fredag 3 juli 2015

What doesn´t kill you makes you stronger

I have now been here for 4 months, and I have survived. This has definitely been the toughest thing I  ever done in my life, I don´t think I have ever been so down and never been so alone.
However it is true: What does not kill you makes you stronger.

The experience of falling, falling, falling and to feel that you can´t do this, there is no more energy sources pour from, you are ready to admit defeat, to give in, to give up, is so different when you are  alone in a foreign land than from when that happens to you in your safe home environment.
I am quite sure that if this had happened to me in BCN I would have quitted, I would have given up, because I know there are people there who will catch me when I fall. Here I have no one so the only option is to keep fighting, If I fall here I will hit the ground, hard.

 When you are standing there on the border staring down in the abyss feeling it staring back at you and you know that any second now you will fall you need to make your choice: Let go and just go free falling or take a step back and try to make a change, squees the last drops out of yourself to resist the temptation of the abyss.

I choose not to fall, I decided that to be able to cope with life here I needed to change my mind set. And somehow I did, I thought that if I would fall I would be sent to a therapist and what would that person say to me? Exactly the same things as I can say to myself. So instead of taking the path by therapy I just took control over my own mind and decided that if  I wanted to make this work I first of all had to stop with the self-pity, then start focusing on not being bitter but finding every day one small little thing to be positive about. And the most important thing, jut decide: I can do this.

This helped, and above all it has helped me grow stronger. I have found strength inside myself when I thought I was down and out, I have pushed my limits so much further than I have ever even dreamt of being possible.

It is true what MØ says: We all need someone to lean on, I miss my friend and family more than words can say and how I wish I have had them here with me during this horrible times. But still I am happy I didn´t, I am happy I got this chance to test myself and that I could prove to myself I am so much stronger than I thought. And this journey aint over yet, I will still have so many chances to prove to myself that I will never ever admit defeat. That the only way is up, is keep moving, keep fighting. Never give up.

lördag 27 juni 2015

Magical Spiritual Animal Tattoo

Some people take peyote to find their spiritual animal, some people just know.

I have know since some time back that I have a magical spiritual animal that gives me magical powers when ever I am in need - The Unicorn.

Some people claim unicorns does not exist, but does that really matter? I mean in the end something only have the importance you give it, and just because you can see something does that mean it really exists? This is a question being debated by philosophers over the centuries - how can we know that something or even ourself exists? Descartes answered that question with Cogito ergo sum (I am thinking, therefore I exist) So I will answer anyone who doubts in the Unicorns the same  - I like them therefore they exist.

I had decided before I came to KL that I would make my unicorn tattoo here, partly as a constant memory of my stay here and partly because of the magical powers it (hopefully)  will give me.

It is always a bit scary to get a tattoo in an unknown place. To find my way I used my best friend Mrs Google. She directed me to a place called Pink Tattoo:

I went there to check out the place before deciding on it and was very pleasantly surprised. I was greeted by one of the tattooers, Fin, who offered a very welcome glass of water  to drink (we had been walking for 20 min in the heat and where sweating like pigs) and to sit down for a chat. I told her about my idea, that I wanted a somewhat abstract unicorn head on my index-finger.  She immediately objected to that in a very firm but yet gentle way. I was surprised and disappointed but the more she explained how finger tattoos get spoiled almost directly after healing, due to the exposure of the hands, my disappointment turned into gratitude. I very much appreciated her honesty, she could have lost a client there but preferred that to tattoo something she knew would not turn out good. Respect to that! Already there I decided I wanted to make my tattoo with her, but I had to rethink my whole idea so it took almost a week before I contacted her to make an appointment.

When the day finally arrived I walked the 20 min to get there in rain but still with a light heart, finally I would get my tattoo! On my arrival I got to sit down  and wait in their amazing studio, it is so cool and so nicely decorated while she prepared my tattoo.

And the best thing, no children allowed! And even though is in Barcelona I would have missed my crew not being allowed in with me here it felt like a relive that the studio was calm and quiet.

