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Stockholm



Many have said it was just a matter of time and today it happened.....a highjacked truck driven by a madman in high speed down Drottninggatan in Stockholm.
So far four people dead and 15 injured. And a dead dog. A few years ago a man with a bomb strapped to himself detonated the bomb on the same street, Drottninggatan, only he died then. And plenty of shocked bystanders.
A few days ago, bombs on the subway in St.Petersburg. A truck drove into people in London. Before that Berlin. And Nice. Paris. Theo van Gogh. There was a nerve agent chemical attack in Syria recently. Sarin is banned, illegal and to release a gas amongst people is.....I have no words.
No matter where in the world innocent people die in senseless violent attacks it is just wrong. It happened to be Stockholm today. The city I grew up in and a place that I love, of course.
Well.....many of these attacks have been carried out by men with Arabic names, in the name of Allah and organizations like ISIS have claimed responsibility for much of this. These are just facts, nothing made up.
Oh yes, there are non Arab, non Muslim folks that go on killing sprees as well, I am very much aware of that. Just seems to be a whole lot of attacks in the name of the not so peaceful religion Islam carried out in the last two decades or so.
Of course there was stuff happening worldwide in the 70's and 80's as well but I don't have any statistic on that. I can think of Pan Am flight 103, Lockerbie.
And the Northern Ireland Conflict, IRA.
Sweden is a very politically correct place, being labeled a racist or "främlingsfientlig" is something really bad. You might get seriously shunned for that. God forbid you are outspoken about your political opinions if they have anything to do with wanting to accept less immigrants into the country.
That makes you a bad person.
I grew up knowing people either born somewhere else besides Sweden, like myself or being second generation immigrants. I have very close friends from all over. But I also have opinions and even my immigrant friends in Sweden with roots from the Middle East are not happy with the political situation and the downturn of the country. This was one of the bigger topics of discussion last time I was home. Swedes are kind and naive by nature. Other not so nice people take advantage of that. I have often been too kind and naive for my own good after leaving Sweden, not understanding that some people lie and really only are out to harm you in whatever ways they can. There has been much disbelief, many tears and sadness in my life because of that.
Anyhow. I am not sure what can be done about ISIS and similar groups. I want to say that they will go away soon, that this will all go away but that would be foolish wouldn't it? I do not understand what makes somebody feel compelled and driven to carry out acts like these and honestly believe that they are doing something good.
I don't get it. I did not grow up like that. I will never understand.
Yeah, I talked to my brother, he was stuck in Stockholm like many others because public transportation was at a standstill. I talked to my Mom and I am going to call them again tomorrow.
I really miss Sweden, it is a beautiful place with kind wonderful people living there. Too bad that this happened in Stockholm today. But no matter where innocent people die in the world it is wrong.

Lucia Celebration In Las Vegas



I just got home from a traditional Swedish Lucia Celebration in Las Vegas! Well, as traditional as it gets here in Vegas. There was a Lucia and tärnor and stjärngossar singing songs. Swedish traditional Jul mat (Christmas food) and glögg. I went and got food several times and some man renamed me "The Girl with the fast metabolism" and said something like "Thank You for being thin". I was like......?
I have a good appetite and I am for sure not going to hold back on my food intake when I can have Swedish food that taste like HOME. No dieting for me.
Roxy was kind enough to accompany me this afternoon, we had fun (Thank You Roxy). There was a raffle and Roxy got us tickets and she won a knitted throw in blue and yellow, the Swedish flag colors and I won a $50 gift certificate to a Mexican restaurant so I am taking us there. Yeay!
Lucia walking away. Lucia is a big deal in Sweden, I was Lucia in 6th grade.



Glögg! I got us a small cup that we split. In Sweden we usually serve it with almonds and sometimes raisins on the bottom of the cup/glass.



Lussekatt or Lussebulle.



Midsommar

Today it's Midsommar in Sweden, a holiday that dates back to pre Christian times. A pagan holiday if I'm not mistaken, a celebration of summer solstice. I LOVE Midsommar, the whole country is celebrating and it's just beautiful. I'm not in Sweden this year, although I did celebrate Midsommar in Tyresta By last year with my brother and friends. Maybe I can be in Sweden next year and either do the traditional thing at Skansen or take a boat to some island in the archipelago outside Stockholm. Glad Midsommar! I miss Sweden, LOTS! ❤







