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China - On Route to Sweden

Well - Off on my world travels.
Who'd have thought I'd love Asia so much.
3 months down and I'm still not in Sweden - well do you blame me? Beer price is going to rise from 70c to $10!!!

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 23 February 2005

Location: Göteborg, Sweden

Hello Everyone! And welcome to my final (I think!) diary entry in Sweden. Its all finally happening, with another week and a half here in Göteborg, a week in Stockholm and then back home to Brisvegas.
So you are probably wondering what I've done to make my last couple of months worthwhile in Sweden.....
No, no skiing or boarding, not even any snowmen or snowfights! Although I did go iceskating once, and it was scary! I can tell I'm getting older cause I'm scared of falling over!
A couple of weekends ago Freddan and I drove down to the south of Sweden (where they all talk funny) to visit his sisters. Ofcourse after a week or so of beautiful sunny weather, it decided to snow storm on the weekend that we went away, so we had over 2ft of snow, and blizzard conditions the whole time that we were there. yay. It sucked cause the area we went to was supposed to be very beautiful, but I couldn't see past 1m out the car or apartment window. And it was sort of scary driving around when the little 'traction lost' button starts flashing and beeping on the dash when you're slipping around on the road with other cars.
But we actually went down for Freddans birthday, so we had a lovely birthday dinner, and then on Monday we went to Copenhagen (Denmark....) for a bit of a look around. Again, in lovely weather, would have been beautiful, but we just froze our asses off, and spent most of the time either drinking Danish beer or eating Danish pastries (good mix that!). We did have a look around Christiana in Copenhagen, which is like a little independant hippy area in the city where you can sit out in the sun, drink beer and buy drugs (they even had a sign on the departure gate saying 'Welcome to the EU'), but when we were there it was all locked up for winter, with only a few very scary looking men with dogs with muzzles and chain, offering us hash.
But, needless to say, after 3 days in the freezing and wet cold, I got a very bad case of influenza, which I am still getting over. Today is my 6th day inside, reading and watching dvds and going stir crazy. We decided to venture out yesterday cause it was a beautiful day and we were going mental so we drove down to Mastrand, which is like a holiday island where everyone goes in summer. But its got this huge fortress on it where the Swedes defended themselves against the Danes, so its sort of cool to see. But, it was -8degrees out, and we were told on the way back that the wind chill was -25degrees so maybe it wasn't such a good day trip.....
Now I busy planning my going away party for Sunday night. The boss is opening the Scotsman for me, so it should be fun, fingers crossed I'm feeling a little better.
And I'm packing up and doing all the little shitty things that have to be done. I'm leaving all my winter clothes here, so who knows, I might be back.
Anyway, looking forward to seeing you when I get back home. I washed my mobile telephone in the washing machine last week, so have lost most of my numbers, but hey, I'm sure we will work something out.
Lots of love, and be seeing you!
Anna :)
Bec in Mt Isa, have you changed your email adress? I wrote to you at the xtrata one but haven't recieved a reply..... but maybe you are just slack..... Kisses!

Sunday, 26 December 2004

Location: Sweden

I'm guessing you can all understand what that means!
Hoping you all had a great Christmas, and that it wasn't sweltering hot in Aus.
I had a nice time Christmas Eve (cause thats when us Swedes (did you like that!) celebrate here - think its something to do with getting to open your presents earlier than everyone else!). Spent it with my relatives, basically eating great Swedish Christmas food and drinking good wine and then opening our presents! Yay!
Then decided it would be a good idea to go out (how that I was a good idea I'll never know) but ended up having a blinder and getting home at 6am. And have now just come home from working for 8 hours with all the Swedes drinking like crazy with one of the worst hangovers in my life. Yes, I know, its my own fault, but I still need to whinge about it.
But anyway, I've got some new photos you might be interested in - check em out and tell me what you think.
Have a great day!
Anna :)

