Monday, 29 February 2016

Sun's Dawn, week 4

Monday was work, but we worked fast and got off relatively early. When I arrived at the bus stop afterwards, there came a bus with the sign "not in service", but the driver noticed another driver walking by my bus stop and stopped there, allowing his colleague to ride with him. The driver then asked me where I was going and allowed me to go with them since they were going the same place xD First time riding on a "not in service" bus xD When I got home I watched the new episode of Call the Midwife, as well as some episodes of X-Files.

Tuesday was work and after a really slow day I got home and played Fallout 4, and that's basically it xD

On Wednesday I was free and I spent most of the day playing Fallout 4. But the day ended with new episodes of The Big Bang Theory and The Walking Dead.

Thursday and Friday were both work. But I had some issues with the card terminal on Thursday so that was interesting. Enough to keep me occupied anyway. After work I came home and started playing, you guessed it, more Fallout 4.

On Saturday we had plans, but not before the evening so I spent most of the day playing Fallout 4. After dinner we joined up on Skype with some friends and acquiantances and played Cards Against Humanity for a couple of hours, then we switched to Left 4 Dead 2. Both of which included drinking alcohol so towards the end we weren't especially agile while dodging the zombies xD We finished playing around 3am, but Toni and I didn't get into bed until almost 5am, spending almost 2 hours talking in the sofa, which was incredibly cosy.
Screenshot from the evening

Sunday was spent being hungover. Still, I had to get up early so I could go to bed early the same evening. Spent the first few hours reading my new book, and then started up my first ever game of Fallout Shelter on my phone. Surprisingly good graphics for a phone game. It sort of feels like Banished, but in the Fallout universe. Too bad the game works like a Tamagotchi and demands my attention every time some room has produced something, or a kid is born, or a kid grows up... And my explorers of the Wasteland keep dying because I'm not there to monitor them. But overall everything worked fine in my Vault the last time I checked in on them :P After Toni woke up I went to play some Fallout 4 before bedtime.

And then it was Monday again...

Friday, 26 February 2016

My last 5 books: Horror, sci-fi, and French

The first five books of the year. My promise to myself to use every bit of commuting time to read has payed off somewhat. So here are the last 5 books I've read, starting with the oldest first:

1. Låt den rätte komma in, by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Known abroad as Let the right one in. I'm generally sceptical towards Swedish writers, but this guy has proven me wrong. I couldn't put this book down. It was incredibly gripping. I didn't like that he made so many of the characters sexually or psychologically deviant, though, I guess that has something to do with him trying to make the characters more interesting. Sexual deviance is not necessary for a character to be interesting! I liked Eli a lot more than Oskar, and especially the flashbacks were interesting. The author's take on vampirism was inventive. I have not yet seen the movie, and I'm not sure I will. Movies have a tendency to be bad compared to the book.

2. Himmelstrand, by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Same author. This book was a lot better than Låt den rätte komma in, and it's obvious that his writing has evolved during the years between his first novel (Låt den rätte komma in) and this one. Himmelstrand was haunting and scary in the cosy creepy way. Without actually saying much until the last 150 pages, there's this overwhelming feeling that something is incredibly, terribly wrong. But just as the characters have no idea what has happened, neither do you. I love how the characters span every single version of horror movie characters: The scared ones who completely break down, the ones who become violent in the face of screaming stress, the idiot ones who think they can solve the problem by hunting it, and the ones who just resign themselves to the end and don't really care. I particularly love that the most "evil" character (if you want to use that word) is a 6-year-old. Awesome book! If this is how good his writing has become, I can't wait to read more from him!

3. Andra vägar, by Karin Tidbeck (red).
This is something as rare as a modern-day Swedish anthology of sci-fi. Ten short stories by more or less known Swedish writers fill these pages. Some of them were outrageous and weird, some of them I really liked, and some were just boring - the way things normally are with anthologies. My personal favourites were numbers 5 and 8. Number 5 is Vomb by Jessica Schiefauer about a couple who decides to have a family, by using the new technology called a vomb. The vomb makes it possible for the parents to shift carrying the baby during the pregnancy. Number 8 is Dykplats Lund by Kristina Hård about an evolved human who works in diving beneath the surface of the ocean, which in this distant year of the future has covered much of the ground we live on today.

