Yes, sorry for this but life goes on and time flies so what to do as they say in India?
Since last I have been visiting Sweden and both Norrköping and Stockholm on the agenda and this evening I will (in Paris) take my not so petit body to a concert. No time between leaving work and going to the venue. I hate that, I want to shower and change clothes to at least look like a fan of pop… But no.
But going back in time, visited Norrköping to pay my respect to the people in the family grave, it was All Saints Day after all and planned to meet with more people than the once I actually managed to meet up with during two days.
Stockholm, also for 2 days, kind of being Stockholm as always. Just some shopping, a few beers with friends and not so much more. Stockholm is not all that…
But now back in France I hope to be able to post more.
So it’s soon time for a “Tunnbrödrulle” in Sweden, a real one, a “the best hang over food ever” rulle.
Maybe the picture of this specific Sibylla kiosk in Norrköping might be the wrong one to talk about Tunnbrödrulle, since this specific Kiosk has a “Grillspett” (or had in the 70s) you can die for… But it will be visited during my time in Norrköping, visit the site again for updates
OK, it is a fact that the working hours in France in major different from the Swedish one. In Sweden we start earlier to be able to go home before the evenings get to dark, and yes there is as always not applicable to the service sector.
In France you begin later, have lunch later and work kind of forever. Still after three years those facts still makes me wonder how the French have time for anything, but fact is I’m the strange bird here. And after years raise up early and be able to have hours after work to do things is kind of in my genes, I am more productive in the mornings than in the evenings. A situation my more South European co-workers don’t agree with at all. Culture differences raised from the sun raise and set. With the French way of living a Sweden would never see the sun, EVER.
BUT one thing is the same in both Sweden and France.
Monday morning, not chaos in the Metro or buses, there are people but as a commuter you do not feel the need to fight for your right to take a place on the commute alternative of your choice.
Tuesday, what? Is it a holiday? Why is the Metro empty? Why is it only Japanese tourist? Yes the Japanese tourists start early here in Paris, while Tuesdays in Stockholm have the same feeling but without the early bird tourists.
Wednesday, OK, what happened now? Why is all of Paris suddenly on their way to work at this hour? Your choice is to either piggyback or by force rip off your co-commuters backpacks (still one of my favorite French words: “SACK-A-DOOOO”, of course you say it tilting your head and face the moon like a wolf). Why on Wednesdays? And it’s the same in Stockholm.
Thursday, more or less like Wednesdays but with some luck depending on the time between buses and metro there are if not empty carriages at least with some room and no need to fight for your life to get on.
Friday, not a soul… Empty. And I understand this in Sweden since so many office workers for some reason always feel the need to work from home cause they need to concentrate, ON FRIDAYS. But in France not so many have the possibility to work from home and to believe they by choice start later on Fridays so they can get home later is kind of not a believable option. So what are people doing on Friday’s if not working? Cause the way home is the same if you compare it to other weekdays, not many people on the bus or metro. Maybe people take their car to work on Fridays to get home faster, but since the rush hour in Paris or Stockholm don’t offer the option to get to work or home fast don’t think so.
In any case, it’s a thing Paris and Stockholm have in common and I am equal surprised of it.
The reason why Stockholm hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000 were the surprise victory by Charlotte Nilsson (now Charlotte Perrelli) taking us to her heaven. “Take me to your heaven” (the original version “Tusen och en natt”) in 1999.
The next year a friend of mine Mr Gerard James Borg in Malta won the selection in Malta together with Mr Phillip Vella and the singer Claudette Pace. All together this open a door to work backstage as the Maltese delegation guide at the Eurovision Song Contest 2000.
Change in the Eurovision mentality
Stockholm 2000, for me, will be the starting point for how the Eurovision developed up until today. Even if Israel in 1999 gave us a show and the track of the contest went from kind of strict to the party we see today the 2000 Eurovision made it a party with a focus on a fun script for the hosts and the beginning of a more party like green room.
The contest 2000 gave more than 2000 memories and a wonderful spring in Stockholm. It rained and was really cold up until the performers started to arrive and the sun and wonderful weather stayed until the delegations transfer bus left Arlanda Airport. From this week I still in contact with then new friends now friends with whom I shared something impossible to share again in the same way. All Eurovisions most likely create the same feeling for the once participating in the Contest, as a part of their country delegation or working with the planning and hosting.
With those words I share with you a few photos from the Eurovision Week in Stockholm 2000.