Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh, well

... so I have spent almost half a year  roaming through Sweden, Poland and Spain - in person and virtually... only to do about face some two weeks ago, deciding to move to Central America for a while, workin part time ... in Belize again and then living for a while in Playa del Carmen, near Cancun in Mexico.

So some new adventures on the new continent await... while Europe needs to wait for me a little bit longer, again.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Path to Prosperity?

I moved to the USA first time about 30 years ago. During this time frame USA gradually ceased being a prosperous developed country and  became a third world country that it now is.  How sad!
Enormous wealth and income disparity, enormous differences in rights - and possibilities - of the privileged rich and the rapidly growing percent of the population that is poor and becoming even poorer.

Sweden might look cold and  in April - and weatherwise it is - but politically, socially, it is a much "warmer"  place for its citizens and residents than USA ever was.

The audacity of a Republican/Tea Party  budget that calls itself  " a path to prosperity" while shamelessly dismantling the crumbling remains of a social  system in the USA in the name of  "deficit reduction" while showering lower taxes on the rich - both individual and corporations.  Whew!  I am glad I made the decision to leave this country permanently and executed it swiftly: I now live in Europe, again.

I no longer need to personally worry about what is happening with Medicare: I won't be using it.
My only worry is the sinking dollar, as a part of my income is in this currency. And as dollar sinks further and further against the euro ( you have now to dish out almost $ 1.5 for one euro, while ten yers ago dollar was stronger than euro, and even 6 years ago an Economist prediction that a dollar would fall to 1.40 to an euro was greeted with utmost dibelief - that's how low Amarica fell!) the percentage of my total income in dollars shrinks, too.  Thanks heavens for strong Swedish crown ... though it does me no good in Sweden. :-(((
But at least its practically free health care makes me smile, as it saves me a bundle of dollars I do not have to spend on health care in America.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cats now and then

My friend, Anna, an avid photographer and animal lover came for a visit and took this photo of Missy.

Then she let the cats out on the  balcony to "help me" with spring planting. That's how they are helping! By an unruly committee meeting! Missy and Tuno want chives to be planted everywhere. And all chives for them, none for me! Sweetie prefers catnip and cat grass, but is willing to share. Rascal is satisfied with my asiatic lilies, which came up in abundabce this year - he loves to chew on their leaves.
At least Sweetie took pity on my needs and  is pointing out that mint needs replanting and the hanging basket is waiting for fresh spring flowers. I agree with that! :-)

And that's how all four of them looked two years ago, in March of 2009, before leaving Puerto Rico. Time flies and cats become older.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Going back to Europe?

A typical street in a medieval city of Ystad in southernmost Sweden (photo by Magnus)

I think this might be the year to go back home, to Europe - for good.

To Sweden, Poland and Spain.

Why? One of the reasons would be nostalgia: I am a citizen of Sweden, I was born and raised in Poland. So if I have - again - taken a residence in the southernmost province of Sweden, Scania (Skane), I could enjoy it's picturesque charms,

its well preserved medieval towns, like Ystad or Simrishamn (photo above)
cheerfully coexisting with avant garde modern architecture, like this "Turning Torso" building in Malmo,

its quaint villages and bucolic landscapes,
its soft, sandy beaches with colorful beach huts, its proximity to "wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen"
Oresund bridge connecting Sweden with Denmark

(about one hour by car or train) , while being only 7 hours away (by ferry) from my first home country - Poland.

Old town square in my hometown of Poznan, Poland. This picture could have been taken from the windows of my old office in the research institute, Institute of Western Affairs, where I once worked.

And why Spain? Well, both Sweden and Poland are in the northern part of Europe and "suffer" long, cold winters, so in winter, i would do, what many retired Scandinavians do: move to southern Spain for a few months.

No, not to Costa del Sol, which is now overrun with - mostly - Brits, but to a more than 2000 years old pueblo blanco (white village) on the Granada's coast: Almunecar, or to neighboring Nerja or Salobrena.

A view of Almunecar

Those Spanish small towns and villages are winter havens for northern Europeans, who already constitute about 25% of their permanent population, while many more northern Europeans spend winters there renting flats or townhouses overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Another reason, this one negative, is that I have grown disenchanted with America, which - especially tea party and republican America - seems to be now going full throttle into a wrong direction: toward more inequality, more uncaring about its citizens, who are allowed to be pawns of greedy insurance companies, "big pharma" etc. etc.

Tea partiers and republicans seam so eager to dismantle even the very, very modest (in comparison to Europe) social safety networks... that it makes me want to puke - and not stay in this country any longer.

Yes, I shall miss certain comforts of America, and - most of all - I shall miss a proximity to my daughter, who lives and works here. It won't be easy for me with advancing age to board a plane to USA to visit her, and it won't be easy for her to have to board a plane to visit me, as vacations in America are also far shorter than they are in Europe, but I hope that, perhaps, we could meet during her business trips to Europe, or... she, too, shall grow disenchanted with America and decide to go home to Europe.