Monthly archives: March 2013

The Swedish countryside: perfect in all seasons

Before I first came to Sweden I associated the country with blue and yellow Ikea, the world famous Eurovision sensation ABBA, meatballs (even as a vegetarian I know these are good homey Swedish food); I associated Sweden with Phoebe in the American sitcom “Friends” playing a Swedish masseuse but maybe more serious and something I aspire to win one day: the Nobel Prizes (yes I intend to win them all :) . However, during my first trip here I experienced a side of Sweden that for me is one of the best aspects of Sweden.

Sweden has a population of around 10 million people. The main cities are Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo. However, a large part of Sweden is the countryside, the rural aspects that are not only people but deer, moose, fox, hares, owls and all sorts of other fascinating creatures. To me the Swedish countryside could easily be a place I could call home!

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Melodifestivalen

I’m currently stranded in the Copenhagen Airport for the next 6 hours after a flight delay caused me to miss my connection to Berlin (my beef is with SAS this time around!). That means it’s time for a new blog.

Today’s topic has nothing to do with airports and everything to do with melodramatic Swedish pop songs. That’s right; I’m talking about the recently concluded (until next year) Melodifestivalen. For the uninformed reader, Melodifestivalen is the contest that determines Sweden’s annual entrant into the Eurovision singing competition. The contest and accompanying TV show are very popular here with a lot of people. I don’t really understand any of the hype to be bluntly honest.

Image Source: http://svt.se/melodifestivalen

Image Source: http://svt.se/melodifestivalen

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Widerströmska-more than just a name

Walking to the KI everyday is an ever changing experience. The area is the center of extensive building work as such it’s always interesting to see progress from one day to the next.

Several weeks ago I was asked if I might be interested in helping to host the opening ceremony to a new building which had recently been completed. Sure why not I said. All too quickly the day of hosting arrived. I donned by pretty black polka dot dress, a bit of lipstick and packed my pair of black high heels (you didn’t think I was going to walk through the snow in heels did you?)

My role was to be moderator, chairwomen, “most important person” as someone put it. But what do these words mean you might be thinking? Well I was going to be the person introducing the ceremony, welcoming the audience and then in turn presenting each speaker. It was my role to “MC” as my cool friend remarked later.

“Ladies and gentlemen, a very warm welcome to you, to this the opening ceremony of the Widerström building. I am Naieya Madhvani, a student on the Global Master’s programme and I will be your host for today. The ceremony will begin with a few short speeches, followed by the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon and then some light snacks and drinks will be served. I hope you enjoy the next 30 minutes to an hour.”

In Karolinska colours. Photo: Naieya Madhvani.

In Karolinska colours. Photo: Naieya Madhvani.

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Kortedala Museum

I recently came across a real gem in my search to find off the beaten path attractions around Gothenburg: the Kortedala Museum. I think this qualifies as ‘off the beaten path’ because it has an unassuming exterior and is only open for three hours each week. The museum is actually a reconstructed two-room apartment that demonstrates how life was in 1950-60’s Sweden. Everything in the house is completely original – the furniture, appliances, children’s toys, clothing, personal belongings… everything. The black and white TV in the living room is still functioning as it did 50 years ago, and the volunteer workers were all too happy to discuss a televised skiing race with my Norwegian friend.

Kortedala Museum: the living room. Photo by Brett Seward.

Kortedala Museum: the living room. Photo by Brett Seward.

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A Trip to the Grocery Store

I have always preferred to buy my groceries late at night. I like to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible and this is usually easiest to achieve when the store is mostly empty. Late night shopping was easier for me to orchestrate when had I had a car in the US (and when the food labels were in English), but occasionally the opportunity presents itself in Sweden too. In order to properly commemorate a typical experience, I took some pictures of my most recent nighttime shopping excursion. Note: 9 PM is considered late for shopping here since most stores close relatively early.

It makes sense to me to start off in the breakfast aisle. Müsli (I’m not even sure how it’s spelled in English, but it’s basically just granola mixed with fruit and nuts) with yogurt has been my go-to breakfast in Sweden. It’s quick, cheap, easy, and tastes pretty good too; I’m definitely in the pro-müsli camp.

Müsli: my favorite breakfast food. Photo by Brett Seward.

Müsli: it’s what’s for breakfast. Photo by Brett Seward.

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