Mary PW Chin
The Scandinavia changed my taste; or rather, it gave me a taste. It is a place of unusual equilibrium. It is also where I feel high taxes are appropriate and in fact, good. Public revenues feed the right needs.
I find Lund a naturally homely place, in sharp contrast to my Firenze experience in several ways. First, the traffic wasn't daunting; it was peaceful yet lively. Second, the scale of the map fitted my comfy radius; everywhere was accessible by foot. Of all my travels, this was the only place where locals in fact stopped to offer directions whilst I was reading my map, even before I started to feel lost or to need help. Elsewhere I had asked for directions on countless occasions and had met many helpful, good-natured strangers, but Lund was exceptional. The initiatives were theirs, not mine.
We checked into a hotel which looked just like another ordinary house from the outside. The reception looked a bit better but when we entered our rooms it was the most delightful surprise ever -- designer bathrooms with tubs of beautiful contours. They got it right: beauty in the interior, humble on the exterior -- unlike others who leap for exuberant displays and chandeliers, whatever appearing most exclusive, expansive and expensive.
So that was my second lesson on contours. The first was by
Brecon Beacons years back.
Malmo's Twisting Torso is perhaps the first modern building which fascinated me. It twists together our left brain with the right, logic with art. Thereafter and elsewhere I developed further architectural preferences of my own. Scandinavia gave me an induction and prepared me for getting a home of my own. While the norm associates
prepared to buy a home to having enough money, I now understand an additional factor -- that is to first develop an architectural taste of our own. We buy homes, not boxes.
This is the tiny island of <300 inhabitants where everyone says hi to each other. It is also where the
deer found me. There was an unfortunate occasion at Backafallsbyn ( Ven). Finishing a served dinner, we were each guessing what meat we just had. I swore that it was definitely not beef, not pork, not chicken. So, we inquired from the waiter. To my horror, there it went: my protected species. One of the mistakes least possible to undo.