Things to do in Sweden during summer

 

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Guys I was too lazy to put together an article or you so I went and lifted something to keep you entertained from www.sweden.se.

This is basically what one can do in Sweden. Personally, I haven’t don’t much of what is recommended but I will definitely try it. So if you ever come to Sweden during summer please try out these things……….

1.Go for a swim in Malmö
Sweden’s Copacabana is in Malmö. The sandy beach of ‘Ribban’, Ribersborg, stretches for about 2.5 kilometres and is surrounded by green areas. Neighbouring Västra Hamnen (Western Harbour) is a Swedish summer hot spot as well, boasting wooden swim decks all along the boardwalk. This sustainable district grew out of a housing exhibition, Bo01, and is filled with interesting architecture. Its restaurants and cafés burst with life during the summer – and you’re only a five-minute bike ride from Malmö’s city centre.

2 Stay in a cottage
There are nearly 600,000 summer houses in Sweden. And more than 50 per cent of the Swedes have access to them through family or friends. A few of the most popular summer house destinations for Swedes can be found in the provinces of Småland, Skåne and Öland. Also, there are cottages for rent all over the country. The Dutch, Danes, Norwegians and Germans, among others, have already discovered the charm of the Swedish sommarstuga(summer cottage). If you want to spend summer like a Swede, make sure to spend a few nights in a cottage.

Kenyans no longer fascinated by majuu~Award winning singer

3. Follow the trail to Gotland
The island of Gotland is where half of Stockholm goes during the summer. In the medieval city of Visby, a UNESCO world heritage site, ancient cobblestoned streets and fortified city walls meet modern restaurants, cafés and shops. A short ferry ride northeast of Gotland lies the smaller island of Fårö, where demon director Ingmar Bergman used to live. Its natural limestone monoliths, raukar, dramatically dot the coastline. Both Fårö and Gotland are famous for their many flea markets – but more about the latter later.

4 Check out a music festival
Swedish summer is festival season. Way Out West, or WOW, is the most popular music festival with about 30,000 visitors – more won’t fit into the Gothenburg park of Slottsskogen where it takes place in August. It has been prized as the ‘Most Innovative Festival’ by MTV and, since 2012, WOW only serves vegetarian food. The decision, hailed by Jamie Oliver, has reduced the festival’s carbon footprint with 20 per cent. SJ, a state-owned railway company, contributes to the cause of sustainability with a special festival train from Stockholm. WOW is also Europe’s biggest combined music and film festival.

5. Explore the archipelago
Sweden has tens of thousands of lakes and islands – and the archipelagos of Gothenburg and Stockholm are just a short ride from the city centres. There’s always the possibility of going boating or kayaking, something that Swedes really make use of. Allemansrätten, the right of public access, makes it easy to explore small islands and inlets on your own. And there are boats in abundance, with Sweden being the world’s fourth most pleasure boat-dense country.

Can I call my bestfriend black?

6 Hang out in central Stockholm
Stockholm, the ‘Venice of the North’, is situated on 14 islands, where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. The city has as many as 30 official beach baths, but many more unofficial ones. Summertime, people tend to take a dip wherever they feel like it; Lake Mälaren has been clean enough to fish and swim in since 1971. Climbing Skinnarviksberget on the island of Södermalm for a stellar view and an ad-hoc barbeque is another popular pastime during the Swedish capital’s bright summer nights.

7 Pick blueberries in Dalarna
Dalarna is perhaps the quintessential Swedish province, with its red wooden cottages, deep green forests and Dala horses. The red colour of the houses, falu rödfärg, consists of ochre pigment from the copper mine in Falun mixed with linseed oil. Using a few more colours, the famous painters of Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn captured the spirit of Dalarna. This region is perfect for immersing yourself in traditional Midsummer celebrations or listening to Swedish folk music. When you need a break from all of this loud Swedishness, head into the woods for some quiet blueberry picking.

