Of new goodbyes, new plans and coffee addiction.

I never manage to leave places I have been living in for a while without gather so many memories. Maybe it is just because I am growing, or the routine of travelling makes appreciate every single minute. Or the philosophy of always changing and getting better thanks to what we have gone through in the past. Or maybe the quotes by Henri Bengtson I studied on my last year of school, saying that “The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory.” is really starting  to be part of me.

I am writing a short post, my English got worse in this month since I spoke Swedish all the day, but there are always pros and cons for everything right?

Tomorrow I am leaving heading to Italy. Friends, family, Italian food and talks of this and that have been missing. Every time I go back to my country it feels like the first time, though after a few times I did it, now I am not as excited as I used to be in the past. Sweden feels like home now and when I dring cappuccino I miss the Swedish coffee, “to talk” very much to everyone because otherwise I look “shy” makes me always missing the silent and peace among Swedish people. The first times, seeing that nothing had changed back in Italy was kind of a disappointment, now I am nothing else than happy to have something to go back to, to compare Sweden with.

“It takes three seconds to give an impression of yourself to someone else”…I heard when I started to work at the restaurant some weeks ago. Nothing more true than this if you are working in a restaurant…you can’t help people? Still smile and say you’ll come to them very soon. Incredible how you get to learn in a “short” time as a month if you start to work in a new place.

Tomorrow I will wake up soon and get the ferry to Stockholm, then bus, bus, and plane to Rome. 30° and thunders are waiting for me tomorrow there and smog is not going to miss!

The time of staying alive thanks to coffee will be soon over…my Italian part is soon gonna recommend to me not to drink more than an espresso or cappuccino each day 😉

I will start this new part of my life with my new experience in Malmö with the book, The way, the walk and the life by Fredrik Lång (Vägen, vandringen och livet) bought in a second hand store of Mariehamn, looking as always for a literary souvenir from abroad.

I need to sleep now, I will write to you in the next days.

And I promise, I am coming back to Åland, I will see you soon!

Sulle Åland i giorni sono passati molto velocemente ma vissuti intensamente. Da domani fino a domenica lavorerò al ristorante e poi lunedì partirò per amcora non so dove. Quasi completamente sorpresa, una settimana fa ho ricevuto una chiamata da Malmö, sapendo che si trattava ovviamente dell’appartamento studentesco. Sono molto felice di aver ricevuto il contratto per un bilocale di 39mq, in un palazzo/casa studentesco/a a 15 minuti in bici dall’università che si trova davanti alla stazione centrale. Ora il prossimo passo è tornare nel Värmland e trasferirsi a Malmö per poi tornare a Roma, o forse il contrario? I tempi stringono e l’organizzazione di tutti questi passaggi è abbastanza complicata, ma ora che già sono quasi alla fine della mia prima vera esperienza di lavoro, tutto sembra almeno un pizzico più facile.

 

La scorsa settimana è stata massacrante riguardo al lavoro, avendo lavorato per sei giorni di fila per almeno dieci ore al giorno. Ma poi la mia famiglia è venuta a trovarmi da Roma e sono riuscita a rilassarmi in questi miei tre giorni liberi. Domani si torna a lavoro piena di carica!

Non ci siamo fatti mancare le visite al ristorante Smakbyn dove lavoro, con tanto di dessert all’aperto e cena all’interno ieri sera!

Un paio di giorni fa ho fatto invece la mia seconda sauna finlandese qui alle Åland, temperatura a 98 gradi e acqua sempre pronta per essere gettata sul carbone. Doccia gelata ogni quarto d’ora e muscoli rilassati! Ecco qualche foto!

Ieri sera verso le dieci…ovvero prima del tramonto…cervi e cerbiatti giravano per la foresta e ne abbiamo osservati a decine dalla macchina…a presto qualche foto!

Ora ho appena finito di schizzare qualche idea di arredamento per l’appartamento di Malmö, e crollerò a dormire tra pochissimo!

A presto!

