Malmö.00.Sanna Nielsen & Robin Paulsson
A hop and a skip (but not a jump) from Göteborg is Malmö where we continue our pre-selection for Sweden’s Eurovision 2015 entry. This week featured rapping about a neighbourhood in Malmö and more continued awkward green room “interviews” which really consist of a talking comedy skit. Other than that I’ve come to enjoy the awkward singing of Robin – he’s no singer, but he’s given’er and as a result his enthusiasm translates to entertainment!


Linus Svenning – Forever starts today
Andra Chansen
Malmö.01.Linus Svenning

When I remember the charming yet rough around the edges Linus from last year I wondered how it would be presented this time around. Last time it was a single guy on stage with some superimposed images in the background, but I thought “nah that’s too simple” for the year later. Well with some somewhat awkward choreography it’s still Linus singing, but this time with a bunch of catchy drums that move around. I think SVT effectively “graduated” the act from last year, but to me it looked awkward. The song was better than last year and while it had less emotional substance, it’s a better more “cookie cutter” song but what’s up with that English? I would have thought he spoke better English, but it comes across as very “foreign” in this song. Sending him to Andra Chansen was a bit of a surprise to me, as I thought he’d have the fan support but alas there were better choices. 

Emelie Irewald – Där och då med dig

Malmö.02.Emelie Irewald
The Webbjoker entries are always hit or miss. Last year was a huge hit, this year was a bit of a miss. Well executed and sweet, this song just isn’t mean to win. It’s meant to exist on it’s own in a big open space filled with either darkness or glass. Which reminds me, the word that comes to mind with this song is “glass.” It’s delicate and precious, and at times a little too high pitched to support that. I think what bothered me about it wasn’t the execution, or rather boring visual interpretation, but rather the chord progressions and melodies. I just couldn’t really follow it, and it felt a bit off. I guess that’s a fair thing to say given that she wrote the song herself. It’s a nice song but as a result of all previously stated and being pretty much unknown, she didn’t qualify.

Samir & Viktor – Groupie
 Andra Chansen
Malmö.03.Samir & Viktor

This song is one of those acts that gets under your skin. It’s annoying, it’s catchy, and it’s novelty. You either like it or you hate it. I hated it and I thought it would be done better with a few changes. Firstly get rid of Samir. It would have been heaps better with just Viktor and the following reasons are why: Samir’s aura screams “douchebag” from kilometres away, his appearance screams douchebag, and the way he holds himself screams douchebag. Basically he’s a douchebag. The whole song it felt like it was all about him, the whole green room he was fidgeting around and chatting and just plain being rude. It got to a point where Viktor even gestured to him to stop. The way he holds himself just is not in any way anything I would ever associate with. Just ick. Regarding the song, it’s novelty, it will get old, it’s lyrics are horrible and really as a whole it’s something horrible to come from Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad who I generally like. I truly hope that either Samir suffers falling down from one of the blocks and can’t perform thus leaving Viktor, or the alternative is that the song doesn’t qualify out of the second chance round. I swear to God if I get pointed at one my time by Samir I’m going to take his finger shove it up his butt an then into his eye… *shudders in fear*

Neverstore – If I was God for one day

Malmö.04.Neverstore
Welcome the punk rock song of this semifinal. It made it to the second round of voting but fell off due to it’s pretty basic nature. I didn’t hear anything new, I didn’t see anything new, I just heard a punk rock song that balances out the rest of the music. It felt even as far to me that SVT balanced out the other songs with this one. It’s not bad, it’s just not new and fresh and exciting. Same look, same feel, but look at it this way: all the straight guys who’s girlfriends made them watch the show had something to enjoy and vote for! 

Marie Bergman & Sanne Salomonsen – Nonetheless

Malmö.05.Marie Bergman & Sanne Salmonsen
Having won Melodifestivalen 3 times, Marie Bergman is no stranger to the compeition, but neither was Sanne Salomonsen, having reached the final back in the 90s. What makes it interesting about this song isn’t really the country nostalgic feel that is really quite boring, but the fact that it scored so low. The song isn’t anything to write home about, despite the artists raving about it. I mean it just makes me think that perhaps they didn’t buy into the song themselves and therefore makes it hard to sell. The act was boring, the singing was good, the harmonies interesting, but it was just plain boring. Marie Bergman didn’t want to ever sing in Melodifestivalen again, and now she has validation as to why that would have been. 