4. Night Terrors: The Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson.
This author was active during the same years as H.P. Lovecraft, both in the horror/supernatural genre. Unlike Lovecraft Benson didn't create his own mythology of Elder Gods, and his stories mostly concerned the supernatural we know: ghosts, spritis, demons, witches and magic. Another difference is that while Lovecraft was American and most of his stories took place in New England, Benson was British and most of his stories take place in Britain. I originally started reading this book in October 2014, but you have to be in a certain mood to read anthologies and I just wasn't. Now I can't imagine why, because this book was glorious. A few of my favourites were: Caterpillars, The Cat, The Other Bed, The Temple, The Wishing-Well, The Step, The Bath-Chair, and The Sanctuary.

5. Pas si fous, ces Français! by Jean-Benoît Nadeau & Julie Barlow
This book was part of the course literature when I studied French at the university, but we only read snippets from it. I thought it seemed interesting back then and I still do. So when I needed to get into French again to prepare for Cologne, I decided to pick it up again and read it from back to back. Unfortunately I hardly had time to read while in Cologne (20 pages in total during the whole week we were there). I was very relieved when I started reading it and realised I understood practically everything, despite the fact that I had hardly used French for 3 years! So this book is written by two French-Canadians who decide to understand France. They spend 2½ years in France and this book describes what they found. They write through the perspective of North Americans and some of the time I was gaping at the book for something they did in France that I found really weird,  and some of the time I was shrugging like what the hell that's not strange, for something the authors thought was strange, but that we do in Sweden too. It's been a ride, an although this book tried to disprove the notion that France is an elitist country/community I still think it is, but I have gained more of an understanding towards their system. Unfortunately, this book is getting on in years. It was published in 2003 and is thus now more than 10 years old. I'd like to know what the authors would say to everything that has happened in France since 2010.

And that's it for now! Five books, three languages, and three genres.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Sun's Dawn, week 3

It feels like last week went on forever.

On Monday I went to work and everything went smoothly. When I got home I watched the latest episode of Call the Midwife and then some episodes of X-Files. Went to bed before 10pm.

On Tuesday I went up to my new job to call around shops again, this time asking if they had looked at the email we sent and asking if they were at all interested to order. However, after lunch I started feeling weird. I got a headache and then I felt all trembly. So I went home from work early. Spent the evening watching X-Files and reading, and feeling both cold and warm at the same time.

On Wednesday I had called in sick to work and spent the whole day playing Fallout 4. In the evening we watched the new episodes of The Big Bang Theory and The Walking Dead.

On Thursday I felt better but still stayed at home and played more Fallout 4.

Friday-Sunday consisted of first work in the morning and then Fallout 4 in the evening, with some breaks for dinner and some episodes of Grey's Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries and The Originals.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Not all women

I've been trying to get this right for a while, but I'm still not convinced that I got it. The idea for this post was born from my frustration over being represented in a way that's not me. As a woman I am represented by feminism as being scared by men and expecting rape, abuse and miosgyny round every corner. At least that's what it looks like on the surface. That's the loudest words of feminism today. And I know that's not all there is to feminism. I am a feminist. And just like the men of today cry "not all men", I want to stand on my tip-toes and yell from the top of my lungs "not all women"! Because not all women feel that way. That has to be true. Either that's true, or I'm not a woman.

I am not discrediting your truth. I know it's true that a lot of women have experienced rape and abuse and misogyny several times in their lifetimes. But I must also be allowed to express that this is not the ultimate universal truth. There are other truths, that are just as true as the one mentioned above.

And this is my truth.

My truth is that I had passed 20 before I even realised that men and women were sometimes treated differently in Sweden. Until that point I had been convinced that it only happened in other countries. I was convinced that inequality between the sexes had been completely eradicated in earlier decades in Sweden. How could I not see anything earlier, you may ask. Because I never experienced it. Not in Sweden. When I did experience it I was abroad or alcohol was involved. So naturally I blamed the alcohol and the differences in culture/society.

