Back “home”

I have been awake for almost 48 hours now. Except for those 2h of sleep I managed to get last night. I had a very weird evening and didn’t start packing until midnight (6 hours before take off). Stupid, but honestly, not only my fault. And I didn’t manage to get any sleep on the flight today. But I did manage to see four movies and finish chapter 16 in my own book.

I rode to the airport with one of the girls, another got another ride and the fourth is coming on Monday. What’s funny about today’s flight was that we three flew on all different routes and only with 10 min between our flights. Funny!

I am now laying in bed, it’s 9:30 pm, and I will most likely have the best night of all time. It has been a long day. In Sweden, this day is called “Långfredagen” which translates to Long Friday but in Easter it means: Good Friday. It truly was a long Friday. Almost everything today has gone well, but my flight from Munich to LA was delayed with an hour and a half. We had left the gate and were on our way to take off when the plane turned around and parked at the gate again. Super weird. Then US customs and borders at LAX took more than an hour. And we had trouble getting a Lyft (another type of Uber) and lost $10 because they were waiting for us on the second floor when we were waiting on the first.

The day ended with dinner at In N Out and we bought groceries for tomorrow’s breakfast.

I am seeing double now so I will turn off the lamp and hope I am restored tomorrow. I usually am not suffering from jetlag and I also usually (so far) manage to turn the day around in just one night. So let’s hope it is like that this time as well.

Last day in Seoul: Gangnam

Last day in Seoul has come to an end and I am now back home, all hairy again, sitting on the couch. It is like last week was a dream beacuse as soon as we were in the car back home, everything was normal again, not extraordinarily cool and exotic and time had just flown by. Crazy feeling.

It has been an incredible week with lots of new food, amazing colors, and basically everything was different. A completely different culture. Stressful people, a city that was alive like nothing I have ever seen. But still with nature so close by. Incredible place.

The whole city was so clean. All the public bathrooms were as fresh as anyone could imagine a public restroom to be (and all were free). What really boggles my mind is how that can be so? How can a city be so clean when there are no trash cans?? There were, of course, but very very few. Does everyone seriously carry around their garbage until they find a trash can half a kilometer away?

Something that I wondered for a long time was, where all the kids were? Doesn’t there live any kids in Seoul? We barely saw any!

Did you know that South Koreans use tunes for everything? When a metro train is incoming, a tune plays (most metro stations have different tunes). When the washing machine is done, a tune plays. It was funny!

It would be very interesting to see exactly how big the metro stations were on a regular map. I’m sure there is somewhere. But I can’t really understand how big those places were! Shopping centers connecting with the metro stations. I would not be surprised if it was almost as much space used under ground as above ground in that city. It was like there were underground cities under the real deal. If Metro 2033 (by Dmitri Glukhovsky) happened, then I think the Seoul metro system would be better to be stuck in instead of Moscows. Not that I’ve ever been there, but I can’t imagine it being bigger than this!

Anyway, that were just a few of the thoughts I had during this week. There were more probably, but I am getting pretty tired now and must have forgotten tons of them.

It has now been 45 hours since I woke up in Seoul yesterday. We packed everything, checked out and left for Gangnam where we went to WSP’s office building. We came in the middle of lunch, so didn’t meet anyone, but I was still there. Two floors in a skyskraper in Gangnam, not too bad. We walked around, took a look at the Gangnam Style statue, another temple and had a sweet potato pizza for lunch.

We also stopped at Samsung d’light, an exhibition on new technology from Samsung. Or more like their view on the future. It was really cool. Can totally recommend. Their version of the future seems amazing! Especially the full-body mirror which helped you exercise. There was also a personality test of sort where I turned out to be a Peace Barista – Making peace one spoonful of love at a time. There was also a 4D VR experience to try. It was going on the rollercoaster Tatsu from Six Flags in California. What are the odds? I have actually gone on that one for real. This experience was really cool and it felt surprisingly real.

We met up with Felix one last time to have Korean bbq for dinner. Then the metro to the airport.

When the flight took off, we had been awake for 17 hours. Another 16 hours until we landed in Gothenburg, and now 12h awake. I am glad that I managed to get some sleep on the first flight. I feel kinda normal now, but I am starting to see double. The sleep I got on the plane was definitely not of any greater quality because I remember being awake at several points to change positions. But all of a sudden there was just 1.5 hours left, when last I checked, we had only flown for 1.5 hours. That means 8 hours of sleeping. “Sleeping”. But it was enough to not be completely ruined today.

When I got home, I cuddled with the cats tons. They were really happy to see me. To keep myself occupied and from falling asleep, I have been cleaing the whole apartment. But it took so long because of the attention-seeking fluffies. They have been so cosy today. Almost aggressive in their snuggling.


This screen was the coolest thing! QLED 8K and ridiculously big!
Samsung d’light.
WSP occupies the third and fourth floor of this building.
Gangnam square.
Seoul airport.