Magnus Carlsson – Möt mig i Gamla stan
 Personal Favourite
 Finalen
Malmö.06.Magnus Carlsson

With something the gays can get behind, Magnus returns to the competition for a staggering 8th time as an artist. He brings back schlager to the competition, which is vastly in need and with a good dance, a great voice, and subtle references to the homolife. Fabulous as always, it’s no surprise that his supporters lifted him directly to the final, and therefore securing excellent chances going forward. What I find fascinating about this artist is how little he’s changed. He looks exactly like he did a few years ago. Now what I did notice is that when the camera pans closer and closer you start to notices the slight imperfections. I’m no supserficial person so it’s not a big deal, but it’s good to know that we aren’t the only people that suffer with age. 😉

Mariette – Don’t stop believing
 Personal Favourite
 Finalen 

Malmö.07.Mariette
Compared to as a new Loreen, this artist like many others is trying to make it big without being compared to by others. She’s an individual. She can sing. She can put on a show. She can captivate the audience for 3 minutes, and then again with how she holds herself outside. She’s sweet and modest, and happy and raw. And with those 3 minutes she quickly became a frontrunner and dark-horse for this competition with some major other contenders. The song is great, and reminds me a lot of Lisa Miskovsky’s entry from a few years ago – creative and lovely. Go Mariette Go! 


And there you have it. As you can see there wasn’t much good stuff this week with only two favourites, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Thanks to Sanna and Robin for being fabulous and awesome and for drowning out the borefest and awkwardness that is Filippa. 

Map.04

With my vacation closing in to an end, I departed Copenhagen headed towards Malmö so that I could get a train to Växjö where I would stay with Johan, another friend. It turned out that I had to arrive in th evening since he works for SSU in Växjö, so I hopped on a train to Kalmar, the second largest city in Sweden. Despite being a large city it’s got quite a small train station and it doesn’t seem have much to do there. I only was there for 10 minutes before my train turned around to go back to Växjö, and I did all this because I could; with my rail pass.Otherwise I just would have been in Malmö forever, and bored out of my mind with nowhere to sit, as it rained. I got there in the evening and we walked in the rain back to his flat, and completely forgot about eating, so his flatmate Johanna decided to make a McDonalds trip in the middle of the night, which we did. We didn’t even have to pay since she worked there and had some sort of money. I was reulctant to eat that food, but I scarfed it down without any questions at all! When one is hungry, they are hungry. For the rest of the evening we watched Melodifestivalen and Eurovision DVDs to pass the time and have a good laugh.

We went to bed, and I got to sleep on a fold-out bed which I’ve always wanted to do! It was surprisingly uncomfortable but I lived and it was all okej in the end. We woke up and Johan went to work and left me the funky keys to his flat, and explained how to work them since it was all electronic light thingie-ma-bobs which was awesome. His apartment complex was new and they were all technologically advanced and had no keys! I spent the day in pjs and decided to go for a walk to explore the tiny little town of Växjö.

Växjö.01Växjö.04

This was the main street to walk down to get downtown and it only took about 5 minutes, and for the first time in nearly 3 weeks I got to see the sun. It was a glorious thing to expeirence and I savoured every minute of it. I even had time to go shopping and get myself a Swedish Football Jersey and pair of shorts, and go to Småland’s Glass museum which was boring, but free. Ergo Yay! The city itself is so small and is situated right next to a lake, and the main road next to the train station was filled with people who I thought should had been in school, but who knows with crazy Sweden!

