In my generation, you get daily recommendations on what to watch. “You have to see Game of Thrones!” “West World is the best thing on TV right now!” “Once you get through the first season of House of Cards, it gets really good!”

I am rather picky when it comes to TV series. Either a story captures me in the pilot or I get on with my life. I mean, really, my life span is limited, I can’t spend half a day watching before a show starts getting good. That return on investment does not really work out for me.

But I am also a herd animal and I have a certain interest to hänga med i snacket. When Lil’ Pesto joined the office, he made a passionate plea for the Norwegian show everyone is talking about nowadays: Skam (Shame). Hours after that, one of my best friends whatsapped me she watches it. Then my Grey’s Anatomy buddy mentioned on Facebook she watches it.

Skam, titled after an emotion that is rather distinct among teenagers, was originally a project to make the Norwegian State TV’s internet site more attractive to a young audience. The show is aired online, the characters have instagram profiles, the creator travelled through all of Norway to ask young people what life is like for them.

Okay, I thought, I will give it another try. Because obviously, the great trendspotter I am (…), I had tried it weeks ago and been all like, “Why would I watch a show that is basically my life 15 years ago?”

Now, two weeks later, I’m in season two and still can’t put my finger to why I just have to watch three episodes in one evening. Is it because there are only girl lead roles, all  carefully characterised and played by amazingly skilled young actresses? Is it because it is all in Norwegian and it sounds so charming and ridiculous at the same time? Is it because it is a kind of regression into teen age, just with some happy endings? Or am I just trying to have a topic of conversation with my intern?

I am actually not sure. I just know that it’s short episodes and I have found fierce love in my heart for my favorite character. If you don’t live in Sweden, get a VPN to be able to access SVTPlay and watch what everyone’s talking about, online and offline. (Actually, how does anyone even survive without a VPN? It’s like being cut off from half of the world. The Swedish world.)

P.S.: And it is not really my life 15 years ago. We didn’t have Jodel back then.


Smart advertisers know about the Skam hype. “Your body needs potatoes”, McDonald’s quotes from season 2.


Lil’ Pesto’s favorite is Vilde, so I put up a poster of her for motivational reasons.

Citatsamling del 27

Det är nästan som om jag är Jesusbarnet och du är de tre visen männen! (Kollegan när jag berättar att hon ska få tre presenter.)

Det är lådan med Volvo, choklad och födelsedagskassan.  – Det är den lyckliga lådan!

Jag ska inte lägga mig i. Bara litegrann.

Jag har inte dumpat!…speciellt många.

Faith: The Scandinavia Tour


As you know, the Swedish Church of Hamburg was temporarily closed for renovation. A big scaffold hides the pretty facade and you hear the stones falling through the tunnel kind of thing they built from the fifth story to the ground.

This is why we, the Swedish church community, have sought refuge with our Scandinavians neighbours. All Scandinavians churches are located in the same street which is very convenient. I’ve learned that we are on good terms with the Finnish and we like the Norwegians. We do apparently not like the Danish because of a row some years ago. This is just rumours I heard but judging from the fact that we now are sheltered by the Finnish and Norwegian, it seems somewhat true.

Our first choir practice was in the Finnish church last week. I do wonder what kind of drugs their architect was on when he designed the building. There are no windows at all, no decoration, the walls look like white prison cells and the room keeps getting smaller and the ceiling is suspended in a way that sabotages the acoustic.


I also feel like I am in a foreign country because I do not understand a single word that is written in the Finnish hymn book. I looked at the page with the usual prayers, the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed and such, but I could not even discern which one was which. That is not the Finnish Church’s fault though and I am anxious to point out that I think it is very nice of them to let us be in their church, do not misunderstand me. Also, it is very charming when you are sitting there and suddenly a tango tune plays somewhere in the house. Because the Finnish, they’re tango dancers in case you didn’t know.

This morning I attended service in the Norwegian church. Every week a new church, I feel like I am on a tour through Scandinavia (see poster). The Swedes consider the Norwegians for historical and lingustic reasons their brother people. (Even though they keep teasing each other but when the going gets though, they stand side by side, very closely.) Today for the first time, I could really feel why. When I came in late, the door was held open for me and I came into a church that was not as wonderful as ours but still much nicer than the Finnish one and there was a likeable Norwegian priest talking. Norwegian sounds always-happy and more or less understandable to Swedish-speaking ears and compared to Finnish, you feel like you’ve finally found your way home. There were Swedish and Norwegian songs sung and our Swedish pastor held the sermon saying some very smart words on Je Suis Charlie. The only time that almost tripped me up was when we said the prayers in our respective languages. La viljen din skje på jorden slik som i himmelen is close but phonetically not the same as Låt din vilja ske på jorden så som i himlen.

My absolute favorite part of the Norwegian service must have been that they had dogs in church. To bring children is normal but bringing your dog is…awesome. I must say they were very hansome, obedient dogs.

Afterwards, we had fika in the community room that was adjacent the church room. Basically, it is all one big room. Having grown up with Catholic churches where the sacral space is demarcated clearly from the mundane, I felt like the first Christians must have felt when they had service in their living rooms. The Norwegians had served lovely fika for us and on the one side of the buffet, they had placed napkins in the Norwegian colors and on the other, napkins in the Swedish colors – the loveliest gesture! 


Apparently, the Norwegian church has the tradition to put those who had their birthdays the previous week, on a chair in the middle and then everyone sings for them, doing a funny dance. It was easy to tell apart the Swedes because they did not know how to do the dance. The pastor concluded the fika with announcing the things that were happening at the church this week, ending each announcement with, “Swedes are allowed to come, too!”