Being Boring

I'm just being boring and feeling boring right now. It's kind of dreary out, no sun just gray but at least there is no snow. Some places in the country have severe weather and waist deep snow right now and here it's rather mild actually. Most people think that all of Alaska is just a frozen ice block, that we live in igloos and co exist with polar bears. No. That's more up north, keep in mind that Alaska is the largest state in the US. Where I live on the Kenai Peninsula there are no polar bears and I live in a house mainly made out of wood. I have never seen an igloo in real life. The closet to an igloo would be when I make snölyktor from snow. Kind of like a snow lantern.
What am I doing today? I'm thinking about paying the gym a visit to get sweaty and move my flab around. Then I need to tackle my box situation at home. Right now 80% of my stuff is in boxes since I almost moved a few days ago. A decision I'm still second guessing. I think I have a difficult time tackling things that give my anxiety, like a move. It's easier just not to deal with it. And that's exactly what I did. For now. I need a personal coach to crack the whip over my head when I get emotional and irrational.
Then I'm thinking about what I am going to do for my annual Christmas cards this year.
Me and Chhaya, it's my Christmas tradition. I have an idea, if the weather permits.....
So, last night I came across some news from Sweden about four women that arrived there as refugees from Syria together with their sick Father. The four women are complaining that they do not like the apartment that the Swedish government set them up in and that the tax payers are funding. The tax payers also paid for the furniture in that place and the food these people eat. Since those people have no income to speak of. They are not happy with the beds, it's cold and then there is the fact that there is no elevator. Their Father is sick and bedridden and currently getting care in a hospital. The reason they did not get an apartment with elevator access is because the information about the sick Father was last minute and there is also a shortage of places to live in Sweden. People have to wait for a long time to be able to secure an apartment sometimes. I have a friend that broke up with her ex about two years ago but she is still sleeping on the couch in the living room in the apartment they share because she can't find a place of her own. My brother lives in a one bedroom apartment in a suburb outside of Stockholm, he sleeps in the living room and rents out the other bedroom to somebody. If I would to move back to Sweden I would have to live with my Mom or a friend unless I would have the money to buy my own place or be willing to live in Norrland. Well, I'm a Stockholm kind of girl. These four women are now threatening to leave Sweden if nothing changes. Really? My suggestion is.....GET THE FUCK OUT! Maybe go back to where you came from. Or try to go somewhere else (another country) with a list of demands for your comfort and see how well it goes. Nobody will miss you in Sweden, I promise. This is so typical Sweden, I just feel like WTF.....how DARE you? If you don't like it, LEAVE! Actually, don't even bother arriving in the first place. I do feel bad for their elderly Father that is sick and bedridden but hey, I'm sure he is getting way better care in Sweden than he did in Syria. Do I feel bad for the four able bodied women? Not at all, shut the fuck up bitches and GO TO WORK. I'm sure McDonald's is hiring, learn the Swedish language and contribute to society before you start demanding free shit form the government. I'm glad I don't live in Sweden because I would had been PISSED OFF at the situation there and LOUDLY stated my opinions. This is not an isolated incident, this shit happens all the time. The Swedes are too nice.
I found a pic of me on Facebook from Burning Man, some photographer took it when I having a great time at the Steampunk Saloon. That will do as the Tatiana pic of the day! ;-)



Gingerbread

I have been eating a lot of Anna's gingerbread cookies lately.....in the evening with a mug of hot tea - yummy. I'm missing Sweden right now and thinking about when I should go again. Since it's such a long plane ride and I have so many friends there and family to catch up with I need at least two weeks. Last time I went I extended my stay because I didn't have enough time.





It's Thursday today....Throwback Thursday. My Mom has these two pics of me on display back home.



I'm not sure how old I am in the first pic.....five maybe? And the second like 18-19. I did my first real photo shoot and they (hair and make up people) made me up like that.

Stinky

It's been raining almost all day today. Earlier I cooked and ate a whole cauliflower, well Chhaya wanted some too. The result? Very stinky and powerful gas. I decided to stay home, feeling lazy and in need of ME time. Although this would had been a good night to cash in on the "Ballrumbler" dances. That is a rare and very popular treat, you grind your butt into another persons lap and let out a fart that vibrates through the recipients body. Costs extra, of course. I usually charge $60. They sell like hotcakes.
So I'm at home. I took a bath, washed my bedding, about to continue reading my new book that is very sad by the way. Ahhhhh.....my bed is so comfortable.....



Thinking about calling my Mom and some friends in Sweden. They held elections there yesterday (every four years) and there are some big changes. Not that I am too surprised, the ruling party Moderaterna got replaced by the other large party, Socialdemokraterna. It's been between those two ever since I was a child. The third largest party is now Sverige Demokraterna.



Many in Sweden are not happy about that. Or at least they pretend they are not happy about it. Nobody wants to admit to voting for them, it's considered shameful and you might get called out to be a racist. Although plenty of people obviously did vote for them since they got enough votes to be the third largest party. I understand why Sverige Demokraterna are growing. You can't ignore certain very important issues like immigration and all the stuff that comes with that. It does not make you a racist because you want to limit immigration to a small country like Sweden, it makes you a REALIST. I am a REALIST. I spent some considerable time discussing politics when I was in Sweden this summer. I have friends from other countries and people that were born in Sweden by Swedish parents.
Remember, I was not born in Sweden. Even my immigrant friends or second generation immigrant friends understand why Sverige Demokraterna are growing. What I find extremely baffling is how the ruling party Social Demokraterna say that they are not going to work with Sverige Demokraterna, childish behavior in a very grown up arena. You have to work together now and reach decisions, they are the third largest party, voted in by the people - democracy! What party would I had voted for? Djurens Parti. They advocate for the welfare of animals and the environment. I believe in taking care of the animals and fight for their welfare and take care of the environment. Without the animals that feed us and clothe us and the trees, vegetation, clean oceans and rivers and clean air we are nothing. Human beings will never get along. I love animals. Defenseless beautiful souls coexisting with the greedy brutes - us humans. Human beings will be their own demise.



