Category Archives: Places

The African Me

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Hiya.

Lis´nin´to Mattafix. Fantastic album from… 2005? Great lyrics, dub rhythms, great melodies…

And I just realized, about four minutes ago, that I so miss my African friends!
I read a status update on the facial… 🙂 … My Namibian mate Jade wrote something about political resistance on the streets that he was part of as a student  in South Africa years ago. How, although he holds university degrees, he disagrees, with the system of bowing down to a head master or other authority that he sees as part of a system of surpression…

It made me remember how he and I used to sit together, and Sherif from Gambia, Baboucarr (also Gambia), the good Richard Asiimwe from Uganda… Eliman from Ghana… I had quite a few African brothers when I lived in Bergen. Some were lovers, for sure, but certainly not all of them.

Jade and I were not. He had a girlfriend. At least one. Haha… But he and I were “just” mates. Hanging out in my bedsit, passing pipes, watching a vhs tape I had, of a brilliant reggae concert, talking about southern Africa contra Bergen/Europe, we were both writers, and into philosophy (he studied philosophy in Bergen Uni)… we drank beer and went dancing into the early hours, and he would crash on a mattress on my floor… (We went to parties at his friends´ places as well, and hung out with Leela and Indian Namito… dancing a LOT)!

Big heart and a very wise mind, my Jade. I miss him a lot.
We´d both worked in radio stations as well. Activists in political ngos. Many things in common. And many thoughts to exchange, and so much laughter to share…!

That´s one of the main things I miss about hanging with my African friends, actually. The way they laugh. The total surrender into laughter, slapping one´s thighs and laughing with full power, throwing one´s head back……

There are parts of me that go unexpressed now that I don´t have these people around me! I have always felt very connected to Africans. The rhythm, somehow. The ways of being social. The sense of humour. Depth, honesty, open about personal issues…

I just now wrote to the only female true friend I have who is African. I know a few, but I don´t really know them well, they are mainly friends of Richard´s. Bless his light, he passed away from us in 2013…….. Yeah, I truely miss him too. But that´s different from Jade, as Richard and I were lovers at one point. Kindred spirits as well. But more than just mates. Long story. I wish it had been longer. I miss you, Richard. Your heart of gold. You taught me some important things.

I just wrote to my only female African friend, and she is very much alive, thank Goodness. Her name is Sunday. Even just her name brings a smile to my face.
To a white girl my age, her name automatically reminds me of one of my favourite books in childhood, Robinson Crusoe. And his only fellow human on the desert island; Friday.

Sunday is an incredibly interesting person. I have rarely felt closer to another woman. Although she is quite a bit younger than me. From Sudan, grown up in Usa. I met her om a train station in Denmark, and the ten minutes that passed before my train arrived, were just magical. Instant and total connection! I found her on facebook, and a week or two later she came and visited me and my family for a few days! How great is that?! I love it when people do stuff that I would do. I don´t know many that would just come and visit like that, apart from my crazy self. Haha! 🙂
We had a great time together here. She helped me out at an event called Diversity day, helped us with bartending, and suddenly it was clear she was a great singer as well…
So she joined the jam session on stage… Yeah.
And another day, we went in my car to my favourite place, which is the old cemetary (I have written a blogpost about it before, with lots of photos, you should go there, it must be in the category “Fano my home island”)…
Yeah, we went there. And sat and had “weird” conversations about clairvoyance, syncronocities, spirit…6.sense experiences…

I´ll have to find out where she is in the world now. Last time we were in touch, she was in Sweden… She´s an academically talented person. And artistically. And spiritually sensitive, or how to put it. My favourite mix. My blend, my tribe.

More to say about this?
Not really. Just miss those vibes, those people. That part of myself.
I´m working on getting a playlist together. And shoot/edit a video installation to fit the playlist, and then get it to a dancefloor near by. Not enough dancefloors here in rural Denmark! And not a single place where they play decent stuff, i.e. those reggae trip hop dub heart beat beats…

http://pin.it/oTmK3D2

Hmmm…. I was hoping the link would show the picture straight. It´s a link to Pinterest, which I have just discovered. I love it there! A wonderful tool for manifesting and visualization!

Text says something like;

Phone rings, and dad picks up the phone: “Eeeeh my broda!”

I miss that sound of “Eeeeeeh!!”  I miss the big laughs. The heartful authenticity. The slapping of thighs. The smiling and playful dancing.

I can´t find a suitable photo in my archives here and now, to make the full stop for this post. Let me see if I can find a youtube vid, then, to illustrate my thoughts.

 

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17.-May, Hip hip HurrAAYYY

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Hello there.

It´s evening, soon 9 pm. Kids gone to bed. Quiet here in my sofa corner.
It´s the 17. of May and I´m a Norwegian living in Denmark.

This morning I turned on the Norwegian tv channel that I have in my cable deal.
I watch this channel maybe 5 times a year or so. On the 17.of May it is vital I have that channel. As they send this live programme, moving from place to place around Norway, and also visiting places all over the world, where Norwegians gather today to celebrate their national day. To sing and cheer Hurray for Norway.