Friday, 26 November 2004

Location: Göteborg, Sweden

Hi Everyone, and thanks for sticking with me to see if I update my travel page.
Huge apologies to all those I should have written to by now, viz my Penrose St Flatmates, Bec in the Isa, Ricky J, Wang, the NZ-expat crowd, Katie Andrews, Courtney and Juan Juan, Masu, and the list goes on and on.....
So whats new in your lives? Getting a little warm for those down-under? I think the best way to describe the weather here would be friggin freezing, I'm wearing tights under my jeans even at work, and my friends laughed and thought I was joking when I said I was going to start wearing a full face balaclava - ha ha, no it's not that bad, as long as you don't go outside!
So last week we had our first days snow for the winter. Surprisingly, for a city in Europe that gets snow every year, they were totally unprepared for it. There were cars sliding off the roads, busses and trams stopped running, it was madness on the streets. I had one day where I couldn't get home from my friends house as all public transport had stopped so I had to spend about 5 hours in the city shopping - (bummer hey)
Now the busses are back running but its a little scary how they put on the brakes, and with wheels locked, just slide the last 1-2m on the ice into the bus stop.
But its warmed up now to about 5 degrees so no more snow left here at the moment, just lots of rain - typical Göteborg winter I've been told. It's not getting me down just yet, but ask again after the next 3 months of it.
I've been working at the pub a lot, almost full time so I am sort of experiencing what a normal person works - and I don't like it! Nah, its lots of fun, really great people coming in and great people to work with. When ma was here in Göteborg she was dropping in for a drink or visit almost every day which makes me think it must be an alright place. And I have a few beers there at least once a week.
So on the nights when I'm not working we go play pool, or eat at a friends house and during the day I usually exercise at something before I start work. Think I've finally lost the weight I gained in China, and I've been going to the gym a fair bit so soon I will be ripped. You guys wont recognise me when you see me. And I've grown my hair a little, quite a nice mullet coming along, which, when i finally get to a computer that I can download photos on, you will be able to admire.
Still hanging with my little posse, love them all dearly, we have lots of moments where we are sitting around drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, where we just go 'this is so 'sex in the city''! Ahh, I love it. And hanging out with my 'family' which is great fun, am really glad I moved in here rather than by myself, I've always got company and they are always looking out for me, making sure I eat right etc.
Um, what else? I guess I should mention I've booked my return home for March, but, that's not saying I'm coming back, just that I needed to book a date on the ticket... Mind you, if any of you have a job to offer me where I work at something I love for about 20hours a week, live at the beach and get paid a shitload, then maybe I'll consider it.
OK, best be off, I've an appointment with our sun-bed (told you I was turning into a true Swede!)
Best wishes and lots of love,
Anna :)

Thursday, 21 October 2004

Location: Göteborg, Sweden

Hi and Big Hugs to Everyone that reads this.
I've been gone now for over 6 months, but am still so glad that people are keeping in touch, via email and sms and this page - its so nice to hear what has been going on back home and in your lives.
Well I've settled into live quite nicely in Göteborg, had a few hassles with accommodation etc to start but have found a lovely family that I board with, they are quite like my own family at home (read 'nuts') and they've accepted me in so easily so I sit around and have coffee with them and got my ass kicked playing cards with them last night. My new little sister Victoria is visiting Aus next month so some of you might get a call from her looking to pay a visit.
And I'm now working again, at a pub called the Flying Scottsman. At first I was a little dodge about it all but I now realise that its actually a really smart business. Its sort of hard to describe, but for such a busy pub, things just always seem to be in control. And I like working there, dancing around to Johhny Farnhams 'Your the Voice' and telling every single Swede my life story about why I am in Sweden and 'yes, I am clever to be able to speak Swedish after only 4 months'. I know I should make up some story about trying to claim refugee status from escaping from outback Australia but I just can't be bothered.
Um, what else, my ma is now with me which is great. Only arrived in Göteborg 2 days ago so we are still spending every spare moment together. We are trying to get away on a little mini holiday to somewhere exotic but its hard with me working now. At least we'll get to the other Scandanavian countries - even if just to get the duty-free booze.
And its starting to get really cold here. Had a few days with frost last week but its warmed up to a constant 8 degs now, mmm, warm. But its raining a lot, so I was freezing and wet after going for a run this morning - bring on pneumonia! Have been playing a lot of guitar (yes Eva, ma says you need to start practising), lots of pool, and x-box (notice its all indoor stuff) but also swimming at this great pool down the road, where everyone gets naked to shower and sauna together (OK, its separate men and women!), and while it took a while for me to get comfortable baring my little Aussie body infront of my friends, I'm now prancing around all the time, must be the half swede in me.
Other than that, everything is just cruising along. Started talking to ma about when I'll come home and got like a panic attack, really don't think I should be looking that far ahead, too scary, raises too many life questions, phew, thats over, got the sweats just thinking about it!
My love to everyone, kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss.
Anna :)