We went to eat and made some sort of odd dish that had hamburger, vegitables and patotes in it, which was quite good since Johan knows how to cook (thankfully). In any case he invited some of his friends over to watch videos in the evening so after a little while Jimmy and Sebastian turned up. Now the weird and awkward thing was that we are both mutal friends of Sebastian, who is a Finnish-Swede and therefore has an awesomely cute accent and way of speaking. Between my accent and his, Jimmy and Johan had a million laughs. We watched ‘The Producers’ which is an absolutely hillarious film with many inapprorpriate comments and themes, and is a musical, but I liked it never-the-less. Afterwards, Sebas and I talked for awhile since he was leaving early as he lived on the other side of the town near the university, and it was really nice to meet so many people from the forum as I could. He was quite pleasant, even more so than my host, and just nicer to be around since he wasn’t sort of socially awkard and always on his phone. I gave him my mobile number and we decided that he would show me around Finland some time when I go back possibly in May.

We went to bed, as the next day I would be departing for Stockholm to get my flight back to France. All is well that ends well, but not before binging on Julmust and chips and singing more Melodifestival songs, while Johanna departed to see her boyfriend in Jönköping.

Map.03

When I arrived in Malmö in the afternoon, it was raining which frankly was no surprise at all considering that Scandinavia should be covered in snow, but is just being rained on. The Malmö train station proved to be just as much of a joke as the one in Göteborg, and had little to no information about anything. The only interesting things that could be found were the automatic machines to buy tickets to Copenhagen, which I checked out and tried to understand a little bit. It was quite cheap to get to Denmark, which I already knew but this was just confirmation. The city is basically a border town which has a bridge that you can cross in 20 minutes to get to Kastrup (the Danish airport).

So again I was without map, but I had previously been smart and got walking directions before I came. This proved to most helpful, but the problem is finding the names of the streets because they weren’t clearly labelled. The tourist information office was once again a map on the wall, which was useless, but with directions in hand I set off for my 5 km walk with my luggage to the outskirts of Malmö where my hostel was. After 3.5km of walking down the same street that changed names about 20 times, I found the turn and there was even a little sign directing me to the hostel. Unfortunately for me, in the rain, and all bitterly cold, the sign was pointing in the wrong direction and so I walked for farther than I needed to. Once I realized that I was walking away from habitatino, I turned back and cursed the sign. I continued my pre-organized directions and I found the place, which was just about to close. Thankfully I got my key and got settled in my empty room. The entire hostel was empty as most people don’t stay in Malmö it seems, but I made myself at home and took a little nap since it was all wet and gloomy. The front office closes at 20.00 so they just lock up the doors and there is no staff on hand, one would think that this could be dangerous but it proved quiet and nice. I went down to the TV / shower rooms to check them out and was appuled to see the co-ed, communal showers. I absolutely refused to go anywhere near them so I went for 2 days without showering, but the rain was good enough to clean me.

The TV room was nice, but they only got SVT1 and SVT2, and a bunch of Danish channels, so things were limited to documentaries and cheesy SVT programming. After about an hour of reading Aftonbladet a strange looking guy came down and asked “Hello there, do you speak English?” I debated whether or not I would answer, since at first he was creepy, but I said yes and let him explain what he wanted. He arrived late and was let in by someone leaving people, and couldn’t find the reception, and therefore couldn’t find a room. He turned out to be Canadian (as I could recognize his accent) who was on his way through Scandinavia to take the Trans-Siberian Railway to China. I thought he was crazy, but his expeirence in traveling was very good and he had it all planned out. He just was arriving late because the trains in Germany were on strike or something, and his friends there wanted him to stay. So he camped out in the TV room for the night, and he spoke to me a lot about China and how things were there, since he’d been before. He seemed excited about taking the railyways in Russia, but I was quite clearly and vocally against ever doing that, until Russia becomes less sketchy.

Malmö.01Malmö.04

I went to bed, to my room myself and then woke up later and went to walk around Malmö, which really isn’t exciting at all. To say that there is nothing to see in Malmö is completely honest and true, as it’s boring so amious walking around proved to be the most interesting, and checking shopping out at the malls was also fun. As you can see, city hall and a random church are both excellent things to look at while walking downtown. The rain dampened my mood but helped pass the time by going into buildings to see what was going on. It’s really just a suburb of Copenhagen, where they speak Swedish like Danes, and are barely comprehendable. So I struggled through, and eventually all was swell.

