Whilst jovially strolling from my apartment to the nearby commuter train, I happened to notice young people with cash. Initially I was surprised, as in Sweden cash is not king. Rarely does one see cash or coin here, probably because most of the country has transitioned to cashless payments.

Even on the supermarkets, rarely are coin machines used and they stand regally as proof of a past gone time of exchanging paper and coin money for goods. And then it hit me, when was the last time I used or handled cash? Well that was easy, when I was in Dubai two years ago. Shocking.

Sure, I have a hundred kronor spare cash with my phone, hidden away in the pocket, there if I need it in a pinch. I don’t even see or remember it and am taken a little bit back when I see. Is it even legal tender still? Not sure but I do see Astrid Lindgren and Greta Garbo, so it might be okay.

So when I see a 20-something with a wad of cash, and when I mean at least 2-3 fingers thick, I become suspicious. My area is not pristine and void of crime, on the other hand it’s rather rough and overrun with mobsters caught in ridiculous territory war. But I couldn’t help being suspicious when I see a wad of cash exchanging hands, with nervous looks and a coffee bag being exchanged.

“A gun? Drugs? A fabrigé egg filled with juicy chocolate?” I thought. I looked again and the suspicious body language continued. My mind could jump into oblivion of possibilities, and so I digress.

As an upstanding member of society who never used cash for anything in the last years, and has nothing to hide and no connection to illicit worlds, I remain perplexed as to why so much paper currency must be exchanged. Why would someone pay something without need of documentation or receipt. My spider sense was tingling.

It would have been the upteenth time I witnessed some crime in the 200m radius of the castle (my nickname for my apartment building that is markedly more modern and luxurious compared to the surrounding housing), but then again… I should be sending out good karma to the world, it was clearly the September rent paid late… 🤔 Yes, it must be that. The bloodshot eyes of the man receiving the money and bag is just ovetired and suffering from adult pink-eye.

It could also have been the most expensive breakfast ever recorded in the history of humanity. Worthy of a king… or maybe even a kingpin. In the meantime, I’m keeping my wits about me.

So what happens when a giraffe walks into a bar with a group of friends adorned in glitter, angel wings, and a wedding dress covered in blood? I guess you just had to be there…

I took a trip back to my previous home, Eskilstuna, for a Halloween party. To my own surprise I had a lot of motivation to actually be in costume and do something. It helps that my friends actually asked me out. As I pondered for days over what I could be, I reflected on my past costumes and how they have always been so innocent and not death-related.

I was a bunny, a clown, an M&M, a dark faerie, a light faerie, North Star, Peter Pan, among other things. So needless to say when I was looking through online costumes the first few things that popped out to me were turtle, giraffe, and hippo. All so cute. I chose to be tall and proud.

Photo Courtesy of Ywon Bar & Grill Instagram

So this photo actually was taken by a friend of mine that works at the Ywon Bar & Grill because, well other than the fact that were were the few people there, it was surreal. A drink in a mans hand while he stands more than 190cm tall thanks to heels and a double head, clothed in a onesie is bound to draw attention. It’s proof that I was social and actually connected to someone (rare as it may be).

And there he stood, for at least 1,5 to 2 hours talking to a stranger that was sitting at the bar. It was my friends that pushed me into this situation so I just went along with it. Drinks were shared, informal and personal topics discussed and the whole time I was thinking, “why did my friend push me onto this guy?” I mean he was a 39-year-old punk loving hipster with non-matching socks. Totally not someone to whom I would normally find myself talking, let alone with whom I would be flirting.

It didn’t actually occur to me that my behaviour or his behaviour would have be considered flirting, and given my clueless history of people hitting on me, in retrospect I wonder. He did offer me a drink and shared his own with me. He did continue the conversation and asked questions. It didn’t even think about flirtation until he made a comment about a ring on my finger and asked if I was married. I remembered stopping, looking at him and formulating an answer. And even after that, I still had my doubts. Everyone that knows me, knows that I would never make a move. It seemed safe, but there is always some obliviousness that prevents me.

We joined the group after a long time and he bought everyone a round. It was very generous and I was definitely feeling warm fuzzies, despite the sinking feeling and my doubts about his intentions or interest. And then a casual comment was dropped, and I thought “AHA I knew it!” and I felt vindicated that I was right. We all departed and he even asked me for a hug and mentioned how genuinely good of a time he had. It made me smile and I drunkenly stumbled out the bar.