8. Hunt for bargains at flea markets
If you drive through the Swedish countryside, you’re bound to come across a few loppis signs. Loppis, or loppmarknad, means flea market and could very well be the most important word to know on a Swedish road trip. Follow one of those signs for a chance to hang out with the locals and check out their (soon to be former) belongings in garden or garage sales. Items may include anything from treasures to trash, but that’s all part of the flea market charm, right? Either way, a fika is most likely on offer, and going to loppisar is a Swedish folk sport if any.

Is this the ‘Kenyan’ accent?

9. Go hiking by Höga Kusten
Höga Kusten, ‘the high coast’, is a UNESCO world heritage site. Its hilly scenery with high islands, steep shores, smooth cliffs and deep inlets is the highest land uplift in the world. Formed during the Ice Age, it is literally rising from the sea. So is the lighthouse hostel of Högbonden, an interesting place to stay the night. Höga kusten is popular among hikers, who take advantage of the right of public access. The area is also home to Sweden’s weirdest food, surströmming, fermented or sour herring. Chances are you won’t want to eat it after you’ve had a sniff.

10. Catch the midnight sun
The further north you go, the brighter the Swedish summer nights. If you go all the way up above the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn’t set at all between 25 May and 19 July. That’s 56 days of pure daylight! Summer temperatures in the sparsely populated north of Sweden are often a comfortable 15°C, but can reach up to 30°C. Tip: Go trekking above the tree line – there are no mosquitoes up there, and the view’s better too. You can stay in cabins along the road or bring a tent. If you’ve already experienced the northern lights, why not catch some midnight sun?

I was called a Nigga in front of my son – Ex-Radio presenter

Linda Ochanda, how many of you remember that name?

I remember the first time I heard about her she was hosting World Cup analysis on KBC alongside some famous actor. what was his name? Sikumbuki!

Anyway some colleagues in the media circles were very salty about it and said some mean words. Saitani! But she held her head high and conquered it like a boss lady.

I don’t know how Linda and I met but we have always kept tabs on each other. By the way before I forget, she had a show on Ghetto radio called Chanuka dada, then she moved to mid morning Niaje Niaje alongside Lion wa Mbusi and then became a HR before she left Ghetto Radio.

So Linda now lives in Italy with her lovely sons and husband. So how is life so far? I asked her……

I’m I with stupid?

1. What were your expectations before moving to Italy?

Linda did not answer this question because she had a sugar rush on the night of this interview and had to hop into the shower at some point. I kid you not….she said this on the voice notes.

2. What do you wish you knew before your big move?

The language barrier. Learning a new language is not easy!

4. Do you regret?

I don’t regret leaving the beautiful Kenya because of education for my kids. My kids are Italian citizens and therefore have free medical care. At least I don’t have to pay for insurance. Moving here was also therapeutic. I was able to fight my demons. I battled mild depression.

5. Things you wish people back home know?

Do not watch too much TV and think that’s the life on social media. Don’t be looking at people and think that they are balling. People are struggling out here. Managing two jobs at a time.

6. What’s do you love most about Italy?

Aside from touristic nature they are closer to African culture. They are actually superstitious. Like they believe that opening umbrella in the house is a sign of bad luck. They sometimes remind me of jangos ; they floss. They are vocal and emotional in everything they do. At least they can fake a smile. They are family oriented.

Rest In Peace Kisang’ule!

7.Is there racism and how do you deal with it?

There is racism. Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of the Interior since 1 June 2018, Matteo Salvini. He became so popular because he promised to clamp down immigration. I have faced racism in front of my child. I was called a nigger in front of my son and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I, however have chosen to be the bigger person and walk away. I’m not going to war with sick people. Racism is a disease, just like tribalism!

Kenyans no longer fascinated by majuu~Award winning singer

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I know most of you are here for ‘mbenyo’ but will be ‘disappointing’ that this is just a simple story of another Kenyan trying to survive abroad.