I've been told about a time from before I can remember that when before I went to bed every night I wanted to sit on my dad's motorcycle. Every night. Because of that my parents gave me my own motorcycle: a playmobile one. I was always daddy's girl and no on seemed to think it was weird that it was me, a little girl, who loved camping or being in the woods or having snowball fights with her dad, or rather played with Lego with her dad than played with dolls with her sister. I was the girl who fought against wearing skirts and dresses, while her sister fought against wearing trousers. I was the girl who always preferred to play with boys, and even now I have more guy friends that I meet on a regular basis than I have girl friends. And they don't seem the least perturbed by the fact that I'm not a guy. I can't percieve ever having been treated differently by my guy friends. Ever.

I was the one who started helping out at my dad's work when I was 10 and then started working summers there after 13, and no one even batted an eye when my dad said he wanted me to take over when he was old. He still says that. I'm still refusing.

I grew up with a mother who worked part-time, took care of two small children, and at the same time studied for a Bachelor degree in Economics. She got it and for a time earned more money than my dad, and no one even thought it was weird.

And that's how I was lulled into thinking it didn't exist in Sweden.

I was 12 years old the first time I got cat-called. To be fair my body was mature and I looked at least 15 and the guy saw me from a distance. And this was in Spain. But I remember not being sure whether to be grossed out or happy. I think I chose happy in the end, because already at that time I had pretty much convinced myself that I was ugly and no one would ever look twice at me. And yes, women are more than their bodies, but you're fooling yourselves if you think looks don't matter. It's the first anyone sees and that creates the first impression. First impressions are important.

But I digress...

The first time I was groped I was 19 years old and I was in Japan. Admittedly, Japan has a view of women that is about 60 years out-of-fashion in Sweden, so this time I blamed it on culture and promised myself to never go alone with a random Japanese guy again. But I still wasn't afraid to be out alone in the streets. I didn't look over my shoulder all the time and I didn't grab my house keys in-between my knuckles as a weapon against potential attackers. Why would I? Most men are decent.

The other times I've been groped have been at bars and there's been a lot of alcohol involved. Naturally, I blame the alcohol. I've met some of the groping guys afterwards when they were sober and they were completely horrified by what they had done and apologised profusely. I'm ok with that. Some people can't control their impulses when they're drunk. Note that I said people, not men. Because the same goes for women.

I may have been blind to the sexism in Sweden. But I still can't pretend that I notice it. Because I don't. At all. Even at 25 I don't notice it. You'd think if the sexism was so widespread people would start telling me to have children and get married. No one does. You'd think if the sexism was so widespread people would tell me that I'd look prettier if I only tried a little. No one does. You'd think if the sexism was so widespread guys would stare until their eyes fell out when I go to the bar in a lowcut, short dress. But they don't. Because most guys are decent and nice.

I can't help but wonder where you girls hang out, if this happens to you so many times that you actually start to expect it from every guy you meet.

I'm not sure if I managed to say everything I've been thinking about. But this is my truth. My truth is that I'm misrepresented by feminism. I don't fear men. I don't hate men. I don't fear misogyny. If it even happens to me I ignore it until it dies. Because what kills a flame faster than no kindle?

So what does it mean that I haven't been subjected to these things that apparantly "all men" do? That I'm undesireable? That my body isn't hot enough for guys to want to touch it or comment it or rape it? Or does it mean that I'm lucky? Lucky to have escaped it. Or does it mean that this thing is blown completely out of proportion, at least in Sweden?

All I know is that I am a person.
Every woman is a person.
Just like every man is a person.
If we are going to become equal, this is what we need to realise.
Stop differentiating between men and women.
Know that everything you fear about men, women do too.
But when women do it, it doesn't get politicised.

This is my truth. And I just want to say: not all women.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Game completed: Fallout: New Vegas + DLCs

Today I completed New Vegas and it's been quite the ride! From the first go it worked a lot better than Fallout 3, there were a few times when the game froze, but that can happen to the best of them and in this case it was nothing game-breaking.

This game was weird. There was so much crazy involved I sort of started to wonder what the devs were on while making this game :P

So for the main quest I was shot in the head, patched up again, and then chased after the guy who shot me all the way to New Vegas where I paid my way through the front gates. I found the guy, Benny, and making use of my perk Black Widow I seduced him into sleeping with me and then I killed him in his sleep :P And then I started working with Yes Man.

