I might probably be the worst blogger in the world.
The schedule in Murmansk was so full so I didn´t have time
to blog everyday, instead i decided to write down my diary from there:
Here it comes!
Day 1- Happy in Haparanda
16.30 I was picked up by Folke at Kungsgatan in Umeå I was standing in a corner and waited
and while I did the brother to my friend that I live with showed up on his new longboard.
Folke drove the bus to the small village Anumark. The home of the jornalist
Annika Burholm. She´s living in an old Västerbotten house there.
A real faboulus house I think.
She were talking of travelling to Jämtland, working with sheeps.
Next stop was Skellefteå. The home of the pizza Calzcrove (a baked pizza with an hamburgermenu in it)
and Pär, Waldemar and also Erland that´s living nearby.
Everone´s working on the Skelleftå newspaper Norra Västerbotten.
We drove to Luleå and Folke showed the old collective house he built together with friends in 84´ and lived with friends in.
84´one year for´I was born… Fresh thing to live a lot of familys
in one big house sharin´ a big kitchen.
Since Jon arrived we´re 8 in the group. Foodstop at a gasstation and restaurant outside of Luleå. Near the cottage he lives in.
I was having a kebabplate. With good drippin´sauce in it.
After several hours we saw the IKEA-komplex in Haparanda.
It has been very popular since it been built and one of the reason why it´s been built there is cause there owner
Ingvar Kamprad want to invest in the Barents Region.
Haparanda is a ghosttown on Wednesday nights we realised after looking for a gasstation there.
We wanted some more food.
Asked to guys where the gas-station is located but they seemed pissed-off didn´t answering. Probably cause of the Finland-loss
in the World Cup in icehockey.
Afterwards were passing by the resturant with the cool name Gulaschbaron.
me, Jon and Anders decided to go back to the hostel but the others went to the pub in the cityhall.
Back to the hostel, we watched a debate on TV. About the problems in the Malmösuburb Rosengård.
One crazy politician from the leading party in Sweden want the children there to be locked in at nights. It seems.
I totally disagree. I´m sad the politicians in Sweden can´t handle the situation there and that the segregation they are
selecting for the the swedish imigrants leads to more riots.
Our hostel is a pretty boring brickhouse look like it´s located in an industriquarter in Manchester.
First night I shared room with Alex from Russia, hi´s working with Swedish news from Russia and TV documentarys.
He falled asleep before I did cause I had to read some in my reportagebook of Hunter S. Thompson.
A book about the Hell´s Angels. Wroom, wroom.
Day 2- Countryroads take me away
We jumped into the bus at 8 am after breakfat at the Swedish-Finnish folkhögskola.
Good continental breakfast, and a short meeting.
First stop Alko. Now the Finnish delegation are with us. And I do think that they´re attitudes are lovely.
Some lady told me that russian and swedish people drinkin to be happy and finnish drinking to handle
their depressive mode. If you ask me people in Finland are partyanimals! So me and Jon moved to the back of the bus and started drinking
40 people now in the bus where now sitting in the section that the funny finnish leader call the pig-section.
A stop on the resturant ABC! Jon bought a hamburgermenu named after the famous finnish rockband Leningrad Cowboys.
I sat talked literature with Annika and Lisa the head of the culturalsection of Swedish radio. They had many tips on books i haven´t
I like the dark bread of finland the buffet was comme si, comme sa.
A cute girl worked there try to talk swedish to me.
We´re on Russian ground I can actually feel it. The road that the fins built ended outside of the city Salla, where many finnish ancestors from.
So right now the bus is rolling forward on muddy sandroads.
Trees, trees, trees.
I like trees but when there´s nothing more I be bored. I´m also shakin´to death.
so it´s hard to write. Got a part of Finland in my hands drinkin´ Minttu eatin´Lakrits.
Busproblems that the drivers had to deal with and after that they had to drive slower.
We were out with small speakers and I-pod dancing to classic song “What is love?” with the
gigant of the 90´s Haddaway. Anders totally owned the dance… ehrm?.. road!