Norway´s constitution day. The day we became our own independent country, in 1905. Not just a colony under Denmark, then Sweden, then Denmark…

It is not a day of military marching bands. No. It is a day where all school children march in the streets singing and playing instruments. And everyone else stands on the pavements, cheering the children on…

It is the children´s day. Because they are the future of our nation.
Everybody has the day off. Everybody gets up early, and puts on their best clothes. Many wear national costumes, very expensive, traditional dresses and suits, which looks different from region to region of the long coasted country…

After the parade of the children, people go home and have lunch with family or friends. Nothing fancy. Hot dogs, milk shakes. Maybe smoked salmon and hams. Easy food. Kids get ice cream, almost as many as they want. Uncles and aunts and grandparents stick the kids some money, which they are encouraged to spend on silly things in kiosks. For once.

After lunch, there are other parades downtown, where businesses and ngos make floats and joke around. College students as well. Adult fun. And then people with kids go to their local school yards and there´s games and competitions. Stilt race, for example. And racing with a potato on a spoon…

Around 7 pm or so, it is over. Kids and adults are knackered, and getting the national costumes off is a great relief. Sore feet. Sugar shocks. Exhaustion.
All go to bed, ready for a new day at work or school on the 18.

When I was little, it was a day as big as xmas eve. In school we rehearsed marching and singing the national hymns for weeks, leading up to it.

I have lived in Denmark for 10 years now. Only once have I spent a 17.of May in Norway in this decade.It has been relaxing not to have to do all this as a mother, getting costumes ready for three kids… but it also makes me sad that they don´t know the feeling connected to this day. Shouting out the name of one´s school together, ending each sentence about it, with a loud HURRAAAYYYY…… waving the flag….
Feeling moved and proud of one´s country, one´s town, one´s school….. Feeling connected, belonging in a group, joined together…

Celebrating freedom. Of expression, of movement. Freedom from fear. Freedom to expect to be treated as an equal, no matter what sexual preference, gender, colour or religion one belongs to.
Celebrating the all inclusive community of every individual who shares the same homeland. We who live here. Who make Norway together, day by day, by being who we are and doing what we do.

National romanticism. Is a beautiful thing. It is love. Appreciation.

Nationalism is the opposite. Exclusive. Fearful. All about the division into “us” and “them”. “You don´t belong here in our group!” (And hence you are inferior to us). Weird stuff.

It´s interesting. How patriotism can be so… warm and embracing… or it can be cold and aggressively pushing against imagined enemies…

Well. When I wave the Norwegian flag, it is with joy, with pride and without feeling it is against anyone. I wish every person could feel peaceful joy waving the flag of their country of origin.

In Norway, our immigrants participate same as everyone. All citizens alike, all school children, one community. Norway can be your homeland to cherish and enjoy, it doesn´t have to be your country of origin to be your home country.

I heard them say on tv this morning that some immigrants had said that they love Norwegians the most on the 17.of May, because that is the one day people show happy emotions in public, and wear colourful clothes, and greet everyone in the streets!

Hahaha…
There´s truth to that. Norwegians are too reserved normally.

Here in my home today, we´ve watched 17.-May on tv, and we had kebabs for dinner, and of course ice cream. That was that. I have spent some time on social media, saying happy birthday to family and friends, as we do on this our country´s birthday.
I´ve felt a bit down, periodically. Then I´ve sung a couple of my favourite 17.-May-songs, and felt a bit better.

I miss my homeland today. I feel Norwegian, to the roots of my heart. And this emotion is not easily translated to those who haven´t grown up in Norway or at least been present on the 17.of May there…

Norway, I salute you.
Freedom – Equality – Solidarity.

The values of the French revolution, really.

OneLove.

I´ll finish by sharing the insight I heard the other day…
That the cross, which to me just symbolizes and instrument of torture, sad to say…
That it actually (can) stand(s) for two crossing axes. One from above to below (cosmos to earth), the other, horizontal axes, standing for how we reach out to eachother, socially.

So the vertical; connecting to the supernatural.
The horizontal; connecting to human community.

In buddhist terminology the concepts are Dharma and Sangha. ? Not sure…

Anyways. Interesting.
Four directions, or. Longtitude and latitude. The two directions of our mother earth.
Meaning is in the eye of the interpreter.
Such is the nature of freedom.

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What travelling gives me

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It´s 05 am. Been awake since 04. Still jetlagged. Not badly but. Gone to bed last two days knackered at 8 pm. I then woke at midnight, slept on and off, and wide awake since 04.

I don´t mind at all. Returning home after a month in Asia, jetlag makes the transition smoother somehow. Dazed, walking from room to room in this castle (compared to having lived in one room the five of us, for 4 weeks)… emptying suitcases and filling and emptying the washing machine every two hours… It feels nice.

I will write another post about Vietnam impressions, I think. But I need to load photos into mac first, and.

Right now I just feel to write about the effect of taking a month travelling.
I think I will go for list form again. Helps me think.