Choosing which side to ultimately side with was hard. On my way to New Vegas I initially helped the NCR, but when I got to New Vegas I thought Yes Man was adorable. I killed House and got the Platinum Chip back and then I was tasked to go find Caesar's Legion. Talking to them, what they wanted to do kind of made sense, although the rest of the Mojave area were making them out as the ultimate bad guys, so for a while there I was inclined to help the Legion. But after running around making sure to complete every side quest and every unmarked quest available I soon was left with very bad rep with the Legion. And in the end I liked the idea of running the show myself more than I liked the idea of the NCR taking over. So I forced the Legion to leave and threw the NCR general from a tower and then I ruled the Mojave and New Vegas alongside Yes Man.

Out of all the random NPCs I liked the female supermutants the most. I loved Tabitha and Lily. And although I ran out of time to help Lily, since I picked her up late and couldn't bring her with me for the DLCs I did love how the end turned out for Tabitha. Out of all the side quests my favourites were partly the one to help the ghouls get on a rocket and find their home somewhere beyond the stars, and also the one where I helped the Boomers lift an old fighter plane from the bottom of a lake and made their collective dream to fly a reality.

One of my least favourite side quests was the one in the Thorn where I had to go pick up eggs from different creatures so that they had creatures to raise for their gladiator games. One of the eggs I had to pick up were Deathclaw ones. I chose to do that at the quarry, but I soon realised that I was sort of under-leveled for that quest. But I pushed on and I found a spot on top of the digging machines where the Deathclaws couldn't reach me because they were too big and from the top of the digging machine I used my grenade launcher to slowly bomb them to death. It took a while, but it was fun to watch their health bars slowly decrease. When I got all the different eggs to the quest giver she rewarded me with sex xD

And then there were the DLCs. Usually with Bethesda the DLCs are way more epic than the main game. That was not the case this time. Separately the DLCs felt very meh. But when I had completed all of them I realised that a bigger story was unravelled and that they all fit together. Somehow it all started with the old leader of the Brotherhood of Steel, Elijah. He found himself at Big Mountain, at the Big Empty. There he heard of the Sierra Madre casino and all the riches supposedly hidden within. He went there and then lured others into helping him crack into the casino's vault. (That DLC was seriously annoying; a killing cloud, ghost people that you can't kill unless you chop them to pieces, and you're wearing a bomb collar that blows your head off if you're standing too close to a radio or a speaker.) I'm not sure of the chronology of the other courier. He was at the Big Empty at the same time as Elijah, but he was also in Zion, and then he lured my char into the Divide for the ultimate showdown. The DLCs were all connected in a way that I found beautiful. Finding the urban legend of the Legion, The Burned Man, alive in Zion was also pretty cool. I helped him in the end to create a genocide for the White Legs, so that the other two tribes could stay in Zion, rather than to force evacuate them. I felt the other tribes would be better off staying where they were. All in all the DLCs were not as impressive as in Fallout 3. My favourite DLC was Old World Blues in the Big Empty, because the whole DLC was tripping balls xD

Something I missed in New Vegas compared to 3 was all the crazy Vaults. In 3 all the Vaults had pretty much gone bad and you never knew what you'd find once you entered. In New Vegas there was really only one such Vault, number 22 where spores from the plants they were experimented on infected all the inhabitants and transformed them into spore carriers. The place was also full of carnivorous plants. This vault, however, showed up referenced in two of the DLCs: the origin of the spore plants was the biological research institute at the Big Empty, and it also showed up in Zion where you find an exploration party murdered by one spore carrier and the area infested with several carnivorous plants.

This game was summed up on Tumblr better than I ever could. So if you're wondering if the level of weirdness is as hilarious as I hint toward, then just read these to get confirmation:

I can definitely see myself replaying this game several times, if not only to see what the ending will be like if I choose to side with Mr. House, the Legion or the NCR.

Sun's Dawn, week 2

This week has been busy and next week will be even busier. Hardly any time or energy to read or play games :(

Monday I got out of bed at 4am and went to work. Things went wrong, packing was too slow, not enough of some ingredients and had to wait for more etc, and I ended up with overtime. I was home around 5.30pm at which point I made dinner and then watched the new episode of Call the Midwife and a couple of episodes of X-Files, before falling asleep around 9pm.