After one more Norrbotnian classic with the group Euskefeurat the bus started to roll again.
Just when the hail started falling down like peas from the sky.
Out of dark a bigcity wer´e released I wasn´t ready cause i was newly waken.
Concretehouses stared at me like giants.
Lights turned on in less then three apartments.
The hotel slogan at Polarizni Zori where we shall live.
“Your far away home”
Some problems with the booking so Emmi and Kaisaa two finnish friends that study in Tampere had to live in an other hotel.
While we sat waiting for their keys a lonely guy where posing a car and tried to take a photo on it.
We laughed. The time was more than 3 pm.
Went to the restaurant and club were served salmon, potatoes and after that desert.
Really good service in the morning. On the screen: Strippershows from the resturant.
I´m not used to that in hotelrestuarants in Sweden…
Day 3 Me and Maria Petrova
A bold man with an hilarious laugh drove us to the Murmanskairport in a taxibus.
Maria: a friend to a friend we´re going to pick up students from Norway having an exchangeproject
with Murmask students. Along the way to the airport there was smallgarages which i first thougth
were houses for poor people . (they looked like houses in the barrios in Buenos Aires, Argentina…)
One guy hade parked his car and stood behind one door pissing.
The airport is som kilometres away from the town and you could see the town from the road and ewen
more luxary houses that´s outside of the town.
Beside that the city is missing suburbs. It´s more like three citys built together.
The airport is a little bit skanky but has great walldecorations with signs.
Had to buy batteries to my wav-player I´ve borrowed from school.
The first thing I bought in Russia actually.
We hooked up with the kids from a schools in Bodö and Trömsö in northern Norway.
I made interviews with two of the kids, one girl one boy, asked them about their expectations on the exchangetrip.
They should stay with families from Murmansk for three days.
We got into the bus with the bald driver and the bus didn´t start but after some nervous minutes it went fine.
Their teacher was talking alot about documentary filming and travels.
The students went pretty nervous when they for their first time met their russian friends on a Murmansk schoolyard.
-Dont you want to talk to a russian student, Maria said.
A relly good idea so i took the chance.
Back to the hotel just in time for dinner. First I went to the bar drank a Vodkadrink with Anders, Jon and two other men working on radio
that talked about prostitution and about really young girls walking streets selling blowjobs. Depressing to hear.
We went to a dinner with different kind of luxury snacks and a table of free wine and
I came to think about what a swedish cultural night would probably be like.
Maybe Abba-music, pretty boring it seems to me even though my Mamas name is Mia…
Kids with flower in their hairs sung tarditional songs about love.
One girl sung I´m to young to dance.
A boy replied me to but I gonna dance with you anyway.
Then they´re dancing.
People an kids in traditonal folkdresses were dancing in a circle.
They took me and Katja from Petrosavods who I was talking to, to the dance floor and after cheek-kissing a girl on a scarf.
I had to dance Kosack-dance for her. Russian romance…
The crowd seemed very impressed and a little bit drunked.
Afterwards Waldemar from Barents Press Sweden asked me if I wanted to be supleant of the Swedish Barentspress.
I said yes.
Much mingeling, some dance. But after talking to Emmi and Kaisaa we decided to go to their room.
Their hotel totally look like a dry-cleaning.
We sat on the floor of the apartment drinking cheap champagne smoking cheap cigarettes and watching
a show for warveterans on the TV. Many tears in the crowd and cheap boybands.
Emmi´s born 24/7 that´s a good date to be born.
Back to the hotelbar in Polarni Zori (our luxous hotel) met John and Anders, rented a black cab.
The stuff in the reception had talked about a good bar named Marrakech. We decided that we should go their.
Silvery trees outside the club looked like a mix between an irish pub and an brothel.
Drank some whiskey behind an expensive car.
First thing happening inside was that we saw the stuff carried out a man that has passed out.
He was smelling 20 years of bad vodka.
No guys on the dancefloor so we had to set the standard. So we did!
After a while it was russianguy invasion to the dancefloor.
Anders made the craziest and best moves ever.
