2010.03.14 - Girlie party

First Spring days .... ?

Can it be ??? Is spring really on the way ?? Well, it's hard to believe but the dark winter thoughts are slowly receding as we have now experienced two days in a row of above-zero temperatures! We went for a bike ride out to the Western Harbour and the shore side was full of people jogging, strolling or picnicking as if we were in the middle of summer. It was a peculiar mix of spring joy and frozen canals, but hey ... you can imagine how much we have missed the sun during this long winter.

Springtime at Västra Hamnen ... check out the frozen canal in the background!

Springtime bike repair .....

Springtime bike ride ..... (somewhere to the right of the large car carrier in the back, Morning Glory (!) was visiting, as it did so many times n Ulsan while we were there). Morning Glory is a smaller Korean car carrier, if you wondered!

Waiting impatiently for the bathing season to kick off

Paula and the Öresundsbron - the bridge over the Öresund Strait. Brigde to Denmark in other words.

Me and another (apart from myself) famous Malmö landmark - the Turning torso

Yesterday we were invited over to our friend Monika's house in Arlöv for a Cuba theme party. She has recently returned from a vacation on Cuba and wanted to give a bit of the Cuba-spirit on to her friends. So the menu was Cigars, Rum and black beans ! Contrary to most of the parties we go to, this one was not spiced with hip-wiggling latinos and as such turned out to be a lot less Cuba-look-alike than our regular parties. But good all the same, with great food, Quba Quiz and a chance for us to practice our Swedish (Paula seems to have forgotten all her Swedish but in turn her Danish has taken a leap forward during the three years in Korea - go figure; she spoke practically no Danish in Korea and only listened to Swedish web radio?!).

Quba Quiz Night !!

Chicken, black beans, salsa and "frutti bomba"! - a true Cuban meal

One of those latin-inspired get-togethers took place on Friday, where we met up with the girls (and Mauricio!) at TGI's for Fabiola (and Mauricio's!) farewell party. They are going to Geneve for two years, the lucky sods ! They head south while we are stuck here in cold Scandinavia !! haha ...

From TGI's - taken with my cell phone, hence the poor quality. But the girls make up for it ! Yoshiki, Noelia, Ana Ruth and Paula

The other side of the table !!!

Last weekend I finally had a chance to go for a bike ride. I had seen on a MTB forum that some guys meeting up 15km outside of Malmö for a ride in the forest, so I got up early to ride out to meet them. But .... first I forgot how many adjustments I had to do on the bike before it would be ready to ride again after the trip from Korea and then I misjudged my own fitness (after 3 months of inactivity). So I arrived late. A few kilometers before the rendezvous point, I had really started to doubt the performance of my bike so I stopped to check it out a little, seeing that there was no chance of me making the meeting time anyway. And so I found out that I had ridden 13 km with dragging brakes! The wheels hardly turned, so no wonder I thought the hills were unreasonable difficult to conquer !! I tried to free up the brakes a little, but next time I braked it was back to square one.

I did make it to the forest and I did ride around for a while, but it wasn't quite the same feeling as screaming down the Korean mountains! I did come screaming down once though, when I fell on the ice. The trails were pure ice as the snow had melted a little and then frozen again into a terrible washing board. It was fun for about 10 minutes! The trip back to Malmö was fun for about 10 seconds ! I had changed the saddle before leaving from home, so now I had a sore butt and heavy legs. A wonder I made it home at all.

Me and my bike were there!

Note the icy trails - it was a killer!

In the afternoon I was crazy enough to agree to a badminton game with Tom. My legs were already heavy and sore, so I didn't really enjoy the bike ride to the sports arena via Tom and Noelia's house. My legs finally gave - and cramped - up after 40 minutes of playing. Even so, I really enjoyed playing my childhood game again. Hopefully we will start more regularly, as I on this day realized just how unfit I had become over the last three months!

The day before we had been to Gustav Adolf Torget (one of the main squares here in Malmö) to light a candle for Chile. There are soooo many Chileans in this town and some of them had turned up on this biting cold evening to sympathize with the disaster struck compatriots at home. Speaking of earthquakes - the ground is still shaking in Chile here 2 weeks later. Once while speaking with Paula's brother over Skype, he felt a strong after-quake (is a 7 really an after-quake?). Her mother was evacuated several times during the week for fear of tsunamis. Poor folks - all they ask for now is for the ground to stop fiddling around. Here in Malm'o, on the aforementioned Friday, we endured a little hardship ourselves, until the cold got the better of our conscience and MacDonald's lured us inside with their heated seating area!

Fuerza Chile !! Have a look at Kenny to the right ... Brrrrr, it was cold!!

They should have lit more candles ! Just to keep us warm.

The day before (we have now arrived at Thursday March 4th in our reverse chronologically ordered web entry, in case you wondered), Paula and the girls had spent the evening at our apartment drinking Amarula and wine ! I grabbed the opportunity to hook up with an old friend in Copenhagen, so I wouldn't be in the way! As it happened, I think this turned out to everybody's satisfaction!

Party !!!!!

Ana Ruth signing a contract ... something about a girls trip to Vegas!! Too much Amarula !!

Paula and Laura

Fabiola Yin and Laura Yang!

Last, just one dose of my daily train escapades. Above, after a one-hour wait, the train which arrived was a short train and nobody was allowed on it ! It was already packed like sardines in a tin. The train company pulled off a bit of a magic act: they claimed this train was only 20 minutes late (although it was 35 minutes past it's regular departure time - how does THAT work??), but forgot to tell us that they had canceled the train before, which really made it a one-hour delay, right - but as they have to pay great fines for delays beyond one hour ....

I hate this train!! Trains in Africa run to schedule more often than these. Can we not get a Japanese company to run these trains ? If this had been Japan, there would have been a straight queue (confined by two painted lines on the ground) and people leaving the train would not have to fight their way out of the door. In my honost opinion, there is zero train culture on this line!! On top of that, the Japanese would make this train run on the dot in no time. Every time.