1. It is relationship developing. Team building.
And strengthens both the group as a whole, and the bonds between each individual. I am a lot stronger connected to my 7 yearold now. And her and her 5 yearold brother too, have a noticably greater understanding for eachother. Our 12 yearold as well. A lot more peaceful after being heard and seen so closely in environment undisturbed by friends and school teachers.
There is much better balance between my husband and myself. And as we have had to resolve all ocurring issues in front of the kids, they also have a strengthened understanding of who he and I are, and how we work together.
Travelling for length of time and going somewhere where not everything is laid out from start and taken care of by tour guides… it is the best investment, in family life of parents with children, in my book.

2. I have changed.
My focus was shifted and hence I discovered new distances to some things, and a need to walk further in certain directions. It was very helpful for me to turn data roaming off and only relate to facebook in wifi free areas. (Reception area of resorts, and some restaurants). I discovered that reading about Danish politics stresses me. So I shall do as little of that as possible in the time ahead. Not because I don´t care, but because I care deeply and feel strongly, and it is difficult for me to accept I can´t change the grave mistakes politicians are making these days.

3. I met a mystic
who… taught me a lot in 2-3 hours in a small hostel lobby in Hanoi. He is an elderly man who travels in Asia 6 months a year, giving workshops in something called family contellations. A reiki master, tantra master, engineer (!), psychotherapist and philosopher. Of education. I can´t quite explain what he said and did and what it meant to me. But it… is a big deal. I will practice the exercises he showed me. And research a couple of thinkers´ theories. Most importantly, certain realizations just clicked into place within me, and… has given me… new perspectives to work from.

4. Learning about cultural differences
especially together with kids. Is so… eye opening. “They do it differently here.” Everything. And things we take for granted at home, simply are not part of these people´s lives. And vice versa. Bargaining the prices. Toilet routines. People thinking the kids look exotic and asking them to pose with them in selfies. People who are unfamiliarily helpful, warm and funny, or get offended without us knowing what the bleep was the issue. All very eye opening, increasing consciousness about the world and our place in it.

5. Leaning about nature´s variety
The sounds and the smells of a jungle. The heat of the sunrays. The huge ants, and beetles. If you leave something sugary out on the porch, there will be an insect party there in the morning. The humidity. Nothing dries, everything is moist and it doesn´t matter coz it´s warm and no one gets ill from the wet and cold combo. Taking a shower several times a day to cool off, and to rinse away sand, sea salt, pool chlorine. Washing feet before being allowed to re enter a ship after a trip to a beach. Water bottles brought along everywhere you go. Snorkling and sea food soup. Squid fishing and kayacking. Water such a central place in everything.

6. Returning home, realizing how comfortable one is in one´s own environment. Missing the sun, the sensual impressions and the meeting with people where we were, yet feeling so happy to reunite with close friends and family at home. To float in one´s sofa! To eat rye bread with liver paté! Milk! The freedom of making one´s own food, not having to find a restaurant and a menu and then wait before food appears…!

7. The great H.C. Andersen said that “to live is to travel”. I so agree. Both literally and metaphorically. It is my favourite activity in life. The most rewarding, education wise. Where I learn the most. And grow. Which I love to do. Expand my understanding. Increase consciousness. Diminish habitus to use Bourdieu´s phrasing. (Although I´m not sure he would agree with my using it in this context and meaning).

I feel I have turned a page in my life and am ready for a new chapter of self creation. Which I didn´t think of at all as a possible consequence before we went. Strange.

I´m standing in a position a lot different from a mere month ago. I have clarity of what to put my energy into. Very concretely. And I shift away from mind, to heart and body focus. No more politics for now. I will work on awareness, relax and relate, available in the now to the inspiring people I choose to keep close to me.
I will create some new structures for my clinic, and study and practice hypnosis, and start integrating the method into my vocal sound therapy sessions.

All whilst enjoying immensely my wonderful, empathic and playful, funny and clever children. Together with my amazingly creative, one in a milllion, funny and sensitive husband.

That is what this month in Thailand and Asia has done for me. Probably there´s heaps more, that I´m unconscious of.

Sun is up now. Birds in my garden. I think I will go outside and smell the air.

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One week into Vietnam fortnight

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Hi guys

We are half way through our two weeks in Vietnam, and I’m writing from a sunbed in the shade by the little pool in the honestay where we live, in Hoi an, called “the tailor town”.

Is it only one week since we arrived in Hanoi?! It has been intense days, filled to brim with impressions.
Let me make a list, to try and organize my thoughts a bit:

1. The streets of Hanoi, full of scooters and cars, beeping horns twice a second for no apparent reason, scooters parked on all pavements so one has to climb over them or risk life by walking at the edge of the road… all the exhaust, mixed with weird smells from rice pancake and noodle restaurants, everywhere people sitting on tiny plastic stools, drinking tea, cooking on stoves……. birthday party ornament street, music instrument street, buikders’ equipment street…. So foreign and interesting, frustrating and fascinating all at once.

2. Our hotel we chose from home, Lucky Guesthpuse Hotel no.2, was a gem. Not due to placement on busy street (though in theory walking distance to the lake and placed in the old town), the room was small but clean and two double beds plus a single was comfortable. But it was a gem because the staff was just so friendly and fun, joking with eachother and with us and the kids, and helping us out with taxis, finding good prices on things, booking a tour fornus to the Halong Bay, and getting us tickets on the night train to Hoi an… all the time with a big smile and positive energy.

