Thursday, November 17, 2011

To the mythical Sweden

by Salman Hameed

I have been traveling for the past couple of days and internet access has been a bit spotty. Hence this blog silence for the past few days. But it has been fun and productive travel. I flew into Copenhagen and traveled to Lund University by train, and now I'm in Belgium. More on these travels coming up. But I have to say that Sweden was kind of how I had imagined it to be - calm, quite, beautiful, foggy, and a bit mysterious. On top of it all, I had this going through my head while I was in Sweden:

(okay - so the graphics are a bit old, but I remember this from grad school days...and it has its own appeal. By the way, you can also see the use of Immigrant Song in this trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. However the movie may turn out to be, this is one kick-ass trailer!).

Okay, back to reality. Actually the train ride from Copenhagen to Lund over the water was quite spectacular. Both times (going and returning) there was fog all around and I could almost imagine Viking ships just beyond the visible.

But I was in Lund to give a talk at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES). Here is the Center's swanky building with Stefano Bigliardi in front:

And just to give you an idea, I was around 1500 kms from Moscow, 8000 kms from Seoul, and 3600 kns from Tehran. Oh - this is an art exhibit, with a spectacular library building to the right. I have no idea what this gigantic ball doing up there on the tree. This is one of those ambiguous cases where this may be art or a case of vandalism, or a bit of both:

And this is how their philosophy building looks like. Now anyone can raise ethical and moral dilemmas while sitting in that building:

And if you don't believe me how quite and peaceful it was, check out this street not far from the town center and the university campus:

More to come...


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