Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Chinese Week at Alma

The university canteens that are spread out in the town center are called "Alma". Alma1 , Alma2... This week they have "China week". That made us curious, so we went to try it out.

I went to the line to get some "China Chicken". Neither me or Wen had of course seen anything like it before, but we concluded that they probably have it in some distant part of China that we haven't been to. Wen thought it looked too weird so she went for the even weirder stuff on the other plate. Guess that was more typical Belgian stuff, though I have problem identify what it was and what it tasted like. An experience indeed.

A Pig?!

A pig according to Wen... Things ARE different in China.

Direct News from Harbin

WangChunLing is a classmate of Wen in her 'History of European Integration' class. That title would be more descriptive if it was 'the History of EU'. That is what the whole course is about.

Anyway, WangChunLing is from Harbin, the place there has been a lot of news from lately because of a large release of poisonous chemicals in the Heilong river that runs through the city.

She said she has been in touch with her family everyday since the first rumors started about an impending earthquake. Her family slept with their clothes and had organized their things so they could quickly run out of the house. That earthquake didn't happened and instead they got informed that the reason the water had been cut off wasn't, as had been told, sudden reparations, but (as most people probably guessed already) the huge explosion in a chemical factory upriver. When they cut off the water her family couldn't take showers, but they had enough of water to drink. It seemed that she wasn't too worried right now though and said that things were pretty calm at home.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

First snow in Leuven

The first snow didn't last many hours. Now, the day after it is all gone.

Wait a sec, I was there too!!

These last days I have started to read some blogs from the Chinese students that study at my university in Sweden. You can see a list in my complete blogroll here. I've also started to read some of the forums and BBS:s for Chinese exchangestudents.

The blog 想飞就飞 ("If you want to fly, just fly")is of a guy who calls himself Croch. According to his blog he's 22 years old and are coming from Hubei province.

He has published a series of pictures from the archipelago the 6th of September. When I saw them and saw the date, it rang a bell. I made a quick check in my pictures folder. In early September me and Wen went to the Gothenburg archipelago. When we came back from the boat I saw a group of Chinese students that were talking in mandarin. I told Wen that they were probably exchangestudents either at the Gothenburg University or at my university, Chalmers. That was on the 4th of September. Quite amazing what you can snoop out on the net nowadays.

David, with the blog Rainy Sky, also has pictures from the trip to the archipelago, dated to the 4th of September! Same day we were there. The group I saw was just 7-8 Chinese students, not a huge group of students from all over as in these pictures. According to the blog David is 23 and comes from Shanghai. Quote from this blog: "I like viking easy life style."

Friday, November 25, 2005

A Swede with a silly blog

A blog with a silly Swede

To reflect the current state of affairs I have renamed the blog for now to "A Swede with a Beijinger". I just haven't spent much time in Beijing lately, in fact it has been almost half a year since. I changed the picture to something that reflects the title.

Monday, November 21, 2005

International Criminal Tribunal in Hague

Today me and Wen went with a student organization to Hague to visit the ICTY, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. We were supposed to attend the case with Milosevich in the morning, but that session was cancelled for the day. Instead we followed a session of the trial of Mile Mrkšić.

The ICTY building

Chilling reading

Mile Mrkšić was a colonel in the Yugoslav People's Army and in this trial charged with extermination, murder, torture, inhumane acts, and cruel treatment, all "crimes against humanity" and "violations of the laws or customs of war". The victims in the case are the refugees and patients at Vukovar Hospital during the final days of the siege of the city the 20th November 1991. An agreement had been signed that guaranteed the evacuation of the hospital with the inspection of international organization. Instead they were bussed to a military camp and later on, almost all executed. Chilling reading.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Belgium, Leuven: Back with Wen!

I'm back in Belgium since the 15th, mostly spending my days studying with Wen.

