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CANADA // DAY 1

För er som hellre läser på svenska. 1 Toronto Subway2 Toronto Subway BW After the twelve hour bus drive from NYC and 5am burgers at McDonald’s, we arrived in Toronto. It was so weird, like I don’t even know, just shocking. It was all so different and I felt like such an outsider in this far away north American city I knew nothing about. Amazing. We took the subway all the way to the last station where Daniel and Nicolas’ parents picked us up. Let’s just say I’m glad we had already met as that would’ve been too much for me to handle. I was about to meet their sister though, and that was on the verge of freaking me out anyways. On top of this, it was her goddamn birthday too. 3 Family PilapratWe drove down the wide streets of a typical happy family suburb with cute houses and lots of trees. Safe and still and idyllic. As if nothing bad could ever possibly happen if you lived there.   After having tea with their grandma who bombarded me with questions I finally got to meet Claire, the sister, and her boyfriend Jason. The two of them were just lovely. While everybody was chatting away in French, Claire kindly translated it all or asked me tons of questions. She had even bought me some Canadian souvenirs to make me feel at home. Relieved to have had that over with, I went with Daniel to the garage we’re things got a bit more wild, or more out of hand. Motorcyclist He was gonna show me how badass this little dreamy family actually is, by taking me on a frikkin’ motorcycle ride! The whole family is all about motorcycles, and Daniel showed me the different years and brands and whatnot. Only his little sister’s was insured so we got on that one, I held on really fucking tight and off we went. Oh dear, if it was great. I might force him to take me on an endless road trip next. 6 pilaprats When we got back home the family started cooking Claire’s birthday dinner. This was interesting. If you imagine a happy north american family in a tv-show, this family is seriously what you get. The parents were standing in the kitchen making lovely-smelling magic while happily chatting away with their kids. The twin boys in return being cheeky but oh so charming, teasing their little sister who’s caught up in a wild conversation with her insanely nice boyfriend. Then the grandma sitting on the side in the armchair, telling the boys off while laughing between her complaining about old age. I mean, seriously? They even had a cute cat. I thought those families were made up. 7 moule frites We then brought all the food outside on their terrace in the 30 degree night. On the menu was moule frites, which is mussels with chips and apparently a birthday tradition in this half french family. Absolutely delicious and after opening present and eating birthday I was knackered. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and passed out in the boy bedroom upstairs.   Linn  

GHOST SIGNS OF LONDON

Since it’s freshers week and I happen to be a stupid fresher I went to the coolest of uncool events planned for us, which was a tour of some of the ghost ad signs around London. It was me and three other students, oh dear. Ignoring this fact I focused on the old ads, all hand painted on old brick walls hidden in alleyways and back streets, which I do actually like. So here is some stereotypical british sign porn: 1 Garage2. Postcards The teacher told us that in the 1800’s people sent as many postcards as we send texts today. INSANE! And you could send one, get a reply and respond once more at least, all within a day. See, school is teaching me stuff. 3. Coachwork4. Little Crown Court5. Garage6 BP7 Pring8. Pring9. sign10. Furniture11. G Baily12. Gilette14. Gillette It was a total of two hours starting in Soho, up to Marylebone and all the way back to east London. Once we got to Farringdon though, I just had to rebel a bit and sneak out of the tour to instead meet up with Daniel for lunch. Got to stay disobeying right.   Linn  

KENYA

westagePicture 049My family at Westgate, Nairobi 2010   I have trouble writing this post as I’m hurting and will still never come close to describing or feeling the pain caused to the people of Kenya. The past week Al Qaeda has carried out a terrorist attack on the mall Westgate in Nairobi where at least 69 people has been murdered and over 200 injured. The victims have been beheaded, raped and disfigured, children stabbed with knives. As the mall was then demolished, it collapsed and trapped up to 200 more people in the rubble so they expect the number of dead to increase with another 130-160. This is a country I love, it’s my second home as my family still live there, and Westgate is a place me and my family visit frequently. I am so grateful that they were lucky enough not to be there and that they are safe. I am also horrified that it happened to these absolutely innocent people. NOBODY should have to experience anything like this. My heart goes out to the victims and their families.   Having said that, I can’t stop thinking about the fact that when it’s wealthy, white people dying, the whole world gets involved, but when street children and poor Africans get abused, molested and killed every single day in the same area, it’s accepted as a part of this system.   Linn

NYC // DAY 5

För er som hellre läser på svenska. Wednesday in NYC and we got up to head up to the Meatpacking District. Just as we exited the subway the sky cracked open and we ran for protection to the sound of billions of raindrops against the city streets. Daniel i regnet At an appalling coffee shop we hid from the rain, trying to find a good and close lunch spot through Unlike City Guide. 1 Grey Dog It told us to go a couple hundred meters down to this place. 2 grey dog Old signs, warm, tons of sandwiches and fairy lights, plus they were playing Lykke Li and AlunaGeorge. Perfect. 4 the grey dog3 the grey dog So instead of strolling around NYC we just hung out, Daniel and me, talking shit and telling stories for a few hours until the rain stopped. 6. West Village Back outside we walked around through Chelsea, Meatpacking, West Village and Greenwich Village, photographing and chatting. The last two areas were were my favourites as there were lots of brick buildings and even more trees. 7. Soho oysters Eventually we ended up in Soho and at some Mexican bar we ordered some happy hour beers and one little oyster as I’m convinced I should like them. And every time, I’m proven wrong. 8 Oyster bar10. Oyster bar After all, I’m in love with rainy holiday days too as you don’t have to rush anything, just get a bit drunk and eat good stuff. Around six Nicolas met up for us and we headed back to Brooklyn. On the was we picked up some pizza and then packed up all of our stuff again, as it was time to take the overnight bus up to their hometown Toronto, in Canada! I was dead nervous and above all excited.     Linn