Between the double cab rides and walking through town, not much of me being a giraffe was noticed or said until the evening ended. We walked down the bar street and suddenly drunk adults approached us. One harassed me, then started crying because she felt bad. A guy named Andreas felt the need to talk to me about how he can tell if people are gay by the shape of their eyes (I think he was too drunk to notice that I had huge heels on).

My friend departed and I walked down the street, fearing for my life, as my previous lone-walking home experiences in Eskilstuna resulted in being chased, harassed, or otherwise accosted in some way. But instead I was complimented by women and men alike. Even two women approached me for a photo and wanted a hug to say I was so fabulous. Their costumes were lame, like wearing bunny ears and a slutty dress lame.

And so I got back to my hotel, laid down and hoped to sleep and awake to have a delicious breakfast. Even after all that happened I still think back and wonder… What if I had said something, or did something, or did I come off as a frozen cold bitch that I feel I am? The jury is out, but at least I had fun.

A summer fling is something that you could describe as some type of relationship that exists only within the confines of the summer; often ending at the end before going back to school. They are fun, and free feeling, and from what I’ve read quite enjoyable and fleeting. And so dear reader, if you’re expecting me to describe a summer fling I had in 2018, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but no such thing existed. I will, however, delve into an experience I had about 10 years ago in the summer of 2009.

I was visiting a friend in Uppsala and while staying with him I met someone out while dancing. He said something poignant to me that piqued my interest and caused me to contact him via Facebook. His name, was Jonas, and with that message began what I would consider to be a short summer fling. We agreed to meet a few days later, a Tuesday, at The Heated Man which may or may not still exist in Uppsala. It was a bench that was heated somehow that I do not remember. I accepted the invitation and we met.

It was during this meeting, which I suppose could be called a date, that we flirted and discussed many a thing. We progressed to hang out at the park, and then I was bid adieu. What followed was what I consider to be the only time, ever in my life, that I was pursued by another person. Jonas would show up at my friend’s dorm room looking for me, he wanted to take me out for a drink, and a bit drunk one night came over in full white tie to find me on a cot and proceeded to cuddle me for a little bit. I didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t understand why this guy was into me, but I in my heart I loved it.

What followed was me going to visit a friend in Finland, and returning home, to still find him pursuing me. I was so flattered, I was so confused, I was so smitten that I simply didn’t know what to do other than to accept and show the same amount of interest. I didn’t know where he lived until one day that he walked me over, as we were out for a walk, and we had a chat as he was (if I remember correctly) moving out of that flat, or someone was moving. I remember being teased, in a good way, and feeling helpless at one point. I remember and to this day I can feel the intellectual connection that we shared.

And then summer ended and I went away, and left Sweden, unbeknownst to me not to return for another 9 years. What I left behind was something, to me so special and unique. What’s sad about it, is that 10 years later it hit me how important it was and how heartbroken I am over it. I never expected it to be this way, but it is to this day, the single only time that someone ever accepted me as I am, showed interest in a profound way, and pursued me.

It’s heartbreaking to think about it and wonder what has happened since, or rather what hasn’t happened since. What haven’t I done right over the last decade? What has been missing? What are my shortcomings, if any? I’m conflicted because I’ve lived my life trying to accept who I am, as I am, but this acceptance seems to completely contradict what others either see, or want.

As the memories and feelings grow more and more blurred and colourless, it leaves a thick clump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

I’m willing to bet that nearly everyone that’s ever had an email address, ever, has at least at one time received an email from charming Nigerian Prince asking for marriage, money, or some other scam. I had always laughed about it, but never really made any sense to me. Like how do people actually send them money, or don’t they suspect, or what kind of ratchet street smarts do these people not have?

Anyways, how does this connect to me? Well since I lived in China, I’ve been connected on Chinese social media accounts that I check up on here and there. I sometimes get messages from people and I ignore it, but recently I’ve gotten a slew of really attractive guys chatting me up.

Cue to alarm bells ringing, red flags waving, and self doubts flying around like vultures in heat. While in China, I would get tons of people contacting me for no other reason that they want a foreign or white friend. Smooth. But never in my entire life have I been outwardly contacted or pursued by someone attractive.

Cause I, Cause do it better 😛

A post shared by Edson Santos (@edsonnsantos) on

So naturally, as you can probably imagine, receiving a photo like this is both surprising and raises suspicions right from the get go; like look at him, right?! Anyways, he’s chatting me up and I’m keeping it pretty vague and whatever, and then he’s like “Hey let’s move to Google Hangouts” and my immediate reaction is like, I haven’t used that in years but sure yeah whatever.

