Sunday, August 27, 2006

Can Rock and Roll live forever???

Ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, clash, bada bada boom, clash. The rhythm of a drum kit pierces my dreams and wakes me to a glowing room full of sun rays. It is about 9 am Stockholm time and my empty apartment is washed in the Scandinavian sun. As my eyes adjust to the light, my ears search for the rock and roll drum beat.

Next door to my apartment building is a school and lucky for me the music room is adjacent to my apartment. I stand in front of my windows to see a 14 year old-looking kid swing drumsticks. A kid beside him picks up an electric guitar, waves at me and begins a riff to match the rhythm. My first day in Stockholm.

Each day over the past week, the music room gave me rock ‘n roll breakfast, recess, lunch, and afternoon snack. It would not be so bad if they could play some songs, but practice makes perfect and all they did was practice.

Besides the intermittent entertainment, the apartment is large and spacious. The makeshift camping-mat-bed served well for the past week and now a new IKEA bed adorns the room. My back and shoulders were delighted. A small full bathroom, kitchenette and wardrobe came with the place and not much else.

What I like the most is the view to the front door. Since I am on the first floor of a 7 story building, I can monitor the ins and outs of the tenants. I think back to a children’s book I read, Harriett the Spy, where the main character, Harriett, keeps logs of everything and everyone on the street. From her observations she makes conclusions about people’s lives and so the story goes. I have not started a log, but there are a lot of people in my building and I have not formaly met anyone yet. I am curious though.

My amenties are all close by (walking distance). The neighbourhood has large apartment complexes, no more than 3-5 stories high, and two schools. In the middle of it all is a public square. A fountain, restaurant, pizza shop, grocery store, convenience store, and furniture shop surround the public meeting area making the place quite friendly. A major bus route (every 7 mins) circles the square and transports people to Stockholm centre or to other smaller surrounding towns.

Monday, August 21, 2006

My Week in England

Day 1: (Rolling Metal Hills)

Arrived in the UK with no hassels. We have been having
a blast so far. Maja today rode on a roller coaster
for the first time at Brighton Beach Pier. She really
liked it. The beach is pretty kick ass with lots of
spots to walk around and check out the great scenery.

We are staying in a countryside mansion with fancy
everything. Cristina and Adam have been very good to
us. The one thing I am finding is how expensive things
are here. Gasoline, for example, is double our price,
yet you have to drive around everywhere. Kind of

Day 2: (16 Million and One eyes)

My day in London exploring the city sights, glancing
first right and then left as I cross each street.
Luckily the sidewalk reminds you that the traffic runs
in different directions. LOOK RIGHT! nice! A huge wheel dominates the skyline
always staring at me. Staring at everyone. At the
park, in the pubs, on the double decker bus. Each
Londoner wishing to escape its glance, yet knowingly
it continues watching. Usually people just ignore it
and drink themselves silly in SOHO. They bounce from
pub to pub not caring, except for the next cigarette
or pint glass touching their lips.

Day 3: (Shocking Culture)

The rain fell and stopped. It poured and stalled. I ducked into the Camden Stables selling clothes and wares. One stable brought me to the 'Matrix', t-shirts sewed with wires and technology. It was the Cyberkid sub-culture beating into my ears. The sound driving me to let loose and absorb the scratching of electronic noise. Only to realize how expensive becoming a cyborg can be.

In the evening, we dropped by an alchemist's pub selling draft and good cheer.
The crowd was ruly, but not drunk like my peers.
Our stumbling walk, forgetting some of our gear,
Drew us closer together when things were not clear.
The day was complete when the trains brought us near,
Only to finally rejoice that our weekend was here.