Borta bra men hemma bäst

Today was not a long day in Spain, we left the apartment at 6:30 am and left the ground three hours later. I think I was asleep for the whole takeoff. Strangely I wasn’t tired when I woke up, but at the airport it hit me and I slept for a while. Then I was wide awake for the whole flight and read. I finished Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception and started reading Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony basically only because I read part of the first chapter at the end of The Opal Deception and realized that whole chapter was about Barcelona. It was great to see all the places in front of me. Pretty cool and random that the next book on my to read list took place in Barcelona just as I was leaving it, haha!

It was really warm when we landed. Picked up the cats right away and then Jesper and I went out for a small walk downtown and ate dinner out in the sunlight before watching Deadpool 2. A really funny movie, and for all Brad Pitt fans out there, he is in it.

I have now unpacked everything and taken a shower and finally feel clean again after all that sunlotion and sweat for a week. That’s usually not a bad thing, but it definitely feels better if there is also salt in your hair and you know that you spent all that time sweating and stinking at the beach in one way or another. Two days out of a week barely counts.

I think I am ready to go to bed now and back to work tomorrow. I am also ridiculously excited for tomorrow’s games in the series. I think my shoulder feels fine now, so that will be awesome. Hopefully good serves again!

 

UPDATE 2018-10-07!


Home, sweet home!

Barcelona: From warm summer to cold spring

Vacation is great, but going away after leaving an autoreply at work saying “with sunny regards” was cocky. Gothenburg has for the past week had the most amazing weather ever. It has been warmer than it usually is in the summer. Crazy and absolutely wonderful! I had hoped that it would be as nice once we arrived in Barcelona today. But I’ve been walking around in my jacket and was actually freezing at the end of the day. If my nails hadn’t been painted white, they most definitely would have been blue. Now I make it sound like it is almost winter. It is not. But it has been cloudy and a type of raw cold. Even if my phone said it was around 17C.

 

Me, my mom and her colleague (and the most important proofreader of my book) Helena arrived here this afternoon after a three hour flight. I slept most of it, super nice.

The apartment is on the top floor with two terraces. We can see the cucumber house really well on one side and the top of Sagrada Familia on the other. I love that all of SCA’s apartments are located in such good places. In Paris we could see the Eiffel Tower from the balcony. My mom works at SCA and they can rent apartments all over Europe and some in the US for a very reasonable price. A very sweet deal.

We haven’t planned too much this week, but I did plan to hang out at the beach for a couple of days. But that is not going to happen. Sad face!! I guess I will work on winning the step challenge at work instead.

 

After we got to the apartment we left pretty much straight away. We walked in the direction of the church and had lunch close by. We then walked around it, watched it until the cold wasn’t making it fun anymore, walked by a Mercadona grocery store and back to the apartment. It is 8pm and I am kinda ready for bed I think.

 

I apologize for not posting any pictures, and most likely won’t during this trip. But WordPress changed from being able to buy only storage upgrades to having to buy a Premium plan for way too much money. I can deal with $20 per year for an extra 10GB, but not $100. So I have moved all the blog posts and pictures from my two years in California to two archive blogs but that was not enough. I still have 1.3GB too much space used and until I have moved more blog posts and pictures I can’t upload a single picture. I will work on it. I will post them eventually.

 

UPDATE 2018-10-07!

Skiing in Luossavaara

Late last night, I came home to a cold Gothenburg. It was -9C and warm compared to what I had left behind. Today it was -10C when I left for work, I barely felt it. The sky was clear and the air crisp and dry. Really nice. Much different when I left work today though. It was only -5C, damp and windy, so I was chilled to my bones, it was horrible!!

On Saturday we woke up to a clear blue sky again and it was below -20C. The ski slope usually is closed if it is colder than -20 or when it is too windy. No wind, but really cold. Their Facebook page had not updated anything about it though so we walked the 800m to the slope from Malin’s apartment. The mountain Luossavaara lies on an old abandoned mine and only had basically two slopes going down. One lift. But it was really good skiing. I haven’t been on skiis in at least 8 years, but it went surprisingly well, at least Malin said it looked good for being 8 years since last time. The snow was perfect, one side of the lift was recently groomed (do you say that?) and no one had been on it. So nice!

My calves didn’t hurt, they were about to after the first try. But for some reason it stopped and never started. What hurt was my nose and cheeks from the extreme cold. But my calves didn’t. Well, they did afterward after being squished so tightly for quite a while. But I didn’t lose my sense of feeling in my feet at all, which I remember doing during each go last time. So that was a success.

We had waffle lunch, went some more and then the lift died so we decided it was time to go back home. Our faces hurt from the cold. But oh my, what a beautiful day!

The end of the day was spent in front of Melodifestivalen (the Swedish Eurovision) with homemade pizza. Haven’t seen it in forever and I feel like that was the right choice. Not impressed. But still a nice evening!

 

On my last day in Kiruna, we went on a walk in another super awesome day. Clear sky again, -26 when we woke up, -24 when we were out. We took a closer look at the church and then walked back. An hour outside was more than enough and our faces hurt again. We watched Hidden Figures before I had to go to the bus and leave for Sweden… I mean Gothenburg.

I am glad that I now know that Malin is having a great time up there and is doing really well. I can only imagine how scary it must be to move out of your parents comfort already as a 16-year old. Brave girl!

