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Watching Concert in Gröna Lund… Finally!

Every summer, the amusement park in Stockholm, Gröna Lund, arranged a series of concerts in the site. The lineup is usually good, a mixture of both Swedish and international artists. And you can attend all the concerts freely (?) once you have this seasonal ticket (gröna kortet).

I have had my seasonal ticket since years ago because Sam Smith was scheduled to have a concert there. But then it was cancelled and I almost never use it ever since. This year, I was planning to attend the tango lessons that were arranged there (yes, they have salsa and tango lessons too for the whole summer). But as usual, as we say in Swedish, det går inte (it doesn’t happen)… 😅😅😅

So as a backup plan (not really), I have listed all the artists I would like to see at this year’s concerts. It has started since May, for God’s sake, but until this month, I have not even stepped my foot in the park. This cannot continue. So last Thursday, I actually went to see the concert. It was Molly Sandén.

The moment I arrived in front of the stage, I knew I was totally out of place. I came from work, with all this work attire (not that formal, actually), but everyone around me was TEENAGERS!!! 😂😂😂

Oh no, wait. I actually saw a mother beside me accompanying her teenage daughter 😅

Anyway. It seemed like everyone around me knew the lyrics for ALL THE SONGS. While I can only remember 1 for the whole songs. And 2 other refrains #fail 😂😂😂

But it was fun anyway. Molly was really energetic and interactive. And she brought a lot of guest artists. And the staging was great. But the best moment was of course when she sang my favourites: Större, Utan Dig, and Rygg mot Rygg 😍😍😍 I think I could scream on top of my lungs for that (which I did, obviously 😂). She even went back to the stage to give 2 encores after the final song.

Overall, I would recommend going to these concerts if you really like the artists. Or if you are just regular concertgoers. Then it would certainly worth the amount of money you spent on the seasonal tickets 😂

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Meet the New Jazz Sweetheart: Amanda Ginsburg

I don’t always listen to jazz, but when I do, it’s Amanda Ginsburg.

I first found out about Amanda when I was looking for performances at the Stockholm Culture Festival 2018. I have to admit that jazz is not something I am always passionate about (having been trained as a classical musician previously, I personally found it difficult to understand what’s jazz is all about *facepalm, I know 🙈). But there’s something about her that captivates me. I don’t know how to explain it. Perhaps it’s the song itself (I first listened to Havsmelodi – Sea’s Melody). It has this… sadness but also happiness at the same time. Or perhaps it’s her voice? It sounds so dreamy and beautiful to me.

Anyway, I decided to come and see her performance yesterday. After being misled by Google maps (who has lived in Stockholm for 4 years and still use Google Maps to navigate around the city? Yours truly, obviously), I arrived in front of the scene. The concert had started, and it was so crowded. I almost could not see the stage (short posture and late arrival is definitely not a good combination). However, I managed to listen to some of my favourites: Vem är du? (Who are you?), Flykten från vardagen (Escape from daily life), En kväll i september (An evening in September), and Havsmelodi. She sounded just like the recording. I’m in love 😍😍😍

I have to admit that I cannot catch all the words in her songs, despite having learned Swedish for years. But hey, isn’t the music itself the universal language? 😉

Amanda Ginsburg at Stockholm Culture Festival 2018
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EuroPride Parade Stockholm 2018

If I could be honest with you, I used to be rather ignorant about LGBT rights issues. I mean, I basically believe that people have the rights to be whatever they want, but that’s it. And coming from where I come from, it was certainly not the easiest topic to discuss (with anyone). People have their own prejudice, the most extreme could borderline to violence. So most of the time I would just shut up.

It was kind of changed when I moved to Sweden. I learned. I met people. I discussed. And then I realised that what people have been doing in my country is not okay. I am ashamed. But honestly, I also feel helpless. I don’t really know what to do.

I think we have long forgotten to value human beings as they are. Regardless.

So today, I decided to join the EuroPride Parade in Stockholm. Not yet participating in the march, but I wanted to be there. One of my friends came out last year and I am very proud of him and I wanted to support him in any way that I can. Frankly, I had my own doubts too. As a heterosexual woman with a hijab, I myself am afraid of the prejudice I might receive by being present there. I was afraid of what people would think. Would I get harassed? Would I be jeered? Would people think of my presence as an insult? All that negative thoughts came running to my head. But my friend assured me that this event was supposed to be inclusive. So I steeled myself and gave it a go.

