2016年7月11日 星期一


I really hope that foreign students could have the same help from the "host countries." lol. However, this is also the point made by some locals to oppose or deny refugees' access to the resources needed upon arrival.

"Why privilege this minority group over underprivileged from the local?" or "Why can they enjoy the things given that they don't pay the taxes at all."'

I think these points might neatly speak volumes about why non-EEU students have had to pay tuition fee since 2011 if they would like to study in Sweden.

I was so lucky that I got enrolled in 2010. But it's possible that I already became the unwanted foreigner that undermine the foundation of welfare system, as those asylum seekers have done.

2015年2月6日 星期五

Oslo, where you could only make friends with fjord

Oslo is the city that I had no chances to visit when I was based in Sweden from 2010-2012. Actually at the time I didn't have the feeling that I must go there. I suppose that one of the reasons was that a friend of mine told me that Oslo was the most boring capital in the world. The high price also served as the straw that blocked my way to this city.

After I came back to Taiwan, I read a book about one guy's life in Norway. It was well written and I really enjoyed the stories and words. Most important of all, the author made this book stand out by presenting deeper insights on what he had observed and learned from Norwegian society and by depicting the "bad sides" of Nordic country that would be only echoed by the people who had Scandinavian experiences. 

I was so thrilled by this book. So when I decided to go back to Europe to see all my friends and and to talk to the professors last year, Oslo was on my must-see list. 

And I did go visit this city last November. I stayed with a Belgium host who was studying at Oslo University. We went for a walk in the forest and ascended to the top of the hill next to his dorm, where one could get a spectacular view of Oslo fjord. This is the best part of the city: one could easily reach nature as if the capital city was located in a national park.

However, one would also easily get bored. Oslo has a very special manner that makes the air seems to be saturated with bored particles. I don't know why, but there is something missing in Oslo that makes this capital city not so charming at first sight. The high price also plays its part here. As a "Swedish" guy who has used to the ridiculous figures seen in super market, its the first time that I felt so desperate when buying food in a supermarket, not to mention that the items you could chose from were much fewer that you did in Sweden and Denmark.  (Well, I might visit the wrong store...lol)

Anyway, even though the first short encounter was kind of good, I did not have a strong motivation to come back either as tourist or a PhD fellow. Oslo was like a beautiful, tranquil lake, but there were no ripples which indicated dynamics as if silence was the only flow of energy.

A couple of days later, I had the second encounter with Oslo. This time I stayed in a hostel. But I had the chance to hang out with a Dutch guy. We went for a walk around the harbor area. There were a lot of restaurants, galleries, and some other fancy buildings, but there were not so many citizens. It was really weird since it's a capital city. Nevertheless, it was also amazing and refreshing because one could enjoy the serenity made of waves hitting the coast. 

At that moment, I found this place attractive. It's a lonely city where you would not be able to have a far-reaching social network, which meant that only very few people fell into the category called "friend". The nature might be considered another friend since you would always hear the same loyalty echo no matter how the world or the people surrounding you have changed. 

I believe Oslo could present thousands of faces. It simply reflects traveler's personality and the way he or she perceives and connect to the world. Therefore, an outgoing person would still be able to brew a nice, warm cup of tea on the basis of cold social relations. As for a depressed person, no matter how charming and bright the city manages to be, all the colorful pieces would still be outshone by the gray clouds.

I believe I still have the opportunity to go back to the city and cultivate different facet of Oslo. I am not sure if I will be able to thaw the permafrost. But I know that the fjord will be standing there, echoing the same sound only I could capture. 

2014年11月24日 星期一

Couchsurfing as a therapy?

This is the first time that I would say that I failed the couchsurfing. It was really frustrating that I've got this "criminal record" in Gothenburg, my favorite city in Sweden.

It's obvious that I did not realize that I was really really devoured by my negativity and emotions triggered by the failure to get in contact with the professors. And of course, the vague, confusing future ahead also  played its part. I believe I could hide these shits very well if I met someone who had a lot of things in common, especially the social issues. If not, then I just showed my true colors.

But my biggest problem was that I took it for granted that everyone would be willing to put on all my shits. I've got this habit when I surfed at London. There I met several friends who were so supportive and always would love to listen to me. It was so stunning that one could meet people from the other parts of the planet could understand the feelings. So after this, I think I want to get the copies from all the couchsurfers. But it's just not people's duty to do that, not to mention that I need to conquer all the things  by myself.

Anyway, I hope I learn something from this and will make the next couch better. 

2014年7月7日 星期一

Burger King Proud Whopper

"We are all the same inside."

But we are still different outside. By different I am referring to not the appearances but the power on the basis of race, class, gender, resources, whatever that can be utilized to deal with the risk. By the way, if sexual orientation was replaced with the attributes above, this footage would still make sense. 

The Whopper is really delightful. And the footage is stunning. But the whole world is still gloomy ahead of us. Because people always tend to find the differences but not the sameness that makes connection.

2014年4月28日 星期一

The fascist mind in civil society

Then you see that domination exists even in the thing you have faith in. You start sensing totality, absolutism and flavor of magical thinking. You start capturing how both obedience and intolerance of dissent loom large the way one easily gets terrified. Violence is followed by denials while sacrifice is taken for granted. Eventually you realize the good old days have far gone. You either seek excessive power to reproduce the game rules or leave the once promised land for good. And you know you will, no doubt, choose the latter.

I will always be the on the other side of fascism. If the social actors who dedicate themselves to the rooted democracy ignore or even deny any signs / tendencies of fascism, they will confront with my withdraw and deepest hostility. 

I'd had faith in you, my land. Farewell.