I arrived back to my room after dinner, and was in the process of dancing to the amazing radio station that was on my phone, when someone came into my room. I was startled to say the least, but it turned out to be a German guy from Freiburg (just 30 mins from Strasbourg) who was moving to Lund for university. He was very polite and kind, but his English wasn’t very good for conversation. He had a lot of stuff with him, and we would be departing the next day. We decided that I would walk, and he would take the bus and we would see who arrives first. The following day I got to the trainstation just as he was getting in, so between me walking quickly, and him waiting for the bus, it was equal time, despite the fact he was dry and I was soaking wet. I arranged my ticket to Copenhagen and waited as they leave every 20 minutes.

Malmö.09

Before going to Denmark I needed food so I went to the supermarket. I was walking around when I heard music, and I thought at first that I was going crazy because it sounded like someone was talking too. I looked up and it turned out to be as you see above, monkeys or whatever singing and moving that were mechanic. I couldn’t help but laugh and take pictures, and as I went to each section there were different ones too, like cows mooing and singing in the dairy area, etc. The crazy people of Skåne!

It was sad to loose reception of my new favourite radio station, RixFM, which plays hit music all the time, including Linda Bengtzing and Markoolio’s new song, which is frickin amazing. Anyways, I got to Copenhagen and even after walking out of the train platform I could sense the differences between Sweden. Danish laws are like French laws, loose and unfollowed, so smoking is allowed everywhere, public spaces aren’t clean, and people are rude. That’s what I found, and the train station was disgusting. I also hate Danish Crowns, but that’s besides the point, just too many coins. So I called up Niels, whom I met on CouchSurfing and would be hosting me for the planned two nights, and he gave me direction on how to get to his flat. The trams, metro, and S-Bahn were all very pretty and new, and it took little time to find Niels and his flat, which was very small. It worked out fine since he had to go to the airpot to pick up his sister, so I explored Copenhagen in the rain.

Copenhagen.01Copenhagen.02

In terms of what Copenhagen was like, it’s very small city but the buildings are huge! The streets are massive like highways, and there are more regions for bikes than for walking. Bikes are everywhere, so I can’t imagine what the Netherlands is like, but still I was just blown away at how nice the buildings were. As long as you look up and not down it’s a pretty city, but I can honestly say that I will never
go back, as I didn’t like it very much. The Danes are just too weird for me!

To say that it’s rainy and windy in the city is an understatement, I’ve never been blown over or so wet in my life, and umbrells are useless clearly, so the weather was miserable. I got lost, but had a map that was wet so I just wandered around until the rain stopped and bolted for Niel’s house again, and I got lost again even, but all was good. It killed time. I got back to Niels quite late and we talked about philosophy for awhile. Danes are nice, sometimes, but very loud. I felt like he was yelling at me the whole time in friendly tone, but he was a great host to a random person and even showed me how to cool omlettes since I never had done it before. However, despite al of this I hated Denmark and I wanted to leave ASAP so I called up Johan and told him I would come to Växjö a day earlier than expected and he was fine with it, so I booked my train ticket and then was off.

Göteborg.16

After arriving to the city of Göteborg in the evening (therefore darkness) I embarked on the search to find the tourist information desk which, of course by my luck was lost. However before I even began the search for that, I forgot to realize the English name for Göteborg: Gotenburg. This name is so perfect, and I didn’t realize it until I left, but in this city, I have never seen so many goths before. Maybe because it’s just because of the name, but it’s kind of freaky to have most people around being goths, but I just thought it was funny and giggled to myself after the fact. So anyways, in search of a map to find my way to the hostel. The tourist bureau turned out to be a map of the city outside the train station, and I was clearly not impressed. After several feeble of copying down a map of where to go, I gave up and walked in a random direction. It turned out that I walked around for about an hour before I found the tram line that I could take, but of course it was a holiday so no trams worked. I kept wandering amouisly around and empty Göteborg, until I found my hostel by accident. When I say accident I mean I fell on the cobblestone since it was raining, and when I looked up I saw the sign at the top of the hill. If I hadn’t of fallen I never would have found it, so the cut was well worth it.