NYC // DAY 4

För er som hellre läser på svenska. 1 Nicolas rum We wake up in the calm of a typical holiday morning, bright light sprinkling through the sheets hung up as provisional blinds. Our suitcases have puked up its content all over the room where its now fighting Nicolas’ skateboards, heavy magazines and velvet shoes for space. 2 Daniel Four days of drinking on top of a jetlag is starting to wear on us so we just stay in bed for several hours, playing music and catching up on online content to the sound of the busy streets of Brooklyn. It’s calm and the hot morning air is almost milky . Some south american family is already having a day party on their porch, blasting music and barbecuing. 3 Bushwick KFC The smell of frying meat is getting to us, and hungry we dress quickly and head out. Daniel jokingly suggests KFC, which is not happening, but I know he wouldn’t mind. Instead we take the JMZ line and get off at Bowery for breakfast at the Butcher’s Daughter. 5 Butchers Daniel As we sit down, I hit Daniel in the side and nudge over to the table beside us. ”OMG DANIEL IT’S THAT FAMOUS GUY!!” I whisper as a crazy person when we go inside to get menus. He obviously hasn’t got a clue who this ”famous guy” is as he can’t see his face and I’m not being very descriptive. He tries to ask me what he’s done. ”HE’S AN ACTOR, IN FILMS! I KNOW HE’S IN FILMS!” ”Hm, what films?” ”I HAVE NO IDEA!” It takes us a while, but Daniel actually figures it out, and yes, he is and actor, and yes, he is in films, because the man having breakfast next to us i Jake Gyllenhaal! I am star struck and have to take a photo. So ladies and lads, behind Daniel is Jake Gyllenhaal’s head. 4 Buthers daughter I am already crazy happy about what NYC has offered us on this trip so far, especially today. I order some soft boiled eggs, cappuccino and fruit to have with my Jake Gyllenhaal experience, as I can’t imagine a more brilliant combination. 6 Butchers Daniel Jake Gyllenhaal A guy on a motorbike almost hits the cafe as he takes a short cut across the pavement and the other american guests go mental and TALKS TO US. Jesus, strangers talking to me and they don’t even KNOW ME. It’s a shock, and ever so pleasant. Daniel gets so excited that he accidentally elbows Mr Gyllenhaal in the back, for which he apologises and Mr Gyllenhaal even replies. But as Daniel hasn’t washed his elbow since, I’m sure it was on purpose. As far as I’m concerned, I now have a boyfriend who has touched and spoken to a celeb, so wow. 8 Soho7 Soho We pay, say bye to the talkative strangers and head out to explore the beauty of Soho. Fire escapes <3 9 the Hunt Nicolas has given us a whole list of shops and coffee shops worth visiting so we stroll up and down tons of streets to check them out. Among them was the Hunt which is a well curated antique shop combined with the badass, handmade jewellery shop the Great Frog. 10 Soho Continuing down past beautiful buildings and sunny streets, rummaging store after store for a birthday present for Daniel’s sister. But we have to hurry because we have an important lunch date to attend. 11 the Blind Pifg It’s a date with the greasiest nacho plate of this world at the Blind Pig, a home for the Arsenal supporters lost to the new world. 12 the blind pig 2pm on a Tuesday and PACKED. American Arsenalers must be crazy good at calling in sick or just crazy good at being unemployed. Luckily they win and the whole pub explodes in happiness. Thank god, my man will now be happy. 15 Cafe Select After another couple of hours of shopping we meet up with Nicolas who has finished work. He takes us to Cafe Select which looks like a dream from the outside with it’s endless rows of fairy lights. 13 Café Select Inside is no different, and being with these two pretty boys waiting for our champagne mixers and beers, I am a very lucky girl. And they are actually not miserable but well happy, contrary to what the image might show. 14 Black Cigarettes We find some black & golden cigarettes! After a couple of drinks in this twinkling bar, discussing dead serious and unimportant matters we head out on the streets of Soho again and walk over to Nolita. 16 Unlovable Next stop: the thai restaurant Lovely Day. 17 Lovelyday We wait for about an half hour before we are seated in the wild restaurant. It’s busy in a fun way and people seem to be celebrating as if it is in fact a Saturday night and not a Tuesday. 18 Lovelyday After being completely lost trying to decipher the menu, (as always at asian restaurants as I never remember the name of what I like) we order some heavenly noodles pots and more beers. The conversations continue as we bump in to lost lovers, discuss uncomfortable situations and age differences. By this time the beer clouds my memory. 20 Bowery Stuffed we head down to probably the filthiest subway stop in the world. 21 Bowery Nicolas. 22 Bowery Daniel. 23 Bowery Bros24 Bowery Bros It’s late now but when we get back home we still continue the night watching youtube clips and trailers while brushing our teeth together, like a cute little family. Even if it’s nice visiting this other little twin brother in NYC we wish we could force him to move to us in London. And before knowing it we are all fast asleep.   Linn  

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