Tuesday I got out of bed at 6 am and went for my first day of work at my dad's friends' company that I picked up in Cologne. I spent the whole day on the phone, calling shops and supermarkets asking if I could send them an email of the company's seasonal wares for this Easter. All that phone time was hard on my poor head, and my energy was far from on top. When I got home I watched some more episodes of X-Files and then went to sleep around 9pm again.

Wednesday was also work and pretty much the same as Tuesday, with the slight change that I also got to send some of said emails, rather than just calling up and asking if they were interested in recieveing that email. I got home around 6.30pm and Toni, who had most of the day off, made us dinner. He went away to his night-shift around 8pm and I started playing The Sims 4. I went to bed around midnight.

I had the day off on Thursday and started it out with sleeping. I got out of bed around 1pm and almost immediately started playing Fallout: New Vegas. It's back on again! In the evening we had sushi and then later crisps and dip and watched the third Hobbit movie. I went to bed around midnight.

Friday was work again so I got out of bed at 7am. And then made my way to Stockholm for work at the tourist agency. It was a decent day, though it snowed all day. When I got home at 1.30pm I helped Toni clean the flat, and after dinner I played some more Fallout: New Vegas.

On Saturday we got up around 11am. I started playing Fallout almost immediately, with short breaks to get ready for going out. At 4pm we were picked up by a friend and then went to Stockholm to watch the Deadpool movie. It was amazing! And for the rest of the evening we kept quoting the movie. When we got back to the flat we had a short pre-party with a friend and then we got a taxi to a new rock bar in town. It was very small, but very cosy and the atmosphere was amazing. Especially after midnight when the DJ really went with classic rock songs that everybody knew and it was full on dance on tables, air-guitars, and everybody singing along. Great evening.

Today I got up relatively early so I can be tired tonight and go to bed in time. All I have planned today is Fallout.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Sun's Dawn, week 1

This week has been very out of the ordinary.

On Monday to Thursday I was in Cologne in Germany, working for one of my dad's friends' company at ISM, the largest international fair for confectionary companies in the world. I mostly spent my time presenting the company's specialities in English (and terrible French) to potential customers, as well as interpreting between the boss and international customers as his English isn't very good. Every day was work between 9am and 6pm and after that we usually rushed to the hotel to freshen up and then meet up with friends at a restaurant for dinner, which later led to a night out, which in turn led to too little sleep. But it was a lot of fun! Over the years I've heard my dad talk about this week in Cologne, and to finally go to the places and meet the people was a lot of fun. I think I also managed to pick up another substitute job for one of the Swedish companies there. They are based just outside Stockholm and have been friends with my dad for years.

Friday I spent going home. I took the bus to Malmö at 11am, got on my long-distance train at 12.11pm, arrived in Södertälje at 4.18pm and came home around 5pm. I spent the evening unpacking, as well as watching new episodes of Call the Midwife, The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. I also started up a new game of The Sims 4, I'm hoping to recreate my family from The Sims 2 there, so as to make the transition finally complete. But the lack of cheats in The Sims 4 still feels weird. I'm literally a god in The Sims 2, but that feeling is slightly diminished in The Sims 4.

Saturday I went to work at the tourist agency and when I got home I watched two more new episodes of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, as well as played more The Sims 4.

Sunday was also work at the tourist agency and afterwards I lounged around in the bed at home and read one of my current books. I didn't manage to finish either of them on my way home, in the end. But still being sleep deprived after the week in Cologne and having done no real catching up on my sleep since coming back to Sweden, I fell asleep for an hour there. After dinner I just watched some old X-Files episodes and then went to sleep around 8.30pm. Sundays are always early nights due to Mondays starting at 4am.

Song on my brain

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Travelling: Germany 2016 day 6

The breakfast buffet at the hotel in Walsrode started at 6.30am and we went there five minutes later, which meant getting up even earlier than usual. They didn't have honeydew melon, but I could have salmon on my sandwich, which totally made up for it! After breakfast we repacked our bags, checked out and continued drivning north on the autobahn.  I fell asleep after a while.

