Go, Royal Blues!

Compared to my experience in Brazil, KTH’s environment is incredibly more stimulating and full of opportunities. There are a variety of students associations, clubs, group projects, weekly pubs, and sports teams. Yesterday, maybe inspired by the Winter Olympics (on which I wrote about last Wednesday) I decided to go and support the Royal Blues, KTH own Hockey Club.

It was a really cool experience, better than I had imagined, I have to say. Tag along and check it out 🙂

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Short Guide for Following the Olympics

It is time for the Winter Olympics, and it is the first time ever that such event makes some sense for me. See, I am from Brazil, we are not big on anything that involves snow, but up here in the North, it is a different story. So here is my little guide to follow the Winter Olympics rooting for Sweden.

(By the way, I wrote on what sports Swedes like before. Take a look!)

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A Winter Marathon

Yesterday was a cool day. And also a goddamn cold one. My company was hosting a half marathon in Sollentuna, a city c.a. 15km from Stockholm and I spent the whole day out in the snow. As a good rookie, I left boots and gloves at home and spent the whole day freezing. As my mom used to say, when the mind doesn’t think, it is the body who suffers.

The Race

As far as I know, this was the first race ever hosted in Edsviken, a body of water (not exactly a lake) here near Stockholm, and actually yesterday it was only the first half of it. The idea was to run once during the winter, crossing the ice, and another on summer, around the water. But since the ice was not thick enough, people ran the same route as intended during the summer.

However, it was still definitely a winter challenge, as the weather really heavy. The water was frozen, and there was some people

Apparently, it was a nice day for skiing over the frozen water, as there were lots of people doing that.

And at least 300 people crazy enough to run 21km on negative temperatures.

My job there was taking pictures, mostly, so while they ran I took a walk to check out Edsviken. I discovered it is a cool cultural center, and couple of years back they even had a Salvador Dali exhibition, something surprising for a small town near Stockholm.

I really liked this sculpture here:

A post shared by tommyalbrecht (@tommyalbrecht) on

There was also a private motorcycle collection. It seemed interesting, but unfortunately kind of expensive to go in (and I needed to be ready when the runners started crossing the finish line). However, I went there to grab a cup of coffee and warm up a little.

And just one door away, a string sextet was playing at an art vernissage.

So, an interesting mix of things to do while the race was going on. However, I have to say that taking pictures of the finishing line inspired me to start running. All the competitors were so happy!

This was the first team to finish the race (1h18min)

And the day ended up beautifully with a nice sunset. The best thing is to realize that by now there is some light up to 5 PM, which means that worst of the winter is already gone.

In short, it was a day well spent. However, a huge lesson for me is to learn how to dress for the winter and stack upon layers of clothes. That is the way to enjoy a full afternoon outside and not wake up feeling sick as I do know.

Well, hopefully, next time I won’t make the same mistake!

/tomas

Israel x Palestine Conflict: Hearing from an Insider

Moving to Sweden has opened many doors for me, and I have been able to take part in things that I had never crossed my mind. Helping with Nobel Prize after-party, working with prostate cancer research, hosting a crayfish party, when in Brazil would I even imagine doing any of those? Never.

Well, one of those things happened again today. I just got home from a lecture with Her Excellency Hala Husni Fariz, the Ambassador of the Palestine State.

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IKEA – The Swedish Way of Life

Sweden has a lot of iconic brands out there. Volvo, Absolut Vodka, H&M, TetraPAK, Scania have been around the globe for decades. And recently others such as Spotify, Skype, and King (Candy Crush, anyone?) have taken the world by storm. However, I dare to say no one promoted the Swedish way of life better than IKEA.

This week, the founder of the blue and yellow furniture giant passed away. Ingvar Kamprad was 91 years old and died during his sleep. So, as a homage to the fantastic brand he built and the way he promoted Sweden everywhere, I decided to write a little about it. How about that?

This is Ingvar back in the day. (Picture from IKEA newsroom)

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