3. The joy when we found good food! Not all Vietnamese food is like in their restaurants in Scandinavia. Rice pancakes…. no thanks. At least not the way it was served in that cafe we visited. It hasn’t been easy to find smoothies and fresh mixed fruit juices here either, which we enjoy so much in Thailand. My 5-yearold is developing an addiction to coca cola, which they never get at home. But luckily, fruit drinks do exist. We found them at the White Lotus in Hanoi. And on the menu last night, in the first restaurant we went to in Hoi An.

4. Ps, most of the Vietnamese food is truely delicious. We went into a small place where there was no English on the menu and no English talked by the waitors, but they used google translate on their phones, and we pointed at a picture of a meal, and were served a wonderful meal with lots of small unknown dishes that we shared, whilst giggling with the young waitors, who also played with the kids while they waited for the adults to finish eating… so. No worries.

5. 2 nights sailing tour in Halong Bay
……. I dont’t know where to begin really…… A wooden ship, a group of stranger passengers meeting and getting to know eachother – I have 6-7 of them now as facebook friends…. we did… we visited a cave… and the Titop island beach. We had great meals on board the big ship and a snaller transport ship between mothership and event spots… we did kayacking and saw many big eagles… we visited Monkey Island where we fed them nuts which they came and took out of our hands… we visited big arts and crafts workshops where handicapped people had a workplace, and they made beautiful things out of silk, jade, wood, ceramics, porcelain, stone sculptures, clothes jewellery from gem stones…….. we… had a most fantastic evening drinking free Vietnamese beer and us 3 mamas on board ended up having a karaoke session! Hahaha….. oh yeah and the squid fishing by night…. And the cooking class where they taught us how to make rice paper spring rolls… The communication in hyper fast Vietnamese-pidginEnglish, which always left us passengers look at eachother and laugh because all our faces looked like big question marks, none of us knew what the message had been about and we learnt to just say “oh, we’ll just wait and see”; because the guides clearly knew what they were doing, it was just us that were confused and bewildered from the many messages that didn’t mean what they seemed to mean… actually a plus in the tour once I realized I could relax and it wasn’t necessary for me to understand their messages…

6. After Halong Bay we stayed a night in our Lucky room again. Out for a meal and enjoying peace and quiet in our room.
Next day we were to travel by train 8 pm until 1 pm following day, to Danang, and then bus one hour to Hoi An.
So we packed and left our luggage at the hotel, went out and found lunch in the fantastic White Lotus, then spent an hour in bicycle taxis around Huan Kiem Lake and around the French quarter, so peaceful to be in the scary Hanoi traffic in that slow motion bike sofa… both my little kids fell asleep one on each side of me there, people on the pavements and on scooters smiling at the sight of us…

Oh my God! I inserted photos from the phone!!
I couldn’t do that last time, in the post about Thailand.
Oh well.

Like I said, if you befriend me, there are many photos to see on my facebook wall. Lene Kaltwasser Henriksen. I accept strangers into my facebook circle as long as they are not spambots, and they behave politely. I have unfriended 2-3 people through the years of this practice, but the rest have proven to be real, and polite people, so. I enjoy getting to know new people. Send me a message along with the request and all is fine.

Where was I? Oh yeah, on that rickshaw.
We stopped at an ice cream cafe by the lake, then went into a shopping center and bought loads of foodstuffs, took a rickshaw back to Lucky ansd got our luggage and they called for a taxi. At the train station two men offered to help with suitcases, and off to the right traon we went.

7. The night train was great. Kids climbing on the bunk beds, making up games together. Lovely sounds and movements, this old train had. And exciting landscapes, water buffaloes and buikdings floating by our window. We slept well and ate all our fruits and sandwhiches and strange sweets…

8. Now we are here in Hoi An. Very hot after just 22 degrees in Hanoi. The homestay lets us borrow bikes, so soon now we’re off to the beach, 15 minutes bike ride from here. Later into the old town for dinner. 10 minutes in opposite direction.
The breakfast is included, and it is the best one we have had in Vietnam so far. Even fresh milk for the coffee, instead of that cream sirup from tins most use.
Fresh fruits, pancakes in different versions, eggs, noodles and rice, toast with cheese, dishes to order, juice…
It really lifts the day to start off on such a lovely meal.
I will find theirnfacebook page and give them some praise and share their link on my wall.

Right. Gotta dip into that pool now, I’m boiling. Not sure biking to the beach will be a pleasure with the traffic and the heat. Prefer a taxi. But my husband is Danish and sporty, I doubt he will agree now he finally gets to ride a bike again, hahaha…. some times we just divide. i take a rickshaw, and he walks. The kids choose who to go home with.

Yeah… so many things I could talk baput, inspired by this trip. But now I need to cool off.

Splash!

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2 weeks in Thailand

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Dear reader

I’m lying on my bed in Sinsuvarn hotel in Bangkok. Arrived yesterday from Koh Chang, flying to Hanoi this afternoon to enjoy two weeks in Vietnam before we head back home to our everyday tasks and chores.

I haven’t had much time online. A quick facebook update when in a wifi area, that’s all. Wish I could copy the facebook updates over here, with photos and comments… But. Anyways.

