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.)


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.

Back to work.

So, I’ve got one week of work this month. One week of scheduled work that is for a company other than my own. It feels good to have someone telling me when to be working and when not to, when I work for myself it’s often hard to stay focused and it can be hard noticing any progress until an e-mail pops into the mailbox saying “Yes! We are interested and want to buy your article about slavery in Mauritania.” To get there takes a lot of time.

Today’s focuses has been on the meter maids that’s gonna start strolling down the streets of Broby, making people parking their cars on the trottoirs pay. Today has also been about the two year old girl who is threatened by deportation to France – despite the fact her real mother is gone. The young girl is currently living with a foster family here and rumors say her biological mother is threatened. Now the rumors say a lot, and we had some difficulties finding out the truth today. What is really going on? The whole media world of Sweden has been working on the case for the past four or five days.

Friday is my last day or work and after that I will check out my possibilities of going to Jordan next month, or perhaps December.


“There you are! Jean-Paulo said he lost you, again” my friend Francesco said as he came up to me in the tram. I had taken a “free hugs” sign and ran after the little group from the flashmob emerging towards the subway. I met some new friends and the three of us departed from the group as we arrived at the right station from where the trams would take us through Milan. But we needed something to drink first.

I keep getting surprised when I’m outside of Sweden every shop sell alcohol. We went inside a normal supermarket and got water, soda and liquor. Then we mixed some drinks before running towards the tram. Though there was no need to run; this is Italy. The tram left an hour later and with music pumping loud, people screaming, sweat dripping and the mood on top we danced our way across Milan in the two trams hired by the couch surfing team.

I’m afraid we missed both the flashmob and the giving away free hugs though, it was two of three things I looked forward to the most this weekend. Next year perhaps.

On a shoestring

With my bag filled with sandwiches I’m ready for a heavily low-budget and super-party weekend in Milan. It’s a gathering of over a hundred couch surfers celebrating the 6th  meeting in Milan. There’s gonna be a flashmob, tram party and who knows what else.
Bye bye Sweden and Bring it weekend!

Though, at the airport I realized I might be a little too excited for this weekend. Despite the train being half an hour late, I still arrived at the airport over two hours early. A cup of tea and very many very small and slow sips later there was just an hour left. Now Kastrup isn’t the most exciting airport ever, rather the opposite. To do when inside the security gates: shopping, shopping, fika, shopping, food, shopping….. Sure fika is a big interest of mine, but it’s simply too expensive to make more than a half time here. And half a fika isn’t that much of an interest of mine. Can’t we just speed up the clocks a little?

Criminal charges

A quick update. In Germany the police said we could either report the man to the police in Switzerland Or in Sweden. In Sweden the police said “you can make a report but nothing will happen, we won’t do anything about it.” So I sent an e-mail to the police in Switzerland, asking if I could report the whole thing to them via e-mail.

They replied:
“You must submit a criminal charges at the Swedish police (with the photo of the car and the number of the car). The Swedish police must then make a request for the ascertaining for the unknown car- driver to Switzerland (Interpol). Then comes the Inquiry to the police of Canton Solothurn and we answer back to the Swedish police. Then make the Swedish police a criminal charges against the car- driver. Finally, comes the lawsuit to Switzerland on our court.”

I will now print the e-mail and walk back to the Swedish police. Why must this be so difficult?

This divided world

”Ten writers won’t make Sweden overpopulated, it’s half empty anyway” he said. “But Sweden and Norway are great at supporting writers, so don’t misunderstand me. I’m just pointing out a few cases.”
I was in the audience at the Malmö Exile Forum 2012, speaking was Ghias Aljundi from Syria. He is working for Pen International for freedom of expression with the focus on the Middle East and North Africa. Today was about the writers who live in exile, what it is like to be a writer living in exile and how to tackle the issue with writers having to escape their home countries and start a new life in a new country with new way of life. How can a journalist from Syria or Bahrain keep her audience and her name in a whole new society? As one of the writers said: “I didn’t lose my audience. I regained them by facebook.”

As we sat in the room the terms “west” and “the rest of the world” kept on appearing. I got sick of the division we always make of the world, why can’t we all just be one? It’s always this “us” and “them”. I feel not as many answers were given today as questions were asked. But the discussion is up and will keep on going.

And I grabbed the opportunity and will go to Jordan to meet Syrian writers hiding in their neighboring country. When? I don’t know, as soon as I can. With a new course in photography starting this week my time is limited though.