stay during the sunset.