Then the ratchet mess starts asking me for photos, and I think. Hell to the no, I’m not born yesterday. I already suspected I was being catfished, so naturally I used my internet street smarts to say: I ain’t sending any photos until we video chat and I can see who you are. Seconds later, Video Call incoming. I tilted my phone upwards, and the video came in, pixelated and dark. I saw some faint lights in the background but then they disappeared.

“Where are you, where is your face?” blah blah blah. And then this person says “Oh sorry my webcam doesn’t work” and my immediate reaction was like who the hell uses a webcam anymore? Don’t we all just use our phones? Red flag again. I knew for a fact that the video worked because I saw light movements and if it didn’t work then it would have been all black or the profile picture shows. Luckily for me I didn’t display myself on video.

So flash forward 4 more call attempts and me keeping to deny it; I’m playing hard ball. So few days later this person is still hitting me up and whatever, and I’m out for some drinks with some friends. I tell them that I’m being chatted up by this person, show them a picture, and they are like wow. I say, I ain’t fooling I’m being catfished. So we drunkenly devise a plan to catch this catfisher. I reluctantly give my phone to a friend Alex and she proceeds to start a conversation, initiate some video calls. She’s talking to this guy, he’s not saying anything, and then the call drops. Here’s how the conversation proceeded:

We are laughing at this point, and as the 22:31 call starts, sure enough we find a Nigerian Prince on the screen and the jig is up. The girls tease a little bit, and I’m a bit irritated that I was correct. A sliver of hope existed that maybe this is real and there was some really hot guy into me, but alas it was not to be.

We wrapped up that mess for awhile, and then I went home. I felt invigorated to press this guy on why he’s catfishing and what the fuck basically. I’m able to find the original Instagram account of the guy he’s taken photos of, and then I screenshot some photos and DM the original guy to let him know his photos are being used. He laughs and thanks me, and I go back on my way doing a good thing.

But I’m getting this sap story from a guy in Lagos about how he poses to be hot gay guys in order to get money so he can get educated. I lecture him about if he’s got an internet connection he can educate himself instead of pretending to be other people. And he feels guilty; in other words I’m scamming a scammer.

According to what he’s saying, he feels really bad about what he’s done, discloses all the social media counts of his actual identity (pretty dumb eh?) and then tells me that he lives in a house of 5 other guys that are all scammers. They manage to get $5’000 from some people and this is what they use to support their families. It’s hilarious, but then I realise it’s really sad. Sad that these people have to go to such desperate lengths to scam people. Sure their living conditions are pretty bad, but from what Is saw, they were doing pretty well for themselves.

Thinking back, of course I got the scammer that revealed himself to me, the true empath inside gave me the power to set his spirit free. What’s the message of this storytime? Don’t get catfished and don’t send your photos online to strangers; you never know who could be behind that picture!

The struggle is real; real like the extremely intense hunger for cake of a cake lover

It was unknown to me up until about five minutes ago that there actually is a Tinder Algorithm, or at least to online reports it seems to be legit. There is ELO scores and positive and negative affecters, and even a noob value. Up until that moment I just was making a joke when I said that I broke Tinder, but what do I mean?

Well, despite not being the most polished glass in the cabinet, so to speak, I figured I’d dabble in meeting some people and much as expected it has been a tragic tale. Firstly, in Sweden seemingly nobody actually replies to you when you get matched. It’s bizarre, and seemingly pointless.

Secondly, after a certain point you start to wonder if these people actually exist. Are these fake profiles of people that are being casual flirters, or are they legit human beings (sometimes you have to wonder…)

And thirdly, when you spend four months and get no more than 5 matches, you start to wonder about stuff. Am I too this, or too that, not enough this or not enough that, or simply undesirable? No matter, more fish in the sea, or so I’m told is the case.

It was all hunky dory until one moment that rocked the experience. I noticed in a profile that someone said they were looking for “the girl of their dreams” and I full stopped. The immediate thought that came to my mind is that this guy is heterosexual and why then is he showing up for me to swipe?

Then it extended into more thoughts and I wondered how many of the people that I swiped over the last 4 months were actually heterosexual as well? Given what I know about how things are here, I wouldn’t be surprised.

And that’s how I broke Tinder and its algorithm, and I think it now thinks that I’m a female. This might explain no matches in 3 months.