Fin had drawn a very simple unicorn, we discussed if I would put some colour or shadowing into it but since I was not sure she suggested I´d wait. I mean you can always add more to a tattoo but it is not that easy to remove what is already there. So we, or should I say Fin, got to work. Fin is a very good tattooer, she is nice and gentle and you feel completely relaxed in her company. The tattooing did not hurt at all, I was almost disappointed... It was lying there just relaxing, I almost fell asleep. When lying there I was checking out her other sketches and found something I liked a lot, so there will for sure more tattoos with her. But for now this is the finally result and I could not be more happy:

Even though Fin is nice and gentle she is also a gansta so before leaving I had a photo taken with us being being all gansta - up in here! Thank you Fin for helping me get my Unicorn Powers going, I will be back for more...

måndag 1 juni 2015

New adventures

Time to update on my latest escape and adventures.
I am lucky enough to have an aunt with great taste in men. So she send down her ex-boyfriend to visit me: Olov He is travelling Asia for 5 weeks so my auntie suggested him to go visit me in KL for a week. And that was a sight for sore eyes, so fun to finally have a friend to go discover the big city with.

It was a bit nervous before he came since we never really hung out by ourselves before. But we did the right thing and started off by getting shit drunk at a house warming party, lucky enough he came on a Friday considering the close to death experience the day after hangover was. None of us have any recollection of  how we got home, we where at the party, we remember getting into a cab and next thing we remember is swimming around in my pool drinking beer and talking deep shit, as you do at 6 in the morning after way to much to drink. But that definitely broke the ice and the rest of the week we spent trying out rooftop terraces, eating indian food, shopping, beer beer and more beer and between all this we even managed to  go visit the Batu Caves.

Batu Caves is a Hindu temple located in a huge cave and outside there is an enormous statue of Lord Murugan - the god of war

To get into the caves you have to climb a high stair filled of monkeys. In the beginning I was afraid of them since I had heard stories of how they attack tourists and steal their stuff. But there was this incredibly cute baby monkey so my fear did not last very long, there is no sadness or fear a cute little baby animal cant cure.

Inside the caves are impressive, they are so big, there is a temple that is still in use by practician Hindu so meanwhile we where in there they had some kind of ceremony. Very interesting since I had never seen that live before.

So many things you are not allowed to do:

But this one only seems fair to me, why would you be allowed to exercise if you are not allowed to smoke?

Beside the temple cave there is also a dark cave, that can sound worth a visit so we checked it out. Turned out it was a dark cave and protective area of spiders, snails and occasionally snakes! No way I would go in there! So while Olov who is a brave man went for a tour I stayed outside watching the monkeys.

It was my first time hanging around monkeys, and even if I kept my distance I found them interesting to watch, they are so small but so strong. Climbing around the cliffs and trees and doing their monkey business.

After our adventure in the caves it was time for a bigger adventure: return to Koh Lipe, the paradise island I visited last year when I was in KL
Last time it was with my backpacking boss living in a bungalow on the beach. This time I wanted to do it my way, the safe an luxurious way. I guess Olov would have liked it better the way my boss does it, but I think I need to face my fears one step at the time so I wanted to live snake-safe this time. We booked this really nice hotel just by the beach with a cool pool with a pool bar! Can life get much better?

The weekend was total relax for me, drinking beer on the beach in the shadow of a palm tree while Olov went diving.

But eventually he came back safe and sound and we hit the beach bar and he introduced me to drinking bucket.. very dangerous indeed... Another night with fading memories and another morning when I wished I never was born.

Overall it was a wonderful little trip even though I had to walk snake roads and be on a beach full of leaves and branches that freaked me out. But in the end that is what I am here for: To face my fears, one step at the time. And a big thank you to Olov for putting up with me and all my freaking out and being paranoid, you are a true gentleman!

torsdag 14 maj 2015

Oooops I did it again...

For those of you who read this blog last time I was here knows I had a fatal adventure at the hairdresser. Well, i got tired of my trashy hair and thought to give it a new try, I mean two times is a charm right?

In addition I felt so trapped in this boring business-manager world so I felt the need to rebel a little and express my true self. Back to my punk roots sining Passenger on the menu on the back of aunties bike. So I booked an appointment at Toni & Guy for today.