Friday, 24 September 2004

Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Hello Hello Hello! If any of you are expecting a tell-all, exciting diary entry then you might as well leave now. Really, truthfully, I was going to wait until something fantastically exciting happened over here, but, whoa, still waiting.....
So am in the great city of Göteborg (or Gothenburg to those that don't have the special little Swedish keys on your keyboard).
Love the city, I was right about it being hip, lots of young people and more alternative (if you can imagine the Swedish version of alternative) than Stockholm. I've been accepted into Ulrika's little posse (see, I have to use hip words now that I'm here) and we go for coffee, a lot (actually, the guys at the coffee shop now know me by name, yay!), play a bit of pool, play a lot of x-box. It's fun.
I have so far resisted the pull of the Dingo pub here in Göteborg, although I find myself more and more often craving a VB and some good Aussie slang.
I've been looking for work at the pubs and restaurants here - on my first day job hunting it was pissing rain (actually, its rained every day since it became Autumn....) and I was soaking wet, went into the first place on the list, the Dubliner looking very much like a drowned cat (it's the Swedish equivalent of drowned rat believe it or not!), they said they weren't looking for anyone so I sat down and had a beer and that was the end of job hunting for day 1. So a couple of days of rejections, and now maybe it looks like I might have some leads, I've got an interview next week for a really 'trendy' restaurant, not really my style but at the moment I think I'd take anything.
And I've been looking for a place to live, I checked out a little room last night and if I can get work to secure my stay here then I'll probably take it.
So, I guess those things are good. Um, what else, some of you probably know about my missing my plane to Turkey, those of you that don't obviously don't need to!
That, I think is all I can come up with. I've a couple more photos that you can check out, but, you know, it's kind of hard to beat the beauty of the Chinese scenery.
Take care, and all my love.
Anna :)

Monday, 30 August 2004

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Does anyone miss me? I swear you've all forgotten about me over here..... (did that sympathy trick work for me to get a couple of messages!!!)
So how are things in Aus and around the world? After just checking out another travel page I've realised how absolutely shite mine is (I can't help it that technology has overtaken me and left me back in remote China!) so I figure I'll just have to amuse you with my written wit.
So news for you all - I'm moving to Göteborg - Yay!!! (for those that don't know, it's the second biggest city in Sweden - home of all the hip and single - ha!) I had such a great week there on holidays, came back and did one really shitty shift at the Dingo and decided that night to move there. I've a lovely lovely new friend Ulrika there who has promised that we can 'do coffee' everyday (do you think I can count 'doing coffee' as a hobby?) and I've great family and friends who I know I can count on to help me settle in and enjoy being a Swede (even if only half a one). I realised I was doing the much dreaded London thing* - just here in Sweden! Sorry for disappointing anyone - I'm on the right track now!
*You know, where Aussies move across the world to London to hang out with other Aussies.....
Um, other news, I'm turning into a little a fatty? My excuse of 'the clothes drier is shrinking all my clothes' was proved incorrect today when I recieved some clothes that mum sent from Australia (ahh - maybe she has been using the clothes drier as well, thats Ok then - phew....)
Thats about it - yes, I will put more photos on - just fighting with my digital camera cards, they want me to download my photos but I'm too tight to pay to do it in a shop so am looking for a technologically capable friend.
Love love love to you all - don't forget me too soon!
Anna :)

