Saturday, 1 December 2012

oh my lip!

i'm piercing-less. after 15 years. so strange. i honestly thought i would never ever take it out and only just recently thought about how funny it would be to walk around with a piercing at the age of 70. but (there is always a but, right?)..

it started maybe a week ago. my lip felt a bit soar. didn't think much about it. yesterday morning i woke up and the lip was swollen. made some saline to clean it, went to the pharmacy to buy chlorhexidine and antiseptic mouth wash. despite all of this, the lip just became bigger and bigger. angelina jolie wouldn't stand a chance if we were to compare. only one side though.

went to bed around 1.30am and had then decided to go to a piercing studio the following day to get a longer stud as it would never heal when the piercing was so tight. woke up again at 4am. the lip was even more swollen than before and i could hardly see the piercing. realised i had to take it out, but couldn't as it was impossible to get a good grip to unscrew it. besides, i thought i would probably need some medication for the infection.

so at 5am i decided to go to the emergency. luckily, it was all empty and got to see a nurse and then a doctor straight away. then had two people faffing around in my mouth with tweezers and finally managed to get it out. in true singapore "give as many different pills as possible" spirit, i got some antibiotics, some anti-inflammatory and some pain killers.

i've started taking the pills, but the lip is still really swollen. but at least i got to try something new, never been to the emergency before. oh the joys!

this is how it looked when i got back from the emergency this morning..

Thursday, 29 November 2012

the end of the world?

it's rainy season. again. just like this time last year. i had just forgotten how much it actually rains. there is not a day that goes by without at least one massive rain. the other week, we had another of the end of the world moments.

 this is how it looked at 4.20 in the afternoon.. and just so you know, the sun doesn't set until 7pm (this is with an instagram filter so it wasn't quite as bad, but still pretty bad..)

 without filter..

after a while my house seemed to be in the middle of the storm. the thunder was constant and the lightning so frequent it was almost like a disco light. i'm normally not afraid of the thunder, but this was scary and of course i had to make a video.

don't miss the last 20 seconds!

and this is what it looked liked after the storm had cleared, around 6pm..

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

probably the most clever person in the world..

about a month ago, the uk announced they were out of the recession. as happy as that made me, i still feared the pound would get stronger and the exchange rate drop so that my singapore dollars would be worth less when the time came for me to go back.

luckily, just a couple of days before this declaration, i had completed the registration for a money transferring service. in panic and of course without looking further into facts and figures, i went in to check the development of the exchange rate. to my despair, it turned out the pound was getting stronger against the singapore dollar. despite very rarely being an impulsive person, i quickly made the decision to take action and order a transfer straight away.

i changed my money on thursday the 1st november at 11am.

now, nearly a month later, i can almost laugh at the outcome of my sudden impulsivity. i guess a career in the currency exchange business would not really be my thing..

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

bridget jones?

think i might be turning in to bridget jones. there are a few reasons..

1. my work phone doesn't display if there are any messages so a couple of times a day i pick up the phone to check. 99 times out of 100 i get the same answer: 'you have no new messages'

2. a couple of weeks ago i went to thailand over the weekend. the week after i got an email from my boss. he was worried and had pictured me in a thai jail, him having to come and post bail. unfortunately, he's no mark darcy (and i didn't end up in jail either, just for the record)

3. on the flight to thailand i had made myself comfortable with my silly, pass the time book called 'the perfect man' when a group of guys got on the plane. and of course they had the seats next to mine.. pretty embarrassing when one of the guys asked what i was reading. felt a bit like a bridget jones moment

4. nothing new, but i do love a good rom com

luckily, i have yet to sit at home alone in my pjs, singing along to 'all by myself', getting stupid drunk on absolut vodka. might change though as takenori left me a bottle when he went back to new york and i still haven't drunk it.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

lift language

i've always thought lifts spoke very 'neutrally', but have met a couple of lifts recently who speak dialect..