I don´t really know what happened but we made friends. With some guys from the russian mafia.
It happened after talking to a girl that were holding a little dog in her lap… On the club!?!
Her boyfriend arrived with two gorilla bodyguards.
He was buying free drinks for us. And were toasting for “Friendship”.
One crazy thing while he did was that none of the girls were aloud to stand up.
We walked home cheerful.
Met some russian guys outside of some shop.
Posed on some old car.
We had to watch pictures on the camera the day after to remember that.
I passed out sat my alarm. had to get up at 10 next morning to be on a russian radiostation.
Day 4- Celebration!
Fuck, I missed the radiostation.
My alarm was sat after finnishtime.
Had a hangover in the same size of the carousel that
been at the swedish tivoli Liseberg.
Took the elevator down to the lobby.
– Congrats your elected in the Barents Press, he said.
Even though I felt agony because of the hangover i was glad.
But for real I didn´t thought he was real serious when he talked
to me after the Kalinkadance, now it feels great anyway.
Lisa the translator that should take me to the radiostation were
in the lobby unlycky she didn´t had time to go their because of the fact that i was one hour late.
So I chilled a bit instead.
It was interesting. In the front a bandwagon, after militarys marching, last the people.
All along the road kids illustrated warscenes.
Young kids waved Sovietflags.
Old people with brought flowers for celebrating the veterans.
Harsh way to go to Alyosha but the the sight from there were a reward.
Kids climbed at the monument after some minute militarys appeared and
asked them to go down but after a while there were new kids climbing.
This scene seemed to be “on repeat”.
In front of the monument (on the other side) people waved big flags
listening to speeches out of old speakers.
I made two interviews up on the hill that the monument is located on.
And after my interviews I was real thirsty, tired and I needed my bed imedietly.
Shopped a soda in the store (unlucky they had no beds…)
I dropped my soda on the way home the plasticbag was to full with candy.
Tried to remember the way back to the hotel but it seemed at the timelike I wasn´t able to see a building
ewen if I stood right in front of it. So I took an old taxi with a man who couldn´t say aword in english.
But anyway we comunicated in some way.
I found the hotel, got 20 minutes of rest. Not much.
I was back 3 pm and at 3.30 we should go to the trip on the Kola bay.
Talked with som Finnish people to share a cab to Arctic hotel.
Bougth an old Soviet belt my old belt broke on the parade, nearly exploded.
Sunny day and the most kids are drinking beer on the street. Life is like a festival.
Sat down next to Emmi, Kaisaa and Jon.
Ate some of the food he had left, he bougth meet at the plaza.
Suddenly a wind blowed parts of the food on Folke Rubin.
We were a big group that walked to the harbour.
Saw chainlocks that couples has put their to make their love immortal.
I couldn´t find my name on the chainlocks.
We cruised out on the bay.
Our guides name was Natasha.
We saw Alyosha from the boat, the atomicboat Lenin and the prison and much more.
A nice time on the deck enjoying the sun and shared som vitamin-juice with banana in it.
Dmitri from the local radiostation were there with his kids.
We had some snacks in the cabin and soon the boat had reached harbour again.
We and Natasha had dinner at a returant next to the railyard.
A place with dazzling ligths and decorations that reminded me about christmas.
Emmi didn´t want to drink anything more than juice but she got one beerglass, one vodka and two glasses of juice.
It was like a wall of glass in front of her.
Nice atmosphere during the dinner.
Natasha with a tear in the eye talked about relatives that fought in the war.
If a russian holds a speech it´s polite to reply with a speech.
Two people replied with speeches.
One of them said that it´s not a threat for us when Russia is spening money in their army.
In my opinion it´s always a threat when a country spening money in their army.
I´m a pacifict and I do not like weapons at all.
I was impressed by the armyparade but it was more because of the feeling and the celebration
then about what it symbolized.
We walked out from the bar when the coffee we order didn´t arrived.
Said thanks to Natasha she was a great guide. Annika remind me that I had to thank the host.
Thanks for that!
Partys everywhere now the plaza was crowded.