The past two weeks have been lovely. Got to spend some time with my bonus son, his wife and our two little grandsons. Such a treat to create family memories on holiday together, in no one’s home.

Other than beach play, pool dips, ice creams and wonderful meals, we’ve done a bit of colourful clothes shopping, and had three days of snorkling on Koh Kood. We have connected with fellow travellers from Quebec, Switzerland, Mexico and Austria, and with some really wonderful, fun Thai receptionists.

Like Ning at the Nirvana Resort:

Hmmm… I have now spent an hour trying to upload photos of Ning. I give up. The wifi is too slow, and the mobile format of wordpress makes it hard as well.

I think I have to wait until I’m home with photos… or maybe I have another go in Vietnam somewhere.

Anyways. I notice that it is good for me to reduce my internet access to free wifi zones only. A lot less thoughts in my head. Very unwinding. I think I shall try to keep this new habit when I get home.

The kids learn a lot. To deal with strangers approaching them, by giving a short reply in English or Thai. Meeting other kids,playing in spite of language barriers. Tasting new foods, ordering from a menu… The bonds between them strengthening as they help eachother and spend all this time together…

Yawn… Sorry… Bit tired after the long journey yesterday. 10 hours, in various taxis, ferry and buses… Heat is quite extreme, and luggage though not heavy, bothersome…

What have I enjoyed the most in Thailand?

1. The sounds of the jungle and the sea
2. Revisiting our favourite resort Blue Lagoon
3. The tastes and aromas of food and air
4. Oh the heat. To be really warmed up to the core.
5. Seeing my kids very happy together
6. The quality extended family time, bonding closer with my grandkids
7. Bangkok, hustle, bustle, shopping and tuktuk with Pinai
8. The amazing feeling of going into a cool pool when overheated
9. The weird wonderful fruits, and the fruit shakes
10. Learning something new all the time.

When I get my financial side of life together, I will definetely spend more time travelling. Ideally a couple of months every winter, and maybe a six month stretch around Asia…
Kids look forward to going home to their friends now, though. Haha…
I want to visit Nepal, Laos, Cambodia, Myan Mar. Hawaii. San Fransisco maybe. Namibia. Barbados. Indonesia. Melanesia.

Think that’s the most important places for me. For the buddhist atmosphere which I find so peacefully all-embracing… for the healing traditions of f.ex. the big kahunas, their ho’oponopono…
For the Kung! San people of the Kalahari…
I loved my studies in socisl anthropology. Should do my master and go on fieldwork one day maybe…

And now I am here. In two hours they take us to the airport. Four hours flight and we land in Hanoi where we have never been before.

What do I expect?
As little as possible. Expecting positive surprises as I do in general in life. Expecting adventure and challenges we solve. I hope they are friendly and helpful like the Thais. The food is lovely, I have been to Vietnamese restaurants in Norway. I hope they sell clothes similar to here in Bangkok, as I need a new wardrobe! I hope to visit the tailor town Hoi An and be able to get myself a suit handsown!
And with their rugged coastline I expect there will be little beach time and hence a need to go for places with a pool when we look for places to stay…

Yeah. I shall try and write you from Vietnam. Can’t promise photos though. If you befriend me on Facebook, there’s loads of photos there. Only visible to friends. Just send me a message along with the friend request, I accept strangers into my facebook friend circle as long as they are not spambots, and they behave politely.

Let me try to upload a heading image, and go join my gang in the pool outside. Have a happy day out there on this our blue planet.

Pop gan mai!
(=See u later)!

Aha! Managed to upload photo. Let me push my luck and try to give u one more then, here at the end of today’s little story:

Aaaarrrggghhh! No can do. Trying to upload one of all five of us on top of two elephants taken two days ago, but doesn’t seem uploadable. Strange. Maybe rule is different for the “set featured image then, than for inserting into post.
Anyways.
Pop gan mai and mai pen rai (=no problem, never mind).
Wow, it rhymes!!
My first poem in Thai! Yeeaahh!

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Into the Known Unknown

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Love that title that just typed itself there. Haha. This post should be about dying. Returning Home, back into the Light where I was before I was born into this fleshness… 🙂 Into the Known Unknown…

Anyways. That is not what I meant by the known unknown here now. This post is about me getting ready for an adventure. We are flying Sunday, to Bangkok. Two weeks on the island of Koh Chang that we know, we were there for 2 months in 2013. But although Thailand is known to us, it is still mostly unknown. And after two weeks there, we fly on to Hanoi and spend two weeks in Vietnam. Where we have never been before. So that is unknown.

Hm. The title for this post is marvellous, but it probably deserves a better … text following such a great headline. (Is my humble opinion). Anyways.

Here´s a couple pictures from my Facebook profile, from our last trip to Thailand, 4 years ago:

The Blue Lagoon Resort. We are going back to that resort.

View from inside the one room hut.

Self portrait in the hut´s bathroom.

The reception area. My son, 10 months old.

Another hut, same resort, where we also stayed a handful nights. Higher standard than the ones on the river. More spacious and better beds. Built and decorated by artists from different countries, The Blue Lagoon Resort is like a small, alternative minded community. Thai people and French, live there all year, and develope the site.

