Archive for August, 2011

Eid prayers in Cairo

August 30, 2011

After a month of Ramadan and fasting, it’s now Eid, and it feels like all of Cairos 17 million inhabitants decided to go out and pray at the same time. I thought Alexandria was crazy, but this might have been worse. The prayers started at sunrise and I just had to go and watch it. I’m becoming more fascinated by Muslims. They have a very strong devotion and they really rely on their religion! It was really a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see all these people pray on the streets.

Advertisements

Khan-il-khalil, Cairo

August 28, 2011

I’m back in Cairo for a few days and have been to one of my favourite places here: The bazaar in Khan-il-Khalil. Bought spices, oils and just sat in one of the many cafees smoking sisha and people watching.

Ramadan on the streets, Alexandria

August 27, 2011

It’s ramadan now, the month of fast and prayers for muslims and no-one is eating or drinking during day-time. I am not fasting but are trying to show some respect by not eating in front of people. I’ve noticed that specially elders can get very upset when you eat something and they are trying to make you fast and starts preaching about god, islam, heaven & hell and why drinking that sip of water is bad for you. So to avoid all that, I’m just sneaking out when I’m eating.

Muslim Brotherhood had taken over Alexandria and they are organizing what they call Ramadan Street Prayers. Millions of people are gathered on the streets every evening from 20-02 and just pray for a few hours. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s impossible to walk around like normal cause there is prayer mats and specially men everywhere. People have come from many other surrounding arab countries to be able to pray as close as possible to the big church here in Alex. Manal lives very close to that church and it’s impossible to get out because of the prayers. We have to quickly sneak out when they are having their snack-break and we can not return to the house until they are finished.

Alexandria, Egypt

August 27, 2011

I spent a weekend in Alexandria to visit my yoga friend Manal that I met in Thailand. We were four girls taking the train from Cairo and arriving in the much cooler Alexandria. I was so glad to swop the hot, humid and dusty big city to this coast  and the Mediterranean sea for a few days.

Long days at the beach..playing, eating, gossiping, doing yoga..

Amazing sunset..

 

Zazi’, Egyptian countryside

August 24, 2011

After a few days in Cairo, my cousin talked me into visiting the countryside with her family. After a few hours in a over-crowded car and miles of desert, we arrived in Zazi’.

When me and the girls was walking out of the house, we were met by about 50 woman sitting down on the floor rolling cookies. They really wanted us to sit down with them and help them out. It was a big cookie night, and everyone in the village was gathered to bake the cookies for the wedding of a village girl. The women was so fascinated by us. We were as fascinated by them. They were talking very loud and laughing and we really stole the attention. They had never met anyone from outside of Egypt before and they had millions of questions to us.

Istanbul

August 22, 2011

A short stop in Istanbul with my sister and brother on our way down to Cairo. We had a stroll around the city, stayed in Sultanahmet and admired the impressive mosques Aya Sofya and Blue Mosque. Classic turkish evening with water-pipes and strong sweet black tea and meze : )

You know you are Swedish when…

August 10, 2011

You go seriously sentimental when entering an IKEA store, outside the borders of Sweden.

You secretly love the Eurovision Song Contest to pieces.

Whenever discussing international problems you always, without exception state that “why don’t you do it like we do it in Sweden?”

You have serious difficulties crossing the street when there is a red light. Even when there are no cars.

You get guilty conscience from throwing things in the dustbin that could have been recycled.

You take your shoes off when entering a house.

You find the ads for Coca Cola during Christmas completely useless since no one would consider drinking any other soft drink than “julmust” during Christmas anyway.

You have a summerhouse in the countryside.

Making fun of Norway is a national institution. And vise versa.

You are obsessed with health issues. Everything is bad unless it comes from Sweden, in which case its ok.

You find it normal to have to go to a special store that is owned by the government, that’s only open during daytime to buy a bottle of wine, or other alcoholic beverages.

You split the check by the exact penny after eating at a restaurant.

You thought wall-to-wall carpets were a concept of the past or the ferries to Finland/Estonia/Germany/Denmark. Then you went abroad and realised that you were wrong.