Monday, 09 August 2004

Location: Sunny Stockholm, Sweden

Hello Hello Hello Everyone!
Well things have finally settled down enough in Stockholm for me to write happily to everyone. It's been a real up and down here for me - I finally realised that moving across the other side of the world by yourself is not easy like I first imagined it might be, and that the Swedes do not come running up with open arms saying 'Anna! You are finally here! Welcome to my family and friends, let me buy you a beer, let me introduce you to my sexy single male friends' - it's been almost like that, but really no where close at all!
I've been working my couple of days a week at 'The Dingo' - did I tell you that I got myself a waitressing job in an Australian Restuarant? I know, not the most culturally exciting place to work, but I pretty much just walked into the job and didn't need a lot of Swedish so it's been good for me. I meet a lot of Aussies and Kiwis - and would you believe that out of all of them, I've met a total of 1 who didn't come here to be with a Swedish girlfriend/boyfriend. That makes me (since I also did not) a bit of a novelty and people can't get over asking me 'so why exactly did you come here Anna?'
We had a great weekend last weekend with the restuarant catering for the annual Rugby 10's competition. I got to work the bar and had a ball chatting to all the rugby boys without their shirts on - mmmm. Funny how it works when you go overseas, back home I can't stand rugby (like I mean, can't stand it) but here I've become an avid fan, sitting around the pub with the boys and cheering the Aussies on - strange strange strange....
Had my Aunt Ruth and some of her friends here last week and we did a heap of touristy things - it was nice because Stockholm is such a beautiful city, so I started to appreciate it again and remember why I first came here. We went out 2hours by boat into the Archipeligo and packed a picnic lunch and lay on the rocks and swam and rowed this little boat around - it was gorgeous.
Now I'm planning a week down in Göteborg to visit some friends there and in a couple of weeks my ma comes over for a while. Yay! We are going to visit some areas of Sweden that I've never seen, and maybe duck over to Turkey for a visit - finally someone to help me with my Swedish and maybe help me look for a real job.
Anyway, hope everyone is well. Love getting your emails and messages so keep them coming. Next week I'll post some more photos so check them out.
Love to everyone,
Anna :)

Thursday, 15 July 2004

Location: Sweden

Well, I guess in order for people to write messages to me, I have to keep my diary updated, got it!
So i've settled into life in Stockholm fairly easy. Been here a month now and already I know to go straight to the ticket machine as soon as you go into the chemist/ ticket office/ bottlo and know that if I want to wash my clothes I need to book the machines in the apartment at least a week in advance. Here's a good fact for you, I have to go through 4 locked doors to get to our communial washing room - not including my own door - that's the sort of overkill that's built into everything over here!
I started my language course 2 weeks ago and (I reckon) I'm going pretty well. I'm a bit lazy with my homework but I'm lucky in that I've got my rellies here to practice with- although my grandmother speaks a sort of mix of Swedish/German/English which I don't think is so good for me to learn from....

Tuesday, 29 June 2004

Location: Goteborg, Sweden

OK - Check out the new photos.
This is the lot, all of China, Vietnam and Sweden, plus my new hair cut!
Hope you enjoy, I should probably write a new diary entry soon, see how I go.....
Anna :)

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Recent Messages

From Glenn
Perv? I think thats probably more up Cams alley. Me and Georgia are in Cools late Feb/early march for 9 days. so is the boy coming back to aussie for a long time
Response: Yeah Yeah Yeah - We've got him down under for a year! But maybe he'll get sick of the sun, warm weather, and cheap beer. Think I'll miss you guys, I get home mid-march.
Take care Sweetie, and say hi to Georgia for me!
From Glenno
Anna you bitch, where's my response? I am back in China now, in Guizhou. Cold. Want sun. Beer is cheap. As is dog. MMmm, dog.
Response: Yeah, I f--ked it up. Ha ha, back in China, am actually not jealous at all. When are you back in Cools? I'm back in March and I want to come and hang out at the beach. And I want to bring my new Swedish boyfriend so you can perve on him (he might even be talked into a Swedish massage.....)
A :)
From Stephen
Hi Anna
Sounds like your having a great time, exelent web site. We're not doing much had 7 days on a yacht in the Whitsunday islands last month with Justin and a couple of my mates, Cam was supose to be there as well but was not sure when he was returning to Turkey.
I'm now based in Perth office, which is nearly as good as Waihi, going home each night and having a life, work is ok. Selena has slipped in to the lady of leisure role quite well. Glen is doing his usual of leaving the country or city the day before I arrive so it has been good not having to put up with him.

