we say it, be we may rarely have a chance to experience it; the land of the midnight sun.
but today, i have the fortune of being in a place where i can watch the sunrise before my very eyes at 1:30am in the morning. in fact, it’s more like a ‘sun warm’ than a sunrise, as the pinkish glow never fell below the horizon towards the east. the site is quite beautiful, and as i wait for my time lapse photos to finish up (hopefully quite soon, as i’m super freezing) i thought i’d share this moment with you.
what is actually quite logical, can often seem a bit mind boggling. i know in my head that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. however, being able to pan the sky and go from a deep resonant blue to a pink to turquoise gradient can leave one a bit dumbfounded at first.
my vantage point is from the top of a hill, next to masthuggskyrkan. it’s not the highest point in göteborg, but i have a wonderful view over the city’s harbor. off in the distance i can see the neon blue glow of the new ‘wheel of gothenburg’, and subtle silhouette of the lipstick building against a dark horizon. the reflection of the buildings in the river (göta alv) is surrounded by the greenish blue tinge of the sky above and the warm street lights almost match the sunrise in color.
when i first arrived here about an hour ago, i was all by myself. since then, a pair of gentleman have taken a seat with cameras and beers in hand just to my right. there is the occasional chatter of birds in the early morning, and every now and then i catch a glimpse of them flying speedily around the trees. in the background there is the constant chatter of seagulls protecting their young – it’s a sound that i’ve become quite accustomed to here, even if i do tend to find it quite annoying. and of course, the less pleasing, but somehow reassuring sounds of cars rumbling up and down the highways all around.
now, 10 minutes after i’ve started to write this post the sky is coming to life. i can describe it as the glow of a slow burning ember unexpectedly reigniting. i clearly see five distinct bands of color: first pink, then yellow, aqua, blue, and the deepness of space above. there are several cloud formations, one coming in from the sea and another more streaky group off to the northeast, bumping up against the invisible ceiling of pressure and flattening out.
the reason i chose to come up to this cold hill in the middle of the night, even after working quite late, is simply because i may never have this opportunity again. i feel like there is something religious, or maybe spiritual is a better term, about being awake and alert to experience the darkest hours of the lightest day of the year. it’s something i’d like to share with those who aren’t here to see it for themselves.
hej folks, are you drinkers? or have you learned the hard way that you can’t hold you’re liquor, beer, or cider, even on a full stomach? did you get hungry just before going out, making you realize that it wasn’t a good night to get proverbially wasted? if your answer was yes, then keep on reading for a (cynical) account of what might’ve happened to you.
so, you thought it was a good idea to get a caffé mocha instead of a cider tonight. and maybe you also thought to yourself, “hej, why not make it a large one while we’re at it!”
well kid, to be quite frank, that was a bad idea. because now you’re finding yourself unable to sleep and it’s 612 in the morning and you’ve been awake for the past hour.
you’ve tried breathing exercises, letting the thoughts pass through your mind without grabbing onto them, ignoring the slight pain in your stomach from all the caffeine, and all to no avail. heck, you even tried playing GTA on your iPhone before you went to sleep to see if you could completely exhaust yourself in a futile attempt at avoiding this very situation.
what do you now? why write a blog post of course! here’s what it should look like:
1. make sure it starts off with an attempt at being witty
2. write in the third person about someone who is obviously yourself
3. don’t make it a post, make it a rant
4. tell’em what you’ve been doing since you’ve been awake
5. make a list of the things you wrote about
6. stop before you embarrass yourself any further in front of your readership of > 5
7. next time remember to drink decaf tea instead
yesterday i went with some friends out to vrångö, one of the islands in the archipelago just outside of göteborg. despite the chilling wind we managed to enjoy our time outdoors on the ocean. there’s nothing like getting away from the computer screen for a couple hours and experiencing life out by the sea and under the sun.
last weekend i finally ran out of clean clothes. fortunately, minyup also ran out of clean clothes while he was crashing here and we both decided to do laundry together.
unfortunately, we put too many clothes in the dryer and ended up with wet, wet clothes and had to leave them hanging around the apartment for 2 days before they dried out (some of them ended up pretty stinky and will need a re-wash). such is learning how to live in a new place (we also almost bought fabric softener instead of detergent).
jay here. for two-and-a-half weeks. in gothenburg.
it has been a hectic ride, i’ve gone from confusion to excitement, boredom to being overwhelmed.with.new.experiences. meeting people wasn’t nearly as hard as i thought it was going to be, and everyone in class has so far been super nice. i’ve gotten the chance to meet up with some old friends as well and it has helped to make me feel right at home.
i am currently in the first week of my first project for our introductory course which seems to be more about following process than turning out an excellent end product. (more on that later) my project is a revitalization of the second cities project i had tried to get started about a year ago and i am very excited to get the ball rolling on it. i hope to have a project update in the near future. but as for now i just wanted to say that i am alive and well, missing annie back home but excited for what the future may bring.
that’s all for now.
after over 2 years of not owning any wheels at all, i finally decided that today was the day to take the plunge and buy a bicycle.
gothenburg is quite well covered with public transit (trams, busses, and ferries), but the flat land that it sits on has really gotten me excited about riding around here. part of that might come from the fact that when i studied abroad in japan some of my best memories are from riding around late at night and wandering through the town effortlessly, able to blend in with the locals and enjoy the freedom that a bicycle gives you. (in some ways, i think in my mind i am always trying to get back to the place that was ‘my japan’)
for the past couple years i have been interested in single peed / fixed-gear bikes, and as there is no time like the present, i found a used one on blocket.se (the swedish craigslist) and picked it up after viewing it later that day. and in a strange coincidence, the guy i bought the bike off of will also be teaching a class on semiotics in the programme at hdk. when i told him i was here to study in the ma design programme he said ‘jesus, i’m a teacher there!’.
unfortunately, today was a rainy day, but tomorrow should be better. i plan on riding out to cykelcity and picking up all the necessities – helmet, lock, pump, oils + lubes, patch kit, etc. – and getting out and about as much as possible in the days to come.