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Back from Russia Part I , with love! April 18, 2007

Posted by thebigswede in Uncategorized.

What a trip. Your faithful Swede is back home in Uppsala and it is grand. I never thought Sweden would feel like home to me, but I just had a huge smile on my face after landing in Stockholm and hearing people speak Swedish, which I can understand. The sun is shining, spring is definitely here and now I get to recap one of the best trips I have ever taken. Life doesn’t get too much better then that my friends, so without much further ado its time to write while the memories are fresh. This could take a while.

Wednesday (Day 1) Stockholm-Finland

Once upon a time…a student set off to journey to the east, to a land of mystery and intrigue, to Russia. What picture comes to mind when you think of this place? Outsiders the world over have strong (often hostile) and diverse opinions of this land. I had no idea what to expect. The single largest (geographically) country in the world introduced us to space travel, communism, and vodka among many other things. Its role on the world stage the last two or three centuries is unmistakable and unprecedented. Mother Russia has brought some of the most powerful nations and men to their knees, from Napoleon to Hitler and so on. Its hand and influence in the post-WWII era is obvious and impressive at the same time. When it comes to fine art, music, literature, etc. Russia certainly enjoys a favorable reputation. In any case, I was really excited to experience this place which is truly different from any other.

I took off with my friend Theresa in the mid-afternoon on Wednesday and we took a train to Stockholm, en-route to the Viking Line ship docks. The trip involved no flying, but rather travel by boat, bus and train. Although this made for longer travel times I was really grateful to see the country on the ground, and it certainly made for some interesting (if not cramped) nights. This trip had been a long time coming for me and (as per the usual) I tried to plan ahead as much as possible. Lugging my few bags to the dock was not problematic and we waited to board the ship for Turku, Finland. Two German friends of Theresa (who I had never met before), Jan and Christian and I decided to share a cabin together and quickly we were off on the sea, watching an incredible sunset over the jewel of Scandinavia, Stockholm itself.

The studious German men we were with introduced me to a great little card game called “Scott” on the boat and we played late into the night with some cheap beer from the duty-free shop. Our cabin was small but cozy and we all slept rather well after reading and talking about Russia late into the night. Because I want to break down the trip bit by bit for you, the reader, I don’t have many pictures of things before we got to Russia, the ones I stuck in above and below are a few good examples without explanations, because a blog post sans good pics is lame. More to come soon on the rest of the trip, but now I need to take a break, do some laundry and read. Overall the trip was simply amazing, and I hope I can convey that to you in the coming posts.

– – – – – – –

Disclaimer: this is absolutely not directed at any specific person or persons.

This may seem completely random, but this is my blog, I get to write what I want. While I endeavor to keep it as apart as possible with my private “diary” of sorts, often time there are inevitable overlaps. Maybe I’m just feeling sentimental, it wouldn’t be the first time. Maybe I just need to vent. I’m not trying to make any announcement(s) here. Go ahead and close your browser now if you want, its your choice. I want to talk a bit about love. To those of you who believe in true love, this is for you. Love is possible. Love can last forever. To those of you who believe in long walks, of campfires, candles, a bottle of wine on the beach, of sunsets, dinners, long conversations, of laughter and hugs – never give up. Romance is a choice. Love is worth fighting for. Please don’t settle for second best, don’t give up on what you hold to. People will tell you soul-mates don’t exist, that true love is an illusion, they will laugh at you for your faith and tell you to forget “foolishness” in favor of practicality. These people have given up on love. They know nothing. You do not seek someone you can live with but rather someone you cannot live without. No matter how badly you are hurt, and it will come, no matter how many times disappointment and regret choke your heart – stand firm. In the end it is love that matters, and our good Lord tells us that true love never fails, that true love never ends. Thats the love which you desire, that you deserve and its worth waiting for. Now a message specifically for the gentlemen: To you men who are romantics, to you who know what a good cry is, and who express emotions, you are the real men of the world. You believe that chivalry is not dead. You like children. You put family first. You believe that ladies, whether they are your mother, sister, friend or girlfriend should be treated as ladies, with the utmost respect. Your friends will laugh, call you weak, old-fashioned, gay and un-masculine – but they know nothing. You are the true men of this generation. You are what every women wants down deep, even if they don’t tell you so. You are a knight in shining armor, an image bearer of Christ himself, and you are unashamed. Don’t become jaded, the things that are the most important in life do not come easily or without sacrifice. Your Juliet is just around the corner, God has a plan to prosper you and give you a future, you just have to believe. Stand up for what you know is right. Don’t give up.

Thats what I think about love.



1. Mela - April 18, 2007

Tjäna Kille,
its good to know that you made it back to Sweden! Didn´t close my browser och vad skall jag säga, kanske: Juuuuuuuust det ?! 🙂
Ha det sa bra och vi ses,

2. NR - April 19, 2007

Är det bara jag eller ser du ute lika smal som en pil? Skulle gissa att du behöver köpa nya kläder i mindre storklek, eller hur?

🙂 Bra jobbat!

3. Mark - April 20, 2007

Mike, I wait with rapt anticipation of blog updates and discussions with you personally on how the trip went. I surmise it was quite a time. 🙂

Regarding your closing thoughts, I love it. (no play on words intended) I would stand with and celebrate any thing that you may hold fast to with such passion. (so it goes with other close friends as well) It so happens that you’ve picked a particularly great thing with which to become so passionate about. What are we without love?

Bra jobbat!

4. Mark - April 20, 2007

* I stole that “Bra jobbat!” thing from above; I hope it means ‘good job’ or the like. 🙂

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