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Monday, February 9, 2015

Song contest and emigrant museum

Last week was very hectic. At work I moved my office three floors up, and all my colleagues in the stacks did the same. Many people from the administration also moved to the same floor. We are now over 100 people in the same building and it is already noticeable that our kitchen is not large enough and that the only elevator to our floor is not going to cope with it. Not to mention the complaints we have about the design of our brand new offices. I can't believe that designers don't understand that we need book cases - it's a library! What do they think we do there?! All of us moved the furniture around and we were all scolded by the building department for it. Again, the designer had misunderstood everything. We don't want our desks turned towards a wall and we don't want to have our backs against the door opening. All these problems have meant that I (and many others) have been forced to change the way we work. I have to use another desk on another floor also, because most of the daily activities are concentrated to a lower level. I really hope things will improve, this is not a good working environment as it is now. The minimum requirement I have is a book case...

This weekend I made a short visit to Borås. My mother had entered my name in one of those consumer competitions where you could win tickets to go and see the local Eurovision song contest. I won two tickets and my mother went with me to Göteborg on Saturday evening. This song contest is well known in Europe. It was seven participants and they sang everything from rap- to opera-inspired songs. It was both established artists and newcomers. The event was televised live and it was interesting to see the cameramen work. The whole thing was quite fascinating. This was the first of five contests, the final will be in Stockholm in mid-March. The winner there will compete in the European final in Vienna later in May.

We also managed to do some minor shopping and visit my mother's friends over the weekend. This morning I took the bus to Göteborg. I visited the emigrant museum near the harbor. It has been there for about ten years, but this was my first visit. Website: http://emigranternashus.se/?page_id=191. Since I know quite a lot about European migration, it was moderately interesting to me personally. But I still spent over an hour there, looking at the displays of America trunks, images of ships, passengers and items they had brought on the journey. There were statistics, information about the reasons for leaving, the arrival in the new country and the societies and clubs formed by Swedes, along with stories of successful Swedes. A separate display was about Snusgatan (Snuff street or boulevard) which hinted at the Swedes' habit of using snuff (chewing tobacco). In Chicago it was a nickname for Chicago Avenue, but other cities had the same kind of name for the Swedish areas (Minneapolis and Winnipeg). Another display was about the Titanic. After visiting the museum, I went to lunch and then looked through some stores. Didn't get much, only a bracelet on sale. I took the train home in the afternoon. When I checked my mail, Arndt's nephew had sent the booklet just published about his father, Sten. It was written by a teacher at the same school where Sten taught Swedish and Latin. It was very interesting to read. Soon there will be books about all three siblings; Olga, Sten and Arndt. I'm sure none of them ever thought there would be.

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