The time was a little over 10am when we arrived at Fleggaard outside of Puttgarden for a bit of cheap shopping. Alcohol shopping. Alcohol is cheaper abroad than in Sweden, but candy is more expensive abroad than in Sweden. The candy thing is due to the EU having implemented a sugar tax, which Sweden could get out of.

When our shopping was done we got on the ferry from Puttgarden in Germany to Rødby in Denmark. It's a short ride: only 50 minutes. They are talking about building another bridge there but with all the border trouble nowadays that will probably be postponed. It was almost 11am when we got on the ferry and so we decided to get an early lunch.

When we left the boat we happened upon an ID control on the border, but we were let through without having to show. Either it was the Swedish car or we just didn't look like refugees. Probably the last.

It was only 2 hours left to Sweden and I spent most of the time on Facebook. Thanks to having Telia it costs the same in the Nordic and in the Baltics as in Sweden :)

I always enjoy crossing the bridge between Sweden and Denmark. It feels symbolic somehow, seeing my home rise out of the distance. It's like a transition. We arrived in my home town of Svedala outside of Malmö about 1.30pm. We unpacked the car and went to pick up the dog from the neighbour. He's been babysitting her during the day when we were in Germany and my mum at work. She was very happy to see us, and almost immediately my black clothes were covered in her white hairs xD

I'm staying at my parents place tonight and then I take the train home tomorrow. It's been fun, but I'm looking forward to coming home. Boyfriend, own bed, computer... In that order.

Tonight my dad is meeting with an Estonian guy who buys from him and then sells in the Baltics and Russia. So work is not entirely over, the way I see it.

And for some reason my laptop can't find my parents' new wi-fi. I had it on on my phone so I knew it worked, but my laptop couldn't find it, so I had to buy my train ticket via my phone (which is a hustle but I've done it before so it's alright), and now I'm doing this post on my phone. I've never liked blogging via my phone, though I've had the app forever. I think it's mostly due to the fact that a computer's keyboard is a lot more comfortable to type long things on than any phone's.

Now I'll return to my books. Hopefully I'll finish one of them by the time I'm home tomorrow :)

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Travelling: Germany 2016 day 5

Honeydew melon was back for breakfast today! :D After breakfast we took all our things and brought them with us to the fair venue. There we deposited our things in the car and then went to work.

Yesterday I had managed to convince my dad to consider Japanese products so we went to visit the big company that would hardly even acknowledge me when I was there alone. But now we pretended that Dad, although he was the CEO, was very bad at English so I did all the talking :) We were met by a woman who politely listened to me and then when she thought it seemed interesting she brought two more representatives. By the end of our talks where I provided all the information about our company and Dad only asked questions in Swedish and I translated, we were given a big bag of samples to try along with a promise to keep in touch and find out more about cross-continent trading and requirements. The company is a really big conglomerate and has an office in many Southeast asian countries, so none of the representatives we talked with were Japanese so no Japanese for me :/ Afterwards we also went to take a look at the smaller company I talked with yesterday. There was another girl there now and we spoke English, although she was Japanese. My dad was allowed to try their nori snacks and their matcha sweets, and while he didn't really enjoy the nori ones (which I liked) he really liked the matcha ones (which I don't). By the end we got a few samples from that company as well. My dad seems really keen on the idea. In the beginning of the fair, last week, I had pitched the idea for him to go and look at the American companies, but he didn't seem that interested in them when he returned. It seems to be the total opposite with the Japanese companies, and that makes me very happy! :)

The fair itself was really slow today, not many visitors until just after lunch, about 2pm, when they let the ordinary people in and they grabbed just about every piece of confectionary that was not nailed down. I understand why they're called "the locusts" xD Those of us working in the Swedish area did manage to grab some things from each other before the locusts took everything, so now I have a nice bag filled with sweets :3 Now I don't have to buy anything for the train ride home on Friday xD

Although the official ending time was 6pm, we called it quits at 3.30pm. The halls were mostly empty except for workers and we saw no reason to hang around any longer. So we said goodbye to our friends (they were also leaving) and went to the car.