Many nice flowerarrangements too.
Me, Jon, Emmi and Kaisaa decided to go shopping. I needed to buy some gifts for my family.
Went to the biggest shopping mall we could find.
I was a little bit tipsy, and it´s quite nice to shop drunk.
We were spreading all over the mall.
I got some great tips about good russian rock from a guy from a submarine officer.
He put five records in my hands, who buys five records in the same time?
Maybe he mistook me for Bill Gates or a rich man from Gazprom?
Bougth other cd´s instead with russian dancehits for my little sister, and a great cd for me with
the russian hiphopgroup Boombox.
Other things I shopped: cotton candy in a jar, dried fruit, candy and vodka.
The other guys had to wait a long for me. I´m kind of slow and it´s hard to understand how to weigh
fruits and candy in russian malls.
When we walked away from the store I felt dumb.
Dumb because I had forgot my bag in the store.
A bag I had to lock in before I got into the store.
Had to get back to get it.
The others waited in a playground full of beerbottles and some drunk teenagers.
9th of may celebrations including all.
Preparty in our room Anders waited there, we talked about workprojects.
The first time we talked work actually.
We got some really good things going on.
We are hoping to gather a group of journalists from all the Barentsregion and make a trip with them
along the Transibirian railroad, reporting about themes as equality, environment and human rights.
Jon and Anders stayed at the room and I should go and meet the girls and the plan was that they were gonna follow me to our room for the pre-party.
But I stayed in the bar mingeling with Alexis, Katja the Swedes from Piteå and the finnish girls.
We stayed in bar for five hours. San Fransiscos, Margaritas and in the bar also a alone prostitute
drinking water and coffee.
I´ts not common that prostitutes hanging in bars at all in Sweden. And it´s not comfortable I think.
She had no costumers.
We were going to the restaurant, pretty fancy bar.
We met a poor character from Sweden he had been trying to buy sex for two weeks
without no sucess.
– Maybe it´s because of my earrings he said.
Stupid fellow I don´t think prostitutes care about his earrings maybe they´re more interested in…. Let´s say M.O.N.E.Y.
We danced. Some girls were dancing on stage.
A pimped tried to hook up with us and take us to the bar Twilight Zone. (Yeah that´s the same name as the old mysterious tv-show.)
It was at a hotel that looked like haunted by the plauge.
A judoguy from Armenia bought me drinks for my money!?!
He asked me for a swedish visa I´m not gonna give one to him.
Me and Jon started a musicgroup called Dirty Truckers we are just making music for truckdrivers.
We were the last one´s in the bar except for the judoguy and his friends we tried to take photos of the guard that looked bored.
Jon went out on teh street with some russian guys.
I went to see some girls from Bodö packed their bags.
Got two winebottles from them which I packed in my bags later on.
Followed them to their bus they were moving on to Ukraine.
I was all alone and it were only two hours until we should go home.
Tried toenjoy myself by writing postcards with the funny character Captain Black on them.
He is the symbol for a cofeebrand and the jewlry around his neck reminds me of Mr.T from A-Team.
Woke Anders up when I got in to our room but he seemed to be ok with it.
I was near sleep had to take a shower to stay awake for breakfast.
Sunday- Countryroads take me home
Good breakfast had it with two Anna´s.
One swedish/finnish and one russian/norwegian.
Havn´t talked to the russian Anna beforebut I saw here taking pics att the Victoryday Parade.
She is very nice and I do hope she´s coming Umeå.
On the way to the bus Jon dropped a beerbottle on the street. Just in front of the hotel not so popular.
Alexis overslept, not so popular. He had also being robbed on on his wallet and a ring.
He didn´t remember anything.
Irritating voices on the bus some had booked planes in Sweden that they probably gonna miss.
But it´s hard to plan with russian roads. We´ll see while we reach the boarder what time it is.
Now I´m falling a sleep…ZZZ
This was my report from a wonderful country where I made friend with some people I hope I can stay in touch with forever.
Yours Sincerly! Adam Wännman Zetterqvist