for example, my lift in singapore says:
ferste floor
(this means first floor and i'm incredibly happy i normally just go between the second and the fifth floor as this pronounciation drives me insane)

and the lift at my hotel in london has the following accent:
doors closingk, lift goingk op

very interesting.. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


i have this theory that the closer you get to something, the stronger you feel about it. like the closer you get to your sky dive, the more terrified (or some crazy people would say excited) you get, the closer you get to your job interview or client presentation, the more nervous you get, and so on.

it's the same with things you long for and look forward to.

the closer i get to friday, the more i long for it to come. because friday is the day when i fly back to europe for over five weeks - a bit of holiday, a bit of training and a (bigger) bit of work. can't wait!

been away for quite a while now so felt i needed what we call a "mjukstart" in sweden:

 started a couple of weeks ago with swedish meetballs

 kopparbergs cider to celebrate the swedish national day 6th june (note the blue and yellow)

rekorderlig cider at the beerfest

how to turn a simple matter into something complicated..

some things in life are just plain and simple. no matter how much you try, you just can't make them complicated. at least that's what i used to think before i moved to singapore. despite the simplest simplicity, the singaporeans seem to have invented a way of turning simple matters into something complicated.

for example. last weekend, there was a beerfest here in singapore and fatima and i decided to go. when we got there, we did of course join the queue to pay the entrance fee. once that was done we were allowed to proceed.. to the next queue where this guy tore our tickets.. before we could proceed to the next guy who gave us our festival wristbands. he also told us where to go to buy beer tokens as we couldn't pay by cash inside the festival area. so that was four transactions replacing one. what is that saying again? more is less??

after stocking up on beer tokens, we then went to get our one "complimentary" drink (i say "complimentary" as it was included in the very humble entrance fee of SGD43). but.. at the first stall we encountered some problems. it turned out you could only get these drinks at a special stall. after some walking around, we managed to locate the stall and once there, fatima wanted one of the portuguese beers. i wanted a swedish pear cider. but.. the portuguese beer was not included in the "complimentary" drinks, nor was the swedish pear cider. the apple cider of the same brand and same price was included though..

et voila, simple turns into complicated!

Friday, 4 May 2012

two months today!

today - two months as a non-smoker! it's been easier than i thought it would be, but not promising anything for the future. for now, i'm just happy with these 60 days, 21 hours, 43 minutes and 6 seconds..

Saturday, 14 April 2012

crossing the street..

in singapore, even the simplest thing can turn out to be complicated and - first and foremost - regulated. like crossing the street.. to start with, there are of course restrictions as to where you are allowed to cross. if you see this sign, you are not in a good place to make your way across the street.
then there is the sign that tells you to use the crossing. as well as the other sign, this one means you are not allowed to cross (except for when using a crossing).
once you find a crossing, there are some other rules to adhere to. there are the general ones..
note how this tells you to 'press for green man'. you would have thought this was simple, but it can of course not be done in any careless way. there are also some specific rules on how to press. or how not to press.
i'm not sure if there is a fine for pressing the button the wrong way, but if you are caught crossing the street somewhere where it's not allowed, i've heard the fine is SGD 500 (which is about £250 or 2,500 kr). worth it?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


a couple of weeks ago, takenori and i went to tokyo on a business trip. i still can't really understand that i get to go on business trips. guess it has something to do with not realising how old i am either.. hmmm..

anyway. i really liked tokyo. the people were very friendly, the city clean, modern and relatively easy to get around. i had to take a picture of the very comprehensive underground map. what complicates things slightly is the fact that there is the underground and then there are several different train services, who apparently have the same colours as the underground lines.
i also really like the japanese language. only managed to learn a few sentences and words, such as 'i'm elin', 'nice to meet you', 'thank you', 'hello'.. the usual, but what i really liked was the fact that in japanese the consonants are important, just like in most european languages and as opposed to for example chinese and vietnamese where the vowels and tonation matter more.

one thing that i had really hoped to see was the sakura - cherry blossom. mid to end of march is normally the perfect time, but due to an unusually long and cold winter, the trees looked like this. everyone told us they would bloom any day..
this street is called something like 'cherry blossom lane' and is apparently incredibly beautiful when the trees are in bloom..

