Posted in: Reflections, Travel, work on 17 November, 2018 by Amelia

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Sorry for the lack of posts over the last week or so; I unfortunately was involved in making funeral arrangements, which I hope you can understand was not particularly easy. It is even harder in between work trips, and even technophobe me had to admit that having wi-fi almost everywhere was very helpful.

I am actually getting a bit fed up of traveling and hotels at the moment – since the start of October, I have spent 17 nights in various ones, and whilst I have enjoyed taking advantage of the free swimming pools, the novelty definitely does wear off. I never thought I would say that, but I am so tired, and after two back-to-back seminars starting on Monday, I am looking forward to a very quiet December. For once I will have time to attend some of the plays and concerts at the university, to borrow v few board games from FR Ryd, to relax in the sauna and enjoy the beauty of snowy Linköping – check out the illuminated trees opposite the station; it is amazing when they reflect off of the snow 🙂

Oh, but then I also promised that I would do all of the cooking in December, as my husband has been making me packed lunches for trains for about six months solid…. that will not be fun, but at least my job is laundry, and his is washing-up!


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Anniversary Burgers :)

Posted in: Food, Recreation on 4 November, 2018 by Amelia

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In all the years my husband and I have been together, we have never celebrated our wedding anniversary on its actual date. It has not bothered me personally, because I am fairly realistic about things getting in the way, and our wedding did not mark the start of our relationship either… Still it is nice to do something around the time, and last week we went to a lovely anarchist pub for some vegan burgers and beer 🙂

Perhaps next year we will finally be in the same city, not working, and not in hospital on the actual date…. time will tell!


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Where is Home?

Posted in: Mixed, Reflections, Travel on 30 October, 2018 by Amelia

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Hello from Germany, where I am spending so much time working at the moment that it is almost like living here again… yet at the same time, I get homesick for Linköping all of the time. That is not strange for me, because I have moved so often that it does not take me too long to feel at home – (actually 4 years in Linköping feels now like 10, because it is my longest stint in one place since childhood) – but it can be a bit surreal to see how things have changed upon returning to somewhere I used to live. From Frankfurt yesterday I came to Stuttgart, and for the sake of nostalgia decided to drag my suitcase the entire length of a large park, rather than take the U-Bahn. I also found time for a very short swim in one of the hot springs and to walk down the main street as I used to do daily. Yet, it was indeed surreal, because whilst in the north and south ends of the park I could completely forget that the last ten years have gone by, part of the central section has been destroyed for redevelopments that I and many others protested again back in 2008, and when taking to makeshift bridge over the top of the building site, it was as if two worlds, then and now, were colliding. Rationally, I knew that the development has been underway for years now, but emotionally, my picture of the ‚real‘ Stuttgart could not take in the changes.

I wonder if those who previously lived in Linköping, a city with much redevelopment at the moment, feel the same when they return? Possibly, but at least no parks are being destroyed 🙂

Anyway, building works aside, I do recommend Stuttgart for a visit. It does not have an amazing reputation as a tourist destination, but there is certainly a lot to do, from the palaces, galleries, and theatres to the Mercedes museum, beer festivals, outdoor spas, and, in my opinion, the best Winter markets in this part of the world.


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Bad Days, Good Days

Posted in: Mixed, Reflections on 23 October, 2018 by Amelia

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Is it not weird how some days everything goes wrong, and on others everything goes right? Yesterday, I had a train delay of over an hour, meaning that I had to run and made my connection with one minute to spare, then at the next station my e-ticket corrupted despite having worked shortly beforehand, and I had to run again to the desk to beg for a printed copy, then my laptop battery died when it should have had 30 percent charge remaining, then the plug sockets on the train did not work, and then once I got home, I tripped on the stairs and twisted my ankle…

Today though, I received positive exam results, got a phone call from a friend I hardly ever get to talk too, got paid two days early, took advantage of a great promotion in the supermarket, found something I thought I had lost, and found out that I will no longer be working with someone who is not particularly friendly. Now I just have to make sure I can get a nice early night, and yesterday will be well and truly balanced out.

What a strange couple of days though…


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A Night at Arlanda

Posted in: Travel on 19 October, 2018 by Amelia

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I am no stranger to sleeping in train stations, bus stations, and even 24 hour libraries, but as I have spent the last 15-ish years avoiding aeroplanes for environmental and stress-related reasons, I have had less experience sleeping in airports. This year though, due to some rather hectic scheduling, I have been forced to fly a few times, and recently had to spend a night at Arlanda in order to catch a plane at 6:00. Given that the Radisson, nice as it is from an event I once went to in its bar, wanted 3000kr for the night, the budget Rest and Fly was fully booked and the nearest hostel, a converted Boing 747, only had shared rooms available, I decided to use the night to get on with work.

So how was it? More comfortable than I imagined. Having confirmed that airside does close for a few hours, I headed to Sky City, the landside area between terminals 4 and 5, with shops, bars, and more importantly for me, couches, plug sockets and wifi. I considered ordering one of sports bar O’Learys delicious vegan dishes, but it was full and loud, so I grabbed a wrap and a couple of cans of beer from Pressbyrån and made myself at home on the balcony. Plane spotters have a great view from this spot, and the sunrise was beautiful, though there are night flights, and it surprised me too that no shop nor restaurant in this area is open 24/7. Train stations are better in this regard, although unlike in certain stations, I was not evicted nor told to show a ticket. Both security and cleaning staff were fine with passengers staying the night, and even made friendly conversation. (Though alcohol is not technically allowed in this area so a little discretion is needed in that respect…)

By the time I went over to security, I had been awake to call my boss in California, updated our website, arranged volunteers for a number of festivals, charged up two laptops and a phone, and given my legs and back a rest and stretch out.

Would I do this every week? No. But I would do it again, and recommend it as a safe, warm and cheap option 🙂


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Amelia Gackowska

Amelia Gackowska
Hej, my name is Amelia and I recently moved to Linköping to study the Master programme in Applied Ethics, as I thought it was about time to study the theories behind my activism!

When I am not studying you can find me teaching ballroom dancing, learning Swedish, up-cycling whatever I can find, or getting carried away debating politics into the early hours.

MA in Applied Ethics

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