Klong Prao beach, where we hung out most of our time at Koh Chang.

Morning, heading for place to find breakfast…

Lots of splash time.

My then 2-yearold Viola shot this close-up of jewellery sold on the beach.

Afternoon resort chill.

On Koh Kood. Wonderful Cambodian waitors and our three little treasures.

One of our houses at Koh Wai (Pakarang resort)

View from the restaurant at Koh Wai.

The beach, Koh Wai.

My eldest, Lava, then 8. Happy. So many amazing memories. She is extremely chuffed we are going back to Thailand.

All the beautiful temples… This one was on the east coast of Koh Chang.

Viola skipping in the zodiac…

Getting transported from one island to another…

Back on Koh Chang. Elephant ride in the jungle. Unforgettable.

Nap time. 🙂

Typical meal time. Order anything. Enjoy immensely. Pay very little. So NICE!!

Sunset on Koh Kood.

Oh yeah…. We are leaving in two days. Suitcases are being packed, last errands run. I have to go make my son a cup of tea now, I just picked him up from kindergarten. Speak to u again soon, I hope! Depending on wifi on the trip, but. Yeah.

Toodle-ooooo and au revoir!
Kop kun ka for reading my blog.
(Thai word for thank you. If you are female.
If you are male, to say thank you, you say “Kop kun krap”).

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Mother-Daughter Day in Budapest

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vores stuekøkken

This is a picture from the sofa in our rented flat in the Gouzdo pedestrian shopping street tunnel in Budapest. It´s located in the middle of the city, and still it´s quiet. And not expensive. Two bedrooms, big bathroom with washing machine and bath tub, and then this kitchen – living room. Perfect for a family with three kids.

Just outside our place, was this sculpture…:

statue in da hood

A signpost said it was put there to honour those who helped victims of the 2.world war… helped save jews and others who were threatened by the authorities, I guess… Throwing them a line… a life line… for them to pull themselves back up onto their feet…

Just outside our place was also this wall painting, measuring maybe 4 x 3 metres…. huge…. :

street art refugee child

“One family torn apart by war Is too many. UNICEF ”

I like it a lot. I want more facades everywhere to look like that.

Well. This morning, my eldest daughter (10) and I were going shopping. To have a browse in the shopping street for some clothes for her. We had also heard about a very famous bakery, and since my daughter loves to bake, of course we had to visit that place and have a treat. Sadly, I can´t remember the name of the place, but. It was situated on the biggest shopping street: Vaci Utca. Here is a picture of the bakery:

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It looks like a castle! 🙂 And it does on the inside as well. Chandeliers… and many waitors, attending to any detail in your anticipated need. Very friendly and not pushy. A trip to the bathroom was a joy in itself, walking through room after room of these old chairs and tables, details in red and gold…

lava med strawberry dream

Lava ordered a cake called Strawberry Dream. White chocolate lid. Mouse inside… GOODNESS…

strawberry dream utenpå

kakesnitt

I had a cheesecake. Which wasn´t really… well it was nice. But not spectacular like hers.
We shared a glass of hot chocolate. Which was so rich that we could not finish it between us!! For two dedicated chocolate lovers like us… quite amazing… We spent a truely lovely hour in that bakery. And left feeling very full and that we would not be craving for chocolate for a year or so!

arkitektur in da hood

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Just a couple of photos I took as we walked along… amazingly beautiful architecture everywhere…

We found some shops, and she got a good load of new clothing items which she needed, for a lot less than it would cost at home in Denmark. So that was great.

Further down the street of Vaci Utca, a man stopped us to give us a small piece of bright red, free soap. He approached us by saying “Here, would you like some nice soap? Don´t eat it! It looks like candy, but it´s soap!” Hahaha…. he was a really nice person, from the Dead Sea, as he put it. Working for a shop called Seacret. Which I had never heard of, but it´s got shops all over the world. Denmark as well. Copenhagen and Kolding only. (So far).

He showed us some mindblowing products. First a nail polishing system, which in two minutes without any varnish involved, made my nail shine like never before!! Just polishing it with a magical, square thing, followed by one drop of oil from a tiny bottle… I was shocked, actually. And my daughter was too. He gave us an offer we could not resist, and so, some of the lucky people on our christmas gift list will receive some magical nail equipment this year… 🙂

After I bought that, he sat me down in a chair and demonstrated a facemask on a bad rash I have underneath my right eye, which I have had for about a year and don´t know what to do with.

He gently put on a dark gray mud like mass, and after 3-4 minutes removed it with… A MAGNET !!!
Hokus pokus, rash looking a lot better!!!
I think I must have sat there with my mouth open, I was just so surprised…

He sold me four products to care for my skin. Telling me that yes, it was not cheap, but much cheaper than in Denmark, and he also could give me a special campaign price. So I got it for under half of normal Hungarian price.

