Gothenburg – my convenient escape destination

So today is my last day in this city, tomorrow I will take a train going to Stockholm, really early unfortunately. I want to write a post about it.

Earlier, I did mention shortly about my trip to the World Cultural Museum; but now, I will rewind a bit backwards more about this whole trip. I did not plan for this trip at all. I just wanted to go somewhere. I recalled my friend saying he would go to Gothenburg to visit his boyfriend soon on St. Valentine’s day. I have been to the city before, and I also know his boyfriend for two years. And it might not be the perfect to ask my friend dragging me along with him, when he wanted to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with his loved one. I kind of did anyway. I only bought the ticket going there at the time. I thought I would not entitle myself to the day returning this time, just because I really have no things in life to attach to that strongly. Then, I felt guilty during the last week before I left. I was about to use money again, when I was not supposed to, when I should act more responsibly towards my life. Travelling has always been in my blood, you know. I assume it is owing to that, I purchased the ticket rather spontaneously and recklessly. But there was no way of feeling guilty when there was nothing more I could have changed. The ticket was non-refundable. I just had to go along with it.

The first day I arrived there with my friend, we stayed in to watch Melody Festival competition happening in Sweden, preparing for upcoming Eurovision. So, it was rather a chilling evening with friends. The second day, we had nice breakfast, stayed input, watched more different sorts of entertainment, movies, comedy series; but the weather was too beautiful not to go outside. We then managed to get ourselves off the couch. I mean, I would do it anyway. Jyvaskyla has been in a gloomy winter for a while; I started to forget how much lively the sunshine could make me. We went for a walk, to the forest and all, and that was also the day I posted about St. Valentine and sunshine.

The next day, I spent a day with my friend. It has been a while, since October. I mean, I met him after New Years; but he was having a busy time. So we didn’t do many things together. I stayed input in his place when he was at work; then, he came home, and we watched stuff and ate (do you notice how typical these activities are?). But last Monday, we did stuff together again. We went to have a lunch buffet, then we walked through the park, and got caught up in discussing about relationship stuff a bit, in an okay amount. I did not wish to speak more, I was afraid I might end up telling him a whole lot, and I did not think he was in any mood to help me dragging my baggage around. He has his own. And it is weird we do not share with each other. But I guess, that is how it is, sometimes?

The point was we had fun; and I was reminded by what sort of fun I had being around him. In the last picture, it was me, being tiny in the whole lot of nature. It is hard to be gloomy when you have such a lightened background as that behind you, isn’t it?

Then, we visited two bookstores. The second one was a science fictional book. And I laughed a lot. I laughed pretty much at everything, and I remembered about how we were like this as well, on the trip to Tallinn during New Years before I left to the Netherlands. We found this comedy section, marked our high-peak laughing. We were tired at the end of that day, I wonder whether it was because of all the laughing.

He left back to Finland the next day because he had a job. I don’t have anything much except my thesis, so I stayed a couple of more days in Gothenburg. I walked around, explored a bit more of the city on my own (which was unfortunately mostly the center area, since I was afraid I might be lost somewhere strange and I did not have phone service to call for help). The weather for the last two days weren’t as good as the first few days. Today it was quite foggy, in fact. Anyway, Gothenburg has its own charm I did not realise last time I was here. It could be likely due to the fact I only stayed for a weekend; as when I still had a job to go back to. My friend’s boyfriend lives in the area, which takes 20 minutes to the center by tram. It has to go over the bridge, and I love that part the most. I got to see the harbour. It is so lovely, even if mostly you can just see boats and ships surrounding. I mean, you might think this sounds ridiculous, given the fact that it is harbour. It is just that, I experience a different type of harbour in Jyvaskyla. In the city I live in, we have this small area near our biggest lake there, and we call it harbour anyway; even though it is not so surrounded by ships as this one in Gothenburg. The Gothenburg’s version leaves me more industrial feeling; still, my best part of the trip going to the center area. I paid visit to two museums, World Cultural Museum and Gothenburg Art Museum. I am normally not a huge fan with museums. I don’t hate them, but I assume I don’t have such a strong knowledge background about art, pushing to visit every museums in new destinations. But I do it sometimes, when I come across the ones I feel like I am interested at. I don’t like to pretend to understand something I don’t; but I figure it is no harm to give it a try, being artistic for one day. So I gave it a try yesterday when I walked to the Gothenburg Art Museum. It is a big marvelous building, at the end of Avenyn street, near Haga area. It is also near the city’s library (I assume, but I am pretty sure it is a library anyway).