Di matrimoni svedesi e balli antichi scandinavi

30 giugno

Diciamo che parlare di accento calabrese, liquore messo nelle pesche dolci al cioccolato e sensazione di stare al paese dei nonni non credo vada d’accordo con lo scrivere post in inglese, svedese o altra lingua diversa dall’italiano. Quindi eccomi qui scrivendo questo altro aggiornamento da un’isola super svedese ma della quale gli abitanti si ritengono molto patriottici (secondo la famiglia svedese – non delle Åland – di questa ragazza conosciuta martedì) e protettivi del territorio (non puoi comprare una casa o un terreno a meno che non sei cittadino delle isole Åland, il che vuol dire aver vissuto qui per almeno cinque anni)

Martedì 5 giugno

Sfrutto la mia insonnia dovuta all’eccitazione da primo lavoro e dall’ora in più di luce (come se non fosse già bastato vedere scendere il Sole alle 22,30 in Svezia – nel Värmland!). Come forse avevo anticipato e raccontato, lunedì scorso ho avuto un’introduzione al ristorante, e poi ho lavorato tre ore. Venerdì scorso (fino a ieri, lunedì) invece ho iniziato il mio orario regolare, dalle 16 alle 23 escludendo sabato, dato che dovevamo servire per un matrimonio, ho lavorato dalle 14,30 alle 01.30. Proprio di questo vorrei parlare!

Giovedì scorso, 30 giugno, ho seguito la famiglia con cui vivo ad una serata barbecue ad un camping vicino alla spiaggia, nel centro dell’arcipelago. Berit è stata organizzatrice e responsabile di un festival di danze popolari di vari paesi del nord, e questa serata è stata un raduno dei vari partecipanti. Musica tradizionale e danze tipiche soprattutto da tradizioni antiche danesi e norvegesi. Quando ce ne stavamo per andare io e Sofi, una delle sorelle della famiglia abbiamo cercato di farci spazio in un cerchio strettissimo di danzatori molto felici – ed alcuni molto ubriachi – provenienti da tutto il nord che ballavano e cantavano, a volte non conoscendo la lingua ma capendo comunque. tra le tante, Sinklars vísa è una delle due che abbiamo ballato. Ritmo regolare, molti versi e sempre due passi da ricordare, due a sinistra e uno a destra. La danza che vedete nel video è esattamente quella che abbiamo danzato noi! Davvero bello poter conoscere cose così nuove e diverse! La canzone è originaria della Norvegia, e le parole narrano la battaglia di Kringen avenuta nel 1612 ad Otta, in Norvegia . Qui trovate informazioni in inglese sulla battaglia – e qui in italiano anche in generale sulla guerra di Kalmar, mentre qui il testo completo in originale e la traduzione in inglese.

 

Per continuare, sabato c´è stato il matrimonio e anche quella giornata è stata una bella esperienza – ovvero assistere ad una festa di matrimonio svedese! Sicuramente molto diverso dai matrimoni italiani, la cena è statamolto tranquilla all’inizio, non c´è stata né musica né nessuno che ballava fino alle 23.00. La serata è stata piena di discorsi – gli svedesi sono molto attenti alle tradizioni, burocrazie e diplomazie varie in certe occasioni! e, sopresa sorpresa, giochi di gruppo! Una delle prime canzoni – che poi hanno anche accompagnato alcuni brindisi – diceva “chi gioca a calcio si alzi dalla sedia” “chi è fidanzato faccia una piroetta” e “chi ha figli faccia un inchino”. E ogni mezz’ora per qualche motivo sconosciuto a tutti noi camerieri, un gruppo di gente iniziava a correre intorno al tavolo passando dagli sposi e facendo qualcosa che mi è sfuggito dato che in quel momento cercavo di non essere colpita da questa carica di gente che correva e di rimanere in equilibrio con il mio vassoio pieno di bicchieri di cristallo 😀 Alle 23 la band ha iniziato a suonare e anche se eravamo molto stanchi la musica ha aiutato molto, anche se trattenersi dal ballare è stato difficilissimo per me! Sono stata fortunata ad essere stata mandata a casa all’uan e trenta perché alcuni sono ovviamente dovuti stare fino alla fine, ovvero alle 4,30!

Comunque…qui sotto potete sentire uno dei brani da brindisi che si cantano in Svezia, questo l’ho anche cantato con il coro dell’università di Karlstad!