I felt very grateful. Finally something that could reduce the glowing red blisters on my face. It cost me a sum I would not normally spend on such things, but. One´s face after all, is quite an important item to look after properly. And I really needed help. So I took it as a gift and an investment. And have not regretted it. I use the products daily, and the mask weekly. And my rash stays down, and seems to even be disappearing, slowly…

The name of the wonderfully friendly and competent dermatologist, is Ran Mizrachi. If you go to his shop in Budapest on Vaci Utca, say hello from me. I will definitely go back and see him next time I am in Budapest. He even speaks a little Danish, AND Norwegian!! Hahaha…. and English… sweet as an angel. I ended up telling him to bring his wife and come visit me and my family on Fanø. Truely such a nice person. Warm hearted, and funny. I hereby recommend you all to go see his shop and let him sell you some very good products for your skin.

Seacret

world of seacret

They have an amazing body scrub. Minerals from the Dead Sea. I tried it on my hands. And the hand cream afterwards…. But the containers were to big for my hand luggage. (Ryan Air). And my purse was empty as well, after those face products. But next time! 🙂

Before we left, Ran gave us a voucher to try their fish spa for free!! Which we did in the morning a couple of days later, I will make a separate post for that.

fish spa budapest

We said goodbye to Ran and strolled home happily. On the way, on a side street to Vaci Utca, we stumbled upon Pest´s oldest restaurant, and received a coupon that would give us 10% off if we decided to eat there! They had live gipsy music. Which was just what we were looking for.

We met up with dad and the two tinytots in our flat, chilled for an hours, then went back and found the restaurant.

pests eldste restaurant

Just outside was parked a bike with a side… what´s-it-called? Like a motorbike… I fell in love with the look of it, so I had to take a photo:

sykkel med sidevogn

Inside the restaurant, food was lovely, service relaxed and humoristic, and the musicians were very talented. They played “Solveig´s Sang” for me, by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, and I had to keep myself from starting to cry! Very moving.

Live strings at the table… two violins and a base. There was a strange kind of “piano” as well. But they didn´t bring that round to the tables, for obvious weight reasons…

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Linus-Ferdinand dunked his bread in the gulash soup… where did he learn this?! Certainly not in his current home. Must be a habit he´s brought with him from previous life times… 🙂

LF gulasj dunker

After the big meal, the two tinytots decided to have their own party under our table:

to små under bordet

It was yet another lovely day in Budapest.
I finish this post with a couple of video clips I made in the restaurant.

And then this, our exit, passed the wonderful strange string intrument there…..

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János Mountain, Budapest

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Bud Johbjerget skogsti lavaAnna

This is where our week in Budapest Hungary started. We arrived Sunday evening, and Monday morning we met up with a guide that my husband knows from earlier trips to the town; Anna Soltecz. She is a music teacher who has studied the Danish language in Denmark. So she could even talk with our kids in Danish! What a luxury when abroad. A very good guide. Contact me if you want her email address!

Well she took us by metro and bus up to the Johannes mountain. On the photo we see her and our eldest daughter Lava strolling along the gravel path. The sun was shining like crazy this 2. of November Monday. The autumn leaves were swirling lazily down from the old, tall treetops. Pure poetry.

johbjerg lf ved træ

Our youngest, 3-yearold Linus-Ferdinand, soon found himself a big “sword”, which he dragged along with him for about twenty minutes before he gave up on taking it home! He is standing next to a tree that has a signpost that says that this particular tree was planted in the honour of a famous opera singer. It is a tradition they have. To plant trees in memory or honour of someone who has done something special for the city.

træ dedikeret på johbjerg

This tree was planted in honouring memory of a man who has done a lot for environmental care, Anna explained.

hul træstamme hjerte

A hollow treetrunk. Some little being could spend his or her winter quite comfortably in there…  It is kind of heart shaped, the opening, isn´t it. Quite to my liking.

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On top of the Johannes mountain there was this tower, loads of stairs leading up to it. A tall one!

udsigt fra johbj tårn2

Here you can see how far up we were. See the people and the car at the foot of the tower, there? Quite nerve wrecking actually. Especially with my little kids running and jumping around… not that they could fall down. It just felt a bit overwhelming to keep an eye on them two whilst also keeping an eye on the view waaaayyy down there….

You can see all of Budapest from up there. 2 million people live in the city. Twice the amount of Copenhagen.

udsigt fra johbjergets tårn1

When we came back down all those stairs again (I could still feel that climb in my leg muscles the following day)!… then Anna was waiting for us, sitting enjoying the sunshine in front of a poster showing the chairlift we were going to use to come down from the mountain again… :

guide foran bilde stollift

We climbed on board. Like a ski lift. A really wonderful, soft and easy glide through the forest down the hill…. what a brilliant idea!

Lava and Anna in the chair in front of ours…

stollift turen

And then the four of us in the next one! Pretty unnerving to shoot a selfie whilst holding him on my lap and holding the phone mid air in the Johannesmountain bush. Had I dropped it there… But. Win some, lose some. Or. No risk no gain. Or something.  🙂

stollift selfie

And yes. Ofcourse I managed to make a little movie as well for you blog readers… Enjoy…. 🙂

Hehehehe…. scoundrel son of mine…. Ruining my recording… bless his cotton socks. There is a time to record and a time to just be present and put the camera away. For sure.   🙂

Well. When we came back down to earth, Anna wanted to take us to a renowned restaurant at the bottom of the mountain. It´s called Line 58, and used to be the end stop of an old tram route through town… renovated…

Here is the old tram itself, now in use as a reception office for a camping site:

linje 58 trikkevogn camping resepsjon

I just love it when people use old things creatively like that… seeing a new use for something, instead of destroying it or throwing it away… Love it.