You guys need to understand that I’m a changed person and I stopped gossiping. What? It’s true! Ok fine! I do gossip still. But not for a living anymore. I just gossip as a hobby. Gossip is now an extra-curricular activity for me.

So anyway whom have I dragged to my madness this time? You ask?

Her name is Hottensiah Muchai. She is a radio presenter, actress, singer and fitness enthusiast. But some of you may know her as Hottie. But for the sake of millenials let me post this video so that I can refresh your memory. No wait, this is actually the remix and I can’t find the original version.

But she is all grown up now and has made a big name for herself in Austria as a Radio and TV queen. And if you don’t believe me please check out this video where she is interviewing P-square.

So anyway this is what she shared with me ……
1.How was your first year after relocation like?

Exciting and filled with a sense of adventure and discovery.Looking back, though I had never been the kind that thought of Europe as “paradise” or a better place than where I was coming from, I appreciated the opportunity to discover a new culture, a new way of living and see what was out here for me.I made new friends and did my best to adjust to the “musical city of the world”.I travelled to neighbouring countries and saw 6 of them in the first year but I also learnt some hard lessons like 100 euros wasn’t 100 kshs lol so spending habits and awareness had to change.Time seemed to move fast as well and it still does to a certain degree.

2.How long did it take for you to get a job after settling in?

It took me about 4 months to get a job in my field.I started singing as soon as I arrived as I had started connecting with other musicians and event organisers while I was still in Kenya ,but as I knew it would take some years to build my repertoire as a performer in a completely new country, getting a job in media was my top priority.It’s a career I started back in Kenya as a radio theatre actress in Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), had some roles in theatre and film and was at the time of my relocation studying for my degree in Communication Science.I eventually started working as a broadcast journalist for Radio Afrika Tv and 8 years later.I worked hard and consistently and I’m currently the Editor-in-chief and Programmes Controller at the station.I am still active with my music however and balance the two careers as they’re my passions.

Apology letter to Swedish mosquitoes

3.Do you believe racism exists and have you been discriminated before?(What happened)

I believe it does and I can say I’ve experienced subtle racism,for instance you get it into shops where sales people follow you around and its quiet obvious its more than “just doing their job”,certain rude remarks that are directed to you because of your skin colour etc.At first,I was taken aback and abit furious experiencing and hearing some of this stories.I grew up in a very multicultural environment back in Kenya.From neighbours to school teachers,my first best friend in kindergarten was from Czech/Slovakia,so I found this discrimination based on skin color absolutely insane.With time however,I saw it for what it really was because on the other hand,I met and have extremely great friends in this country and since I’ve always been very confident and secure about my heritage,I now see discrimination of any kind as insecurity and people who just had a bad day,not happy with themselves or totally clueless about other cultures and barely travelled outside their own country.I try to avoid situations and places that I know may expose me to this mental illness as I see it.

What I also urge fellow expats to do is to create initiatives,campaigns and platforms that address racism and all forms of discrimination that minority groups experience and in the same breath,showcase what their homeland has to offer.I created a programme,Diaspora Colors,accessible on Tv;Web and radio,to do exactly this.It showcases the talent and skills of Africans living in the diaspora be it in the arts,activism or corporate fields and the response from the community has been amazing.Instead of going out protesting and getting angry on a daily,I believe creating this kinds of platforms also brings across a very strong point without loosing precious energy.Life is happening every day, and as we strive to bring our issues to the forefront,we need to be growing in the process and show the community who we really are and what we have to offer.Let’s change the narrative.

Does Bongo Flava singer regret relocating to Europe?

4.Do you get homesick and how do you deal with it?

Yes I do.My family is very important to me and I I have a very strong bond with them.I had no idea how hard it would be to be away until I was away.To make it easier,I keep in touch with all of them almost daily and my Sundays are strictly scheduled for family time.I’m totally grateful for the internet and technology as it makes it much easier so we audio and video chat for hours.I have one of my sisters living in a neighbouring country so we have each other and I travel home as often as I can.

