Travel

Category archives for Travel

Three years ago I visited the US. Security at Newark was a little slow, but I just showed them my Swedish passport and sailed in. You see, there was a visa waiver agreement back then. And I thought there still was until 1½ hours before I was scheduled to take off to the US again…

Going to Minnesota

Less than a month now! Dear Aard readers Heather Flowers and Erin Emmerich of the University of Minnesota have invited me to speak there in April. My wife will accompany me and interpret whenever we run into someone who speaks only Mandarin. Now, Dear Reader: can you offer me further Minnesota speaking gigs to help…

Skiing Holiday, Broken Bone

Sweden is shaped like a ski, and people live mainly in the southern quarter, but in the other three-quarters there are many skiing resorts. I’ve been going there every few years since I was three. I’m not a competitive or particularly elegant down-hill skier, but I enjoy it and I can get down all kinds…

Snow Screwed Up My Travel Plans

I was at a Viking Period workshop in Birmingham until Wednesday noon. A sudden, major and sustained snow dump on the area south of London meant that I couldn’t go home the way I had planned: train to London, train to Gatwick airport, plane to Skavsta, bus to Stockholm, be home in the early hours…

I Was a Cash Cow in Gambia

In the preceding entry I gave a list of good stuff about a Gambian vacation. Here’s the flip side. My first trip to Africa, a week in Agadir, Morocco in the mid-1990s, was marred (but not ruined) by the locals’ constant begging and aggressive attempts to sell me stuff. I recently relived this experience in…

Joys of a Gambian Vacation

Gambia is Africa’s smallest country, with 15 million people living on a flat stretch of river plain carved out of central Senegal. Besides peanut cultivation, tourism is an important source of revenue, and indeed coastal Gambia is one of the most Westernised parts of sub-Saharan Africa in this respect. I recently spent a week there…

Going to Birmingham

Any Dear Readers in Birmingham? I’m going to be there from Monday to Wednesday for a Viking studies workshop. Email me your cell phone numbaz and maybe we can meet up!

“Do You Need A Fish?”

A Gambian moment. We’re in an extremely dilapidated taxi that has stalled at the roadside, just a stone’s throw from Tanji village’s main taxi hub. Before getting into the car, my wife and I had to haggle for ten minutes with the drivers assembled there under the dull gaze of the village idiot. And then…

Rode Some Planes

Last week I rode some planes: Stockholm – Brussels – East Midlands Airport – Brussels – Stockholm – Oslo – Stockholm. Two of the engines involved were kind of fun because of their small size. The movements of EU bureaucrats has created a market for short plane hops anchored in Brussels, and so the cheapest…

My First UK Job Interview

Compared to the Swedish system, academic recruitment is extremely swift in the UK. In Scandyland, it’s typically 7 months from the application deadline to the rejection letter, mainly because of slow external referees. The worst I’ve seen was 14 months. But in the UK, it’s all done in a matter of weeks. I recently had…