Category Archives: Abroad

4 Things Meme

My knitting friend Anna over at garndrömmar.se set me up for a challenge as she wanted me to answer a meme about different things of four. Here goes:

4 TV-shows I watch
Grey’s Anatomy, The Event, the Swedish quiz show Vem vet mest? (Who knows the most?) and the sports news.

4 things I’ve done today (Or yesterday as I’m writing this the evening before I post it)
I cheated to and from work today as I used the car instead of walking or biking. I had chicken wok for  lunch. I worked on the fourth assignment for my writing class but didn’t finish it. I made a swatch for a pair of Snowbird Mittens.

4 things I’m looking forward to or longing for
Warmer temperatures and longer days (and November just began…). Having friends over for lunch this weekend. The knitting marathon that Fröken Garn houses in two weeks time. Finding the courage to battle quilting my big quilt.

4 things on my wish list
A week in a silent retreat. A dinner with Douglas Coupland so I can pick his brain for a bit. Enough vacation days and money to take me (and my boyfriend) abroad so I (we) can see family and friends. Getting tattooed by Stina at Eyescreamtattoo in Ystad.

4 things I hate/loathe/detest
Feeling inadequate. People using my ideas or my work without giving me credit. When I start crying from anger or frustration instead of being able to scream at whatever made me angry or frustrated. And of course; war and violence.

4 people I challenge with this meme
I’ll leave it open for anyone to grab…

China (part 6) – Random pictures from Shanghai

I apologize for forgetting about the 6th (and last) part of pictures from my time spent in China in June…

Traffic
Ordinary traffic in Shanghai on an ordinary afternoon

Intersection
This is what the walkways look like over some of the bigger intersections in Shanghai. It’s a clever, and sort of beautiful, way of keeping the pedestrians separate from the cars, buses, mopeds, motorcycles and bikes. I love how cool that man on the moped looks even as traffic is coming at him. On some occasions I saw old people walking straight through the traffic without bothering with the stairs up and down the walkway. (They all came through without scratches, but I’d never dare give it a shot!)

Grand Hyatt Hotel
This is Grand Hyatt Hotel, a building that looks like a bottle opener at top (but you can’t see it in this picture). The bar/restaurant was the highest in the world a couple of years ago, but I think it’s been knocked down a spot or two. I went to the bar on a Saturday night and had the most expensive Ceaser’s salad I’ve ever had. It was delicious though.

From the Bund
Shanghai is full of sky scrapes and buildings with exciting design. This flower-like building was a great landmark for us as we lived fairly close to it. The picture is taken from the Bund down by the Huangpu River and it was crowded with tourists walking around. And some of them took pictures as well. 🙂

Different generations
I imagine this is a grandmother walking her grandson home after badminton practice.

Magnolia
In People’s Square I found the largest and “fleshiest” magnolias I’ve ever seen. The trees were massive and they were all in bloom.

Bubblebum flip-flops
These flip-flops were worn by a girl standing behind us in the line up to go through security at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. They were worn by an Asian girl in her late teens and the rest of of her matched them perfectly! She nearly made a happy dance with joy when I asked if it was okey for me to take a picture of her feet and shoes.

So, this was the last post in my series of pictures from China. I hope you’ve enjoyed them!

China (Part 5) – Expo2010 in Shanghai

Line up on a rainy day
Some mornings the line up was ridiculous before the gates opened up for visitors. This is just before 9am and it was raining a bit this morning. But there were just as many umbrellas on sunny days to keep the sun rays away.

Line up
The line ups continued in zig zag under the roof. This is about half an hour before the gates opened.

African quarters
This is part of the African quarters in the Expo2010. If I’m not mistaken, the green and yellow building (looking sort of like a cross between an onion and a tulip) belongs to Angola. This is one of the few times we saw a group of volunteers at ease as they usually moved around marching in straight lines whenever they went from point A to point B…

German ball
This ball was in the German pavilion. The audience were led to balconies on three different levels and with our voices we got the sphere to change looks and to move around. It was really neat!

