Summer time in Sweden & 9 weeks to go !

8611_10151657421418890_2076113745_nSummer in Sweden is the nicest time of the year in this country, so it is a little ironic that all students leave for travelling and going home since they made it through the ever-grey and dark Swedish winter and when it finally gets nice they leave.
I did that last year as well but this year I enjoy some parts of summer here and so far it has been really nice and full of interesting moments; some of them I’ll tell you about, some I’ll keep to myself after all this is a public blog and not a diary… ūüėČ

I finished reading my book ( I wrote about it in my last post) and I have to say again it was really good. I found another expression in the book ,again by the main character’s grandma, which stayed in my mind; She said everyone’s life is like a carpet which is woven by hand with many different kind of strings. Some really rough and thick , some really thin or soft , some with dark colours, some with bright and warm colours. Everything what happens to you is woven into this carpet and everything is¬†interwoven and does not fall apart as long as you go on.

I like to imagine different lives of people I met and myself, and how their and my carpet would look like. Maybe I will draw my carpet some day. I have spent a lot of time with doodling and drawing lately, I especially love to draw outside or with a coffee or glass of wine in my favourite café or next to Rickard while he works and we both listen to loud music.IMG_20130621_104445

Lately I tried even more than usual to really appreciate the small things in life and appreciate what I have since people tend to forget that nowadays and are only on the run for more and more….
I went inline skating and jumped afterwards in underwear in the ocean or jumped with full power in puddles even though wearing a white skirt, I had a great midsummer celebration, went climbing with a friend in V√§stra hamnen and still trying to learn Arabic ūüėõ and many more things….. ¬†Just doing what you feel like right in the moments makes me enjoy that summer a lot. Also hanging with friends in different parks of Malm√∂, meeting for a drinks or coffee or spending regardless the cost half an hour on the phone with my best friend in Germany just because we felt like it right in that moment. I miss her a lot and look much forward to see her when I go to Germany!!!

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I love the evenings in Malm√∂ or rather nights in the summer , when you get home late and the whole city is still awake , it never gets properly dark and you go to ‘yalla yalla’ to get a fallafel at 3.00 am and can still dance on the streets while eating without freezing. One should pay tribute to those kind of moments because in these moments you feel alive and isn’t that what life is all about?! I found some lyrics I really liked which I connect to this summer in Malm√∂ and my love to Malm√∂ and soon leaving for 5 month;

“Squeaky swings and tall grass
The longest shadows ever cast
The water’s warm and children swim
And we frolicked about in our summer skin¬†I don’t recall a single care
Just greenery and humid air
Then Labor day came and went
And we shed what was left of our summer skin
On the night you left I came over
And we peeled the freckles from our shoulders
Our brand new coats so flushed and pink
And I knew your heart I couldn’t win
Cause the season’s change was a conduit
And we’d left our love in our summer skin”

At some point in the coming weeks we want to take the motorbike up to the border to Norway there is a nice big national park and hike for a couple of days since we have all the gear for hiking and we can fit all the stuff in the motorbike bags. I look much forward to it. Driving on a motorbike makes me feel alive a lot and having a tent and hiking gear and be able to then go when and where ever you want feels awesomely free.
Hiking last year far up north in the Swedish Lapland was a blast so I am sure even though this is a much shorter trip it will be great as well.
I loved driving on the motorbike with Jochen (for the people who don’t know; the ex-partner of my Mother) a lot , we would fly through the R√∂hn (an area in Germany) and I could forget all my worries spending time on his bike and his farm…. I miss him much and think often about him. It’s over a year know that he is gone. Time really flies…. ¬†I found a really nice quote which made me think of him for very long;¬†60758_358925450862082_2106642792_n

‚ÄúA person should be buried only half a meter, or two feet, below the surface. Then a tree should be planted there. He should be buried in a coffin that decays so that when you plant a tree on top the tree will take something out of his substance and change it into tree-substance. When you visit the grave you don‚Äôt visit a dead man, you visit a living being who was just transformed into a tree. You say, ‚ÄúThis is my grandfather, the tree is growing well, fantastic.‚ÄĚ You can develop a beautiful forest that will be more beautiful than a normal forest because the trees will have their roots in graves.‚ÄĚ –¬†Friedensreich Hundertwasser

It is only 9 weeks until its time to go to Israel ! We finally booked our flights to Germany and Israel and now its certain that we gonna spend one day between Germany and Israel in the wonderful city of Istanbul and meet our friend there. It will be very interesting how the situation has turned out there by then….

We have also further thought about which neighbouring country we want to visit. Since I really want to travel around within Israel as well and after all we are “only” 5 month there and I have to work as well we only plan two other visits and then see how the rest goes; if we have ¬†more time and money. For certain is that we will travel to Jordan since it is close and I really want to visit my friend living in Amman (he was my first friend I ever met in Sweden) and when it comes to getting a visa it is pretty ‘easy’ compared to some other countries in the middle east.
Apparently¬†since the start of 2013 its now a normal procedure at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv to get the Isreali stamp on a extra paper and not in your passport which makes it then easier to enter other Arab countries. This was nice to find out because we thought it might be a hassle to avoid an Israeli stamp in our passports….