Qui alle Åland è l’una di notte. Anche se l’insonnia ha fatto i suoi danni nelle scorse due notti, ora cerco di addormentarmi che domani sarà il mio secondo giorno di riposo e avrò una prima festa con i colleghi di lavoro a casa di una ragazza. Barbecue, sauna, e pallavolo…non suona male vero? All’ultimo minuto prima di andare a dormire sono anche riuscita ad organizzare un passaggio per l’andata e il ritorno…il non avere la patente si fa sentire qui al Nord! Soprattutto quando l’ultimo autobus passa alle 6 e il primo la mattina alle 7.

Perdonate gli errori sintattici se ci sono, ma sono abbastanza stanca e ormai non scrivo in italiano da molto tempo. Mi piace molto di più scrivere in inglese ma ciò esclude molti lettori dal leggere i post (compresi i miei nonni!) e quindi devo trattenermi e scrivere in italiano!

Ora vi saluto! A presto e buonanotte!

P.S. Credo che la confusione riguardo a dove le isole Åland si trovino sia ai massimi livelli tra i lettori dei miei post. E vi capisco! Quindi vi darò una breve spiegazione. Le Åland appartenevano in passato alla Svezia e poi per qualche casino storico di cui potete sicuramente leggere qui se volete 😀 le Åland sono mezze indipendenti, ma legate legislativamente e politicamente – anche se hanno un proprio governo e parlamento! – alla Finlandia, e culturalmente e linguisticamente alla Svezia! Confusione ancora eh? Insomma, in poche parole sono in Svezia!

E poi, mi sono appena resa conto di aver tralasciato alcune cose accennate nel primo paragrafo! Appena potrò ci ritornerò e scriverò tutto 😀

Paddling, chilling, and sunbathing.

Wait, yet, where am I?

20160627_225641

I am not gonna say I feel already at home at Åland, or maybe I should. The thing is that now, as long as I have a place to stay and a roof on my head I do not longer need too long time to feel myself comfortable in a new place. For some months ago, starting a new activity I would feel the need of meeting persons in that group, but now I just panic and stress a bit before arriving in a new place though I know I will meet people quite soon after approaching that new place. Åland – talking about this – has been kind of a surprise to me. I knew I would meet someone during this month and that I probably would not have that much time to meet people because of shifts at the restaurant, but the thing is that a lot of things just happened from the very beginning of my stay here.

News of the day
Meeting this girl yesterday at the lake was one of the things that made my routine rolling faster than I would have ever imagined. Together with one of the sisters we went to the lake this mornign around 11.00 and laid on the platform sunbathing a lot, drinking coffee with the sound of the water and talking very much. Later Linnea – the girl from Karlstad – and me took a kayak and paddled up to Kastelholms slott. There are so many images I would like to share with you but as long as I do not find the camera cable that will not be possible. Everything is pushed into my trolley, the only thing is that right now I just have everything there and things are not as easy as it may sound 😀 So, patience and I will publish images soon 🙂 🙂 Btw, as I was saying, the castle is close to the restaurant, and after the kayak part we bought a ice cream and sat in the sun, and later again we visited the little prison in the old village. Intresting and cheap! We canoed back home with a bit of head-wind but it was ok. In the evening I was invited for dinner at their place, and crap what a nice house they have, together with the view from the terrace. For those who  already follow me from my exchange year in 2013, you maybe remember the images of Carl Larsson’s family house, full of colors and really particular architecture inside – besides, those furnitures ispired many IKEA furnitures! And if you do not, sure you can check here and here don’t you? 😛 Sorry for that, I just saw it is in Italian, but sure you can use a browser translator right? 😀 Well, the house I visited today was not much different from that, incredibly nice. We ate a traditional Swedish summer dinner I would say, on the balcony eating grilled meat and sallad, finished with sitting on the sofas outside drinking coffee – is there something sounding wrong with all that? At least I am sure I will have energy to keep finishing writing the post and maybe uploading images!!! 😉

I am so happy to be familiar with the Swedish way of living. If a thing does not work at the moment, it will. If something goes wrong, it will surely be better. There are no bad weather conditions just bad clothes. If you learn how to experience every season of the year you will never get depressed during winter. Feeling bad about one thing will not make things any better. And drink coffee for God sake, that surely will help any pain!