God bless Ryan Air for having flights from Sweden to Belgium.
  • Bus from Gothenburgh to Nykoping (Swebus):190SEK
  • Bus to airport: 19SEK
  • Flight (including tax): 231SEK, Skavsta Stockholm(NYO) to Charleroi Brussels(CRL)
  • Bus to Charleroi Sud (Trainstation): 2 Euro
  • Train Charleroi Sud to Leuven: 4 Euro (With a ten trip card)
All in all about 50 Euro. Not bad.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Staying with my sisters

When staying in Gothenburg I have had to rely on my two sisters who live there. Thanks, it really helped me a lot!

Johanna in her barrack. Her place is a quickly set up place to house students, since there is not enough student flats in the city. The place is quite expensive for being so small and so basic. Think she said she's paying 3400 SEK a month (€€350). Pretty hefty for a student. Cissi is paying about the same, but have a much larger apartment. A student in Sweden can receive up to about 7500 SEK in grant and loan from the Swedish government.

Monday, November 14, 2005

My university

Some pictures from the campus of my Alma Mater, Chalmers University of Technology.

The main entrance and some new statue they have put up. I think the interpretation should be that the students at the university get knowledge which they can use as stilts to reach higher. Maybe it can also explain why so many people flunk out, or should I say, fall down. He he

Emil & Emilia, the student couple who symbolizes the students at the university. Behind is the new Student Union building.

This is the Fysicum building ...SHUDDER... , where they keep the students who study Physics Engineering. As you can see, people at my universty love brick buildings. One day they will probably cut off my head and put it on display with the rest of the guys there on the top. Nobel, Celsius, Sievert, Ångström, Jiabao...

Outside the office for the international students this painting is hung on the wall. It is probably a gift from the Chinese exchange students. On the side of the painting it says "All Chinese exchange-students in Gothenburgh, Chalmers University of Technology". Below are a whole bunch of names written. I don't know who the guy is in the picture, possible Mr. Chalmers, the founder of the university. He is no Chinese atleast.

Nice gesture. Then again, Sweden is giving them an education for free.
The cost of the International Master's Programmes is provided by a grant from the Swedish Government. Consequently, there are at present no direct tuition fees. However, students face the full cost of living during their studies in Sweden (housing, food, books, etc.), usually around USD 1,000 a month.
Interested to study in Sweden? Check out Should provide you with the details. Hurry while it still is free, that will most likely change soon. I think many of the Chinese students cook their own food and share apartments, probably bringing down the living expenses a lot.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Not so fast...

I guess I haven't made up my mind just yet. I still would like to find something that I actually want to spend time doing in the future, and I'm afraid the project at Ericsson isn't quite it. I have sent out a few more hooks and I hope someone will bite.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Göteborg: Thesis starting?

Unless someone will offer me a sack of money to do something else, I will go to Beijing in January and start the project at Ericsson. Today I talked to my supervisors (I've got two!) at my university and they think it seem to be a good project. They are two really friendly chaps and it was very encouraging to talk to them. One worry is that so far I haven't been able to get any benefits from Ericsson, with other words, I won't cost them any money. That can have the undesirable effect that my project will get a very low priority. So, now I will start to figure out what the thesis is actually about... ;-)

Per, who is originally from Denmark, has adopted a kid from the Xinjiang province in China and has been there several times. He actually just came back from Beijing since he was there as a part of a delegation when a couple of Swedish universities opened offices at Peking University and Fudan university (Link in Swedish).

Magnus, who has a very colorful homepage, is actually a director at the university. Might open some doors for me.

Perhaps my fellow classmates recognize these guys from the Electronic Measurement course.

Anyway, I passed the Complex Variables exam that I wrote a month ago! In the new course 48 out of 89 students passed. I think normally there are around 100-110 students left after a year from the 140 accepted. So, half of the students that grade (not including older students) will have to spend Christmas studying.

When I get my funding application ready I will probably book a flight in the middle of January. Next Wednesday (15th November) I will fly back to Belgium, then the 20th of December I will come back to Sweden to celebrate Christmas with the family and Wen. In January I will hopefully finish off my final exams (Fourier Analysis & Solid State Physics).