The second country we really would like to visit is……. Iran… ! Yes I know what you think … and probably we will not manage to get a visa anyway but we started to do some research about it and want to give it a try at least. There are agencies who help you for a very little fee to get a tourist visa. As a German and Swedish citizen it should not be impossible. We would maybe ask some friends who are interested in visiting Iran too if they would like to join us and then fly over Istanbul¬†to Iran. You can imagine there is no such thing as flight from¬†Israel¬†to Iran. ¬†We will see. It is not so¬†likely¬†that we succeed with this plan but lets see what my research, the contact with the agency and contacts to some embassies will tell me .
If Iran does not work we would probably take a little tour to Egypt since you can even do that by bus from Israel and visa issues are not to be expected either. Or to the ‘safe part’ ( there are three sectors when it comes to travel warnings green, yellow and red) ¬†of Lebanon if we would get a visa. ¬†It is very interesting doing all this info gathering about visas , where and how to travel in the middle east and what to do and what not to do , where to go and where not to go…..

Moving to Israeal will be different from everything I have experiences so far and I look much forward to it. Today I had a tour with google street view through the area where my internship office will be and it is really different to what I am used to in Germany or Sweden and it made me really curious , also scared me a bit but I think I will grow a lot with this challenge to live in a¬†completely¬†different environment than I did ever before…. but like one of my friends said :” I am very happy that you have your Swedish bodyguard with you ! ” ¬†ūüėČ ‚̧

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Malmö View

When you live in the 8th floor it does not make you happy when the elevator breaks like tonight but you get repaid with that awesome view when you finally reach home ‚̧

Are you on one page with your soul? & Learning Arabic is a lot of fun!

Many people I met here in Sweden or while travelling have been amazing and interesting characters or very weird ones. All for sure very different and unique. From all over the world, all of them on their way somewhere to find something. I always liked to meet interesting character which are not too much like the mass. I know, everyone says that but I mean it. People often pretend to find someone cool or interesting but actually they think what a weird person, and even if they would never admit it, they get either scared or uninterested and keep the interaction on a very shallow level. ¬†However sometimes you need to be shallow ,¬†definitely! If you would have with everyone around you deep¬†conversation¬†or would try to understand the perspective from everyone around you , you will go nuts. It’s about finding the balance and the right people.

Some people I met seem very absent minded or seem kinda lost. Which is quite normal in once’s life somewhere around being 20 and 30. In my opinion it is also a part ¬†of going abroad and is not necessarily entirely negative. ¬†However some people I have met seem more absent minded than others and they make me curious. I’d like to hear their story about finding their way but its hard to create a trust level where you really feel free to share your feelings and maybe fears or wonders about your life unless you are very good friends.
I am reading a book right now called “Maya’s notebook” by Isabel Allende ¬†(great book by the way, you should totally read it, the German name is Maya’s Tagebuch) one paragraph I really really liked because it displays a very charming¬†explanation¬†why some people seem a little more lost than others.

Maya (the main actor in the book) describes what her grandmother used to say; when people travel a lot , especially by¬†airplane¬†their soul can’t follow them fast enough. When people arrive at a new place the soul might need some more time to arrive than their body and that’s why people need a while to get used to a new environment. Without a soul with you it’s hard to get attached and feel the place. Sometimes the soul gets lost in the clouds and never arrives with you at the new place what gives you the feeling you wait for something to happen but you don’t know that’s your soul you are waiting for.

I guess one could replace the word soul with either¬†conscious, spirit or other words if you can’t identify with the concept of having a soul.¬†I like that analogy because I can identify myself with it, no matter if I call it soul or differently. Sometimes I think my soul ¬†got lost a few times on one of the many flights I have been taken from Germany to Sweden and the other way around or on my ways back from travelling simply because my soul would actually like to stay there.¬†I picture my soul as ¬†a little¬†stubborn girl with messy, red, curly hair¬†¬†who gets lost on purpose sometimes because she simply does not agree with the decisions my brain makes. When she is with me though she gets sometimes very bored or restless and pokes me to make me move on and see some other parts of this world. She is curious and so am I.

Sometimes its good to ¬†have your soul not with you , makes you not getting to attached to people and places when you have not found the place where you want to be jet. However if you lose your soul for a very long time you get very detached from everything and that can frankly said fuck up yourself and other people quite a bit. I imagine if your soul is with your body you feel more alive and in balance with yourself and your decisions you make but you maybe stay somewhere or with someone only because its comfortable. If your soul is not with you , you never really arrive anywhere, you don’t get very attached; however, you also don’t get hurt and she won’t give you that accusing face expression when you wake up another morning after a drunk night because you simply don’t care too much. Everything has its good and bad sides and as I said the trick is to find the balance.People who are not always on the same page as their soul are in my opinion the interesting ones….

