Tuesday, September 29, 2009
In every neighborhood around the world
there is usually something that
becomes a landmark of sorts.
It doesn't have to be an Eiffel tower,
a Sydney Opera House
or giant golden Buddha.
Often it's just a store front, a sign, or a small building
that doesn't look like the ones around it.
Those of you familiar with New York
and Greenwich village
know this one.
Before the recession hit
many of those places gave way to
bland a boring local bank service centers
and CVS stores.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
I'm becoming a citizen of the U.S.A.
I'm the only person in the room
who is not Hispanic, Latin, Asian or African.
I'm definitely the only Swede in the room.
I'm joining the most diverse country on earth.
Where I grew up there was a certain hostility towards
the Greek families who came.
Fleeing a brutal junta.
There was hostility towards most immigrants.
Even towards those from our neighbor Finland.
And that from a people who loved to travel.
I could never understand it.
I found all the new people very exiting.
I befriended them as quickly as I could,
hungry to learn about life outside my village.
They enriched our culture.
Brought new food.
And new stories.
Our most beloved bard,
one we thought of as the epitome of Swedishness,
was actually a Dutch import.
One of Sweden's most well known intellectuals is Kallifatides, a writer,
immigrant from Greece.
There are many, many more.
But some Swedes nevertheless looked
upon new immigrants with suspicion.
We had, however, a very open immigration policy,
which means that Sweden is probably one of the most
diverse countries in Europe today.
But the U.S.A. must be the most diverse in the world.
I'm becoming an American.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Near the Dead Sea.
The smell of war
is everywhere in Israel.
Whether in the form of destroyed equipment
from one of the wars or young people in uniform
on their way to their bases.
Bag checks at supermarket,
shopping centers and restaurants.
The constant fear for the next
suicide attack or missile.
Life goes on, but it's a life
strained by daily threats of destruction.
Monday, September 7, 2009
This is taken from the road in Jerusalem that leads through the desert, passing Jericho and just before hitting Jordan connects with another road that if you go south leads past the dead sea, the red sea, and into Egypt. If you go north it takes you to the Golan heights and Syria and Lebanon.