since we were there for work, we didn't have that much time to do all the touristic things, but thankfully takenori knows tokyo quite well and knew what to see and how to get around. so we..
pretended to be adults and dressed up in business clothes. funnily enough, i think we managed to pull it off, at least with some people..

went to a shrine - a japanese temple. before entering you had to wash your hands and mouth

vistited shibuya and shinjuku

ate shabu-shabu, a local dish where you boil meat and vegetables in a pot of broth, similar to the chinese hot pot

strolled around at ginza

had sushi at the fish market near by

went to akihabara, aka geek town, where i bought a portable/mobile battery for my phone
- best buy ever!

saw the buddhist temple in asakusa

and the asahi brewery

went on a river cruise

had some okonomiyaki, a japanese pancake with cabbage, ham, cheese, prawns - a bit of everything. if i remember correctly, okonomiyaki means something like a bit of everything fried and the idea is similar to the swedish pyttipanna
(shoko, this one is for you, but your okonomiyaki is miles better)

after getting off the boat, we went to a park where i could finally see some blossoms. they weren't sakura, but i'm not a botanist either so as long as they are beautiful, i'm happy..

also love the contrast between the nature and the buildings

japan is a high tech country and i just had to take a picture of the advanced toilet options. i especially like the the flushing sound button. i think they are on to something here - having a button making a flushing sound prevents people from flushing the toilet excessively trying to disguise other noices, which in turn helps saving the environment - klockrent, as we say in swedish

there are also stands where you can leave your umbrella - free locks are provided!

Monday, 2 April 2012


just have to start this blog post with fantastic news - today, 1st april 2012, amie's and arnold's little baby girl alice was born. congratulations to all three of them!

a couple of weeks ago, i went to vietnam over the weekend to meet my brother and his family. just the thing going to vietnam over the weekend is quite amazing to me. to be able to meet calle, phuong, nhu and ludvig in a small village in vietnam is incredible.

the village is where phuong grew up (and nhu spent her first four years) and i was really thrilled to be able to go there. phuong wanted to show me paradise islands and other more touristic things and couldn't really understand why i wanted to come to the village. i, on the other hand, think it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to see vietnam from a more local perspective and not just as a tourist and am really pleased to have seen it and met all her relatives. and believe me, there are a lot of relatives!

wise people say a picture is worth a thousand words so i'll let the them speak for themselves:
to keep all the mosquitos and other bugs out, i had this lovely mosquito net. we stayed in a very nice guest house, where they had lovely wooden furniture, just as they did in every household we went to

nhu and her cousin bin having breakfast at the breakfast café

breakfast day 1: noodle soup with beef, really nice!

ludvig, phuong and phuong's grandmother. a funny thing was that whenever phuong was carrying ludvig, people came up to touch him and look at him. as he was a caucasian baby in their eyes, they were amazed by how phuong could be his mother. at one point, some people thought that ludvig was mine and calle's baby and that phuong was our maid - quite understandably, that really pissed her off!

"vi har det bra, vi har bak i bilen, och vill ej va med om nån krock.."


breakfast day 2: another type of noodle soup with beef - again, really nice! i actually liked the noodle soups with beef so much that i am currently looking for a place in singapore who serves vietnamese food so that i can have it again

ludvig and i

the breakfast café

calle, ludvig, phuong and phuong's grandmother at the breakfast café

grandmother lent me her rice hat - "dep" (not sure about the spelling, but it means nice)

i decided to do a permanent hair straightening. a little bit worried considering my hair is thin, fine and blond and these people are used to thick, black, good quality hair, but it turned out great, it doesn't even curl up in the extreme humidity in singapore. and it costed me about £10 or 100kr

ludvig thought the whole hair dresser business was tiring and fell asleep

bin and nhu

ludvig, phuong, me, ludvig's cousin (can't remember her name), phuong's sister thao and their friend alex

in vietnam, there are motorbikes everywhere and the traffic is absolutely mad. there is only one word to describe it - chaos! i tried to capture it in a photo, but this does not in any way illustrate what it's like

local beer - ba, ba, ba. one thing i learned in vietnamese: mopp, haj, ba - yo! (means one, two, three - cheers! and i do not take responsibility for the awful spelling)