The guy at the front desk found it hillarious that I came without a map, and offered me one so that I wouldn’t have the same problem. I laughed nervously as he said it was nearly a 3km walk from the train sation, since I probably walked about 10km anyways in the dark. I went to my room, which was inhabited already by 3 people, oddly none of which were anywhere near my age. The first guy was André, a French rocker, and the other two were Polish people named Maria and Mikael both of which struggled with English. I installed myself in the sketchy bunk bed and read some stuff and organized when I would meet Willy the next day. When Mikael came back and the others were asleep we tried to have a conversation, and it turns out he’s a really nice guy, but understand English way more than he can speak. What did this mean; that I would control the conversation and he would answer with yes an no and then struggle to figure out what he wants to say. We ended up staying up way later than we should have, but it was still nice to talk to someone for once. André was weird as it turned out, living in Paris but originally from Brest, who spoke English poorly, and refused to speak to me in French. He was in Göteborg for work, since he draws designs for Volvo or something, but he reminds me more of a homeless man who lives in hostels (which he does anyways).

Göteborg.06

So avoiding the further sketchyness of the other roomies, I went to sleep and woke up late to more and more rain. You’re probably wondering why I posted or even took the above photo; and of course there is a funny story about it. The previous night when I was wandering the streets in search of my hostel I walked past this area, which turned out to be right around the corner from where my hostel was. It was about an hour after I left this place that I found the hostel, but the walk was only about 5 minutes. Funny that eh? So when I met with Willy and we walked around I couldn’t help but take a photo in the rain, because it never stops raining in Göteborg I’m told. The day with Willy was nice, and we seemed to get along great with lots of jokes. Sadly we ended up walking across the river’s bridge for no apparent reason in the rain, so we were drenched with no umbrella. We took refuge in the mall near the train station, and had a lovely time watching a human sized chess game being played.

Göteborg.01Göteborg.03

This is the street next to where I stayed. The medevial-like archetecture of both the houses and the bloody hill that was a bitch to walk up are explained by the fact that Skåne (region) has been long faught over by the Swedes and Danes in early history. Since I don’t know enough to give you a lecture on Danish-Swedish relations, I can just tell you that the city is situated on a huge hill that was used to protect itself against the Danes, and offers a beautiful view of the city from above. The one thing that make Göteborg different is the fact that it’s really dirty, which can be explained by the fact that everyone apparently hates to live there as it’s forever raining. I would hate it too, quite frankly.

Göteborg.08

This is a wonderful story about public transortation. Apparently Göteborg is famous for something… it’s one of the oldest running systems of tramway in the world. It’s certainly visible by the conditions of the cars and tracks which aren’t very well kept, but they are everywhere! One must pay attention or get hit by several trams at once, which is kind of funny since it’s really a quite small city, but to each their own I suppose!

Göteborg.12

More drooling to occur here as this is Scandinavium, host venu of Semi-Finals of Melodifestivalen. Robb threatened to stalk and kill me if I didn’t take pictures of all Melodifestivalen arenas so I snapped photo of this very sexy, but unsexy building whilst walking away from the ‘cultural’ centre of the city. It’s really looking quite delapodated, and I was freaked out to find the Disney on Ice was there, and I suddenly felt slalked by Disney while in Sweden. Like seriosly now, I love Mickey and all those wacky characters, but I’m sort of at an age where I don’t care much about them and it creeps me out more that there are millions of kids around screaming stuff. Where are your parents? Where is your common sense? Why do you have so much energy? Why can’t you be quiet and shy, and make the world less annoying?

To clarify, I love kids, but at the time I was very bitter about Disney so I’m sure my resentment towards them is shown through this text.

So I went to bed all wet the next night, happy to finally be leaving Göteborg which was freaking me out. But sadly the train ride to Malmö would only be a short distance. Of course the next day it was raining, and of course I got lost going to the train station so by the time I was there, I was cold, tired, wet, and miserable. All perfect things for traveling of course. Note to all oblivious readers: that last sentance was oozing with sarcasm, beware of cynical attitudes. I was so excited to go to Malmö that I was at the train station hours before I should have been so I got to kill time by watching the busses come and go, which to be completely honest is more exciting than Göteborg. Little did I know that Malmö wasn’t going to prove to be any better!