Walks with friends prompt shorter and smaller sketches, like the one from Västra Hamnen in Malmö, overlooking the sun setting behind Copenhagen’s coastline.
A few days later, a portuguese dinner party in south Malmö was the setting for the next few sketches. Worthy of record were: a set of chocolate chess, which was devoured after three games; a medronho tasting session, with three different kinds of the moonshine from Algarve and a side of chocolate mousse; a few death metal band recommendations; and a recipe for punhetas de bacalhau (cod-fish jerk offs) (I’m serious!) (really!)
It’s delicious! Try it yourself:
Dip the salted cod-fish in water overnight. Dry it and shred it by hand taking away the skin and bones. Dice onion and garlic in small pieces. Mix everything together with oregano. Season with olive oil and black pepper. Serve with bread. Enjoy!
Simpan is a café in Möllan in Malmö operated mainly by latin americans. It’s one of the cool places to hang out in this hip part of town, where most residents are immigrants. They have delicious and creative sandwiches and warm coffee. All the furniture and most of the dishes, mugs and glasses are uneven, as are most of the patrons – hipsters, feminists and generic leftists are the most common species to be found. But occasional latin americans, rockers and goths can be sighted. In this constantly packed spot, you can order in both swedish and spanish, of course. And maybe even in quechua, who knows!
Anna is almost turning eight. She suddenly and unexpectedly becomes rich, and she knows exactly what to do with the money. This is the premise for Emma Fäldt‘s new children’s book – Anna Tizianna – with illustrations from Josephine Nicander. The book launch was in a quaint little greenhouse in Lund’s Stadsparken. There were autographs from the author and a short reading from the author’s mother.
I got one! If I manage to finish it, I’ll be proud of my swedish-speaking abilities.
While travelling in and around Stockholm, the kronor spent in a several-days ticket for the insanely efficient mass transport system is a wise investment. You can get pretty much anywhere by train, bus, subway or tram if your feet are getting to you, not worrying about fares. And everything comes obsessively on time – can’t speak for the wintertime though.
There are around 80 museums to visit in the Swedish capital city. Fotografiska, now featuring a huge exhibition by Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, is highly recommendable. Vasa Museet is a must. But my prize has to go to Etnografiska Museet. It owns an extraordinary collection of objects from all over the world and it had to be three of the most interesting and fun hours we spent in the city. Featured were an overview of the native North American cultures, then and now, and a review of the devastating effects of the Carlisle School (the documentary Schooling the World – the White Man’s Last Burden provides a sound outlook on this subject) and an exhibition about Swedish missionaries in Sub-Saharan Africa, through whom many objects came to be at the museum today. Outside the museum sat this small, beautiful Japanese Tea House, surrounded by a proper Japanese garden. It only opens for booked groups and special occasions, but the garden is there to be enjoyed by all visitors.
When night-time came, and as recommended by a friend, we went in search for Stampen (the Pawn Shop), a jazz club right in the middle of central Gamla Stan. We sat at the bar, drinking Swedish beer and munching chips, as a band got ready for their act. The Dixieland tunes that they played were a pleasant surprise. As the night went on, the band had a small break, and some of the members caught a glimpse of the sketch. For a few hours, all of us were the bestest of friends!
Every city that has waterfronts should treasure them like Stockholm does. It was one of my favourite things to sit by the waterfront, watching the boats pass by while drinking coffee. Water bodies like these are indeed gigantic unwalkable public squares. Inside a city, your eyes rarely focus beyond a certain close distance, except in large squares, canals or the sea. In such places you feel less compressed, less constrained, and you have the opportunity to appreciate the city at a distance, grasping the general picture or browsing for details you don’t notice while walking the streets. The waterfront by Fotografiska offers a swell view of the eastern side of Gamla Stan and the narrow streets that lead from the harbour to its core.
Södermalm is the hip part of town. The park at Nytorget gave us the chance of observing the transition from working hours to dining hours in Stockholm. People start to swarm the area late in the afternoon. Youngsters picnic in the park, complete with plates, forks and knives and glasses filled often with the popular rosé wine. Woollen caps, long beards and vintage strollers reign supreme here! In the streets around the park, restaurant terraces are legion, occupied mostly by older or more well-off people. The key concept here is to hang out. To take advantage of the summer long evenings.