Very nervous and aware of the danger due to my previous mistake I came there 10 min before time. They where super sweet, offered me something to drink and then it was time. My hair stylist Kevin looked like a reliable guy so I explained my idea to him and he totally agreed, even though he asked me several times if I was sure. I said hell yeah! and scissors went in the hair.

1h later I went out of the saloon looking like this:

And guess what? I love it!

So lesson learned: Never be afraid to repeat a mistake, next time it might actually work. Love my new hair, love that I dared, and I love that I will keep repeating my mistakes and make them right. Never let fear rule, even if it is for such a trivial thing as cutting your hair.

söndag 10 maj 2015

There and back again - Singapore

Life here is so totally different and this weekend I had another surrealistic experience. I went to Singapore on an 11h bus ride return to attend a charity gala for 5h

One of my bosses was participating in a boxing challenge that ends with a boxing gala: White  Collar Boxing It is a charity event with a silent auction and all the money raised goes to a children's hospital in Cambodia. So all good in da hood, all for a good cause. However the whole event was out of this world. For us to be there and support Joanne, the Boxer, our super-boss had bought several tables at the gala and arranged for a bus to take us there and back again.

The journey started in a bus going out of KL towards Singapore a t 13.00 Accidentally I had happened to go out with another of my bosses on Friday and he managed to get me shit drunk, so even if I was back at home already 12.00 Friday night I was not in my best shape on Saturday morning. I went up, made brunch and then I went back to bed to rest my eyes for a while. I dreamt I woke up 12.45 and had to stress like crazy, I could not find my bag etc. At 11.40 I woke up for real realising the dream was coming true, we where supposed to meet at the office at 12.00 so there was no way I could make it on time. Sweaty, hangover and red in my face I came running to the meeting point at12.20 so at least I did not miss the buss. But not the best start to an adventure.

For me it was a cool experience to go on a buss ride through Malaysia, jungle jungle everywhere. Very beautiful, very different. 
We stopped for food and to get changed and put our make up on in a place a long the road. We got 15 min to fix ourselves up for the gala, so that was a sweaty exercise. Before I was back on the bus again  I had lost most of my make up and it felt really weird hanging out on a buss in fancy dress and high heels.

Before and after make up, not that much difference

Just trying to make a fancier pose on the after pic, so at least I can pretend I look cool.

Singapore is a ver special country with very special laws and you get fined for basically everything:

1. Chewing gum is not allowed - fine
2. Littering not allowed - fine
3. Not crossing the street exactly on the zebra cross lines - fine
4. Having a car more then 15 years old - higher tax
5. You are not allowed to smoke anywhere - fine

Just to mention a few. This obviously leads to that the country is very nice and clean and you only see new cars on the road. But it also gives you a feeling of George Orwells 1984 - perfection leads to oppression.

Before crossing the boarder you need to through away your chewing gum and your smokes, even an open package of fags is considered smuggling. However the bus guy told us that sometimes if you ask nicely and are foreigner (european) they might let you keep your smokes, so I thought it was worth a shot. The custom person was very nice and friendly so I decided to ask him. After speaking some german - I made up my part since I don´t speak german, seems like a common mistake thinking all northern European speak german, not first time it happens - he let me bring my smokes over. So I now have cigaret smuggling on my merit list. Not that I really need my smokes that bad, but if you get the chance to do something illegal with the law workers consent you just gotta do it.

We arrived at the venue 1h late due to problems in the custom with one of the bus drivers, he was detained due to passport issue so we had to pick him up on our way home. I flipped when I saw the people there, the gowns the Armani suits... I quickly went from feeling over dressed on the bus to feeling completely under dressed, but luckily they let us in anyway. 

I have never been to a charity event before, in my world that is just not something me and the people I hangout with get invited to, I guess we are just to poor and not fancy enough. Strange feeling to be in the same room as people with money for real, and they where prepared to spend it, the Moet was flowing at all tables and at the silent auction the items was sold for fantasy prices. Never in my life have I seen so many trophy wives, surgically improved 20 something girls hanging on the arm of an older man. Totally surreal, you know these kind of things exists but to see them for real is just freaky. And never had I attended a boxing event either and I must say I loved it! Boxing is totally fun to watch live and if I get the chance I will go again. I even got so inspired I want to start boxing myself, probably not a good idea considering my current physical condition.

