To curse in hassaniya

“I curse the day when your father switched off the light and your parents’ hair mated and magma shot out of your bum!”
It’s can’t get any worse. The one who does not get cold shivers from that one has a thick skin.

Cursing is often one of the first thing you learn in a new language, and sure it can be grateful in some situations. Not to know them, but to recognize them. If someone is cursing the day when you pooed magma it’s not very grateful to stand there and say “eh’e, eh’e!” (yes, yes!) with a smile on your lips.

Like in my country, Sweden, most of the bad words are about cursing, with the difference that here it is God who curses (“may Allah curse the day that…”) instead of “cursed shit!” as many of us say in Sweden, or “fuck this shit” as you might say if you speak English.

(I’m so sorry for my bad language in this post. But it is interesting.)

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Time to close this year

“But hitching didn’t die a natural death — it was murdered. And there’s little evidence that it was as dangerous as we think.”

Said the New York Times earlier this year. And during 2012 I have done a lot of hitch-hiking. My thumb has taken me traveling in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, France, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Zanzibar, Malawi and Zimbabwe. All in just one year.

Most of the experiences has been good, only one man turned out to be over-sexual (and of course it was in Switzerland, where else but in the rich of richness?). During the year I’ve met people born into slavery and refugees trying to get into Europe, but failing.

While sorting out old diary-notes lying around I found this piece:

“I was sitting behind him on his bike. He was going so fast down the hill I couldn’t bare keeping my eyes open. ‘There’s Malawi!’ he shouted. ‘What?’ I screamed back, slowly opening my eyes. ‘There’s Malawi!’ He screamed again and pointed at the lush green hills in front of us. I was awestruck.”

Three days later I found myself trekking up the hill to Livingstonia, monkeys chatting in the trees for company and an old man who spoke no English to show the way through the shortcuts. There was more climbing than walking and at one point my backpack pulled me down backwards, down the cliff, and balancing on a root and grasping for another one to cling to, I was ok and got myself back onto the track. I will never forget than nerve-killing moment.

2012 was also the year when I got malaria for the first – and hopefully the last – time of my life and nearly died. I’ve met the best couch surfing hosts I’ve ever had. I got a bachelor in journalism at the Mid Sweden University, freelanced for radio and magazines, got my heart broken for the first time and I buried my cat who’s been with me for sixteen years. I was homeless and spent five months on couches and mattresses at different friends. I also found a home, a place to which I want to return to after trip after trip.

And thanks to all of you who has read my blog. You who has been with me from the beginning, and you who dropped by during the year. Thank you. Now I look forward to a new year with travels, challenges and friends. Happy new year!

A Malmö-winter

A Malmö-winter

Winter has been here for a week now. At first I thought it would be as always – some snow for a day or two then just a sea of slush – but not this time. It’s been cold. Almost too cold for being the south of Sweden. The ice has been thick and the snow crisp and clean.

Yesterday was Luciadagen (the day of Lucia) and everywhere there were the songs of Lucia and the traditional Luciatåg and Lussebullar and glögg and… traditions. Finally – the christmas feelings are here.