Thursday, September 29, 2005


I handed in a pair of pants today to get a broken button repaired (not a sewed button, I could probably have fixed that myself). Later, I was strolling around town looking through shop windows when I saw this cool napkin holder.

It's cool, but it just seems so superfluous. Somewhere, there's a guy who designed that thing and is making money off of that design. And the people who own this cafeteria actually felt it necessary to buy this thing. It strikes me as one of those situations where there seems to be too much money, but in reality there's not enough money to go around.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Photo attack!

Today, when I was waiting for my bus to take me home, some strangers sat down next to me. Acting impulsively (for once in my life), I suddenly took out my phone and snapped a picture. I had hoped to catch them in a candid moment, since they seemed deep in conversation.

Wow, they sure look surprised! And of course, that's me in the foreground. Group photo with total strangers! Everyone should try this, it's hilarious.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Random object

A few weeks ago, I came upon something odd on my way home from work. I almost walked past it, but then I realized that it was probably a nice photo opportunity.

At first, I couldn't even see what it was. It looked kind of lonely though.

A steering wheel? Did someone get mad and rip the steering wheel out of their car? Sounds like a bad case of road rage. More likely though, it's just some junk that some car mechanic threw out of their workshop. It just struck me as odd, lying there in the middle of nothing, so I just had to take some photos.

Friday, September 23, 2005


This Tuesday and Wednesday, I couldn't get a ride to the bus station, so I had to walk across town to get to my bus. Just before I was going to leave my house, I banged my pinky toe against something. That always hurts a lot at first, so I didn't think much of it then, but after walking through town to the bus my toe was still aching. When I got home from work on Tuesday, my toe looked like this (only look if you have a morbid interest in bruises). Also, since I limped all the way, I managed to get a blister on my other foot. Luckily, that healed quickly, although both feet are still tender since I had to walk on Wednesday as well.

To keep my mind off the pain, I took some photos of my hometown.

There are some old wooden buildings here. I'm not sure how old they are, but it's nice to see that parts of our cultural roots are still around. They lend a certain air of grace to the town.

Of course, one of the oldest parts of town is our church. Actually, I think the correct term would be "cathedral", since it's the head church in our diocese .

As I came closer to the centre of town, I noticed that our streetlights look pretty fancy. To be honest, I've never even looked at them before, I only noticed them now because they were in the way whenever I wanted to take a photo of something else. So I gave up and shot the streetlight itself.

This is the centre of town, with little stores and stuff. The town square is straight ahead, and the yellow building across the square is the county governor's residence.

Now I've walked past the town square, and turned right. Here are some more shops and a few banks. Not very exciting, but it's a good example of how swedish cities often have lots of greenery.

This photo is a bit more interesting. This city is divided by the sea; one part is on the mainland, and the other is spread over two islands. I live on the large island, which is also where the town centre lies and where this photo was taken. The water here is the sea flowing around the island, and the other side is mainland Sweden. To emphasize the coastal status of our town, the McDonald's here has a place where you can park your boat; practically a sail-in McDonald's!

This is what I'd call the main street, although that's not its name. This runs through quite a bit of our town, starting at the university and going past stores, banks, a bridge that connects us to the mainland, the bus station, McDonald's, and ends up at the train station. The bridge is right behind me.

Here I am on the bridge. This used to be more of an industrial area, I think, where big boats would load and unload cargo. Now it's apparently a parking spot for some nice sailing boats.

Thus ends my journey; the bus station is just off the left edge of this picture. Finally I can sit down and stop torturing my poor feet.

Monday, September 19, 2005


I think these photos pretty much speak for themselves. They were taken this summer, and the cuddly model is called Märta.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

By bus

Today is Sunday, so there's no work and no commuting, thankfully. But with a job that's approximately 40 km away from my home, I get to spend the better part of 2 hours riding or waiting for a bus every day. It won't get me into the Guiness book of records, but it still feels like a long time. So, as promised, here are some photos of the swedish public transport system.

This is the bus I take to and from work. It rides up and down line 90, and the bus itself seems to be called 2226. I've come to recognize the different marks of juvenile sabotage and the faulty seat belts, so by now I'm quite sure that I ride the exact same vehicle to and from work. Only the chauffeurs change. It's strange, I'd have thought this bus had better things to do than follow my every beck and call...

Someone with a red shiny guitar case is waiting for her bus to arrive. Behind her is the bus terminal, which looks about as boring as any swedish building from the 1970s. As you can probably tell, there's a hamburger bar in the bus terminal.

The interior of the bus looks quite boring compared to the hitech buses of Shanghai (darn you to heck, João!), but they're alright. At least they have adjustable seats, and plenty of handles to grab hold of as you do the "bus aisle shuffle", which is my silly name for the silly walk people do when they're walking through the bus trying to find a seat, and the acceleration makes it hard to keep their footing.

Here are some fellow passengers. One of them is apparently reflecting upon the evil deeds of his past and deciding to turn over a new leaf, while the other is perfectly content and blissfully asleep.

These two photos were taken on different days, hence the different weather. It's not uncommon to see cows grazing in the swedish countryside. Apparently, a lot of dairy products are produced locally.

This is the final stop in today's series of photos, the bus stop outside my job where I sit and wait for the bus to take me home. That's my black leather bag, and a waste basket that seems to have been kicked askew.

Sometimes when I'm bored, I sit at this bus stop making silly voices and record them with my mobile phone. Maybe I'll put the least embarrassing ones on this blog some day.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

43 things

A Japanese friend of mine who is teaching herself Swedish showed me I think I had seen it once before and not really understood what it was, but this time I really got hooked. I set up a list of things I want to do, and I will try to check back on that page as often as possible and keep myself motivated to do the things on the list. In fact, I should put that on the list: "Take your 43 things seriously", or just "Check your list of goals often". My username there is joaquim (I can't believe it wasn't taken).

In unrelated news, my older brother is in China. So that's one thing to check off his list, although he doesn't keep it on 43 things. It's cool, he seems to be having a blast. Check out his blog, there's a link to it somewhere around here. Don't read too much of it though, my blog will fade in comparison.

Now, one thing I won't have to put on 43 things is taking pictures with my mobile phone. I just can't get enough of it. Here's a few to start with, and then I'll post more as often as I can remember.

For those of you not from Sweden, this is how buying candy in a swedish supermarket looks like. At this particular date, it was 49 SEK/kg. A fair price.

This is one of my favourite candy flavours: licorice. It also happens to be a hit with the female population of China, or at least the one my brother knows there. This photo looks pretty as a thumbnail, but the large version really shows off the crappiness of my phone cam.

Tune in next time for photos taken on the bus, when bored out of my skull while commuting to/from work.