After all this ‘deep thought talking’ an update to learning Arabic and preparing the stay in Israel.
Today I met up with my friend for the first time who is trying to teach me some Arabic. It was so so so much fun !!!!!!! ūüėÄ He¬†thought¬†me the alphabet, some basic word and phrases and we trained my¬†pronunciation which is apparently really good . Maybe since German is a little harsh language and Arabic too that actually helps me to¬†pronounce¬†in a right way. I’ll add some pics of the notes we have been taken today. Next week we will meet again and I will teach him some German.¬†¬†I feel really motivated to accept the challenge to learn this complex and beautiful language !

When it comes to preparing the stay in¬†IsraeCIMG1470l¬†CIMG1471¬†CIMG1472 CIMG1473¬†we looked for fairly cheap flights between the stay in Germany in the end of August and the start of¬†¬†my internship in the beginning of September. Since many of them stop in Istanbul we probably take one which has a longer stop so we can actually get into the city. Then visit a friend who living there and have a stroll through the town which hopefully by then is recovered from contemporary conflicts.¬†Also looking for a flat in Israel is kinda interesting because so far everything what seemed okey or nice was for rent from now on or for July, so I guess we just wait a little longer to find something for September …Furthermore we found a very nice couple who will take care of our flat in Malm√∂ while we are gone so we can keep this great place for next year. I am sure everything works out in the end , I am pretty tired of¬†worrying too much and so often is just unnecessary. Lets focus on enjoying the summer and see what this weekend will bring ūüėČ

My today’s comment to the world – I don’t want to be like Dave.

That’s the big question the one world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?” (Mary Oliver)

However when I woke up this morning, I did not really feel much alive nor like making any comment to the world. So many things to take care of and the only thing I feel like doing is laying in the sun. So instead of taking care of the chaotic flat or getting showered and dressed, I started on the project Laura Learns Arabic. I started reading Arabic for Dummies (sounded kinda fitting for me ūüėõ ) There I found Dave and his friends (to see them, click picture below!) and I thought , I don’t want to be like Dave , even though he is¬†definitely¬†cool for trying!

Next to Hebrew  , Arabic is the second official language in Israel and since I would like to visit some other Arabic speaking countries as well, I decided it would be smart to go with the latter. When I am living there I want to be able to find my way around, order a coffee or have some small talk without looking like the last Western idiot and maybe if I get into the language developing some higher skills as well.

Reading the first chapter of Arabic for Dummies about the different rules about vowels, the alphabet and especially¬†listening¬†to some vocal examples made me realize again that this gonna be a challenge for me….. Yet, the moment I spit some of my M√ľsli over my laptop because three words in a row the rough sounding Arabic man from the audiobook said, sounded just like some very very similar very very funny noises to me, I realized I should have maybe listened better to my Arabic speaking friends or to the people I met in Marocco since they never sounded that funny to me. ¬†I don’t mean to make fun of the language, I guess it just¬†surprised¬†me in the morning while sitting in my chaos eating M√ľsli and being still very tired. The only language I make fun of all the time is German ūüėõ

So now I just asked a friend of mine from Lebanon who stays parts of the summer in lovely Mamö as well , to give me some lessons in Arabic and will teach  him some German in return. Sounds like a great thing to me to do at the beach with a couple of beers !!

To quote Deborah Meier: “It’s the curiosity that drives me. It’s making a difference in the world that prevents me from ever giving up.”
Curiosity gets me to to be interested in countries, people, languages, cultures and different or unique points of view. So I hope that asset will stay with me for as long as possible and help  me to learn this complex language.

Now, let’s see if I have some more comments for this world today, after all I am still alive.

I don't want to be like Dave.

Learning Arabic- I don’t want to be like Dave.

Summer, finally !!!

Summer is here and I am finally done with my exams for this term !!!
Now I will have to take care of booking ¬†flights, finding a flat in Jerusalem and so on…..
I love the Swedish summer but I gonna be nice to get out of here for a while and get away from everything, and experience something completely new. I decided that I want to try to learn Arabic so that gonna be a project for the summer to get started on, let’s see if I can be more ambitious than with learning Swedish….. ūüėõ

I had some difficulties with getting started with this blog since all the settings where driving me nuts and I always found better things to do than working on it. However it gonna be nice to have a place where I can write about my thoughts so my mind maybe gets a little less messy.
Having a chaotic, creative and messy mind can be fun but is also sooo exhausting. So for now let’s enjoy life and I will from now on update my blogg hopefully regularly with summer and travelling stuff ¬†, creativity and anything else my weird mind does to me and I feel like sharing.

So welcome to who ever reads this and enjoy !