You find the idea of wall-to-wall carpets in bathrooms and toilets simply appalling.

You consider Sweden the best place on earth and that Swedes are the most intelligent and beautiful people in the world.

You have been accused of being from Switzerland. Repeatedly.

You just love singing “snapsvisor” while drinking any kind of alcohol.

You would never use public transportation without a valid ticket.

You generally consider the pre-party better than the night out in a club that follows.

You look forward all year for August when you get to gather your friends, put on stupid paper hats, drink vodka, sing and eat crayfish.

You always go “That’s not REAL snow” whenever it snows in countries that usually don’t get snow.

It’s raining and you hear yourself say your grandmother’s wise words, “There is no bad weather, just bad clothes”

You constantly have to point out that not EVERYONE in Sweden is blonde, in fact you add that most people are not.

IKEA is home away from home.

You find it OBVIOUS that a mile is 10 kilometers.

You consider it tradition to get wasted and dance around a giant penis symbol stuck in the ground every summer.

You think it’s perfectly normal to pay over 50 % of your income in taxes.

You go to the downtown during a Sunday and don’t expect to meet a single soul during a 30-minute walk.

You think its completely normal to at least have studied one year of German, one year of French and one year of Spanish.

You know almost every other country in the world as well as most capital cities, or have at least studied this for a Geography test.

Every time you see a Swedish brand/actor/company/phone/car/furniture store you feel compelled to point that out to your friends (with badly hidden pride in your voice).

You find teenage mums shocking and very strange; because you don’t know anyone who had a child before 25, and you thought that was young.

Lösgodis (pick ‘n’ mix) becomes more desirable than cigarettes.

Your parents pay you every month for not eat candy for a year (or so)

You in pure disgust try to tell your fellow peers that it’s basic human behavior to shower after PE and they look at you like you come from a different planet.

People say your name in fifty different ways, but no one can get it right.

You just love to ‘fika’, and know that it is an activity that is meant to last for hours and is not the equivalent of going for a coffee.

You instinctively spot ‘Swedes’ from a distance just based on looks and what they’re wearing.

You think going to the pub for a drink is a waste of time if you’re not going to get drunk.

You brag about the free healthcare and the free school system to every non-Swede that you have a political conversation with.

You have absolutely no idea what is meant by” Swedish massage” that keeps being advertised as a hot item in spas all over the world.

You’re not in Sweden you miss the hotdog stands where you can get a hotdog with shrimp salad when you have been out partying!

You celebrate Easter and Christmas a day before most other countries.

You know that real Easter eggs are not made of chocolate; they’re made of paper and filled with pick’n’mix (lösgodis)

Easter means decorating some twigs in a vase with colored feathers, eating herring and painted eggs, and of course, dressing up as a witch and knocking on random neighbors’ doors in hope of getting some candy.

You feel bad if you’re not outside on a sunny day.

You find it completely normal, when going to a pre-party (förfest) everyone has their Systembolaget-kasse in the fridge and notoriously keep track of which liquor is their liquor!Via: Iamnotasnobiamswedish.wordpress.com

In the Army

August 8, 2011

I spent a week in the swedish army. I’m all about peace so you might wonder what I was doing in the army, but they are also all about peace. They’re fighting for peoples right to live in peace.

Life in uniform is very hard to describe unless you have tried it yourself. It’s very strict rules and a very disciplined life.

I met amazing people who one day will become great soldiers 🙂

Long days in the hot sun with the heavy uniform and everything that came along with it..

What finally made me leave was the fact that I’m so against weapons. I understand why a soldier need a weapon and that it’s more about protecting than just killing, but I simply couldn’t. It’s easier said than done, but when I was standing with the heavy Ak4 in my hands, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I’m too against killing, even if it’s for protection or for peace. One of my rules in life is to never do anything I can’t stand up for. And this is one of these things. I had an internal battle before giving up cause I really loved the green life, but some things you just need to sacrifice. I had to quit the course cause I don’t want to ever be able to kill or have the knowledge of how to do it. Apart from the weapon story, I’m very grateful I attended the course. I learned so much and I got a very good inside pic of how the life of a soldier is.