If your where rich enough you could buy an original print of Andy Warhol. It hurts my souls I am not

Or a signed t-shirt from Messi, that did not hurt a bit. Would not pay 1 cent for it his sweaty old clothes, but others where rally keen on getting their hands on it.

Food was amazing

And while in the moment, why not pretend everything is real and this car could be yours? At least for a photo

At 24.00 the bus picked us up again and off we went back to KL At 6.30 I was finally home and crashed into bed, full of a new experience and a new adventure. So after all this KL thing is not that bad from time to time, I get to do things I would never ever even come close to in real life.

söndag 26 april 2015

Born To Lose 

Kuala Lumpur means "muddy confluence" as it is located at the confluence of two rivers, Klang and Gombak. Before man came here there where only jungle and still, in despite of all the high rise buildings, it is a very green city. You feel the jungle sneaking about just beneath the man conquered surface waiting for its moment to take it all back. This is something that is true in all cities, but for some reason I feel it more obvious here in KL, maybe because its such a young city, the roots of man does not go that deep here as in other cities. Or maybe it is because I live in a jungle hut, and even though its all fake jungle I still feel its out there, waiting for us to make a mistake, to put our guard down. Cause in the end of the day it has been her since dawn of time and KL has only been occupied by man since 1850. You see it all the time, as soon as we abandon a place, nature is there to claim it back.

Below photos is not mine, but stolen from the Instagram Abandonedearth:

We fight nature and does not want to acknowledge the fact that we are the one occupying. We spray the green with poison to kill the mosquitos, cause we don't like them. But they where here before us. In my house I have ants in the bathroom, I want to exterminate them but they are a reminder that my house of wood and concrete is just a fragile shelter against the nature out there. It will always find its way in however much we fight it. We are the once who will lose in the end. Long after we are gone, nature will still be here. Raped, used, reaped, wounded but far much stronger than we will ever be. It just bides its time, confident that victory is already its, and we, us, the ridicules little priggish human race can be at war with it for as long as we wish. But we are the loser, we where born losers and will extinguish as losers.

söndag 19 april 2015

Sunday Funday

As ya´ll know it has been just work and no play which makes Maggan a dull girl. So I decided there must be a change. So today was the day I treated myself to a luxurious spa treatment.
As everything here it becomes an adventure, Im so lost in this world and in this city so only how to get there becomes a challenge. Luckily there is an excellent taxi app where you book a taxi and they come immediately. The reason this app exists is because it is not safe to haul down a cab on the street. You will definitely get scammed and in worst case robbed. Even though I new it was safe I was still nervous since it is first time I use the app and since I am a coward afraid of most things in life I do for the first time. But no worries, everything went fine and I arrived safe and sound and not that much poorer to this amazing area in KL called Bangsar. Since I was so nervous about getting there I was 1.5h early for my appointment so not much more to do that to stroll around in the area, and what an area! This was exactly what I have been looking for. Only low rise, full of nice little shops, restaurants and cafes. Just the kind of place I wanted to live in.  However that would never be possible due to the distance, it takes about 1h with metro to get to my work from there, so it has to stay a dream. But so nice to finally find an area in KL I really like.

During my strolling around I ended up in a food market, as always amazing colours and super-cheap fruit and veggies. I loved to get this authentically KL experience, far from offices and high rise and sci-fi. The people there hardly spoke english but where nice and friendly, and Im starting to get used to the lingo here. If you ask a question the answer will either be: can-can or cannot. In this particular market there was a lot of can-can, so with me to the spa I brought a bag full of sunwarm mangos and delicious watermelon

