This spot is dedicated to the world and how I see it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

5 August 2006

I am onboard an early summer flight when I realise that flying on a sunny day is not as pretty as it should be, or as it used to be. I am in the airspace somewhere above and between London and Amsterdam. Skies are criss-crossed with thick black arrows going east or west, on different levels with varying distances in between. Sometimes my plane is close enough for me to see the name of another airliner and it is indeed a slightly scary sight. Luckily I can not see the passengers’ faces or what paper they were reading, for that matter.

With these criss-cross skies in mind, it is not difficult to be pleased with the Swedish Parliament’s recent decision to introduce an environment tax resulting in lowcost airlines reducing the number of flights to and from Sweden. For example, Ryanair cancelled flights to some Swedish airports and heavily reducing its flights to other. Ryanair already flies to Marrakech, perhaps instead of to Stockholm where many people will lose their job - but Moroccans will happily welcome the new job opportunities.

Do not get me wrong. I am a pro-low-cost airlines kind of person – flying should not be exclusive to those people who will pay ridiculous amounts to fly within Europe. Despite the fact that I will pay more for tickets, in my opinion it is a fair enough policy. It is a brave initiative taken for the sake of our environment-instead of only talking about the state of it and complaining about our hotter-than-ever-heat-wave-summers. I hope that more governments will take similar measures. It is a global challenge – unfortunately CO2 does not stay within national boundaries, not even within the European Union. It is frightening to think that it is acceptable to go on as many exotic holidays you wish without thinking about that fact that a Jumbojet flying from Europe to e.g. Thailand uses as much fuel per person as one average car uses during an entire year.

I recently heard on the BBC about an initiative in the UK suggesting the introduction of CO2 credit cards. Your card would translate every purchase you do into CO2 emission points and you would only be allowed a certain number of points. This would, of course, put our freedom in question, but then again if we want to leave an inhabitable planet for future generations, maybe it is a price worth paying. It works with money - so why not with CO2?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

3 August 2006

If I were an anthropologist I would conduct a survey on a topic that has interested me for many years. Ever since I was about 12 years old and I was walking my dog in the neighbourhood, open curtains invited me to try to look inside peoples' houses. Well, since I was just passing by it was no criminal offence. It was more of a study: What are people doing in their houses at a random time, on a random weekday evening?

My guess is that at 9pm on a Wednesday evening (the average person between 25 and 65 in the average city who is inside): 10% clean up after dinner; 10% chat with friend/s/partner; 10% are on the phone; 20% are on the Internet; 40% watch TV and 10% lie on the bed doing whatever.
I would welcome views on this.

After all, it is the time in the evening that is free for most people. It is when we can do what we want, it is the time we look forward to during the working day. And there are so many things one can do - even if it is just inside your own house. You do not need to be 'and and about' to have an exciting time-but you do need to feel comfortable inside you own space to be able to feel excitement and inspiration to do something. I wonder what could be accomplished if you added up those 'after dinner hours' for a year - let us say dinner is finished at 8pm and you go to bed at 11pm. That is 3 hours of your time. In a working week - 15 hours! In a month - 60 hours.

Every evening in itself is just one but when added up they create something different and turn into something bigger. Evenings are beautiful, just a shame we are so tired.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

1 August 2006

I would like to think that when I tell someone something relatively personal that they will remember what I said. Lately I have increasingly experienced that this is not the case.

I recently went travelling in Morocco. On the day when I got my jabs I spoke to one of my colleagues – a keen traveller himself – about my upcoming trip. I remember how we vividly discussed first aid kits, vaccinations, travel bugs, bus travelling and other travel related things for about 20 minutes on an unusually quite April afternoon. Yet some weeks later when I was talking to colleague B about my upcoming trip, colleague A joined in and asked “oh, you’re going soon, where are you off to again?” I felt slightly puzzled but played along and told him my itinerary again, wondering if I have an equally weak memory myself which results in questioning people twice about the same thing…I certainly hope I do not.

Ironically enough I though the incident must have been a one-off but to my surprise some days later when I was chatting with colleague B and we started to talk about holidays he asked me “so where are you going on your holiday?” I told him I was actually going to Morocco and then he said “oh yeah, I believe you have told me that before”. Right. Thanks man. I did.

When I came back from Morocco both colleague A and B asked me where I had been. I thought they were joking having had some kind of access to my perplexity a month earlier. They were not joking.

Am I hypersensitive or do most people have a genuinely a bad memory? Do I have the right to expect that people remember what I tell them? Or do most people have far more important details to remember than where I go on holiday? I can not claim that my own memory is outstanding but I always ask people how it was in Spain, the Highlands or India. Am I just sensitive or is it indeed very disappointing when people do not remember a 20 minute or more conversation you have had with them?

At least it makes me appreciate when people actually do remember what I once told them. At times I wonder if people are worried that I get too close and invade their personal space when I refer to something that they once told me. So maybe people do not suffer memory loss and recall more than they necessarily want to show?