Friday, October 12, 2018

Happy birthday Ing

I have not written much about you but it does not mean you are forgotten. Of course not. I mean, who forgets the sister who chased me around the house with a letter-opener just because I was annoying? Who forgets the sister who allowed me to see her give birth? 

Has it been 4 years now? Yes, it has. I never thought that I will survive the years pass by without the 2 of you. But I did survive. We get used to it. We get used to your absence. 

Occasionally, I dream about you. 

I read a book in Swedish class about a man who lost his brother when he was 14 and the brother was 16. Fast forward to the man being in his golden age and he could only remember his brother being 16 and the image of his brother will forever be that. It reminded me of the both of you. Now, I am in my mid 30s, I will always remember you at you being 32 and Ti being 29. Both of you never got a chance to be 35. When I read of someone who wished themselves dead or complained being old, I think to myself - My sisters never got that choice. They will never get the chance to age. You don't know how lucky you are to be alive and experience the phases of life

Happy birthday, Ing. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Eckernforde : 24 hours with my sister

16092018 : 24 hours spent in Eckernforde, Germany to see my sister. She was in Eckernforde for the Greenscreen Film Festival. As I have not seen my family for a long time, I decided to fly to her for the weekend. 

15092018 : Flight from Stockholm to Hamburg.
16092018 : Train from Hamburg Airport -- Hamburg City Centre -- Kiel -- Eckernforde
17092018 : Flight from Hamburg to Stockholm

I flew from Stockholm to Hamburg via Eurowings (on a Friday evening) which was delayed by an hour. There was no direct flight to Eckernforde and I had to switch 3 trains from Hamburg to Eckernforde. 

I arrived Hamburg at 10.30pm. It was an 1.5 hour. I had booked a bed in Airport Hostel because I was going back to the airport the next morning. It was the cheapest hostel I could find for EUR14. I paid EUR14.50 because the EUR0.50 was for city tax. I could not find my directions to the hostel although it was very simple (because I have the world's worst sense of direction). So, I stopped a man who was coincidentally a pilot and he was on his way to get his car, but he did not know of this hostel and he offered to drive me there. What a kind man! He is a pilot for Luftansa Airlines and I complained to him on my 1.5 hour delay with Eurowings.

When I arrived at the hostel, it was 11.15pm. All my roommates were asleep. It was a 6-female bedroom. The room was quite spacious and the bathroom was big too, although the shower head was not very user friendly. I did get a warm shower, regardless.

The next morning, I checked out by 5am and walked to the airport. It turns out to be quite near and I just had to follow the direction towards the Airport Control Tower. I reached the airport by 5.20am. I bought a sandwich for EUR3.10 and small coffee for EUR2.10. Then, a German man sat next to me and he could not speak English but we managed to have a small conversation. He spoke to me in German and I spoke to him in Swedish because both languages are supposed to carry a lot of similarities. We could understand each other eventually. He was flying to Russia to learn English because for some reasons, he knows Russian. We left each other, in smiles.

I had bought my train tickets online and there was a ticket deal from Hamburg to Eckernforde. I did not have to buy separate tickets. Just one single ticket for EUR27.90 / SEK280 / RM140. In Malaysian standards, this is expensive but in Swedish standards, this is affordable. I boarded the 6.33am train from Hamburg Airport to Hamburg City Centre.  

Train station in Hamburg City Centre. Here, I met a German girl where we took the train together towards Kiel. She asked me if I thought Germans speak bad English. She explained to me that they only learn English as a subject and it is not commonly used. Therefore, most of the Germans are not very fluent in English. I have my fair share of experience where I needed to communicate to a taxi service in Eckernforde (from Sweden) and the person on the other line said that she can't speak English and hung up on me. I wondered if they don't expect tourists to visit Germany or they expect tourists to be able to speak German... 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Holland (Work) : Boat Cruise

040918 : I was in Holland for work matters, and my colleagues and I had a few hours to spare before our flight back to Sweden. 

First matter on the agenda was to find food - I had kebab wrap for lunch that costs EUR9. After lunch, 3 of us decided to go on the canal boat tour. I have never been on one before and it has always been one of my interests to be on one.