After the market I had time for a quick coffee and then off to Paradise. Paradise also goes under the name of Hammam Spa. The idea is to offer a turkish bath house experience in KL and the treatment I choose was called "My favourite concubine" - a name that promise a lot.
The reception was nice and friendly, before entering you get to choose the oil you want for your massage and they explain the benefits. I choose a rose smelling one that would be relaxing.
You are then led to the changing room, very small, but they only let one in at the time for privacy reason. The you go to the waiting area where you lie resting in a pink chair. When it was my turn a very decisive Moroccan lady came and took me by the hand and led me into the room for my first treatment.
The room is like a steam sauna room but without the steam, in there you get pored water on you, and then the actual treatment a rough body scrub bgins. Ok, I knew Im not the cleanest lady in da hood but when I saw the amount of dead skin she scrubbed of my body even I was shocked... 
I also realised being washed by someone is a very intimate action, I have never been cleaned and scrubbed by a stranger before so at first I was a bit uncomfortable. Especially since you are not alone in the room, they take two at the time. But my lady was obviously not bothered at all, she handled my body with secure, careful but firm hands as if it was the most natural thing in the world so then I relaxed and just enjoyed.
When my body was cleaner than it has ever been I was led out to the pink chairs agin and offered tea. The girl who had the same treatment was led to the same place and started talking to me. It turned out her name is Jean, she is Malaysian and really really nice. We talked away the time until we where called in to out last treatment, this time we got separate rooms and was each offered a 45min heavenly massage. Afterwards we met again, had tea and decided to exchange numbers. So strangely enough I made my first friend here lying half naked getting roughly scrubbed. But I guess there is stranger ways to meet people.

Today was truly a Sunday Funday, and in the taxi home I felt a slight hint of happiness. And maybe I fell a little bit in love with KL

lördag 18 april 2015

Life so far

Has not been that interesting. I live in a little bubble of my home, the metro to work and my work. I do not see our experience anything else than that, so I have not much to tell about. So I will tell you about some of my feelings and observations within this bubble.

I do really love my home and can´t say enough how thankful I am I found it. Its a little like Amazing Grace: I once was lost but now am found. And it is an amazing grace to have this beautiful jungle hut to hide away in after a hards days work.
My work situation is really crazy, a normal day for me is between 10 -14h sometimes without even a break. And I still do not have time to finish nearly close to what I am supposed to. Luckily I am a fighter and very competitive so I will not give in, I get my strength from the fact that failure is not an option. I do not know how to fail  and I don´t want to learn.

On my way from the metro there is this lovely coffee-place-shed where you can buy a nice cup of coffee on the go. It is called "Happiness Coffee" and they live up to their name. The people who work there always give you a smile and chit chat abut nothing, but its nice. It´s the closest I come to human contact outside of the office. And on top of that on your take away coffee cup everyday  you get  an inspiring message reminding you to not give up, to never give in.

I am still fascinated by the fact I am The Other here. For example on the metro to and from work I am the only blond pale person, including the fact I am one head taller then the rest it really enhances the feeling of being the outsider. It is impossible for me to even dream about blending in. Since this is a muslim country majority of the women wear some kind of head protection, and it makes me think of Europe, how so many countries try to forbid it in different locations or jobs. For example Sweden had an idea of not letting nurses wear any kind of scarf/hijab which is completely insane - I mean how can what I wear on my head possibly influence how I work? I live now in a muslim country but no one try to force me to wear a hijab, how come then that our "modern" western European freedom fighting countries want to oppress women and not let them choose for them self what they wear on their head? I mean seriously, if we are going to forbid what people can or cannot wear i have a looong list of things I rather forbid long before the hijab. To mention a few:

- Catalan hair cut
- People who do not colour match correctly
- Ugly kids
- Uggs
- Bad hair extensions
- Boot cut jeans
etc etc.. the list could go on forever. But, the point is we can not decide what anyone else wears. I would really wish for all these people with all their narrow minded ideas about muslims to come live here, to see well educated smart funny modern women walking around with their hijab, cool Nikes, the latest technology gadgets and maybe they would get an eye opener and let go of their oppressive ideas and stop trying to tell people how to live their lives.
Im not trying to say that muslim is better than western european, my point is that I believe all of us would benefit from go live on the other side of the fence, where you are the strange one. For me it is a mind bending experience and Im still only learning. But to get this opportunity of challenging myself and the culture that has shaped me is priceless and I hope I will come out stronger and with my Doors of Perception more open then ever.