I am developing my Swedish as I ever could imagine, Åland is much more similar to Sweden than it may seem, it is actually the same, and products are being imported from both Sweden and Finland, it is very incredible to be here 😀

When I move from Sweden I often keep with me that part of cultural background I learnt about Sweden and which I made mine. It works just like this, I meet people and Imost often behave as a Swede than everything else, still keeping by deepest Italian cultural background. But ways of greetings, of feeling comfortable at almost strangers’ places, being able to see silence as a pause between talks and not just as a miss, always still stay with me when meeting at least Sweds and others from Scandinavia – often just no Italian people. When I speak Swedish I am often a bit more relaxed, while with the English I speak very fast and let me Italian accent flow stronger 🙂
Another curious thing is that when I speak with Sweds about Sweden I always see myself – a bit of course, not directly and completely – as one coming from Värmland, and I find this very interesting. It was actually very interesting how I could feel linked to Värmland and Karlstad when today I spoke very much about Karlstad with Linnea who has been living there all her life!

For those who are EU-citizens and can speak any nordic languages, I really recommend Nordjobb, since I think is an enormous opportunity to take the first steps in the working environment and get some experience, as get as having a work place in some of the nicest and most relaxing places in Europe 🙂 More info will come later in next posts 🙂

See you soon, I’ll crush in my bed watching a film!

First days, Swedish feeling

Hi again! Quarter past eleven in the night here at the Åland islands, still very tired as it was 1.00 a.m., I guess my brain is still processing all the things happening here!

Yesterday was the first time I was at the restaurant, I forgot to write in the blog but I actually had an intro to the restaurant and then got the chance to work 18 to 21. Many things going on since I never worked in a restaurant before, but it looks very intresting and motivating to be there, so I look forward to my next shifts. Nice “colleagues” (makes me feel so old to say this word!) and very nice environment!

At home – Berit and one of the sons had picked me up at the restaurant – we sat watching a part of England-Island cheering so badly for the latest! I went to bed around 23.30 incredibly tired. Woke up this morning again around  10,30 and had breakfast. Lunch later and then sat in the sun for a while, as well as reading some papers I got from the restaurant yesterday. We had dinner outside and then I got a walk around to explore a bit the place. When I came back from the lake the all family was going to take a bath and I followed them there again. The funny thing is that among the family’s acquaintances is a family from Karlstad, and the daughter reached us at the lake. We talked a bit and tomorrow we’ll take a kayak tour. Things are happening just after some hours, always so exciting to travel!

When we went home I was actually planning to watch a movie on my own in the bed before starting to sleep, but I was very glad to be called from downstairs to help set the table before a “kvälls te” (an evening tea) with the family. I really appreciated that and had a pleasure time with them – everyone is very talkative which is so similar to my way of being. Feels like I will get along pretty good with the siblings!

I need to sleep now, I’ll see you soon!

Where am I? Of foggy (is)lands, boat names and new dialects.

Monday, 27th June 2016

Try to imagine my face when, finally arrived on the island of Åland, in the harbor of Mariehamn, I was welcomed by a tall, thin, super kind and nice woman – I had been talking to her with e-mail in the last weeks – who met me in a very warm way and gave me a very warm hug. The trip has been a long one yesterday. I left the campus in Karlstad after having breakfast with some friends and at 8,45 my bus was leaving to the bus station. I then took the first bus to Stockholm, and here the adventure starts. A police car was in front of us and someone from the inside told the bus driver to stop. Thee “old uncle” as it was later called by the woman driving the bus, gave her a alcohol test and told her that the destination on the screen should not be blinking. Well, for such a stupid thing we waited for 20 minutes, and the bus company had to call the train company to ask if the train from Örebro which many where going to take, could stop and wait for the bus passengers. Well, when the woman who was driving the bus told us what had just happened, she was very anxious about the consequences and a bit angry…so at the end she got a warm applaude! Rain, warmth and heavy luggages when I changed the bus. Arrived in Stockholm I was very tired after some hours of sitting in the bus. I had lunch in the station, went around a lot, took a coffee, had videochat and calls, reda and wrote on my blog, spoke with someone at the very end. I then took the bus to the harbor which would take a hour to be reached. The funniest thing is that the boat is called Rosella! Super foggy had been already in Sweden, but on the way to the harbor and all the way to the island it was impossible to see anything, so you can really imagine how boring the journey was!

On the bus to the harbor the driver was also very funny, he took the microphone and said something like “well welcome onboard, just say that I would have really liked not to be working in the Midsummer weekend but this is life…well, let’s drive on this (“rondella” in Italian, can’t find the word since I don’t have internet) just once otherwise they get angry!

