Archive for January, 2011

14 Jan 2011

Status update

1 Comment Get a job (Sweden), Learn Swedish, Move to Sweden

It’s been a while since we posted anything in this category so I thought I would give you a little update on what’s going on. Simon is still attending his Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) classes and doing better and better. We’ve decided that we are going to start practising more at home, actually a request from Simon not me. He feels like he has a pretty good idea of the grammar but is lacking words so vocabulary training is on the agenda.

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14 Jan 2011

Jeff Dunham till Sverige

No Comments Sverige

En personlig favorit kommer till Sverige i vår. Den 16 april gör otroligt skickliga buktalaren Jeff Dunham ett stopp i Stockholm och Globen under sin 2011 turné Identity Crisis. Biljetter finns att köpa på Ticnet – HÄR. I want to go!

13 Jan 2011

Making the EU more AU

No Comments Typically Aussie

Europe is under threat, at least according to Australian Lambassador Sam Kekovich. “They’ve got the EU headquarters in a city named after a sprout and the French eating frog’s legs instead of lamb legs. At least the Italians are on the right track with Lambrettas, Lambrusco and Lamborghinis.

For those of you who (just like me) have no idea who Sam Kekovich is,  I can inform you that he’s an Australian media personality, sports commentator and former AFL player. He’s well known for his series of satirical advertisements as the spokesman for Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) to promote the lamb industry – hence the name Lambassador (Lamb + ambassador).

The Australia Day Lamb Campaigns first appeared back in 2005 when Sam encouraged people to eat more Australian lamb. In the 2005 ad campaign, he labeled vegetarians as being unAustralian, provoking outrage from groups such as animal rights activists. The ads has then been an annual event in the lead up to Australia Day and this year he’s targeting us Europeans calling us to unite to “rid the world of the dark spectre of unAustralianism” by eating lamb on International Australia Day. “Because if the world were more like Australia, it would be a better place. Everyone would stop fighting, and get together as mates over a Lamb barbie — just like we do Down Under.”

Australia Day by the way is on January 26 and if you want to watch previous year’s campaigns click on the links below to get to the clips.

Australia Day 2005
Australia Day 2006
Australia Day 2007
Australia Day 2008
Australia Day 2009
Australia Day 2010

For more Typically Aussie things have a look HERE!

13 Jan 2011

Boat ride in Brisbane

No Comments Queensland (QLD)

A boat ride through some of Brisbane’s worst flood affected suburbs

The Queensland Government has launched an appeal to help fellow Queenslanders affected by the recent floods. Many communities have been devastated. Some families have lost everything. You can help make a difference by donating to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal. So far $35,868,270 has been donated.


13 Jan 2011

New beginning

No Comments Quote of the day

Author: Maria Robinson


13 Jan 2011

Australia vs Europe

No Comments Typically Aussie

As I’ve been comparing the size of Queensland with other parts of the world to give you an idea of how big it is I came to think of this post card I bought when I was in Oz. It illustrates a size comparison between Australia and Europe.


But when taking a closer look you realise something, countries are missing! Since when is Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia not a part of Europe? Discrimination…the postcard should say Area size comparision of Australia and Western Europe. 😛 (Plus the country Yugoslavia doesn’t even exist anymore, it was divided into 6 different independant states back in 2003 or something like that).

Countries that are considered to belong to Europe (though I thought Russia belonged to Asia). Total area around 10 180 000 km².

Australia is still very big and it’s kind of hard to wrap your head around the fact that the distance between Sydney and Perth (3 313 km) almost is the same as the distance between Madrid and Moscow (3 325 km). Or for you Americans you can compare the distance between Brisbane and Perth with the one between San Francisco and Pittsburgh, which is exactly the same – 3 639 km.

For more Typically Aussie things have a look HERE!

12 Jan 2011

European fast fashion in Oz

No Comments Australia

I know many Europeans living in Australia would like to see the Swedish retail gigant and Europe’s second largest clothing retailer, H&M, in Australia. According to what I’ve read the company is looking into the possibilities of opening a store in Australia but nothing is set yet. H&M has 2 200 stores in over 37 countries but still none in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m convinced it would be a great success but I guess one of the barriers by establishing themselves in Southern Hemisphere countries is that the seasons are opposite to ours up in the Northern Hemisphere and that of course makes it a bit more difficult.