Russia on the inside
Part of the Russian pavilion was turned into a foreign planet. There were space shuttles and stations in the ceiling, made up flowers and plants in bright colours and small houses with screens that showed kids dressed up like aliens talking about Russian innovations in technical and medical areas.

Pearl lion
This full sized lion made out of wire and pearls stands at the entrance of South Africa’s pavilion.

Swedish shop
This is part of the shop that Sweden had connected to their national pavilion. Here one can buy Swedish glass from the famous Kosta Boda.

Tired visitors
Walking around the Expo2010 can be tiring. These two men were hilarious as they just sat down in this part of an exhibition and fell asleep. I watched them for a bit and the guy hunched over the table actually snored…

In the next part of this series, I’ll show you some random pictures  from Shanghai.

China (Part 4) – The Great Wall

My colleague and I joined a guided tour that included a sleepover on the Great Wall. Yes. A. Sleepover. On. The. Great. Wall. We were bundled up in sleeping bags under the stars in one of the watchtowers. I didn’t get to sleep much as I kept thinking “I’m on the Great Wall in China. I’m on the Great Wall in China.” I didn’t get much sleep but was happy anyways.

The next morning, I was up at 4am waiting for the sunrise. The sun came up at about 5 and I started taking pictures like mad. I got a bit frustrated as I didn’t get the images I wanted and after a couple of minutes I just stopped myself and decided to turn off the cameras and enjoy the experience of being there. It was breathtaking!

After the sunrise and a breakfast (muesli, bananas and tea) we headed out for our hike. We walked 8km between Jinshanling and Samatai and it took us 4 hours. With many water breaks. We were so glad we got out early, firstly because of the heat and secondly as we only encountered something like 15 other tourists walking the Wall until we got close to Samatai. We arrived there when most tourists get there from Beijing to start their hike…

And our tour group? Well, it consisted of me, my colleague and a guide. We also had a driver, but he didn’t join us for the walk.

Sunset Sunset over the Great Wall on June 4th, 2010. This is in Jinshanling.

Sunrise 1 Watching the sunrise the next morning was breathtaking…

Scenery …as was the scenery around the Great Wall…

Original part Some parts of the Wall are still all original and you really have to watch where you place your feet. Also, the sides of the Wall were torn down in many places and a couple of times I was happy my mother didn’t see me walking steep parts with no particularly high walls to my sides…

Climbing a steep section …like here for example. This section was more than 100 steps high and it was steep. As was the mountain sides we’d roll down if we fell out.

Going to work We were walking here for the experience, but we met a couple of men and women who walk sections of the wall every single day to earn money. They bring mostly water bottles and hope for tourists that haven’t brought enough for themselves. Most of these men and women were older than 60, and they walked up and down these sections every day… Carrying loads of water bottles and some souvenir t-shirts. I was in awe.

Old, but still standing The watchtowers vary a lot when it comes to what condition they’re in. Some are restored, some are original but still in good shape and others look like this one does. It has two standing walls and no roof. Some of these watchtowers have more than one floor.

Going up My colleague and our guide walking a bit ahead of me.

And to round off this post, this is my favorite picture of the sunrise we were a part of. It’s overexposed but I love it.
Overexposed sunrise

Next part of this series of mine will take you to the 2010 Expo in Shanghai

China (Part 3) – The Spirit Way and Ming Tomb area

The Spirit Way, or Sacred Way as it’s also called, is in an area approximately 50km from Beijing. In this area 13 Emperors from the Ming Dynasty were buried, some along with wives and concubines. The first Emperor to choose this as his burial ground was Yongle and he is also known for the construction of the Imperial Palace (the Forbidden City) in Beijing.

Elephant
Part of the guard parade along the Spirit Way/Sacred Way. The parade consists of both real and mythical animals as well as humans. The animals are portrayed as both standing and sitting/lying to reflect the fact that they work in shifts.

Lion
One of the resting lions in the parade. You can see the standing lion coming after him. I love his mane!