Differently from what I was expecting, nobody here speaks Swedish with a very strong accent (or is, actually, a dialect) and I actually missed the thing that they are not at all bilingual in the Åland island, but the first language is Swedish, and when they grow up they start with studying English and then Swedish. Berit is the name of the woman who came and pick me up, and since I will stay here for a month and I have already lived with a host-family for a long time, I definitely feel part of the family – as long as they tell me I can do so, and she did! Since we were going to pick up one of her children to another harbor at 1.00 a.m. (Finland is a hour more than Sweden) she drove me everywhere in the island to show me things a bit, even though unfortunately it was incredibly foggy, which was a nice experience anyway. Brit told me a lot about everything, including the thing that one-hundred-fifty folk dancers from Sweden will come in this week for the Nordic Fold Dance festival, and that she is managing a lot of things related to that. Moreover, they will eat on Thursday at Smakbyn, the restaurant where I will start to work today.

When we went and pick up the daughter at the harbor in the other side of the island, it was not at all cold but very very foggy – around 14°! I can just say that Berit is Finnish from the strong “r” she has sometimes, but the eldest daughter sounds completely Swedish!

It took a hour to go home after the harbor, so we were at home at 2.00 local time. The house is very nice and big! They have vegetables and fruits cultivation and the house is just in front of a forest and close to the water. The son works in a bike shop and we will have to try to find a bike for myself, since I am very short compared to the people here! So, this is gonna be funny as well! Berit showed me the house and when I went upstairs some animal skins where just hanged close to my bed! But I was so tired I got asleep very fast!
Berit’s husband I have heard works in the forest! and that really makes me feel of stories about trolls and fairies in the north, I know that’s stupid, but it just does!

I am totally surprised about how many things I have to tell after less then 5 hours awake here in Åland.

Funny thing? Meeting people from the Åland is making me feel very Swedish! And I guess many thinks that I am a Swede with Italian background!

Another funny one? The word “tatti” – my surname – means a kind of mushroom in Finnish!

They just asked me if I wanted to put something in the laundry starting now, that’s not really Italian is not it? I mean putting your clothes in almost strangers laundries, but as said, here in Scandinavia people really welcome you as a part of the family almost right away, then it stands to you to accept the invitation or not! So, I really got used to this and I like it!

Well, I got breakfast with porridge, strawberries, apple mousse and smashed raspberries! I will have a little lunch later, but first I will need to study the menu of the restaurant and got used with the different ways of preparing the table for new guests. If there will not be any new work shifts for me in this week, I will start to work on the 1st of July which is this coming Friday, and for the following three days, including serving at a wedding on Saturday the 2nd!

I will see you soon, and sorry to my family and friends if I cannot answer but I do not have internet, maybe I will not buy it either, since it is just for a month! Maybe I will just use a bit from the house’ internet to publish my posts 🙂

See you soon and have a nice start of the week!

Varmt och fuktigt

Sitter i centralstationen i Stockholm. En kopp kaffe bredvid mig och jag väntar att den ska kyla ner. Skjol och kort armat tröja gör mig inte känna mindre stressad och kallare än luften är. Regn och varmt har det varit under hela resan som jag började i morse från Karlstad till Stockholm. Trafik under sista delen från Västerås, och i början fick chaufforen stanna då destinationen blinkte på bussen och enligt polisen var inte det o helt ok, antagligen. Blev 20 minuter försenat men ankom i Stockholm ändå i tid.

Åt en macka på Subway och lugnade mig lite en stund innan jag gick och satt mig på stationen. Backpacking verkar vara top resstil just nu. Ser fram emot och göra en sånt trip igen, utan att boka tak över huvud eller annat.

Ska dricka min kaffe nu, och läsa Solstorm av Åsa Larsson. Kl.18 ska jag ta bussen som åker till hamnen och åka då båten till Mariehamn, på Åland. Där ska familjen där jag kommer att bo på en månad hämta mig.

Har introduktion imorgon på restaurangen och ska faktiskt ta mitt första passet imorgon. Märkte att på lördag blir det bröllop på restaurangen. Ser faktiskt fram emot att jobba den dag 🙂 😉

Ses snart och ha en bra söndag! 😉