Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dhofar Governorate

After an intensive autumn semester finale continents apart, we are finally all together in southern Oman for some winter sun and time away. Coming in late at night from Dubai, one could immediately tell the difference between the mass tourism infrastructure of the UAE and the touch of “Tintin-style” remoteness that still marks the Sultanate.

In early January we will be back in Sweden where the TV-series “Dokument inifrån” will make a programme about the loss of the future in politics. Although I am very happy that they asked me to contribute, I still feel quite nervous about it as it is the first time that I will appear on national TV.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Hummingbird Coffee

In February 2011, Christchurch was devastated by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Almost three years later, the city may still have an unmistakable post-apocalyptic vibe but signs of recovery are also very visible, especially with the cluster of new cafés, shops and galleries appearing around “Container Mall”.

Coming down here from Seoul, the light is almost otherworldly. Like last time in 2008, New Zeeland is somehow a window into what the planet may have looked like before humans. That, plus good coffee. Originally, Jon and I had great plans for a train ride with the TranzAlpine but in the end we spent most of the time writing at the University of Canterbury's faculty club and exploring Christchurch Botanic Garden with rhododendron that made me think of Sofiero.