Identical twins
All guards stand (or sit) opposite its identical twin.

Human in the parade
One of the human guards up close. I think he represents the warrior. There are also guards representing intelligence and wisdom.

Fluff
I was waiting for my company as they were shopping for painted glass bottles, and I got fascinated by the fluff on one of the trees close to a human guard. I think I ended up with twenty pictures of fluff with a more or less visible warrior guard in the background…

Changling tomb's gate tower
This is the gate tower to Changling’s tomb; the largest and oldest of the emperor’s tombs. The actual tomb is not open to the public as three of the others are.

Stormwater management
This is stormwater management from the 15th century. Sure beats our plastic drains when it comes to beauty points.

My next post in this series will show you pictures from the Great Wall.

China (Part 2) – Random pictures from Beijing

Art on a wall Artful monument on a wall close to the Drum and Bell Towers

The Bird's Nest This is part of the Bird’s Nest where the athletics took place during the Olympics in 2008. The stadium is very big and it took us quite some time to walk around it on the outside. The architecture of it is fantastic!

The Water Cube The Olympic swimming and diving took place here in the Water Cube. They are now revamping the inside of the arena to become a public water park and there were high fences up so we couldn’t see all of the building. The bubbly surface is made out of millions tinytinytiny parts and you can tell when seeing it “up close”.

Female lion This Chinese lion stands guard in the Forbidden City. This is the female lion, it’s standing to the left of the entrance of one of the temples and it has a lion cub under its left front paw. Behind it you see one of the temples in the Forbidden City. The yellow is considered to be the emperor’s colour and all roofs in the city have this colour.

A throne One of the thrones in the Forbidden City. I think this was the hardest picture to get out of all the pictures I took during my two weeks in China. I had to wrestle a crowd to get to the front (one is not allowed to get inside the temple) and I was happy I was a head taller than everyone else…

Girl This girl was visiting the Forbidden City with her parents.

A girl and a moat The moat goes around the Forbidden City and is quite wide. I really liked the way the girl unintentionally posed with her umbrella while waiting for some friends.

Cowboy Just north of the Forbidden City is a park with a hill in it (if I remember correctly it’s made of the soil from when the moat was dug) and on top of the hill is a small temple with a Buddha inside. Outside the temple this girl was posing for her friends’ to take pictures and I couldn’t help myself. Forbidden City in the background.

The third part of this series will contain pictures from my visit on the Spirit Way and the Ming Tombs Area.

China (Part 1) – The Hutong area in Beijing

Chinese lantern
One out of hundreds of Chinese lanterns in the Beijing hutongs

Fruits
Can it get cheaper to cut down on expenses than keeping your shop on a bike? The owner of the bike was a charming old lady but unfortunately she didn’t want to be photographed…

Table tennis
This man was playing table tennis at a public table in a park area between the hutongs and one of the bigger ring roads of Beijing. He was playing the socks of his opponent even though he was a good twenty years older than the other man.

Caged birds
These birds shared a house wall with six or seven other cages

100 bottles of beer...
I think this is a collection spot for recycling glass bottles. All doos and windows were shut and I couldn’t get a closer peek at what was going on.

Broken
A broken rickshaw parked outside a house. This was one of few houses in the hutongs that actually had something looking like a garden at front.

For sale
While getting lost in the hutongs one afternoon I found this little hole-in-the-wall-kind-of-shop where they sold crayfish, snails and vegetables.

Next part of this series of pictures from my two weeks in China in June 2010 will be on random pictures from around Beijing.

Series of pictures from China

I spent two weeks in China early June. The company I’m employed at sent me there to work for 10 days and I decided to add a couple of vacation days to the trip.

I will be posting pictures from my time spent there in a series of posts.
Part 1 – The Hutong area in Beijing
Part 2 – Random pictures from Beijing

Part 3 – The Spirit Way and Ming Tombs Area
Part 4 – The Great Wall
Part 5 – Expo 2010 in Shanghai
Part 6 – Random pictures from Shanghai