Here´s the end station, now restaurant… Line 58… :

linje 58 restaurant

A closer one:

linje 58 restaurant closer

Alas, we found out that it was not open. It´s open Summer season and winter season. In winter, one can skate on ice just outside the restaurant… !

58 før og skøytebane

58 skøytebane

Love how they have put up old photos in that tunnel… here´s the tram back when it literally did run on horse power… :

58 horse power

And check this out; the locals seem to know how to throw a party as well. I NEED to go back to Budapest and experience its beauty in the Summer and in the winter season… both the beauty of nature and the beauty of cultural ways and traditions…

58 jenka

After we found this restaurant closed, Anna took us to another great one, but that was closed as well, either due to it being Monday or being November, she wasn´t sure. But in the end we found one that was open, and ordered the famous meat soup gulasj as well as the famous pancake dishes both sweet, and with melted cheese… a lovely meal indeed.

We walked through a shopping mall on the way to the metro home, and took this photo on our way through:

to små med mammut downtown bp

Budapest by night. Only 7 pm but. November fashion.

This was the first day of our holiday in Budapest. A fantasticly memorable day in the sun.

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Fanø Forest Playground

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The other day, we had a visitor for a few days, a lovely musician from Copenhagen, who also is a web designer. He helped me develope my blog site so it is more user friendly, and also more visible to search engines. Fantastic help to get! So grateful for that.

The sun was shining, and we decided to take him to see Fanø Skovlegeplads, which means Forest Playground.

vogn

By the entrance stands these trollies, that you can borrow for free while there. Saves you carrying all those picnic or bbq things. And tired children.
It´s free to enter. There are proper toilets, one can leace some coins if one wants to support the playground. It is run entirely by volunteers. Very impressive.

robin hood skulptur

There are many many of these sculptures around in the forest there. Made by a couple from Lithuania. Lots of different characters from children´s litterature. Snow white, the dwarfs, trolls… I didn´t take enough pictures, so I will have to tell you more about this playground some time later. They have also built a roof, over lots of picnic tables and 3-4 big barbecues. So that one can enjoy a barbecue if it rains… very handy.

skovlegepl hest

This horse is a rather new addition. It has 4 saddles on its back! … and hearts carved in its eyes…

L-F på en rot

My son on top of a root of a fallen tree. I love the way they have left the forest as it is, they have tidied areas and built benches and sculptures and sand boxes and swings, but the surrounding forest has been left untouched.

pølsegyngen

Very popular swing, that. For bigger children.

giraf gynge

I had to have a go myself, on this one.

spil

Lots of different games to play…

croc bench

A crocodile bench… which needs to be shot close-up. With a camera, I mean. 🙂

Yeah… like I said, there would be at least 10 more photos needed to give a proper impression of this place. But let this just be an intro, and a reminder that if you do come to Fanø, you really should go visit Fanø Forest Playground.

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Fanø Street Theatre Festival

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Each and every August, on Fanø where I live there is the Street Theatre Festival. For three days, everybody can come and watch a play for free,  on benches set up in the town square, on the parkinglot outside the museum and in the school yard. This year we managed to see all the 4 plays. We always attend if we are home, and it is a true treat for us, parents and kids alike.

Here is a clip from the play Thursday evening:

It was the finishing song of a play about three cowboys and a woman who outsmarts them. Pretty clever scenography, where there were doors in the wall / the backdrop of a prarie graveyard… and things were transformed behind that wall, from a cable to a lasso, for example, and from shovels to guns… some surreal elements as well, which I enjoyed more than the slapstick. And the kids loved the farting jokes more than anything else. Of course. 🙂

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The next morning we went to see two clowns. I have sadly forgotten their names. They were really great.
My kids´kindergarten were there too, to see it…

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Later that Friday, we saw Martha from Spain:

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Here is my husband, helping her out! He is always picked to come up on stage  to the artists for some reason. I think they recognize he is one of their kind… 🙂

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Saturday lunchtime, we watched the last play, by the group “Burning Love” (Brændende Kærlighed, Danish group), and it was an excellent script as well as wonderful acting. About a young woman who has a check list of things she needs to accomplish. “Checkmark”, the play is called.

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Here her parents are feeding an education down her brain! Hahaha… what an idea…

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And here I caught a whole little scene. The selfie-addicted young lady got herself some donor sperm (from a guy in the audience, hehehe…) and suddenly she had twins… Hillarious, this.

I feel so blessed whenever I sit down on those benches to be entertained. It is always very well visited, and always funny or inspiring. Looking forward to Fanø Street Theatre Festival again next summer, and hope it will happen in sparkling sunshine like it did this lucky year.

(Ps, thank you, Helle Broe, for lending me your phone to film with, and for letting me copy some of your photographs. So much appreciated, both that, and you sweet festival company. 🙂 )

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