There are surely more than these pictures; but these were only the ones I wanted to take pictures of. The first picture reminded of the view, from this spot near my place that I found during my first summer in Finland and I was mostly alone in the city. It was probably a normal day I got off work, and went for a run. This view:


This spot turned out to be where me and my two best friends managed to see the Northern Light, last October too, one night before a short-lived happy period in my life happened.

There was also a portrait piece of art, made my buttons. You cannot see very well through my poor skill of taking photograph; but it looked pretty amazing through real eyes. The ways the buttons’ colour are purposely arranged, and placed on each other. If you look close, you would not think they make any difference until you walk backwards a bit, and look at the whole picture. Like someone always shouts to you “Look at the big picture please!“.

The last one was me, not trying to have a selfie. It was a small room, with the mirrors around, and this fabric art on top of me. It was work of someone (which I hated myself for not noting her name down), out of an art researched. She considered still fabrics reflecting something musical, so she built up this art, with such fabric and the colours you noticed in the picture, are in fact flowing, along with this music tune in background. I touched some parts, and you can see the colours inside the fabric moves, as if when you touch the lake, and you see the rings sort of vibrating to larger areas and not ending. The spots I touched at (oh by the way, I am allowed to do so), will also reflect a music key, and it will keep doing so every time I touch. I was acting quite like a kid, playing with new toy in the room. I was somehow grateful that there were no other kids around me to see so.

Then, I left the museum, kept walking around the center, stopped by some shops to check out stuff and eventually sat in a coffee shop for few hours. I always like to do that, walk until I am tired and notice different places I would like to stop by when I do stop. It is sometimes causing a lot of headaches. I can actually see myself as such an indecisive person in those situations. I simply cannot make a choice! Anyhow, I like being in one spot, when I am tired, and have a cup of coffee, and stair at outside, before I took out my laptop, or book, or notebook. Every now and then I did so, I recalled this one focus group I was in, researching about human social reaction. I stated during the focus group time, that I did this activity a lot, going to a coffee shop, and being in a corner by myself, while in fact I can do that at home too. But I like to be invisible within the crowd, in a strange way. It gave me push of concentrating on my work. They asked me why, I had no idea. But I used not to pay attention to those, until after that focus group. Now before I took out my laptop and my work, I looked around and noticed how many other people do the same thing. I noticed them in not a creepy way, their focused face on the laptop’s screen and papers surrounding them, and maybe the cold cup of coffee, and maybe the salad or muffin they are trying to digest while working at the same time. So, that is pretty much our lives have become to. Too busy even to stop doing stuff and eating and enjoying the coffee. I would probably do the same thing though. But, suddenly, for some reasons, going to the coffee shop alone and not doing those kinds of stuff just make the whole situation so sad, and lonely; not that it is less lonely in reality when you do so, but maybe in your head. And I guess, that makes a difference.

But this city, I kind of like it. I kind of like it, not in the Breda kind of way ( the city I used to live in the Netherlands); but in London kind of way. I would try to describe a bit more. You might think it is more alone and you have more space living in a countryside, since there are like no one around you. For some cases of my Finnish friend’s hometown, there are actually NO ONE around you, except your family and the forest. But for me, growing up with the urban life for so long, a big city is where I find the clear emptiness. You might think there are all the people around you, so you have no space. Physically, yea. But mentally, you have all the space in the world. No one cares about you; because life is a bi pushy, fast, hard and stressful in urban style. So much demand, so much hopes, so much determination. I kind of like this sort of loneliness sometimes. I know how it might sound expressing explicitly as such; but this loneliness, I assume everyone needs it now and then. Kind of crawling back into your introspective world (a word used by Nick Hornby, in A Long Way Down); but knowing there are still tons of things for you to do, people to talk to, if you want to, when you decide to leave that shell. I like the nature in Finland. I like the quietness. I like the views which I have never paid attention to, throughout years living in big city. I am pretty sure I am affected by Finnish way of living a lot too. But I never throw out my deep crush for urban life. It is as if in my blood, a part of me growing up. So Gothenburg is okay, actually a nice place to visit too, especially in the summer time.

Maybe I will return soon, during the summer possibly. Now, I think I am sort of ready to see Stockholm.


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