Love SSS
Response: Nah, your message worked- I've just got to post it and I was waiting to write back to you first!
Take care,
From Glenn
Hey Anna,
Is it freezing cold and grey and raining? Hate to spoil it, but I have a 3 month contract in Fiji! Hopefully can get some diving and quality beach time in as well as the work. Saw Selena last week in Perth, and Fat Cam is back in Aussie soon, so may catch him before I leave on Sunday. Hope all is well there.

From Pammy
Anna Sweety, You are not forgotten. Keep filling in your diary and adding pictures 'cos I love it! J and I are taking Kels over to see Z for Christmas. I think we'll be in France for NY. Is it to far (and too frozen) to make it up to Sweden from there?
Response: Ooh - that's too exciting for this tiny little space!! Will write to you proper!
Love love love
From Bec Dyer
Hi Babe, Love the haircuts and the photos! Wish I had your courage to travel on my own (impossible now with two monsters). Take Care - Miss you, Bec :)
Response: Yeah well, we'll just have to wait until we're both 60yo single grannies and then we can go to spain, drink sangria, smoke cigarettes and pick up some young playboys!
Love you sweetie!
From Yaz
Hi Anna, Nice haircut - bit different to when I last saw you!
A bit of news from my end - have moved to Newcastle and am waiting for the summer to come so I can learn to surf! I'm travel sick now I've looked at your photos!
Keep having fun! Love Yaz
Response: Hello Darling - So nice to hear from you!! Where are you working now? Found any nice ex-steelworkers to keep you company? Keep in touch and if I survive the winter here - I'll see you back in the land of sunshine! A :)
From Taurick
Howdy! I still miss you :P Looks like you've been enjoying yourself [especially the haircuts ;)] How are the bois? XOX
Response: Hey Baby - Miss you too! You are at the top of my 'to write to' email list! Hows the student council - not too tired of all the internal politics? When do you finish your degree? Love love :)
From Ricky J
Love haircut number 5 !! Careful you're only one step away from a "Ricky J" which aint pretty but is very low maintenance.
Response: Thanks Dude - I had to trendy myself up for the ultra-hip Swedes. What's happening at the smeltron? Has everyone gotten over me leaving yet? Ha ha!
From Britta & James
Anna, your hair looks awesome. We love it. Loved the photos of Tiger Leaping Gorge so much that we put one of them up as our desktop wallpaper. love love love.
Response: How cute are you! Yeah, I loved the photos of the gorge as well, just image it in real life! You'll have to get over there!
Hugs A :)
From Puke
Love your website. Hope to see photos of all the beautiful people in the nud.
Response: Check again next week Pukey. Will try to catch some beauties bathing naked over midsummer. :)
From Ricky J
Hey Anna-Banana, love the web site. Keep them photos coming. Makes me feel sorry for you when I get to get up at 4.30 in the morning to ride to work and you miss out.
Response: Hi Ricky! Good to hear from you mate! Check the page next week - will have more photos, including my new Beckham hair! I am super jealous of your early mornings at the slave factory, and wish I could be back there in the blues as I am sick of seeing beautiful half-naked Swedish women here in Stockholm! :)
From Glenn Martin
Hi Anna,
Nice diary dude! Sounds like the trip was good. Hope Sweden is fun.
Response: Glenndo my dear! How's China treating you? I must admit I was pretty ready to go after 2 months so I wonder how your sanity is holding up. Swe is great - love it, just wish it would get over 11 deg C. :)
From wang
The mountain is called Wu Guan Fen (or Five Crown Peak). Glad to see you made it. I arrived 30 minutes later after you left Hot Spring.
Response: Hey Hey! Good to hear from you! I thought that would happen. Where are you now - have you found a great retirement spot?
A :)
From Pen
Hey Anna!
Very swanky and impressive web-site! Love the photos too! Can you put up as many as you want or is there a memory limit? Definitely a good idea for keeping all friends and family updated without crashing their email accounts!
Hope Sweden continues to be sunny and fun.
Response: Hey Pen - Good to hear from you!
Yeah, I love the web page idea, just started a little late. Do get restrictions of the number of photos, but most I've taken are just scenery so pretty boring for everyone but me!
Good luck in exams! A :)
From Olala
Keep up the writing, good reading...
Response: Thanks my dear, now I just need to do something interesting to write about! A :)