I positioned myself around 1.5 km from the finish line. The weather was rather strange. Sunny and cloudy and drizzly and sunny again. It took around 1.5 hours before I saw the first group came marching down.

And then I cried. Like, really cried.

I thought of my closest friends. I thought of my childhood friends. I thought of a friend who came alone to this parade. I thought of all the people who got prosecuted for who they were in my country, in other countries. I thought of a guy who sought asylum in another country. I thought of all the loving parents who accepted their kids for who they were. And I thought of all the estranged families who probably still found it hard to do the same.

I have experienced various heartbreaks. But I could never imagine how it feels for not being able to be with someone you love because you did not conform to the “societal norm”.

And I know, coming from myself, this writing means nothing. Or it could be the other way around and turned to be controversial. I have been contemplating myself in what language I should write this. I could probably write in Swedish, it would likely be safer since Sweden is such a progressive country. But I want people to know. I am tired of pretending that I don’t care. I do care. I believe that we should put humanity above all the boxes first.

And to my friends out there, I am here for you. You know who you are.

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Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav (Book)

I am not sure since when my blog turned into a kind of book recension website. I do not have any intention to turn my blog into one, actually. It’s just that I’ve been reading quite some books lately (nothing related to my studies unfortunately 🙈🙈🙈 #shame).

Anyway, Love and Misadventure is the third Lang Leav’s book I’ve read. I should have probably read it first, since this was her first book. But I did not get hold of the book before now, so… 🙂

Overall, I like this book, but not as much as Memories. Probably because I have read some of the poems in Memories? But I think it’s also because I feel that the poems are not as dramatic, sad, and dark as I had hoped (yes, I am a very dark person 🖤). But it’s still worth reading, though. I will give 3.75 stars out of 5 (strange score, I know 😂⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️).

And… here’s one of my favourite poems from the book:

Just Friends

I know that I don’t own you,
and perhaps I never will,
so my anger when you’re with her,
I have no right to feel.

I know that you don’t owe me,
and I shouldn’t ask for more;
I shouldn’t feel so let down,
all the times when you don’t call.

What I feel—I shouldn’t show you,
so when you’re around I won’t;
I know I’ve no right to feel it—
but it doesn’t mean I don’t.

– Lang Leav, Love and Misadventure

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Vännen av Joakim Zander (Bok)

Det här är mitt första inlägg på svenska. Tänkte bara på att försöka. Hur det än går till. 🙂

Jag fick tag på den här boken först som ett läsprov (eller vad det än heter). Jag fick de första 2-3 kapitlen när jag beställde en annan bok och jag gillade den direkt. Spänningen, främst. Så jag bestämde mig att läsa klart och det inte var en besvikelse.

Ärligt talat är det ganska svårt för mig att beskriva storyn men det var fullt av twist and turn. Ibland undrar jag om allt det här är möjligt, men vad vet jag om underrättelsetjänsten? Så om du gillar såna här spänningen, måste du definitivt läsa boken!

Fyra av fem stjärnor till boken! En annan bok som jag inte kan lägga ned! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Sad Girls by Lang Leav (Book)

“What if I’m making a huge mistake?”

“Then make it. You can’t go on living a lie.”

– Lang Leav, Sad Girls

This is the first time I read Lang Leav’s novel. I was a bit sceptical at first because I knew that she was such an amazing poet. I was afraid that I wouldn’t find the same beauty in the words that she put as a novel, as it was in a poetry. But I was desperate. The past few days had been so difficult for me. I needed an escape. And the title seemed apt, so I decided to give it a go.

I first read the excerpts from Google books. I should say that as I grew older, it was hard for me to find a book that I couldn’t put down. And this book is one of the very few. I was hooked. I decided to keep on reading and it did not disappoint.

To be honest, it was scary to find how many quotes from the book actually reflect what I had been feeling. And just when you thought you’d get a happy ending, things took a darker turn. *Basically you knew you were screwed when you read something happy just 10 pages before the end of the book. Oh and surprisingly, this was one of a few books which I did not jump on the last page and read the ending.

All in all, I would give this 4 out of 5 stars (should probably write that in Goodreads as well). A bit cliche, perhaps, with light language, but I like it anyway. It was beautiful.