Homesick

I am very very homesick today.....not feeling that great at all. I know that going somewhere on vacation is way different than actually living there because I was complaining and being bored with everyday life when I lived in Stockholm too. That's normal I think, especially when you are in the midst of winter. But NOTHING.....NOTHING is as boring as Kenai. At least for me. I'm sure Kenai is a perfectly fine place for a lot of people but not for me. I'm not going to expand on the Kenai is a boring place topic any more this time around. I am homesick and that's that. I miss my friends and actually DOING stuff because there are plenty of things to do in Stockholm and I also miss walking around in City. I put some new stuff from Sweden in the kitchen window......



What else can I write about? O yeah, I had to get a new passport while I was in Sweden. Therefore I had to get measured.....I was curious to see if I had shrunk since the last time but I I'm the same.



And I was also curios to see what I weighed in actual kilos. There is an old scale at the gym here in Kenai, the kind where you have to move the little weight around to balance it out.....
I don't know how to use that stuff and I don't know what I weigh in pounds either......so I stepped on my brothers scale and it said 61.9 kilos. Now I know.



Well.....I'm going to start my day now. I have a few things on my to do list.

Mumintrollen

As a child I grew up with ABBA, Pippi Långstrump, Bamse, Fem myror är fler än fyra elefanter, Trazan och Banarne, Vi på Saltkråkan, Pojken med guldbyxorna and also Mumintrollen.
I love Pippi, she is my heroine. So on my trip to Sweden I got some Pippi stuff that I will show later but also for the first time some Mumintrollen stuff.....or Mumin like you can also say. Mumintrollen is about a troll family created by Tove Jansson. I remember thinking that Mumintrollen were kind of sad and a bit scary to watch when I was little, there was a character called Mårran and I was scared of her. Besides that Swedish children's TV when I was growing up was great and very pedagogic and educational, I learned a lot from watching Fem myror är fler än fyra elefanter and Pippi Långstrump is a wonderful role model for girls I think. When I arrived to Sweden from Poland as a child I spoke no Swedish and I got teased a lot and from that I became shy and very insecure. I was the only foreign born child in first grade and that was not fun I quickly learned. In second grade we moved from Tumba to Handen and I got to know new friends like Carmen that I am still friends with today. I quickly learned Swedish from reading a lot and in the end I got mostly high grades on everything that had to do with writing and reading Swedish. And later I studies other languages like most kids in Sweden do. School went on and I grew out of being insecure, thank goodness. Now I feel super confident and strong.
Well, here is my Mumin stuff. A tray that I will keep on the kitchen counter so I can put car keys and sun glasses on it. Some postcards, coasters and Mumin on key chains. I think I will attach those to one of my purses.








Santa And Fly Agaric

I love stories about Santa and the connection to the fly agaric. Back in the day mushrooms were depicted on many Christmas cards. I think it's pretty and I also like mushroom ornaments for the Christmas tree. I am also fascinated with all things of the underworld......faeries, mermaids, trolls, gnomes.....the stuff faerie tales are made off.
In Sweden there are tons of folklore about trolls, princesses and faeries. And Santa comes from Lappland, where Sweden, Norway and Finland meet, where the reindeer roam. At least that makes the most sense to me, that Santa is from there.









It snowed a lot here today. It is so pretty outside and I miss Sweden when Christmas is around the corner. All the traditions.....julbord, glögg, a walk through Gamla Stan, Kalle Ankas julafton, Lucia, adventsljustake, julstjärna......I don't want to think too much about it and get sad. It's quiet and dark outside. Chhaya is in love with the electric blanket, she doesn't want to move from it. The house is decorated and looks beautiful. I'm content and pensive. Right now I wish I was under a thick but soft blanket in front of a hot wood fire stove somewhere, listening to somebody delivering hours of faerie tales while sipping on hot chocolate.


Throwback Thursday

I'm 12 years old. I love horses. The best thing I know is to be around them, pet them, clean them and when I can afford it......ride them. I want my own horse, that was my dream when I was 12. Life was easy. I was happy most of the time.



Shortly after that picture was taken, we moved from Stockholm to Växjö. I was not happy at all about having to say goodbye to my friends, start a new school and make new friends.
Say goodbye to my favorite horses at the stable Skutan that I would go to all the time. But I made new friends, good ones too......the kind you have for life.