5.Do you get requests from people asking you to get them a job abroad and how do you deal with that?

Well,lol yes I do.It’s not as easy to get a job here as some may think and I do my best to explain the reality and also the way the system runs here in terms of migration and the law.Language plays a huge role in navigating one’s life here.It’s not until I learnt German that I started feeling that I belong.One has to be able to converse,job search and attend interviews that are mostly conducted in the language.This applies to other expats also coming from other parts of Europe and the world.If by sheer chance one lands a job in an international organisation or one that needs the language one already speaks,then you are in luck,but that is seldom.

However,I always appreciate when someone reaches out to me and I do my best to give them all the information they would need if they are keen to relocate.

6.You are also into fitness . What inspired you?

I started my fitness journey back home in 2007.I popularly had the title of the singer who was proud of her African curves and embraced them.I still do.However,my health was starting to suffer.I was also very sporty and athletic in my younger years before joining high school.At the same time,puberty hit and I added so much weight.I decided to do something about it,not to loose my curves but to be healthy and go back to my sporty self.In the process,not only did my body change but so did my life,the way I viewed the world and discovering myself in a whole new light.I loved who I was morphing into and I stuck to eating healthy and staying fit and do so till this day.I plan to write an e-book detailing my journey and all the tips I used to stay strong and consistent,as I’ve gotten many requests from those who witnessed my transformation.

Fitness has become a daily part of my schedule here too because living abroad requires one to have alot of spiritual and mental strength.If there’s one activity that keeps me focused and balanced,it has to be fitness.

Types of Kenyans you will meet abroad

7.What do you miss the most about Kenya?

Everything! My people,my family and friends,the food..I enjoy watching my Mum on video calls preparing chapatis in the kitchen and my Dad settling down for his meal as we talk.All I can do is salivate lol but I do try to prepare Kenyan meals when I can.

I miss the Sun,oh the Sun! and the smell of the soil,especially when it rains.First thing I do when I land is step on that ground and just breath in Kenya !

8.What misconception about Europe do you wish Kenyan’s could get over?

Hmm,the view for me on these misconceptions has changed over time as I frequent home and I see how much Kenyan’s perception of going abroad has changed.Kenyans are an intelligent group of people and have been in the forefront of many technologies,take block-chain and Mpesa for instance.Kenya has a lot to offer and its my hope that the government can continue striving to make the country conducive for Kenyans to bring it to its full potential as they in turn get their basic human needs met that are vital for any society to grow and a right for each Kenyan.There’s so much potential in our country and for those of us in the diaspora we aim to harness all we have learnt here and contribute to the growth and development of our country.

Earlier on though,I would get bombarded with ‘oh wow,you’re so lucky ‘oh how I wish I could come to Europe’ etc.With time however and with great access to the internet,Kenyans truly get to see that life abroad isn’t so much different from life at home,they aren’t so blinded by the idea of going abroad.Winter is no joke and relationships are no different meaning men and women are the same everywhere irrespective of their skin color.Someones character is of utmost importance.You may also go two to three months without seeing your neighbours and apart from having your loved one and friends in your life,everyone is busy(including you) so you have to fall in love with the idea of ‘Me’ time until summer arrives lol.

Can I call my bestfriend black?

All in all,I’d love it if they understand that while yes,there are some perks of living abroad-some are great like the health care system and infrastructure,they should know that working hard and sometimes long hours is the same here.The wages are higher but so are the taxes and nobody hands you anything for free.One has to work extra hard and stay focused on the reasons that brought them abroad.I’m grateful for the opportunity to further my career here and to anyone giving it a try,by all means do so but with an idea of what to expect so you can hit the ground running!

That Somali perfume joke….

