Christmas travel, Sheikh travel

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Christmas was spent in Stockholm, mostly at my moms or her partners place, until they took of for Florida. New this year is that Sara and Tura tagged along, and my brother once again proved his worth in child-entertainer gold. Since Kungsängen is a space-out zone and I revert into a teenage sloth when in its proximity, I didn’t even get to record much video. This is the excuse for not showing the exchange of gifts or stuffing of faces with foods, in the video above. I do beg your pardon.

I bought Sara lightbulbs for Christmas, she bought us a trip to Sharm el Sheikh — Seems a fair trade. So now we’re hoping that we won’t get sick (well, sicker) so that I can get a refresher diving course and Sara can snorkel to her hearts delight. Last time I had a chance to SCUBA was in Hawaii and I got a perfectly timed cold which precluded anything more vigorous than walking, and it would suck whaleballs if that happened again. So I’m eating vitamins and drinking my required glass of red wine a day — even being ambitious and overdoing it a bit, just to be sure.

It looks as though New Years Eve is spent at least partially at our place, which is a great motivator for tidying the place up; one more example of how my priorities have gone all pear- and bourgeois-shaped lately. No, but seriously, it’s gonna be fun. Really, I’m looking forward to having people over leaving popcorn in the dip, spritzer in my keyboard and the bookshelf de-alphabetized. Happy New Years!

Vacation revisited: Poland

So, just the other day when I and Sara got back from our two week vacation in Poland, I thought I’d put up a short post with a video of the trip. No less than one and a half month later, here it is! We flew to Warsaw, stayed with my dads family there, then off to Kraków, Sanok, Polańczyk and then home by way of Warsaw again.

There are many “firsts” with Sara, and travelling with a girlfriend through my childhood vacation memories was another, very pleasant, one. As a kid I relied on being led, fed and amused by parents and other adults, and now an adult myself (34 being the age at which you’re no longer considered a teenager in Sweden) and sort of responsible for navigating for the two of us, it’s both empowering and odd having to make sense of buss tables and booking hotels. I’m not used to it, is what I mean to say, but it all went well with nary a fuckup.

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Polish food was a hit, and Kraków had some good local cousine in vegan variety as well. As a rule, I am weary of the places which marked themselves as “vegan fusion” as too often you’ll get soulless food modelled on what the chef imagined would look the most holistic with little regard for taste. Culinarily I don’t approve of being lumped together with people who wear their chakra on their sleave, so once we found Café Młynek, with their potato pancakes and breakfast platter, I overate catastrophically once and overspend the other times we ate there.

Even though not vegan, the remaining milk bars in Poland are as campy and wonderful as I remember them, and both pierogi and żurek were things I promised Sara we’d learn how to make once we got home.

A feature which I don’t recall from childhood were all the arachnids; The whole country was covered by spiders, big spiders, and from Warsaw to Polańczyk we kept taking pictures with our fingers perilously close for measurement. Perhaps they were to thank for the utter lack of mosquitos, but if I’d have had a phobia the whole trip would’ve been a nightmare. I don’t kid, there were spiders hiding behind the spiders even.

In Sanok, my city of birth, we stayed with my aunt Barbara. She got one of her friends to guide us by car through the countryside to show some of the more interesting Eastern Orthodox churches left, and the oldest one we saw was also the most spectacular, or at least it’s location; it was a good ten minute climb to get up there, and just imagining how people hundred years ago would have had to make the trek up there in the dark of winter for christmas mass, or on any rainy Sunday, painted a very vivid image.

Beksiński also had the good taste of being born in Sanok, and we visited the new wing of the museum dedicated to the works donated after his murder. For the first time I also spent some time with the orthodox icons and iconostasis at display, learning the difference between Hodigitrian and Eleusan icons of Mary and the child Christ.

Along with the museum, a lot of the infrastructure has been improved in the city. The main square has been dolled up, and each evening we’d see wedding photographers shooting one bridal couple after another by the colourful fountains and lit façades.

We visited Polańczyk for one night and it was far less lively than it used to be. Perhaps it was a question of timing, or perhaps the small village at the foot of the Carpathians has seen a shift towards family vacationing, but bars started closing around eleven. We stayed in one of the multi-storied sanitaria which were the original tourist trade, and what ten years ago was slightly warmed over communist brutalism, now had been restored into something between kitch and living museum. They are sanataria in the classic sense, offering a multitude of treatments, diets, analyses and soothing walks in the forest. One of them even offered cryotherapy chamber therapy, which means you spend a couple of minutes in a room at -150°C. It’s supposed to have rejuvenating qualities, but unfortunately they only do it once a day and we were too late to join the group.

The sanatoria are immensely popular, and while we were trying to get a room walking in off the street, one of the places had no vacancies for the next six months. So I’m proposing to get a bunch of people together next summer, book a two week stint at one of these sanatoria, and freeze our balls off in the beautiful Carpathians.

My first vacation as an adult went swimmingly. Now that I know that I can do it, I want to go again.

The co-habitation equation

So, anyway. Last couple of months have been eventful.

I’ve moved in with Sara and Tura in our own apartment. For the first time in forever I have my own name on the door and actually live where I am registered. Beside everything else, it’s a good feeling to be able to greet neighbours without wondering who will start asking questions about when you moved in and if you’re subletting legally. Besides the everyday hassle of arranging to pay bills in someone elses name, and getting the mailman to deliver your post, it’s grating to constantly be nervous that something might break which you won’t be able to fix yourself and can’t call a super about.