 

UPDATE 2018-10-06!

Icehotel in Kiruna

I am so upset that I can’t post pictures right now. I have so many amazing ones from today, and even from yesterday. I will just have to speed up my project of moving all my pictures from this blog to my archive blog.

It was a while ago now that I traveled. It must have been Rome in April last year. I have been wanting to go to northern Sweden for a long time now and since my cousin Malin moved here to go to the space high school in Kiruna (Rymdgymnasiet), I finally grabbed the opportunity, booked a flight and flew as north as I have ever been.

I took two days “off” work, flew in yesterday and will leave on Sunday.

The snow was there. Tons of snow were everywhere! -14C I think the pilot said. I thought it would be fine, because it is dry cold, but it was cold.

Airport was tiny, bus ride into the city center was cozy and I saw on the way in that the sun was on its way down. I thought that that meant that it would be dark very soon. But I was wrong. The sun was setting from 2pm and all the way until it actually went down at like 5pm perhaps? And it wasn’t even that dark afterward either. The white snow is making everything so light! It is nothing comapred to the grey darkness back home in Sweden…. sorry, back home in Gothenburg. It is hard to see this place as part of Sweden. It is so completely different. It is magical, it is white, it is cold and the air is full of shiny crystals when the sun is shining. I have definitely found some details to the environment in the area of Isidra in my book!

Yesterday we just walked around town, had dinner at Spis, a restaurant where Malin works (she works at the fika part of it, but same owner). Arctic Char was on my plate and it was delicous (Filet of arctic char wrapped in cabbage served with almond potato puré, shellfish sauce, root vegetable chips and roasted wheat).

 

The morning of today was spent at her school. The general director of the Swedish National Space Board was there to talk to the students. Super interesting to hear what they are doing. Then he participated in the class afterward which was astronaut knowledge. We looked at the Terrella they have (basically aurora borealis in a can). Malin was interviewed by SVT and it is now up on SVTplay here. 8:55 into the video, the news did a sequence on her high school. She is the cute astronaut and I am the muppet sitting next to her. Hahah! The video will only be available for another 7 days, but I have it downloaded. The article for it is here.

In the afternoon we took the bus to Jukkasjärvi and the Icehotel. I didn’t really know what to expect. I guess I thought it was a “boring” place, a building made out of ice and snow with basic beds and reindeer pelts to sleep on. I was once again surprised. Most of the rooms are individually designed by anyone who sends in their idea. The bst ones are picked out and later that same person creates the room during two weeks. Even the “basic” rooms were very beautiful with ice crystals on each side of the bed.

So, let me explain how this hotel works. In April each year, 2 ton blocks are removed from Torneälven, the big river up there from a farm they have right next to the place of the hotel. The remove snow from the ice during the whole winter to make the ice perfect. It is then stored in a big warehouse behind the hotel and can be stored for several years so the ice in the current hotel might not necccesarily be from last year, but it is definitely from Torneälv. They ship ice to ice bars in Stockholm for instance that goes under the same name. A few years ago they built a whole hotel down in South Africa for a car commercial that then gave the idea of building Icehotel 365, an icehotel that is open year round, right next to the one they build every year.

The Icehotel this year is called Icehotel 28 because it is the 28th hotel they have built. All of them are different and built up in October. The rooms are carved in November and it opens up for business in the end of November. It is then open until, was it March or April, or maybe even later?

Like I said in the beginning. The pictures are incredible, but only on my phone for now. They will be posted eventually!

 

UPDATE 2018-10-06!

WSP Management in Budapest day 3

The first thing I was greeted by when walking through the door at home, was Ramses of course. He always comes running to say hello when the door is opened. The second thing I was greeted by was Cleo sticking his head out the bedroom door hissing at me. I think I might have been gone for too long for Cleo’s liking. Then he got almost aggressive when he smelled me. Weird cat.

It has been another long day. All flight trips with a layover takes so much longer and is so exhausting. On the first flight from Budapest to Munich, I slept all the way through, even through the big turbulens that apparently happened. On the second though, I had a hard time falling asleep, even if I listened to my classical piano music list. Perhaps it was because all the rows in the back were occupied by WSP. I used the last 30 minutes to a little bit of writing. Why didn’t I think of that earlier?

In the morning today we had free time. It was spent shopping. I bought a very nice notebook at a Christmas fair, a refrigerator magnet and a pair of shoes. That was not the plan, but they kind of matched my scarf and I felt like I needed another pair of better quality shoes.

My calves are rock hard and hurt a lot! So many steps, only walking for three days. It will be great with four days of sitting in front of a computer working again, resting my legs a bit. My feet don’t hurt, but my calves.

It has been a great conference and many interesting discussions in the morning at the hotel. Many interesting things to see in Budapest, many fun things happened. But it has been tough. I really need my sleep and when I don’t get it, I quiet. I hope I haven’t seemed too boring because of it. Because I have had a great time and it was fun to get to know my coworkers outside of work.

Pictures are coming, not tonight, but my goal is to get them uploaded tomorrow afternoon/evening. Ägg-i-skägg-i-rää and goodnight!