After about 3 hours on the autobahn we arrived at a small place called Walsrode. I haven't seen much since it's dark outside, but it seems to be in the middle of the woods. There is a hotel here that we're staying at for tonight. My dad stayed here when going home from Cologne last year. They hardly speak any English here, though, which makes it all very interesting. Faster wi-fi here, though! :D

Tomorrow afternoon we'll be back in Sweden.
The beginning of "the locusts"

Travelling: Germany 2016 day 4

Got up at 7am as per usual and went to have breakfast at the buffet. They were out of honeydew melon so I had to improvise :P

Work was kind of slow today, but because of that I did find the time to go visit the three Japanese companies that were there. The first one I went to was a small one and it was the first time they were there. The woman who approached me when I showed interest in their wares was very relived and excited when I knew Japanese, and we talked for a while about Japan and my studies and differences in candy in Japan and Europe. It was a lot of fun :) After that I went to look for the second small company, but they only sold cakes and nothing I found really interesting so I didn't stop there. Then I went to look up the big one. Turned out I already knew them when I went there, I recognised most of their products. But they were a big company with a big corner and had a no BS kind of attitude so I didn't get to talk with them. However, I did talk my dad into considering Japanese candy so we are going to go there together tomorrow and talk to them, and see if we can find something interesting that may work in Sweden. I'm excited! :D

After work we went quickly back to the hotel and changed clothes and freshened up and then we met up with some people at the Dominikaner, before going to a dinner we were invited to by another set of people. It was a fancy Italian restaurant, and while most of the other picked some sort of fish, I went with octopus and it was delicious :3 After dinner we went to Haxenhaus and ordered 1 metre of beer. When that was done, we did another metre. Then we went to Papa Joe's again for one more beer. I love Papa Joe's :3

Now it's time for packing and then sleeping, but first some pictures from the day!

Sign at Papa Joe's: "Every day without beer is a health risk"

1 metre of beer, anyone?

My dinner at the Italian place! Octopus!

This cathedral is friggin epic!

Monday, 1 February 2016

Travelling: Germany 2016 day 3

Today has been busy. Got up at 7am for hotel breakfast buffet and then went a little extra early to the fair venue. We were there around 8.30am. Both dad and the boss had several meetings planned from 9am to lunch time, so I was mostly left to my own devices at the counter. It went mostly well. The boss had his meetings in our corner so he was within asking distance if a customer had a question I couldn't answer. One of the people I talked to today was French. The first thing he asked was if I knew French and I said a little. He stated his business in French and I completeled blanked out and had no idea what he said. He noticed and we continued our conversation in English. I added some French words when I remembered them and I understood everything he translated into French to his two associates. Of course, after they had left I remembered how to say everything I had needed to say in French. Maybe I'll get another chance tomorrow.

From 10am to 4pm we had an almost steady stream of potential clients and so I didn't have time to realise how tired my muscles got after standing up for so long. Keeping busy to avoid feeling weary is always good, the problem is when you stop being busy and feel everything at the same time. At 5pm my dad left for a mingle party in the other end of the fair venue (the size of this thing is like 22 football (soccer) fields, I've been told), and just before 6pm the boss went too. They both said they wouldn't be long and probably would be back shortly after the fair closed at 6pm. At 6.15pm I called my dad and asked if they were on their way. They weren't and Dad told me to get over there. I left our stuff by our coats in the storage room of the Swedish area, and went down to their mingle party. We stayed there for about 30 minutes. I didn't mingle much. I didn't have much to contribute to their talks of B2B, shipments, weights, pallets, etc.

When we left it turned out we'd get an early night tonight. The people we had been out with yesterday and had planned on going out with again tonight were still tired after last night and cancelled our plans. Just as well, getting some more hours of sleep is sorely needed. So after a quick and cheap dinner at KFC we went back to our hotel. I took a long, relaxing shower (great for my weary muscles) and then read some in my French book. I understand everything I read and hear, I just have problems finding the words when I'm supposed to construct the sentences.

Now it's sleepy time anyway.
The slogan at the Swedish area

Morning star, week 4

What a week!

On Monday I went to work as usual, but I was deadly tired, and when they asked me to stay behind to work for a little while longer I felt like crying from exhaustion. But it all went well. When I got home I played some Dragon Age: Inquisition and watched a new episode of Call the Midwife and some episodes of classic Doctor Who. I fell alseep around 9pm.