Another popular chain that is set to open their first store in Australia this year is Spanish Zara, one of the most successful retail fashion brands in the world. The chain has around 1500 stores in over 74 countries and they open their first Australian store in the brand new Westfield Shopping Centre in Sydney CBD.
The outlet, expected to open in April, will be a three level, 1830 square metre store and I’m predicting a huge success.

Why Sydney and not Melbourne was my first thought, but then I read that a second five level store will be opened in Melbourne too, in Bourke Street Mall next to David Jones. The Melbourne store is set to open in early 2011 possibly in early April and it seem to be a bit of a race going on regarding which of the two stores that will actually open first.

The distance and the seasonal differences between Australia and Zara’s Spanish headquarters is not expected to impact the ranges offered Down Under. The chain already operates in several Southern Hemisphere countries  where the seasons are reversed. So if Zara can do it so can H&M, don’t you think?

*Fast fashion is a term used by fashion retailers to acknowledge that designs move from catwalk to store in the fastest time to capture current trends in the market.

11 Jan 2011

Guide to the Swedes

No Comments Typically Swedish

Giving you a little book tip this evening – Xenophobe’s guide to the Swedes by Peter Berlin. I haven’t read it myself but apparently it suppose to be pretty funny.

A guide to understanding the Swedes that takes the chill out of their cool exterior and reveals the warmth of their inner selves.

The book is one of a series of guides designed to tell the truth about other nations, using sweeping generalizations and observations as a base, detailing what to expect and how to cope with it. The guides try to explain why things are done the way they are and they try to allay the feelings of trepidation with which the xenophobe approaches new territory.

In Sweden it’s available at for example Adlibris for measly 54 SEK – HERE.

For more Typically Swedish things have a look HERE!

11 Jan 2011

Broken roads can be fixed, broken families can’t

6 Comments Queensland (QLD)

Affected towns

I continued reading about the floods in Queensland today and it’s just insane. It’s hard to grasp the full extent of the natural disaster, the worst flood Queensland has experienced in decades. The flooding is a result of heavy precipitation caused by Tropical Cyclone Tasha. I read today that Toowoomba (that I wrote about yesterday HERE) was hit by 160 mm of rain over 36 hours yesterday causing the flash flood. 10 people are confirmed dead and 78 people are still missing and today the Premier of Queensland Anna Bligh declared three quarters of Queensland a disaster zone. The declaration of a disaster situation gives the police and emergency personnel authority to evacuate members of the public as necessary to ensure the preservation of life and property.

Queensland is a big state, it measures more than 1.72 million square kilometers which is nearly seven times larger than the UK and more than twice the size of Pakistan.

Flood forecasts have been revised upwards for Brisbane and Ipswich and Anna Bligh says that almost 40 000 properties are expected to experience flooding in Brisbane in the coming days. “We would expect to see 9,000 properties affected significantly by this water level and more than 30,000 other properties having some impact,” she said. Ipswich is also braced for a record peak that will flood up to 3 000 properties. The Brisbane River is predicted to rise to 3 metres tonight, 4.5 metres tomorrow and is likely to peak higher than the 1974 floods that reached 5.45 metres. The Bremer River at Ipswich is now expected to reach 22 metres tomorrow morning – 1.5 metres above the 1974 level. About 100 000 residents in Brisbane and Ipswich could also be without power as officials get ready to hit the off switch because of major flooding.

The floods have had a devastating effect on the road network. The damage bill currently stands around $1.5 billion with the full extent of the damage a long way from being known. We’ve got 33 000 km of state roads and the full extent of the damage can’t be determined right now – it might not be known for many months – but we know it will be an unprecedented long term repair jobMain Roads Minister Craig Wallace says.

But broken roads can be fixed, broken families can’t!

The Queensland Government has launched an appeal to help fellow Queenslanders affected by the recent floods. Many communities have been devastated. Some families have lost everything. You can help make a difference by donating to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal. So far $32 373 484 has been donated.


10 Jan 2011

Our New Year’s in Vienna

2 Comments Vienna

Finally here is the update about our wonderful long weekend in Vienna and I apologize in advance for the very long blog post but for those to lazy to read just look at the pics. 😉 For you who don’t know it Vienna or Wien as it’s called in German and Swedish is the capital of Austria. It’s a fairly big city with it’s population of just under 1.7 million people. The reason we went to Vienna in the first place was to visit Martin and Deborah, friends of Simon’s that live in Melbourne. Martin is Austrian and they were back to visit friends and family and invited us down.

Martin & Deb Read more