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While my first year abroad has been a bit harsh in some ways, I have picked up some lessons that I think I should share with you guys. Some of these lessons will leave some of you thinking I’m blunt and boring while others may understand me. This is also an opportunity for me to apologise if I had wronged them in any way below……

Don’t imitate accents…

I’m very ashamed and embarrassed for all those times I have called my Nigerian friends and tried to imitate their accents. My God! I hope they will find it in their hearts to forgive me. My karma has caught up with me. I meant no harm but I should have been smarter. That said, we live to learn.

Let West Africans be

It’s not cute to be known as a con man, drug pedlar or whatever other Kosokoso just because your fellow country man did it. It’s the same Nigeria we curse that has put Africa in the map musically. Living abroad has enabled me to look at things in a different perspective.

The Somali perfume joke is not funny

Why I don’t tell the African story

This one almost got me into trouble. I shared one of those memes we like joking about and a friend actually called up to warn me. About the Somali perfume. I don’t need to describe it further. I know you guys know what am talking about. At first I thought they were too sensitive but after sobering up I realised how insensitive it is.

So what if I shrub

Imagine I can’t laugh at Kikuyu accents ever again. I know it’s tempting but I will pass!

Can I call my bestfriend black?

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First let me clarify that we are not the first interracial bffs….. is that even a thing?

But I live in a country where you have to be careful what you say because you could easily offend someone.

Personally, I made a decision to NEVER start any conversation because I might end up making an enemy while my original intention was to make a new friend.

Yeap, Sweden made me shy!

But before you feel so sorry for me just know that I have a friend. Someone I can be myself around. Her name is Jenifer Reina from Guatemala in Central America.

I’m introducing you to Jenny because as most of you may have seen on my Instagram and Facebook page, I will be Vlogging alot. And Jenny will be part of it once in a while.

I remember the first day I met Jenny in class I was sitting in my secluded corner as always. Any efforts to socialise had hit the wall. I had too much energy and everyone I tried to socialise with acted a bit strange.

Mistakes we make as immigrants

But then Jenny happened. We have been friends for six months now but we have seen each other through so much stuff. Maybe you might think am being dramatic but making friends at this age in Europe is not a walk on the park. Jenny has seen me have a meltdown more than once. And she still looked for me. She didn’t give up on me or think am weird.

So the other day we were talking about all the political correctness and how much it affects you as a human being. I got a little curious and asked Jenny these questions….

What did you think of Africa before you met me?
I thought of Africa as an exotic place that is well known because of its beautiful wild animals. A country that has both poor and rich, with a big social gap but also that is on its way to development with people living in small or big houses. I make the clarification of people living in houses because once I met a person from U.S.A. and he told me that he thought that all Guatemalans lived in trees. Making the comparison with my country, I also know that in Africa there is a percentage of indigenous people that live in tribes.

Why I don’t tell the African story

Is there a misconception about African people that you changed your mind about after our friendship?
Definitely! I want to have more friends as Cate. Honestly I did not have any problem meeting African people, I just hadn’t had the chance of meeting someone from Africa and building a friendship. And now that I have met my friend Cate, it feels like we have been friends from so long ago! The color of our skin (I am very pale) has never ever been an issue.

What question have you always wanted to ask me that you are afraid to?
I have already done that haha. I was afraid and still am of saying “black people” because it sounds racist. Media has created so much drama with the use of these words. But then Cate told me that there was no problem referring to someone this way. I still can’t say them openly but now I know what Cate thinks and how she feels about it.

Let Africa be!

What common thing do Kenyans share with Guatemalans? Based on the stories I tell you?
“Bailando” haha that is what my friend Cate always says to me when she hears me speaking Spanish. I think we share the same positive energy and sense of humor, where we just laugh for no reason at all, just for making the best out of life. I think Kenyans and Guatemalans are very social and friendly people that are always willing to help someone even if they have just met the person for 1 minute. Regarding the country in general, I think we share almost the same warm weather and the same social and economical differences. I still haven’t tried Kenyan food but I can almost be certain that we share the same taste in spices and variety of flavours 🙂