I woke up after 14 hours of sleep and almost immediately started playing Fallout: New Vegas. Toni had the night shift this day so I played long into the night.

Wednesday was spent gaming, preparing for travel, and watching the last episode of Heroes Reborn and the three last episodes of Under the Dome. Kind of glad to have Under the Dome out of the way, and although the series was cancelled before the proper ending arrived, the last episode of season three really felt like an ending either way, so it was kind of satisfying.

On Thursday I went up early to catch the train to Malmö. Because of some problems north of Stockhom every single train going from Stockholm was delayed. First I had some trouble getting to the train station from which the long distance trains go, and then my train was delayed. But I caught it in time, and managed to get to my parents place not too late. Went to bed farily early.

On Friday I got up around noon and then I had breakfast and read some before my dad came and picked me up and went around some errands to fix things before going to Germany. Around 8pm we were picked up and then we went to the ferry.

For what happened on Saturday and Sunday read the respective posts from Germany :) I've had a blast so far!

Travelling: Germany 2016 day 2

The day started at 7am when we went down for the hotel breakfast buffet. I could eat honeydew melon for life. Then we went to the fair venue and started work. It went well. I had no reason to worry about French and Japanese, no people with those languages as preference came around, but I did manage to make some contacts in English. This job is different from what I've done before. Before I've sold wares to customers who approached me, now it's my job to make them want to approach me. So I need to hand out sample bags and brochures and hope that they want to hand over their company card and make contact. It worked alright, but I'm told there will be more people tomorrow and on Tuesday. Still I had a blast. It was a lot of fun, the people are a big part of it. Everyone were so accomodating and friendly, most of them already knew my dad so I went along for the ride and got to know all of them.

After lunch I went with my dad to meet Vidal. They are his main distributor and very friendly. They are based in Spain and the contact we met today was also the contact that we went to dinner with when we were in Spain last spring. After the meeting we were invited for some tapas behind the scenes, and it was delicious. Afterwards we went around looking for new potential customers, and then we went back to our corner in the Swedish pavillion section of the European area. After a little while the fair closed and we went back to our hotel, before going out to have a beer at Haxenhaus and then dinner at Löwenbräu next door. After a delicious dinner we went across the street to Papa Joe's jazz club and had a blast. Now it's time for sleep, but first some pictures from the day.

Dawn. This is the view from my hotel window. Good morning, Colgone!

Going back to the hotel from the fair venue. This cathedral is immense! And so beautiful I can't stop looking at it whenever I walk past it - which is often.  

I've heard of hamburger and pizza candy, wanna try sushi candy?!

The inside of Papa Joe's :) Such a cosy atmosphere!

The live band at Papa Joe's!

January favourites 2016

January has felt like an eternity. Most of the time it's been cold as fuck. But here goes, some January favourites.

Books: I've read four books in January. The only reason I managed that many was because I decided I should read every day on the train to work, that's a total of 80 minutes reading a day, and it has worked surprisingly well. My favourite book, must be Himmelstrand by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Horror in the middle Swedish summer. It was fabulous.

Music: Too many favourites to choose from this month. So many days going to and from work ended up giving me a lot of tracks. But this is it, I think.
• Black Veil Brides - "Wretched and Divine"

• In This Moment - "Out of Hell"

• Lordi - "Something Wicked This Way Comes"

• Lovendor - "Ikujinashi"

• miwa - "Hikari e (English Version)"

• SPICA - "You Don't Love Me"

• Steam Powered Giraffe - Cellophane

• Street Drum Corps - Happy Christmas

• Morning Musume - "TIKI-BUN"

Games: It's been Fallout all month. First Fallout 3 and then Fallout: New Vegas. I did also start a new playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition one Monday when I wanted to play something but was too tired to play something that actually demanded my concentration. DAI worked well in that respect since I've played it so many times I know it by heart. But favourite game of this month has to be Fallout: New Vegas.

TV shows: This month I've watched Classic Doctor Who, New Who Xmas Sp, Call the Midwife, Heroes Reborn, The Big Bang Theory, Under the Dome, Da Vinci's Demons, and Rederiet. Favourite show from this month has to be Da Vinci's Demons. It was a little slow to get into, but by the latter half I couldn't stop watching!

Other things: Went to Germany for work!