We’ve already called the super over twice, and actually getting a busted bathroom tap repaired within a day is a surreal experience. Renting an apartment feels good. Of course, there are some minor issues. For example, since only Sara is on the contract, the super put up only her name on the door. Apparently it’s policy, and besides he couldn’t be arsed to get over here with a Dymo to print a new label. So I bought a Dymo and now have a fancy label on the door, set in a “hollow, italic, fat, border” style, which says “S. Henriksson & M. Pozar.” Yes, I’ll be posting a picture as soon as I’m done admiring it. There’s another option for the styling on the Dymo, a wide papyrus scroll, and I’ll have to see which one is more classy.

Petter showed up with the kids last week and we had the first “guests over for dinner” event, and just the other day Carl-Johan dropped by for lunch, so we’ve checked “someone just casually stopping by” on the todo-list as well. We’re going to throw a housewarming party or somesuch as soon as we have the “somewhere to sit” issue resolved, but so long as we keep to a manageable number of visitors at any given time, we’re open for business.

Unless I’ve explicitly told you to fuck off, we have a standing blood feud, or I owe you lots of money, consider this an invitation to drop by at any time for tea, coffee, beans or wine (bring wine). Look me up in the book, I’m listed at my own adress, dontcha know.

Christmas and cohabitation.

The holidays passed with little fanfare, I spent them in Stockholm with the closest family at hand and the rest at Skype distance. Mom isn’t her full self at the moment, and the dinners were slightly less elaborate than the five course meals we usually make. I rediscovered how much work goes into making the potatoe-dumplings, which I wolf down by the dozens. Christmas Day I and Tomasz joined in the public celebration of the birth of beer, and sat with Admas in a bar and discussed ambitions, and fashion, and then I think I had Calvados?

On a recommendation from Miss Walker I visited Tevere, a bakery which also carries vegan pizza. Rather on the expensive side, but the pizzas were awesome both times I ate there.

New Years day was spent at the gym with Sara, where I nearly passed out. I can only assume that my body shut down out of fear that I would become too fit and muscular. In the evening a bunch of us gathered at Petters new place. We saw the fireworks over Hissingen skyline, although I saw most of it through the viewfinder, being concerned with capturing it. Next year I’d like to be somewhere where the explosions can actually be felt. It’s well know that arrhythmia heightens ones appreciation of sparkling things.

Andreas visited for a short while, and then he left for New York — or as it’s henceforth known: Nävvan. I’m still working on the mixtape he’s getting for birthday. I’ll have to make up for it by making it really good, and perhaps actually sending him a magnetic tape. I have half a sack of those just waiting for coming to use…

And speaking of having a bunch of old stuff laying around, I’m trying to getting rid of as much of it as possible, as we’re moving in together. This is momentous and exciting, and a first for me. We’re already discussing wall colours and such, and my suggestions of stripes the colours of a 1920 ice-cream stand have met with tacit approval. Perhaps it’s not so much approval as acceptance and stoic suffering; “Enduring love” as it were. Or perhaps it’s just an understanding that I talk a lot and will likely have changed my mind before we move in.

I’m moving out of my place as soon as possible and have hopefully already found a taker, and we’re moving into our new place beginning of March. This is going to be an exciting spring! I’m gonna Sawyer y’all into plastering and painting walls, so you might as well start digging out your coveralls. I’ll consider offering light snacks and coffee to sweeten the deal even further. But before we get to that, there’s the whole “moving” thing. You’ll be happy to know that you’re welcome for that as well, as there’s no end of the enjoyment my friendship offers.

Exfoliating hate using super-reality.

I have no pictures of the weekend before midsummer because my skills failed me. Or in more practical terms: I relaxed the crap out of myself and couldn’t be arsed to take pictures. Sara, I and Petter left for the countryside for a couple of days, staying at his cottage an hour north of Gothenburg. I slept until late noon, had a breakfast consisting of more than oats, and then sat with a coffee on the porch, forcing my way through the shittier parts of the Nights Dawn trilogy.

The whole experience was such a sensory overload of idyllic post-card super-reality it had me giggling. It’s difficult to take such an experience seriously. It’s not only that I’m slightly high-strung and can’t really relax properly, but also because reading a book for five hours straight is something so unproblematic by body doesn’t know what to do with itself. This hasn’t happened since I was a teenager, and since then relaxing into a book has been rather more difficult.

Had Bambi showed up and fallen asleed in my lap it wouldn’t have made the place and experience any less extreme. This kind of existence is what is allured to when advertising a product which is supposed to appeal to a sense of Sweden. Only the hangover on Sunday reminded me of home, but even that was soothed by wind, water and dozing off on the porch.

Apparently, my cracking knuckles found their way into Saras snoozing. I would make for a really poor ninja, but we knew that already. Polish people aren’t ninjas, we dress in fur hats and kill people from horseback. Failing that, we charm our friends into helping us in the garden.

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Change begins with you and your cellphone.

Ring signals intended for cellphones capable of using mp3-files; Submit yourself and your surroundings to what I present to you here. Download, load up and get down, with the following sound:

Download all of the sounds in one, handy, 1.5 MB file: Ring signals 2 (Previously)

How would you like it?


You shine… (hearing voices remix)


Pscha — guide to Polish pronounciation.


Vocabulary extension: Abash.


P.M means after lunch.


20 second attack and fade.